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The World Editorial Board

There's no doubt that preserving habitat, air and water are vital concerns. For that reason, it's understandable that people from all over are scrutinizing proposals for a liquefied natural gas plant and a coal terminal on Coos Bay.

But we wish they'd show their concern in some positive way, such as proposing some viable alternatives.

Cascadia Wildlands' incoming executive director, Bob Ferris, recently took aim squarely at Coos County in vowing to fight logging in the Elliott State Forest, as well as exports of coal and liquefied natural gas. He contends all three projects will result in the environmental ruin of the South Coast.

And this week, environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told a Portland rally that 'coal is crime." He predicted shipping coal to Asia will have far-reaching environmental effects and corrupt our government agencies.

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If jobs-starved Coos County shouldn't rely on wood, gas and coal to enliven our economy, what would these activists suggest we do instead?

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Let's say Ferris and Kennedy are right, and all three projects are bad for our area, and for other areas, too. What, then, shall we do to drive economic development? What is Cascadia Wildlands' agenda to create environmentally friendly jobs? Economic development and environmental awareness aren't mutually exclusive, so let's hear some alternatives.

Our economy is badly broken, and we need projects that will bring jobs back to the area. While you can't blame an environmentalist for making the environment his chief concern, you can expect more from him than a deafening drumbeat of 'No."

Ferris and Kennedy are skilled advocates. Wouldn't it be nice if some of that savvy went into proposing projects instead of stopping them?

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