Developers vs. oysters in LNG showdown

2011-09-20T11:00:00Z Developers vs. oysters in LNG showdownBy Daniel Simmons-Ritchie, The World Coos Bay World
September 20, 2011 11:00 am  • 

COQUILLE -- Developers and oyster lovers will duel on Wednesday in the long-running war over a proposed natural gas plant on the North Spit.

The question at hand: Will native Olympia oysters be harmed by the construction of a 2.4 mile stretch of pipeline through Haynes Inlet?

Pacific Connector, the pipeline builder, will argue that it can move oysters out of harm's way during dredging and construction in the inlet.

Citizens Against LNG, led by Jody McCaffree, will argue that the company will kill an estimated 1.4 million oysters and disturb the shellfish's wider habitat.

Both sides will present their case to Andrew Stamp, a hearings officer appointed by the county, in a public meeting at 4 p.m. in the Owen Building Large Conference Room.

Members of the public are allowed to speak if they register before the beginning of the hearing. Speakers may only talk about the fate of the Olympia oyster.

After the meeting, Stamp will make a recommendation to the Coos County commissioners. The board is then scheduled to decide in November whether the project can go through as planned, Pacific Connector should do more to protect the oysters, or the entire project should be scuttled.

Commissioner Bob Main called Stamp 'one of the top land-use attorneys in the state" and said the commissioners chose him for his track record of conducting hearings that satisfied all parties.

Wednesday's hearing comes a year after the commissioners originally approved a land-use permit for construction of the 50-mile pipeline.

Citizens Against LNG appealed the decision to the state Land Use Board of Appeals. That board found two issues the commissioners needed to address: Whether the pipeline would harm Olympia oysters and whether the commissioners had consent from all affected property owners.

Jill Rolfe, administrative planner in the Coos County Planning Department, said the consent issue was about wording and was largely resolved.

Pacific Connector delayed the hearing about the oysters twice to collect more evidence. The company is billed for the cost of the hearing and has been billed about $18,000 to date.

The pipeline is an essential component of plans to build a liquefied natural gas terminal at Jordan Cove on the North Spit. The plant has been mired in controversy since it was first proposed over five years ago.

Olympia oysters, the Pacific Northwest's only native oyster variety, once were abundant but have declined in number. Oregon's commercial oyster producers rely on the larger Pacific oysters.

Reporter Daniel Simmons-Ritchie can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 249, or at dritchie@theworldlink.com.

Copyright 2015 Coos Bay World. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(34) Comments

  1. Sherman
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    Sherman - October 07, 2011 4:58 pm
    Common Sense - if YOU could write something ORIGINAL and FRESH that was supported by FACT instead of HYSTERICS, one might be inclined to actually LISTEN to you. Since you've posted the SAME rhetoric DOZENS and DOZENS and DOZENS of times, I'm inclined to support ALL SCAMs, regardless of RACE or ORIGIN, if only to SPITE YOU.
  2. Smiles_1983
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    Smiles_1983 - October 06, 2011 10:49 am
    Money= AntiAmerican? How is that possible? And export/import means it goes EVERYWHERE. From a port in washington to a port in afghanistan. But, lets not let money come here. Lets just export our children instead.
  3. Common Sense
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    Common Sense - October 05, 2011 1:05 pm
    Smiles..

    This ANTI-AMERICAN Exporting LNG Proposal at Jordon Cove in a Tsunami Zone is a SCAM because:

    1) NO Oregon statewide Vote
    2) Eminent domain will be used so a USA & Foreign Business can profit from it
    3) HUGE Air & Safety issues
    4) Future Natural Gas prices will rise DRASTICALLY in the future for ALL USA Citizens

    Bottomline: The ONLY supporters for this ANTI-AMERICAN EXPORTING LNG at Jordon Cove is USA & Foreign Businesses ($$$) & Oregon's desperate Union workers (Temporary Jobs)!
  4. Smiles_1983
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    Smiles_1983 - October 04, 2011 8:58 am
    Hey Common, Are you really that stupid? Or was it just an accident. The only scam here is a woman who has interests in ELECTRICAL companies.

