For years we have heard opponents of the Jordan Cove Energy Project ask, "What if?" What if there is a landslide that damages the pipeline? What if there is a pipeline leak? What if there are LNG tankers coming across the Coos Bay bar? What if workers from outside Coos County come to build the pipeline and plant? What if the Coos Bay channel is widened and deepened? What if the project does not hire local citizens to work after the project is built?

These are a few of the arguments against Jordan Cove, but what if we ask different questions?

What if the pipeline did not leak? What if there was no negative effect on our fishing industry? What if there was no negative effect on our tourism industry? What if the deepening of the Coos Bay channel does not impact sea and plant life? What if there was a fire and the specially trained responders dealt with it with no negative impacts to the community?

If we're going to ask, "What if,'' we have to ask all the "What if" questions.

Jordan Cove will positively impact Southern Oregon. There will be more revenue to school districts on the South Coast, providing a better education for more students. Extra dollars would mean more teachers and staff.

There will also be more dollars for the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend. Dollars that will be used for better streets, more police and firemen. There will be dollars to promote and modernize our waterfront. Coos County will have extra dollars to provide the services we expect our local governments to provide.

The approval of the Jordan Cove Energy Project will also provide hope to our citizens. Hope that they can earn a family wage so they can live and thrive in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Further, Jordan Cove will export clean-burning natural gas to Asian countries who currently burn coal for energy. Maybe it's just me, but I can't see the argument against replacing coal with natural gas. If we're all in support of combating global climate change and helping the environment, isn't the goal to decrease pollution? Jordan Cove can play a big role in doing that.

Jordan Cove is safe, ecologically sound and economically good for our region. It would be a shame on us if this project is not allowed to move forward.

Dick Leshley

Coos Bay

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