Well, nature lovers, at the moment there is a bill being sneaked through that will have some pretty negative environmental consequences and will significantly limit public options for resisting industrial projects. Here is what the Audubon Society of Portland has to say about it and obviously if this is something you disapprove of, I hope you will help the fight against it:
“Two weeks ago we wrote to you about Senate Bill 766—a bill we consider to be one of the most significant threats to emerge to urban conservation efforts and our communities in a decade. SB 766 would prevent new environmental regulations on “regionally significant industrial lands” and would dramatically reduce opportunities for public involvement in the permitting process for industrial projects. It would severely reduce our community’s ability to protect places like the Willamette and Columbia Rivers and West Hayden Island
Since that time there has been a huge outpouring of opposition and your letters and phone calls have been having a real impact. Previously strong supporters now admit that the bill has significant flaws. This once “unstoppable” bill is now one of the most controversial bills of the legislative session. However they are still trying to ram this thing through!!!
Check out Steve Duin’s Oregonian Article: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/steve_duin/index.ssf/2011/03/losing_our_way_in_the_reckless/5489/comments-4.html
We need your support to kill this bill. This is going to take a sustained effort. Please keep writing and keep calling!
We just learned this morning that the Senate Sub-committee on Business, Transportation and Economic Development has scheduled a hearing and work session for SB 766 for this coming Monday at 3:00 PM.
- They gave the public less than two working days notice about what may well be the last senate sub-committee hearing on one of the most controversial bills on this session!
- They have continued to exclude conservation groups from the behind the industry dominated working group!
- They have not released the amendments that will be brought forward on Monday so the public doesn’t even know what it will be commenting on!
We will share specific comments on the amended version of SB 766 as soon as the public is allowed to review it. However given that the hearing is only two business days away it is important that our legislators again hear that we want transparent, fair and inclusive public process. Everything about SB 766 from the way it was drafted to what it will do if it passes flies directly in the face of those principles.
Key Points to Make:
- The recession should not be used as an excuse to reduce public process and prevent new environmental protections on industrial lands;
- Holding a hearing on one of the most controversial bills in the legislative session with only two days notice and without giving the public an opportunity to review amendments in advance is unacceptable;
- Working behind closed doors with industry and excluding environmental groups is unacceptable.
It should come as no surprise that the only way to pass a bill which guts public process is to sneak it through the legislative process. Please tell the Governor and the Senate Democrats that SB 766 is an attack on our communities and our environment.
Governor John Kitzhaber (Text can be pasted into and sent via this webpage)
Phone: 503-378-4582 (This is a message line)
Senator Contact Information (Senators can be directly emailed–just paste the whole list into an email)
Phone numbers and additional contact information can be found at: http://www.leg.state.or.us/senate/
Thanks for your continued opposition to SB 766.”