The Jordan Cove Energy Project will proceed if regulators give it the green light, with or without any tax concessions, according to a story in this morning’s World.
The Jordan Cove spokesman said it straight: “When you’re spending $7.7 billion on a project, and this seems ridiculous, but when you are spending that much, the half billion-dollar tax incentive over 20 years is not needed,” said Jordan Cove public affairs director Michael Hinrichs. “We will have 25-year long-term contracts with our customers. That is the business. You don’t depend upon incentives.”
That means we can all relax now. Stop and take a breath, think through the proposed Community Enhancement Plan that is being presented at various city council and school board meetings. This is the plan currently being developed by the International Port of Coos Bay, the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend and Coos County commissioners to secure, distribute and manage the eventual revenue windfall that would come to the region if the liquefied natural gas plant is built.
We can relax and thoroughly examine the plan because there’s no link, we’re told, between the fate of the plant and the fate of the plan. There’s no deadline looming over us to make a decision.
Whether you are pro or con on the plant itself, this declaration means there’s time to take a good look at the enhancement plan. Read about it, ask questions. Demand answers. Voice support, raise issues, even criticize.
That doesn’t make you pro- or anti-LNG. It makes you a responsible citizen.
It’s OK to question the idea of establishing two new nonprofit organizations to handle the distribution of all that money. You could ask why they are necessary when we already have governments and elected officials who hold fiduciary responsibility.
You could ask: Instead of devising an education fund that would disappear should the state try to get its hands on it, why wouldn’t it be possible to approach the state — departments of Education, Revenue and maybe the attorney general — and strike a deal? Why not take the lead, get ahead of the legislative curve?
You could even question why give decades of tax breaks at all, since the company says it isn’t necessary.
All these ideas and questions can be discussed — and it’s important that we take as much time as necessary.