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Consumer Advocates Urge YES Vote on Oregon’s SB 324

A full version of the floor letter can be found here.

Fuel choices benefit consumers. As organizations that represent consumers in Oregon and across the country, we strongly support passage of SB 324 and reauthorization of the Clean Fuels Program.

Consumers win when they have more choices. The Clean Fuels Program will expand choices for consumers and help lower monthly fuel costs, while reducing greenhouse gases and other air pollutants from gasoline and diesel.

Oil prices are volatile. While today, gas prices are low, all forecasts indicate that they will increase again. When prices are too low, production slows, demand and supply sync up, and prices increase again. Dependency on increasingly unconventional oil sources is likely to drive prices upward. The best long-term strategy to hedge our transportation bets and lessen uncertainty at the pump is competition and diversification.

Introducing competition from cleaner fuels will encourage innovation and exert downward pressure on gasoline prices. Diversifying the fuel supply both decreases demand for oil and gives consumers more transportation fuel choices.

Many clean options are available. One of the many ways to comply with a Clean Fuel Standard is by adopting cleaner alternative fuels such as electricity produced from renewable resources (and also the cheapest fuel available), biogas, which can be used in large fleets like waste haulers, and even hydrogen. We’ve seen in California that a range of fuels are helping to affordably meet—and exceed—the standard.

About the Consumers Union: Since our inception in 1936, auto safety and value have been paramount for us.  Consumer Reports tests about 75 new vehicles every year at our test track, where we assess such attributes as fuel economy, ownership costs, reliability, safety, and performance. We do not accept outside advertising, and we have more than 8 million subscribers to all our products and services.

About Citizens’ Utility Board: The Citizens’ Utility Board was founded by Oregon voters in 1984.CUB has been a leader in consumer advocacy within the energy industry. In its three decades of service, CUB has saved Oregon ratepayers over $6 billion in rebates, refunds and lower costs.