Mike Graybill’s letter to the editor (The World, Sept. 11) is steeped in passion and emotion. This passion is obviously bourn of Mr. Graybill’s opposition to the construction of the Jordon Cove LNG export facility and associated pipeline. Passion and emotion can be a wonderful trait, it can also blind one to facts and reality. Mr. Graybill’s remarks are both blatantly salacious, and totally devoid of truth. While Mr. Graybill paints Pembina and Jordan Cove as carpet baggers who are attempting to secure their future with graft and payola, that is not how the Community Service Fee concept was created, nor does it impact necessary permitting processes.
Let’s set the record straight and talk facts. It was this community which came up with the idea of the Community Enhancement Plan (CEP) and pitched it to Jordan Cove, not the other way around. The notion was first proffered at the June 15, 2006 Port Commission meeting by Frosty West who was concerned about finding a mechanism to secure a brighter future for our children. The entire premise of the CEP was to create a vehicle to support sustainable education opportunities and economic development for the area ranging from Reedsport to Gold Beach. What Mr. Graybill suggests is analogous to someone asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar so you can bake a cake and then blaming the neighbor for sabotaging your diet.
The Cities of Coos Bay and North Bend, Coos County, and the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay have worked together for the past five years to establish a framework and method for how to equitably and effectively distribute the funds made available to our community through the CEP. These meetings were structured as public meetings to encourage input from the community for consideration. The CEP is not a bribe by Jordan Cove, but rather a demonstration of their willingness to be good partners. There is no financial benefit to Jordan Cove for participating in the CEP, and approval of permitting is not contingent upon approval of the CEP.
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Mr. Graybill’s letter to the editor misrepresents the relationship between the CEP and the necessary land use approvals. The timelines of approval for both are unrelated and not dependent upon one another. Jordan Cove will go through all necessary permitting processes prior to construction beginning on the facility and pipeline regardless of passage of the CEP.