The World's coverage of the Jan. 7 Coos Bay City Council meeting regarding the Jordan Cove LNG project did not fairly represent the evening's events.
The article noted that the Planning Commission had recommended approval of LNG and in the next phrase added, "in addition ... there has been public testimony on the application." That sequence implies public agreement with the commission, whereas most public testimony at various hearings opposed LNG. The city's own consultant — the unbiased Lane County planning staff — recommended denial.
The World reported that one councilman favoring LNG criticized that the consultant's recommendation to deny the LNG request was "subjective" in finding that our "public interest" will not be served by the LNG facility. The consultant explained that "subjective" simply meant that the pubic interest cannot be numerically defined. No one — least of all elected officials and public journalists — should belittle a finding that the Jordan Cove project is not in the "public interest." The public interest is, in fact, exactly what we entrust our public officials and media to pursue.
Unlike The World, I found it remarkable that the council split 3-3 on this project that once had stronger local backing. Only the mayor tipped the balance in this razor-thin victory for a foreign corporation spending bundles of money to win over advocates for exporting American resources to Asia and condemning our fellow Oregonians' land along the pipeline route.
Finally The World stated, "This decision does not approve the Jordan Cove project." Indeed. Poling of voters by the nonpartisan Policy Interactive and Information Alliance indicated overwhelming opposition of Oregonians against Jordan Cove, and even within Coos Bay's local Senate district, the alliance found more people opposed than supporting LNG.
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Don't be fooled by the green shirts (indicating not "greenies" but LNG support) in The World's photo. The photo was cropped to cherry-pick the green. (I have) a photo of the whole group, which shows more red shirts, signifying opposition. Plus, many LNG opponents were not wearing red. And consider: The two LNG green shirts standing next to me admitted they were sent here by unions from — no kidding — Snohomish, Wash., and Portland.
The local view appears to be shifting strongly toward LNG opposition, and council members who voted for this dangerous export terminal should take note of that.