In the March 23, edition of The World, Tracy Eberwein took issue with my letter to the editor published March 20.
I commend Ms. Eberwein for her idealism and passion regarding the environment; and the fact that she’s a lifetime Coos Bay native while I’m not. However, my family has resided in Oregon since arriving in Linn County in 1850.
Furthermore, having spent the earlier part of my career in the environmental regulatory field within Southwest Oregon, I am no novice to the myriad of environmental problems a project of this magnitude poses. However, it what’s behind the 'who/what/why' of the project and its impact on the region that’s enlightening.
First, the 60/40 margin of project support within Coos County; though an opinion has factual basis. Unfortunately no countywide referendum on Jordan Cove has been held. However, in November 2018 a county commissioner election was contested pitting a Jordan Cove supported candidate who by a 58/42 margin defeated an openly anti Jordan Cove Candidate. That’s a fact.
Secondly, her comment, “He gives the impression that Douglas, Jackson and Klamath county residents are opposed because they will not gain financially,” is insubstantial since impressions find their provenance solely within their beholder.
But a careful review of my letters of March 6 and 20 shows that the financial side pertains largely to the landowners directly affected by the pipeline. They too bear an environmental burden. Their plight is what I chose to address.
As regards the non-directly affected residents of the three affected pipeline counties and their respective governments; my point being; could the Enterprise Zone Partners (EZ) have tried to build goodwill within the region for their project by offering to share some of the largesse that currently befalls only to them?
The core of the March 20, letter was contained in the last paragraph (which The World partially headed) with the query “Does Pembina’s message of inclusion ring true, or are their actions really creating divisiveness amongst the Southern Oregon counties?” The question underscoring the effects Pembina’s actions and media blitz are having on the psyche of Southwest Oregon. Does the greed Ms. Eberwein mentions reside only within Pembina, or are the EZ partners culpable? Has Pembina turned us against each other? That was its message.
Ms. Eberwein’s letter may have afforded us a glimpse.