Permitting agencies cannot be trusted
Last fall, while harvesting the garden, our neighborhood was assaulted by the usual entourage of people speeding to the hatchery. Though I had hoped to avoid going there yet again to ask people to drive respectfully, the Escalade blowing through, obviously late, was the last straw. Upon my arrival, the new ODFW biologist was giving a heartwarming speech to a room full of adults regarding Tom Rumreich’s wishes for a classroom for the children so that they could look out the window and watch the wildlife. I listened respectfully to the spiel of bullshazy. First, I’m not sure to what wildlife he was referring as they have exterminated most of it. Second, if Tom really wanted a classroom, then why did they force an illegal facility where land use laws prohibit a classroom.
Because they are not required to follow the law.
During the permitting process for the hatchery, many false statements were made on their application to Department of State Lands (DSL) who takes applicants at their word. One of many examples, an applicant stated that, “no fish have been observed spawning in this stream reach.” They are not required to prove this statement. Our neighborhood knows this was a false statement because we live here and certainly have witnessed many salmonids spawning there.
DSL conveniently lost submitted evidence, public testimony, video, pictures and a 17 page neighborhood petition against the facility.
When a regulatory agency stands to gain from a project, the people are muted. The same will be true for LNG. These permitting agencies cannot be trusted if big money is involved. DEQ has never initiated fines or citations of pollution and violation of laws committed by hatchery operators every year.
The exorbitantly expensive permitting process is a joke and waste of taxpayer money. I wonder how many false statements have been made by Pembina on their DSL application. A vote of the people affected is the only fair and economical solution.
Many legitimate oppositions have been stated (danger/proximity to people, use of eminent domain, increased fracking, etc.), but I have yet to see one state the obvious: exporting LNG will only raise the price for American consumers.
We’ll be lining the gas bags’ pockets as usual, and dealing with the aftermath if we don’t demand a vote. Who will hold them accountable? Not the regulatory agencies, this we know first-hand.
Responding to Jordan Cove assertions
I write today in response to two assertions by a proponent of the Jordan Cove (JC) natural gas export facility and pipeline.
One assertion is that preventing JC will not reduce fracking. Not necessarily. Preventing JC discourages fracked American gas to be used in Asia. If success is achieved in stopping JC, fracked gas that would have gone to the Asia market would remain in the U.S. That gas then becomes available to increase the total amount of gas available in the U.S. This relative increase in the supply puts downward pressure on the price of gas in the U.S. The relative increase in supply puts further pressure to reduce production of gas by fracking.
A second assertion is that a family wage job is a kinda cultural imperative, validating one’s existence, and is a foundation for one’s family and descendants. However there are challenges to our community when the JC path to that end is chosen. One such challenge is the boom then bust economy that building the JC facility and pipeline will cause. Thousands of workers will come here creating moral and immoral economic demands. When the project is complete they’ll all leave and an economic bust will set in. Coos County has painfully felt the poverty, family disruption, and drug abuse of a bust in the timber industry. If JC is to be built, Coos County will go through all that again. I’ve been in Coos County for the pain of the timber industry bust. It’s something we must prevent from happening again. Its a reason to oppose the project.
Joining the fossil fuel industry’s dead-end is not the only way we can achieve the economic foundations for our family and descendants that we want. Today there is hope in Congress for a “green New Deal.” At the Oregon legislature there is hope this session in a “clean energy jobs bill.” In Coos County there is talk of using our port and community as a hub for building and maintaining a major offshore wind energy project along the coast. Large offshore wind energy projects are underway in New England. In Denmark large offshore wind projects have achieved a multi-year record of energy production. Offshore wind is an environmentally sound project idea with a record of success. It’s an idea that can bring family wage jobs to Coos County, jobs that last for generations!
Pembina interaction is one sided
Reading the Saturday article of the Jordan Cove/Pembina office official opening, one quote stood out to me, “They’re open, they’re approachable, and they want to have interaction with the community.”
Indeed, they may be approachable, but in the experience I have had interacting with Jordan Cove/Pembina, it has been a one-sided interaction.