    LNG has bent over backwards trying to bring some MONEY into this community. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't do like the mining company did. Buy their own plot of land, say go away to ALL locals and import their own people to work at that terminal while they have the gas trucked in. I would, but that's because I know when a community wants to die.
  5. Common Sense
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    Common Sense - October 03, 2011 4:34 pm
    Eastsider...

    This Port has always been dredged & will continue to be dredged in the future, thus the ANTI-AMERICAN EXPORTING LNG SCAM at Jordon Cove in a Tsunami Zone does NOT have to exist for future dredging PERIOD! State & local area leaders will always have a working Port here due to Lumber exports & Commercial Fishing which will always exist & pay taxes PERIOD!

    Bottomline: This ANTI-AMERICAN EXPORTING LNG SCAM at Jordon Cove in a Tsunami Zone does NOT have to exist for a working PORT!!!!!
  6. Eastsider
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    Eastsider - October 03, 2011 1:22 pm
    We need the LNG terminal to help insure that the bay stays dredged. If congress decides they don't want to fund dredging, it will end our career as a port.
  7. Common Sense
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    Common Sense - October 03, 2011 12:39 pm
    Hey Al & Rest of the Desperate SELFISH Oregon Union workers...

    Guess you don't understand using eminent domain for a private project requires developers to prove the project serves public convenience and necessity, especially when exporting gas raises prices for ALL American consumers in the future!

    Bottomline: I wonder if a foreign company was running a 36" Pipe through your family's land (80-130ft Wide Section LOST) for profit$$, would your attitude/opinion change on this Exporting LNG SCAM?
  8. Al
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    Al - October 01, 2011 12:21 pm
    The same people who fight this, and have fought most job-creating opportunities that have come our way, are the same ones who protest the loudest when County cuts are mentioned, short-term tax breaks are given to produce long-term jobs, or when timber is sold to make the payables. I doubt LNG will arrive here, but not because of Jody's efforts. I do, however, believe that hundreds of jobs will continue to go elsewhere as a result of her discrepant and diametric push to save us from ourselves.
  9. Kay
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    Kay - September 29, 2011 4:23 pm
    Um Al? This fuel will NOT be used in Oregon.

    Do your homework.
  10. thief buster
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    thief buster - September 29, 2011 12:29 pm
    Al said: And those most opposed in this county will happily use it to power their cars, heat their homes and turn on their lights."

    That will be true if we have no other choice, which is what the oil/gas industry wants, one hundred more years of fossil fuels for your decendants.
    The alternatives are not going to make them richer, and all you involved in stealing others land for profit, are thieves.
    the end
  11. Al
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    Al - September 29, 2011 9:28 am
    Postal Mark - I'm fully aware of the San Bruno incident. But I'm talking about an LNG pipeline and the LNG industry. Not PG&E and residential/commercial gas lines. They're not the same. This country's reliance on natural gas will go up exponentially over the next twenty years. And this pipeline is going to happen (somewhere) whether people like it or not. And those most opposed in this county will happily use it to power their cars, heat their homes and turn on their lights.
  12. Smiles_1983
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    Smiles_1983 - September 29, 2011 9:22 am
    I've got an idea for these oysters... How about we have an oyster bake? Makes sense to me. We dig them up and eat them, then there are no worries about how the LNG (Which I believe we need) will affect them.
  13. Postal Mark
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    Postal Mark - September 28, 2011 7:22 pm
    @ Con Cueso: Nowhere on here has anybody even suggested that "millions of people die every day in LNG related disasters." I DID give an example from just last year of 8 deaths in California which you continue to ignore by saying that you "don't hear about it happening a lot here"..."if at all". You are right about one thing...we "might get a couple of jobs here"--just like the pipeline to bring gas to the coast brought us all those other new jobs promised--NOT!
  14. Kay
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    Kay - September 28, 2011 4:53 pm
    We all know the party that pays the "negotiator" gets exactly what they paid for.

    This will be just like his last one.

    I believe there is a word for people who take money for screwing others. It's not nice.
  15. thief buster
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    thief buster - September 28, 2011 12:59 pm
    Al said: The LNG industry is so safe in this country that your odds of dying from an LNG accident is 1 in 27,500,000.

