“It will start getting cooler. You just watch”. — Donald Trump
Eleven Oregon GOP state senators walked out of session in 2019, and some even ‘vanished,’ meaning they fled the state so that a climate change bill could not get a quorum.
Labor 411 connected the dots on their website that State Senator Frank Girod was one of those eleven saboteurs who blocked the quorum on a bill that would have lowered fossil fuel gas emissions along with wildfire reductions.
His home in Mills City burned to the ground during the Beachie fire that destroyed local communities in his district.
“From June 20, 2019, all 11 Republican state senators for Oregon, including Girod, refused to show up for work at the Oregon State Capitol, instead going into hiding, some even fleeing the state. Their aim was to push the vote on a cap-and-trade proposal that would dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to combat climate change to voters instead of being instituted by lawmakers. The Senate holds 30 seats, but 1 is vacant due to a death. Without the Republican senators, the remaining 18 Democratic state senators could not reach a quorum of 20 to hold a vote. Although several Republican state senators returned to the Senate chamber on June 29, 2019, leading to the cap-and-trade bill being sent back to committee, while other bills were passed, Girod was missing, and it was stated that he would not return for the month’s legislative session.”
Staff writer at The Oregonian writes:
MILL CITY — Fred Girod stood near the edge of a steep drop between what remained of his house and the Santiam River, grasping the destruction days after the Beachie Creek wildfire destroyed homes, businesses and landmarks along the canyon.
The walls of the one-story home had collapsed, leaving two stone columns and a chimney that rose out of the rubble. The heat and flames had twisted the frame of the deck where he would sit to watch bald eagles, ospreys and sunrises.
Girod, a 69-year-old state senator, made an impromptu trip Sunday into his sprawling district that includes many of the most hard-hit areas decimated by wildfires that have now burned more than 1 million acres across the state and killed at least 10 people.
“It hurts,” Girod said, hands in his dark denim jeans.
Sorry, you had to join the growing count of climate change victims, Mr. Girod. You should apologize to the people of Oregon for your climate crisis shenanigans and wildfire threat reduction sabotage.
Wind and lightning loom.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown told the Senate Committee on Wildfire Reduction and Recovery the state should invest $200 million in wildfire prevention, mitigation and suppression.
“Almost every fire season since I have become governor has been a historic fire season,” Brown said. “We all know Oregon stands to lose a lot in the face of uncontrolled wildfire. This is a rare moment when we can get ahead of the problem, but it won’t last long. Doing nothing is not an option.”
To that end, a collection of bills have been introduced that cover both short-term fixes and long term investments. Senate Bills 1514, 1515, 1516 and 1536 are based partly on recommendations from the Governor's Council on Wildfire Response released last autumn.
On the more straightforward side, Senate Bill 1514, discussed Monday, seeks to kickstart 15 projects to reduce wildfire danger as soon as next fall and spring of 2021.
Although the legislation isn’t specific on the locations, maps shown Monday highlighted southwest and central Oregon. Two million acres are “ready to go for treatment” such as prescribed burning and thinning, said Chad Davis with the Oregon Department of Forestry. “We have a map with first tier priorities just sitting on the shelf.”