East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, June 13, 2019, Page A4, Image 4

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    East Oregonian
Thursday, June 13, 2019
News Editor
Hermiston Editor
Founded October 16, 1875
Debate over wolves a failed enterprise
he debate about wolves in
this state is a testament to
failed expectations, culture
differences and the inability to find
a common ground, and it’s gone on
far too long.
Just recently Gov. Kate Brown
stepped into what can only be
termed as a political and cultural
morass when she raised concerns
about the new version of the state’s
wolf management plan approved
last week.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife
Commission OK’d a revised edi-
tion of the wolf management blue-
print June 7 and, not surprisingly, it
faced criticism from conservation
groups. Brown entered the fray and
indicated the revised plan did not do
enough to guarantee a healthy wolf
In short, Brown told the wildlife
commissioners they need to come
up with a better plan.
Meanwhile, wolf conservationists
are particular incensed by a piece
of the revised plan that narrowly
defines “chronic depredation” in
Eastern Oregon. Under the revised
plan ranchers could — conceivably
ODFW Photo, File
Oregon Fish and Wildlife commissioners approved a new management plan June 7 for gray
wolves, a long-awaited document that sets protocols for potential hunts and new thresholds
for when the agency may kill wolves after attacks on cattle and sheep.
— ask that wolves be eliminated
after two confirmed kills within
nine months.
Conservationist have other issues
with the revised plan as well and it
doesn’t appear there will be a suit-
able solution to all parties — con-
servationists, the governor, state
wildlife officials and ranchers —
any time soon.
The Oregon Wolf plan is
designed to be updated every five
years. The last update was in 2010.
Then there were 21 wolves in Ore-
gon; now there are more than 130.
Officials began to work on an
update last year but that included a
mediator and representatives from
conservation, ranching and hunting
organizations. But talks fell apart
when representatives from conser-
vation groups walked away from
the negotiation table. Their fear was
the plan was predicated on a prede-
termined outcome.
There fears may be justified, but
it is hard to know for sure. The fail-
ure of the negotiations, though,
sends a message that educated indi-
viduals that should be able to find a
solution, can’t. It sends the message
that this process isn’t really about
what is best for the wolves but who
gets to win.
Negotiation isn’t based on who
gets to win. It is based on debate,
vigorous — but respectful — dis-
cussion and compromise.
What is really best for the wolves
in Oregon? Good question, and a
bunch of different groups — and
the governor — think they know.
Yet they seem collectively unable
to find a compromise and move a
complicated and contentious issue
forward. The various groups at the
wolf management table need to
come back together and work out a
compromise. Not in six months or
two years.
Connect the dots to see where Trump’s taking us
ust when you think you’ve seen and
But then The Post reported that May
heard it all from Donald Trump, he
11 in a town “near the entrance to the
sinks to a new low that leaves you
Arctic Ocean in northwest Russia, the
speechless and wondering: Is he crazy,
temperature surged to 84 degrees Fahr-
is he evil, is he maniacally committed
enheit” — in May! Near the Arctic! And
to unwinding every good thing Barack
this happened at the same time that “the
Obama did, or is he just plain stupid?
concentration of carbon dioxide in the
I mean, what president would try to
atmosphere eclipsed 415 parts per mil-
weaken emission standards so Ameri-
lion for the first time in human history.”
can-made cars could pollute more, so our
Now let’s go to Dot No. 2: On May
kids could breathe dirtier air in the age
30, the National Weather Service
of climate change and when clean energy
declared that in the continental U.S.
systems are becoming the next great
“there’s never been a wetter 12 months
global industry and China is focused on
than the period that recently ended” —
dominating it?
since it began keeping records 124 years
Seriously, who does that?
ago, CNN reported. But this
But that’s the initiative
global weirding not only dev-
Trump has embarked upon of
astated Midwestern farmers,
late — an industrial policy to
requiring huge insurance pay-
revive all the dirty industries of
outs, it also hammered the U.S.
the past and to undermine the
clean industries of the future.
The Air Force had to request
It is a policy initiative that
$4.9 billion to repair just two
is not only perverse on its face,
weather-ravaged bases. As NPR
but that utterly fails to connect
reported, “About one-third of
T homas
so many dots that are right now
Offutt Air Force Base, in east-
F riedman
harming our national security,
ern Nebraska, was underwater
economy, weather and competi-
earlier this month as flooding
tion with China.
hit large swaths of the Midwest.
Think of the dots Trump refuses to
And Tyndall Air Force Base in the Flor-
ida Panhandle was hit hard by Hurricane
Dot No. 1: Get the term “global
Michael in October.”
warming” out of your head. What’s actu-
The then-Air Force secretary, Heather
ally happening is better described as
Wilson, declared “that 61 projects —
“global weirding.” The warming of the
consisting largely of operations and
atmosphere makes the weather weird.
maintenance — at air bases in 18 states
First, the hots get hotter. This then leads
would not happen if the supplemental
to greater evaporation, which means
disaster funding does not come through.”
there’s more water vapor in clouds for
Dot No. 3: So June 6, Trump signed
precipitation. So the wets get wetter and
a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill, boast-
the floods get wider. But the droughts in
ing: “Just signed Disaster Aid Bill to
dry areas also get drier.
help Americans who have been hit by
Some of the colds can even get colder,
recent catastrophic storms. So important
as when a weakened polar vortex, which
for our GREAT American farmers and
normally keeps cold air trapped in the
Arctic, allows more frigid polar air to
push southward into the U.S. At the
The New York Times reported, “The
same time, the hurricanes that are fueled
world’s largest automakers warned Pres-
by warmer ocean temperatures get more
ident Trump on Thursday that one of
his most sweeping deregulatory efforts
That’s why you’re seeing weird
— his plan to weaken tailpipe pollution
weather extremes in all directions. So,
standards — threatens to cut their profits
The Washington Post reported that in
and produce ‘untenable’ instability in a
Montana: “On March 3, the low tem-
crucial manufacturing sector.
perature tanked to a bone-chilling
“In a letter signed by 17 companies
minus-32 in Great Falls. Combined with
including Ford, General Motors, Toy-
a high of minus-8, the day finished a
ota and Volvo, the automakers asked Mr.
whopping 50 degrees below normal.”
