Earl Blumenauer

VX2015: California & National Energy Leaders On DG’s Impact on Grid Management

Issue: 
Steve Berberich

The VerdeXchange 2015 opening plenary “The Future is Now—The Green Economy Going to Scale” considered the remaining work to be done by government and business as “sustainability” becomes mainstream. VX News provides edited excerpts of the discussion here, featuring California State Senator Robert Hertzberg, US Congressman Earl Blumenauer, President and CEO of California ISO Steve Berberich, and EPCOR Utilities Board Member and Former Mayor of Long Beach Bob Foster. They consider whether the federal government can be a useful partner in sustainability projects; how technology is creating more decentralized, self-contained systems; and how both public and private institutions will have to reevaluate their roles in the future green economy.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer on Replacing the Federal Gas Tax with a New Cents-Per-Mile Funding Mechanism

Today’s Highway Trust Fund faces a steady decline in revenue as inflation and fuel-efficient vehicles render the Federal Gas Tax increasingly ineffectual. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Oregon’s 3rd, is a career-long spokesperson for livable communities and multi-modal transit. Last session of Congress, he introduced a bill (HR6662) to direct the Department of the Treasury to study alternatives to the existing gas tax for raising federal highway funds. He advocates retiring the gas tax in favor of a new, cents-per-mile initiative. In the below interview with VerdeXchagne News, Congressman Blumenauer addresses the problems facing the gas tax, the politics surrounding it, and the advantages discovered by a distance-based pilot program in his home state.