The League of Women Voters of Coos County (LWVCC) held a well-attended community forum on Jan. 31 to discuss the environmental implications of the proposed Jordan Cove project. Prior to that time, we sent a letter to the editor (published on Jan. 28) explaining that the League was opposing the Jordan Cove project. Because there is still some misunderstanding about how the League operates, we would like to again clarify.

The LWVCC is well-known for having impartial forums for candidates who are running for public office, so that voters will have more information upon which to make choices. Our by-laws require that we never oppose or support candidates or political parties. And our local League’s policy is to not hold a candidate forum unless all candidates, or a sufficient number in a race with multiple candidates, can attend to present their platforms and answer questions. There is less awareness that part of the League’s mission (and history) is based on advocacy. At the national, state, or local level the League does take positions on issues if a thorough grassroots study and in-depth analysis has justified a position. When there is consensus on an issue, a League may take a stand publicly. That is the case with the Jordan Cove Energy Project.

League positions on seismic preparations and safety, coastal and ocean resources, climate change, and others led to the conclusion that the League must oppose the Project. The League of Women Voters of Coos County has joined with three other Leagues from counties located along the proposed Jordan Cove pipeline route to oppose the Project because review of the Project’s permit applications led to the conclusion that the applications do not justify approval. Approval of the Jordan Cove permit is not up to voters. Our informational session on Jan. 31 was provided as an opportunity for the public to understand the factual information underlying our opposition to the project on environmental grounds.

The presentations and our testimony to the Department of State Lands are available on the local League’s website at lwvcooscounty.org. On April 18, 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre, the League will present a session focusing on safety and economic concerns associated with the Jordan Cove Energy Project during its development and operation. More information on the April 18 speakers will be available soon. The public is invited to attend and bring questions.

Susan Thornton

North Bend

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