On Dec. 18, I wrote to Jordan Cove’s email address, invitingly given as “firstname.lastname@example.org” inquiring about the LNG tanker ship loading process that I had read about and referenced in the letter from an online industry source (liquefiedgascarrier.com). I was asking about LNG boil-off and if Jordan Cove/Pembina were using a system that recaptured boil-off gas or allowed it to escape. The New Year passed and no answer, so I resent it on Jan. 2. Nothing in a week, so I printed it out and walked it down to the Jordan Cove/Pembina office. The doors were locked, midday, but I was let in by a representative who noticed me. She said she would send it on to get me an answer to the queries. I received nothing after another week to my questions, but I did get an email Jan. 17 from “Team Jordan Cove” same email address plus, “your support for the Jordan Cove Project” in the subject line and “Dear Jordan Cove Project Supporter,” as the letter salutation.
This message presumed support without an answer to my question or a clarification of the LNG loading process. I resent the questions; I hoped for a response that suggested someone was reading these correspondences. Nope, another response returned shortly and it read, you guessed it, “Thanks so much for your continued support.”
I still have no answer from this corporate entity, who play the game of being a good neighbor, but act otherwise. Who wants a neighbor like that? From this interaction, or lack thereof, I am guessing that there will be lots of gas released from the loading of the ships to match their blowing off of genuine inquiries.
The time to act is now
Speak out. The Jordan Cove Project Energy Project represents the last best chance for a solid economic future. We can lose that chance if we do not speak out. At the last two public hearings most of the attendees were not from Coos County but from Portland, Eugene, Medford and Ashland. What right do these people have to come to our home and tell us what is best for us? Are we children? Are we as was said in a recent letter “country bumpkins” that do not have the smarts to get in out of the rain? No! We live here. We love our bay, our rivers, our forests, and we believe this project will protect them. We believe this project will help secure our children’s future.
The time to act is now. Call Governor Brown, 503-378-4582, option 3 and say, “I support the Jordan Cove Project.” If you work at a gas station, restaurant, retail store you have a voice. Use it! Do not let someone who does not walk in our shoes decide our future. Call now.
What is pot money being used for?
I just read in the Register Guard front page — “Taking stock of marijuana.” The article was 24 paragraphs long — $95 million collected by the state in 2018.
My question is what is this money being used for? Not one sentence did this mention — it did state how many pot shops in Eugene — how many people employed in these shops and that Eugene collected $2 million — in 2018 from the sales.
Is the state of Oregon limited to what the $95 million can be used for and what is it? Does anyone know?
What are commissioners doing to protect you?
I get the willies when I read a letter like Dick Leshley’s recent: He writes, “Jordan Cove will change the face of our community for the better at a risk that is small at worst.” Gadzooks! If there is a small risk anywhere it is certainly on the part of Pembina, the latest Canadian owner of Jordan Cove LNG. Surely you’ve noticed that the latest promos for the project no longer use the three most-important initials in its name. Those initials are L.L.C, which stands for Limited Liability Company. Pay attention. If your news source is anything other than Fox, I’m sure you’re aware that just to our south, Pacific Gas and Electric is facing billions of dollars in class-action lawsuits stemming from the fact that some of the horrendous wild fires recently may have been caused by its equipment. PG&E’s first response? NOT, “Sorry for your loss, how can we help?” The company’s FIRST RESPONSE is to declare bankruptcy. They have not yet been declared totally at fault. Bay Area residents are gifted with a glimpse into a certain future: Should any catastrophic damage occur because of this LNG facility built on sand, or its high pressure thin-walled, 400 mile long pipeline, Pembina Jordan Cove LNG L.L.C. will fold into a shell the size of a lawyer’s briefcase while the owners beat feet back to Canada. Left holding the empty bag will be you and me. Tell me again, who’s taking the risk on this venture?
Coos County residents must depend on the kindness of strangers for their futures. Thanks to Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Johnson for blocking the approved SEVENTH extension (since 2009) of the pipeline through Douglas County. And Jackson County Commissioners are asking the state to block the Pacific Connector Pipeline. They cite the recent PG&E fiasco as an example of what could happen, as well as probable damage to water resources. Jackson County is blessed with concerned commissioners. What exactly are the Coos County Commissioners doing to protect your health, safety, property, and environment?