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In response, Robert Kurtane’s of Feb. 26, regarding the LNG project not keeping its word to the Sheriff. Mr. Kurtane really needs to check his facts.

Here are the facts. JCEP, you know, that foreign company that has come to town to rape, pillage and plunder our scenic beauty and pristine environment, has spent 15 years and immense sums trying to make an investment of over $7 billion dollars in our community, that will provide jobs and pay taxes. If they are successful, they contribute through property taxes and community fees in lieu of taxes to local governments, especially our schools, that would nearly double the revenue to these entities without costing the taxpayers one red cent! In addition to the foregoing, they would pay directly for services like law enforcement and fire protection. The monies they have been paying have been to cover the of staffing and training so all agencies are ready when the plant commences operation.

But everyone has a limit. After 15 years and hundreds of millions of dollars expended trying to get this project through the permitting process through more than a dozen agencies at the federal, state and local levels, they have curtailed expenditures because it is no longer certain they will get the permits. Federal agencies have signed off and all local agencies have granted permits. It is our state government that has roadblocked this project. Why? Pressure from the urban metro ultra-liberal voting and donor block. They simply have no concern for million or so people that inhabit the rest of the state.

Their claims of disaster and catastrophe make titillating headlines. The facts be damned, they tend to be mundane and don’t make good press. There are paid agitators from out of area, with out-of-state funding, coming to whip up gullible locals into a frenzy of opposition, again in purposeful ignorance of the facts.

Absent investment by organizations like JCEP, we will continue to wallow in poverty and decline. We will have no choice but to ask local taxpayers to pay even more to maintain services. Cost of government increases at a higher rate than tax increases due to constitutionally imposed limits. It is going to get worse, not better. Carried to the extreme, people will eventually give up, move away, property values will decline, and the poverty will worsen. It is inevitable.

Jon Barton

Coos Bay


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