    That's a stupid statistic to put up.
    If you live near one of these your not going to be the only one to die if it explodes.
    If your going to quote statistics, then quote one that pertains to our reality, not ones like that or,LNG tanks are no different from propane trucks,(except for the scale of destruction).There is no reasonable argument for emenent domain thievery.
  16. thief buster
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    thief buster - September 28, 2011 9:36 am
    Smiles_1983 said: "I don't know about all of you, but I want the money. There are plenty of other school buildings that those children can be moved to, Like Bunker Hill, Millicoma, Eastside, pick any school and you can move the classes.

    Your not alone, lots of people like you and in office are willing to steal your neighbors land to make a buck. disgusting behavior especially for those elected or wannabes. lots of thieves in our community and no remorse,what a shame this has become.
  17. Con Queso
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    Con Queso - September 27, 2011 8:48 pm
    Yes, and how often do these explode in the U.S.? (Queue Postal who lets loose with the weeping and gnashing of teeth and accusing me of being someone who values American lives over everyone else.) Don't hear about it happening a lot here. Could be safety standards we have here that are more strict. Hmmmm perhaps it won't be a disaster and we might get a couple of jobs here. Then working families might come back. That would be the true travesty. lol
  18. Con Queso
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    Con Queso - September 27, 2011 8:44 pm
    @Postal,
    Settle down. Nobody was trivializing anybody's loss of life. Question was, how often does this happen, if at all? Coastal jerk answered my question in a relatively reasonable and rational manner. But Postal decides to go berserk (or "postal") by treating me like an insensitive jerk for daring to question that millions of people die every day in LNG related disasters. Just want someone with a rational answer. The person I actually asked provided that.
  19. Postal Mark
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    Postal Mark - September 27, 2011 5:17 pm
    @ Al: You are right--this isn't Nigeria, China, or Puerto Rico...it's Oregon--where, just last year in our neighboring state of California, 8 people died in San Bruno from a natural gas explosion. 8 out of a national population of over 311 million may not sound like much, but it's much higher than your quote of 1 in 27,500,000--and this was just a single incident responsible for the 8 deaths. Ask those grieving families if they are ok with those odds. I'm not against jobs, but safety counts!
  20. Al
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    Al - September 27, 2011 2:32 pm
    This isn't Puerto Rico, Nigeria or China. The LNG industry is so safe in this country that your odds of dying from an LNG accident is 1 in 27,500,000. What that means is that you have a better chance of being bitten by a King Cobra while leaving your home, and at the same moment of the bite, get hit by lightening, washed away by a tsunami (1 in 500,000) and hit by a truck. Oh...you're chances of dying from cancer these days? One in seven. Maybe we should put some of energies elsewhere?
  21. Smiles_1983
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    Smiles_1983 - September 27, 2011 12:11 pm
    I don't know about all of you, but I want the money. There are plenty of other school buildings that those children can be moved to, Like Bunker Hill, Millicoma, Eastside, pick any school and you can move the classes. What this economy needs is money. I for one think that this is a very good thing. And if you don't like money, or being able to live, then go ahead and kill any attempts to bring an economy here and export your children instead.
  22. Local Jerk
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    Local Jerk - September 26, 2011 4:59 pm
    A couple years ago in Puertorico the mushroom explosions and clouds from the natural gas 'accident" could be seen from space! A study in the Coos Bat Area showed that an explosion on the North Spit would engulf both Madison and Sunset middle school.
    You sure you want to risk it?
  23. Postal Mark
    Report Abuse
    Postal Mark - September 26, 2011 2:21 pm
    @ Con Queso: The deaths of real people in various accidents around the world is too "chicken little" for you?? You've "heard enough death, disaster and destruction" and find it "unrealistic"?? Maybe you should talk to the families of those killed by this "safe" industry, and explain to them how their loss is just too "chicken little" for you. And I hope that you never have a loss of a loved one that others tell you is such a trivial matter to them, since it wasn't their loss. Pathetic.
  24. Con Queso
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    Con Queso - September 23, 2011 9:48 pm
