The League of Women Voters (LWVCC) held an “informational forum” on the Jordan Cove Project last Thursday at the Egyptian Theater. A “forum” is defined as “a place, meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.” Until now, that’s a public service the League of Women Voters provided well. The World readers should know what actually took place that night was anything but an open exchange of ideas or what we once relied upon from this organization.
Fact is, if the LWVCC intended to offer our community a true forum without bias and predetermined outcome, they would have invited Jordan Cove representatives and their environmental consultants to participate. They didn’t. A legitimate forum would include the Port of Coos Bay, Coos Bay Bar Pilots, Coos County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Coast Guard — for perspective and technical expertise. It didn’t.
You might ask, “Why would the LWVCC avoid including balanced perspectives or deny Jordan Cove and other local, state and federal parties opportunity to participate?” Or, “Why did the LWVCC disregard its charter for League processes to be fair, inclusive and unbiased when considering an official position on an issue?” Sadly, the LWVCC deliberately failed to meet with Jordan Cove or other community stakeholders before taking an official position against the project weeks before this “forum.”
Leslie Lowe, LWVCC Chapter President, testified at a Department of State Lands public hearing last month stating “Our Chapter opposes the Jordan Cove Energy Project and urges the Oregon Department of State Lands to deny their application for a removal-fill permit. Our members have studied JCEP’s permit application and have grave concerns regarding the insufficient information ... ”
Apparently, Leslie doesn’t understand the permitting process. By law, DSL will do their job, allowing Jordan Cove to respond to Linda’s and other’s concerns, and correctly address them for the record. Balance will prevail in that “forum.” Accuracy and objectivity will only worsen the League’s self-inflicted credibility damage. Unsurprisingly, some LWVCC members are upset by what’s happened on Linda’s watch. Clearly, the LWVCC isn’t the same organization generations have held in high esteem.
The LWVCC announced it is planning another event opposing Jordan Cove during Safety Week in April. If the League cares to regain any semblance of credibility, they’d be wise to remember their charter and include balanced sources of information so citizens can make up their own minds. Hope springs eternal!