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Big energy has been spreading cash around the community of Coos Bay/North Bend, greasing the wheels for the Jordan Cove LNG scheme. The largesse they have demonstrated locally — chump change, really — gives the misleading impression that they intend to be stake-holders in the community. However if anything goes wrong there will be a small army of lawyers passing off blame from one party to another, and bleeding the settlements lower.

The last thing Jordan Cove represents is an economic dynamo for Coos Bay/North Bend. As the construction begins demand for local municipal and educational resources will spike, and the revenue the project represents will trail a good way behind, and won't be enough. God forbid you have a third grader in public school when construction gets underway. Jordan Cove is not about economic opportunity for Coos Bay/North Bend. It's about dividends and greens fees. With the energy companies it's always about the deal.

It is important to remember that big energy is never benevolent. All they see when they look at a wilderness is a vacuum. We occupy this beautiful place as part of a succession of humanity that includes the people who lived here a quarter of a millennium ago while exploiting parties from England and Spain prowled these coastal waters, calculating what it might take to extract the wilderness from those people who had been living on it time out of mind, and how to exploit its resources for the benefit of their respective crowned heads. The Canadian energy companies behind the Jordan Cove scheme have sized up the place in much the same manner. Likewise this place belongs to people who will occupy it a quarter of a millennium hence. Armed with this understanding, have we, who occupy it presently, the right to risk a catastrophe on the scale of Exxon Valdez or Deepwater Horizon?

Jordan Cove will be ugly and stinky. It will be up to our great grandchildren to explain to our great, great grandchildren that Coos Bay was not always like that.

Paul Harris

Coos Bay

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