We should be putting clean fuels to work for Oregon

This opinion editorial by Senator Lee Beyer originally appeared on OregonLive

Imagine that tomorrow, all of Oregons wineries and breweries decide to close up shop. Suddenly every pinot noir, IPA and chardonnay you purchased would need to be imported. Among the many drawbacks, Oregon would lose a combined $5 billion in annual economic benefits from these industries.

Youll be relieved to hear that Oregons award-winning wines and beers arent going anywhere, but this example illustrates another sector where were squandering a huge economic opportunity for our state: transportation fuels.

Oregon doesnt have a single petroleum producer or refinery. As a result, we import more than $5 billion of gas and diesel every year from out-of-state and foreign sources. Its time to start making these transportation dollars work for Oregon, and the Clean Fuels Program is just the mechanism to jump-start these investments.

The program creates a market for cleaner fuels and gives additional companies the confidence to invest in Oregon, spurring job growth over the long term in built-to-last industries throughout our state.