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Rhetoric is defined as language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content. The importance of this hit home this last weekend when I personally had occasion to speak with about 75 people, one on one, about the Jordan Cove Project, my colleagues even more. Collectively, we spoke to about 400 people face to face, one on one.

It is clear from that experience that the rhetoricians in opposition have done their job well. They have persuaded throngs of people that any form of hydrocarbon fuel source is bad but have failed to provide real facts or viable alternatives. That’s what rhetoric is all about.

The irony in this is that when one examines the factual basis for their arguments and the complete absence of any viable immediate alternative, it is hard to maintain a rational objection to the replacement of coal as a fuel source by LNG.

A few facts to refute opposition rhetoric:

1. LNG burns 30% to 40% cleaner than coal.

2. The LNG project’s product will go to Japan and other Asian customers, nearly all to replace coal as a fuel source.

3. Actually, the resulting reduction in harmful emissions will serve to REDUCE the harm to our local environment since the noxious output of coal burning is carried by the jet stream to our very own coast adding to the acidification of our local ocean, acid rains, etc., etc.

4. The boost to the local economy long term is significant. Investment in taxable infrastructure alone would about double the tax revenues our local schools, law enforcement and other government agencies would receive without adding a dime to our tax bills. And it would add about 180 direct good paying jobs to the area and many more indirectly.

Would we prefer a renewable and clean fuel source? We’d be crazy not to and we should work, as a nation, to get there but we are not there yet. Just imagine the hue and cry that would arise if we tried to put in massive wind and solar farms sufficient to replace hydrocarbon fuels sources. Denying something that works and is better for all of us in the near to intermediate term because it is not the long term ideal, just doesn’t make sense.

Think past the rhetoric and examine the facts.

Jon Barton

Coos Bay

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