    Thanks for clearing that up, Reality. And, Jerk, how often does this happen? The explosion of natural gas terminals? I just find it hard to believe many of these claims as being realistic when some of the anti-LNG folks were spouting off a few years ago that Boston Harbor shuts down every time an LNG tanker goes in there. Got a friend who lives near Boston Harbor. It shuts down for nothing. Heard enough death, disaster and destruction. It sounds a little chicken little.
  25. Local Jerk
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    Local Jerk - September 23, 2011 2:30 pm
    Smell this? It's a refreshing idea! We all know who is for and who is against the proposal - however - recent events in Washington DC aka: the complete mental breakdown of Congress and the recent character assasination of the President of the United States has drastically changed our priorities. No longer are bothersome eviromental concerns allowed to stand in the way the economy. When the LNG blows and roasts all the oysters it will be called OYSTERFEST" and be good for the local economy.
  26. thief buster
    Report Abuse
    thief buster - September 22, 2011 8:00 am
    dim-witted supporters are blasting away at JM for being sane. All I can say to them is, if you support taking others land for corporate profit, that makes you a thief by proxy. It appears there are a lot of thieves in our community and a fair share are in office or near enough to influence the office holders to become thieves themselves.
  27. realitybites
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    realitybites - September 21, 2011 6:39 pm
    The news story doesn't make it explicitly clear that the oysters, Olympia oysters, being discussed are a different species entirely from the farmed oysters we've had in the bay for decades. But that is the case.
    The Olympia oysters here today are progeny of those that came in on oyster seed from Wilapa Bay, seed imported by a commercial oyster farmer.
    McCaffree saying X,000,000 native oysters would be destroyed is total BS, unless she swam the proposed route and sampled yard-wide distributions.
  28. Coos County Resident
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    Coos County Resident - September 21, 2011 6:26 pm
    Let's get this project up and running..... Our high school grads are leavinng this area because there are no jobs here...
  29. bes
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    bes - September 21, 2011 5:39 pm
    so proud of Jody for doing this, someone needs to speak up and many just don't so GREAT WORK KEEP IT GOING, we will clean up this corporate pollution user scam one way or another
  30. skywatcher
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    skywatcher - September 21, 2011 2:57 am
    Instead of a group that is looking for any reason to stop the project, why don't we have a representative from the oyster fisheries? The pipeline will carry gas FROM the terminal.
  31. Con Queso
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    Con Queso - September 20, 2011 11:28 pm
    After listening to McAffree a;ll these years, I have to say I don't give a rip what she has to say. I do, however, care a great deal about what the oyster growers locally have to say about this. Why aren't they represented in the article? Are they part of this? Then this will hold water. Right now it just looks like another ploy to hold up a project that's gone through the process.
  32. realitybites
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    realitybites - September 20, 2011 4:44 pm
    The Land Use Board of Appeals showed it's as stupidly enviro as Jody by going for the "native oyster" scam.
    There weren't any Olympia oysters here at the turn of the Nineteenth/twentieth centuries. Knowledgeable people believe ash and sediment from the 1860s fires that consumed what's now the Elliott State Forest wiped them out.
    What we have now hitch-hiked here on commercial oyster seed from Wilapa Bay, WA. The late ODFW biologist Neil Richmond "discovered" the newcomers in mid 1990s.
  33. Citizen
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    Citizen - September 20, 2011 1:36 pm
    Just stop Jody! You are a terrorist in my opinion. Impeding the natural economic progress of Coos Bay. If you don't need a family wage job then close your word hole.
  34. Common Sense
    Report Abuse
    Common Sense - September 20, 2011 1:24 pm
    This should be Good...

    Andrew *Rubber* Stamp as the attorney for the County & ruling again on the BIGGEST SCAM to Oregon Citizens (NO Vote, Property owners forced to sell their land, Air & HUGE Safety Hazards) & USA Citizens (Exporting our own National Resources that we *IMPORT* now as Gasoline reaches $4 a gallon & how Natural Gas prices will drastically rise in the future)

    Bottomline: Andrew *Rubber* Stamp will rule in favor of this EXPORTING LNG SCAM at Jordon Cove in a Tsunami Zone again!
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