After reading Mr. Dudas’ letter in Saturday’s paper, it is quite clear that some within our community need to develop critical thinking skills to fully understand the issues as they relate to our global environment and national economy. Mr. Dudas emphatically states, “I don’t care about the quality of air in China. I care about the quality of air right here.” Evidently, Mr. Dudas is oblivious to the facts of global atmospheric dynamics. Industrial sources of toxic pollution originating from Asia do find their way to our shores. Therefore, we must be concerned about worldwide air pollution as we share our “spaceship Earth” with 7-plus billion souls.
The export of clean burning natural gas will help to reduce the use of higher greenhouse emission fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Mr. Dudas should know that LNG is odorless, non-toxic and non-corrosive. Domestically, natural gas is odorized for the express purpose of detecting leaks. At the terminal, state-of-the-art methane detectors will provide superior safety monitoring without the smell.
Mr. Dudas makes a myopic claim concerning employment. He states, “I don’t care about those far away jobs; I care about how many (above minimum wage) jobs this project will create for workers living right here, right now.” The employment facts are that 80 percent of terminal workers will be Oregonians and SW Washingtonians. Also, 60 percent of pipeline workers will be sourced from Oregon and SW Washington. The terminal will require 2,000 workers at peak construction while the pipeline will employ 4,000 workers. Most positions will pay an average of $80,000 annually. All will be filled by fellow Americans. Best of all, there is a trade agreement between the project and unions to ensure that qualified workers residing within our region receive preferential consideration for hiring.
Finally, I find it hard to ignore Mr. Dudas’ disdain for American workers in “far away” places. These places include dozens of small communities located in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah that depend upon the natural gas industry. We should feel empathy for our fellow Americans and their right to pursue economic opportunities for the benefit of their citizens. Especially when these opportunities are interconnected to our own. Shouldn’t we be supporting economic prosperity for all Americans?
It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee Mr. Dudas. The Jordan Cove LNG project is good for Southern Oregon, West Slope Communities, our nation and the world.