Trump to go back to the negotiating table
At the time, the city was in its longest
on the planned rollback of one of Presi-
stretch below freezing on record.
dent Barack Obama’s signature policies
Unsigned editorials are the opinion of
the East Oregonian editorial board. Other
columns, letters and cartoons on this page
express the opinions of the authors and not
necessarily that of the East Oregonian.
to fight climate change.”
The story explained that Trump’s
new rule “would all but eliminate the
Obama-era auto pollution regulations,
essentially freezing mileage standards at
about 37 miles per gallon for cars, down
from a target of 54.5 miles per gallon by
2025.” And because California and 13
other states are committed to fulfilling
Obama’s or other higher standards, and
will go to court to make sure they can, it
will split the U.S. auto market into two
— a huge problem for the car companies.
Personally, I have no sympathy for
the automakers. They brought this on
themselves. They, and those in Congress
who coddle them, have a long history of
assisted suicide.
They got the GOP to more or less
freeze the 1980s mileage improvement
standards that grew out of the 1970s oil
crisis, claiming it would be too expen-
sive for them to keep improving. And
what did we get? More pollution in
America and therefore more childhood
asthma and other health costs, and a
bankrupt auto industry that had to be
bailed out in 2008 in part because the
Japanese out-innovated it in the 1980s
and 1990s by holding to higher mileage
standards and creating more fuel-effi-
cient fleets.
And now these same foolish and self-
ish Detroit auto executives, in combina-
tion with Trump’s coal-lobby-led Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency, want to
rerun the same play. The companies just
wanted Trump to not get as crazy in roll-
ing back standards as he did.
As any industrial designer will tell
you, smart, steadily rising environmen-
tal standards spur innovation and inspire
companies to race to the top and become
global market leaders. Obama’s emission
standards spurred the U.S. auto industry
to catch up, and now Trump wants the
companies to slow down their innovation
and pollute more, in order to drive up
their short-term profits. It’s like burning
your furniture to heat your house.
As University of Oregon law profes-
sor Greg Dotson, a former senior energy
congressional staffer, pointed out in
an essay on theconversation.com titled
“Why EPA’s U-turn on Auto Efficiency
Rules Gives China the Upper Hand”:
“Reversing course on the EPA’s tailpipe
standards threatens to yield this compet-
itive advantage to other nations … Chi-
na’s recently adopted goals for plug-in
vehicles overtake California’s program
by requiring an aggressive deploy-
ment of plug-in vehicles beginning in
2019 with a target of seven million new
plug-in cars sold per year by 2025. The
Chinese government is even openly dis-
cussing the appropriate date to discon-
tinue sales of internal combustion engine
vehicles within China.”
Yup, let’s make China great again!
If you want to know what a real presi-
dent would be doing, just look at Michael
Bloomberg’s “Beyond Carbon” initiative,
which has committed $500 million for
the biggest coordinated campaign ever to
promote clean energy.
Nine new governors were elected in
2018 on platforms to power their states
by 100% clean energy, as California
has already committed itself to. Some
are small, like New Mexico, and may
need technical assistance for their plans.
“Beyond Carbon” is designed to sup-
port such states. It also offers aid to util-
ities, cities and businesses that need help
or staffing to adopt innovative programs
to clean their air and water and to lower
carbon emissions, particularly by shut-
ting down coal power plants and replac-
ing them with clean energy.
Alas, when you actually connect all
of the dots they draw a line pointing
straight backward:
Trump is trying to lower auto emis-
sion/mileage standards that were mak-
ing our car companies more competitive
against efficient Chinese and Japa-
nese automakers — and making our air
cleaner — while Trump is signing mul-
tibillion-dollar bailouts for farmers and
Air Force bases ravaged by extreme
weather that has been amplified by cli-
mate change that is amplified by car-
bon pollution, while Trump is having
his bureaucrats hide evidence of cli-
mate change and while Trump is forc-
ing Americans to pay billions in tariffs
on Chinese imports to protect against,
among other things, future compe-
tition from Chinese electric vehicles
that have zero emissions and zero oil
This is not strategic. This is not win-
ning. This is not patriotic. It’s just fool-
ish, destructive and cynical.
Thomas Friedman, a New York Times
columnist, was awarded two Pulitzer
Prizes for international reporting in Bei-
rut and Israel and one for commentary.
The East Oregonian welcomes original letters of 400 words or less on public issues and public policies
for publication in the newspaper and on our website. The newspaper reserves the right to withhold
letters that address concerns about individual services and products or letters that infringe on the rights
of private citizens. Letters must be signed by the author and include the city of residence and a daytime
phone number. The phone number will not be published. Unsigned letters will not be published.
Send letters to the editor to
or via mail to Andrew Cutler,
211 S.E. Byers Ave.
Pendleton, OR 97801