The following is testimony from Jim Houser, submitted on February 2nd, 2015 to the Oregon Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
My name is Jim Houser, and my wife and I own and have operated Hawthorne Auto Clinic at 4307 SE Hawthorne Blvd in Portland for 32 years. I am also co-chair of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon, a network of over 2500 small business owners working together to lift up the real voices of small business on public policy.
In addition to gasoline and diesel powered personal vehicles, Hawthorne Auto Clinic also specializes in the repair and maintenance of hybrid electric vehicles, HEVs, and battery electric vehicles, BEVs.
There are many valuable features of Oregon’s Clean Fuels program. One benefit of the Program is the ability to help cities like Portland address the consequences of population growth. Portland’s population is increasing dramatically. From my perspective as a small business owner in the automotive field, I observe that many, if not most new residents, like many current Portlanders, still rely on personal automobiles for much of their transportation needs. TriMet’s recent expansion with the new Orange Line and the Tillicum Crossing Bridge, improved bicycle infrastructure, and more walkable business districts and neighborhoods will help reduce their environmental impact, but the need for personal use cars and light trucks will not disappear any time soon.
Our ability to maintain, and even improve, air quality and climate stability makes it imperative that we find ways to encourage alternative, non-carbon-based solutions to fuel this growing fleet of cars and light trucks. It is also important that Oregon demonstrates that states can implement important new carbon-reduction programs without relying on assistance from Washington, DC.
A strong Oregon Clean Fuels Program is an essential component of managing Oregon’s growth without compromising the quality of life that is so important to all Oregonians.