Mar 8, 2011
State must work to stimulate job growth
To the Editor:
It was with great disappointment that I heard the news the Blue Heron Paper Company was closing. What a shame this employee-owned company could no longer afford to operate. For more than 100 years Blue Heron provided family wage jobs for residents of our community. I am concerned for the 175 families the closure directly affects. Let’s not forget it doesn’t just affect Blue Heron’s union and non-union workers. The rest of our community that supports the 175 workers will also be hurt. Grocers, bankers, small businesses, restaurants and all aspects of our local economy will be impacted.
Blue Heron is a recycled paper mill producing specialty paper products, primarily newsprint, from recycled paper fiber. The company has worked hard to find environmentally friendly paper products and unfortunately, the “green” jobs from Blue Heron will now move to China. Blue Heron competed directly with China for recycled paper.
The Oregon Legislature must focus on making Oregon a better place for companies that offer family wage jobs. We cannot continue to lose our manufacturing base to China. Compared to Oregon’s strong environmental laws, China’s environmental efforts fall way behind their efforts to move jobs out of the U.S. to China.
As your state senator I am working on legislation that will stimulate business growth in Oregon and create new jobs. I believe we need to scale back taxation of investments like the capital gains tax, roll back Measure 66 and 67 and end the regulatory morass of government administrative rules. These are practical steps we can take today to spur job creation. But along with new job creation, we need to do all we can to protect existing jobs in Oregon. We cannot afford to lose another Blue Heron Paper Company.
State Senator, District 20
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