Letters to the Editor for Oct. 18, 2018

Initiative 1631 well intended, but misguided

Initiative 1631 seems well-intended but misguided. It would result in a regressive tax impacting businesses and in turn their customers — us! Passage would mandate significant increases in utility bills. It would cast a shadow over the economic development programs we are working so hard on.

The measure is poorly structured. Some of the most flagrant emitters (e. g. coal-fired power generators) would be exempt. Fees would be allowed to escalate over time. Proceeds would be available for beneficial uses only after “reasonable administrative expenses” have been deducted. The pool could be raided/diverted by the state.

It would be naive to believe that this initiative stems entirely from noble purpose. The sole focus of too many of the people in Olympia is on raising taxes. Once the state gets another hand in our pockets, it would be impossible to dislodge.

Bill Ward, Camas

Rock the vote, youth, but make sure you also follow up

It’s great to see youth getting involved in the elections (“Youth could actually rock the vote” Camas-Washougal Post-Record, Oct. 4, 2018). Right now, everyone — regardless of age — can ask candidates questions like: “What are you going to do about the millions of hungry in America?” and “How can you change the fact that one in five children live in poverty?”

Then, of course, it comes time to vote. After voting, or even if you can’t yet vote, follow up with those who represent you in Congress. Not sure how to do that? RESULTS (results.org) has a program for youth ages 18 to 30 called the Real Change Scholarship that teaches how to speak to your representatives, and even visit them in Washington, D.C. So, do rock the vote, and then follow through by calling, writing and visiting those we elect. This is the way to keep our democracy strong.

Willie Dickerson, Snohomish, Washington

Yes on Long: Accessibility critical in 3rd District race

Having accessibility to a public official, regardless of party affiliation, should be a given. My former congressman, in California’s 7th District, regularly invited his constituents — in a politically mixed suburban district — to widely publicized town halls.

By last count, Carolyn Long has held at least 37 townhalls and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler has held none. Herrera Beutler has a track record of avoiding genuine dialogue with her constituents, particularly constituents whom she perceives as holding views different from her own.

For this reason alone, Herrera Beutler should not be re-elected. Let’s give Carolyn Long an opportunity to promote a more inclusive leadership style for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.

Ellen Sward, JD, Vancouver

Congresswoman should protect entire Pacific Northwest coastline from offshore drilling

The Trump administration plans to open the Pacific Northwest for offshore oil and gas drilling. It’s not hyperbole to say that the Pacific Northwest coastline is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. The possibility of an accident is never zero, and once it happens even the best clean-up response can’t undo the damage. Thirty years after the Exxon Valdez spill, there is still oil on beaches and wildlife populations that have never recovered. No amount of money or jobs created can make up for such a clear threat to our environment.

Washington Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler has opposed drilling off the Washington coast, which is great. However, her concern doesn’t extend to the rest of the Pacific Northwest: her letter only requests an exemption for Washington. Yet an accident anywhere in the region could affect the whole region’s environment and wildlife. Meanwhile, Herrera Beutler has voted against the environment over 90 percent of the time per The League of Conservation Voters. Herrera Beutler needs to commit to protecting not just Washington, but the whole Pacific Northwest.

Jan R White, Vancouver