Congressman Earl Blumenauer Assesses Government’s Short-Sighted Response to Natural Disasters and Climate Change


Over the past three decades, North America has seen a fivefold increase in weather-related natural disasters, with relief spending mirroring this exponential trend. As the population grows, the number of Americans residing in “at risk” areas along the coast, rivers, and in the “fire zone” also continues to rise. In the following VerdeXchange News interview, Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer explains why our current federal policy on natural disaster recovery is both fiscally unsustainable and life threatening. He suggests the changes in zoning, infrastructure investment, insurance, and taxation that must occur on a national scale to prepare for climate change.

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.