The FERC hearing at the Hale Center was nothing if not a spectacle. Rogue Climate was allowed to hold a rally at the Hale Center in opposition to the project. It was a gala event with tables offering T-shirts, caps, signs and propaganda. Interestingly, Jordan Cove proponents were not afforded the same opportunity.

The rally was clearly a costly affair leading one to wonder where all that money is coming from, especially considering this was not an isolated event. Most likely it is coming from multiple benefactors and it is a good bet most is not from local sources. At this point, one can only speculate where the money might be coming from. It could be, believe it or not, coming from organizations that view the JCEP as competition. I could be Australian, Indonesian or even Russian sources who all have their eye on the Asian market for LNG. It could also be from potentially competitive domestic companies such as Cheniere, Koch Brothers or Occidental Petroleum or perhaps paragons of liberal causes like George Soros or Hollywood celebrities. Who knows? They all have a right to express their views but don’t we also have a right to know who has vested interests in stopping this project so we can set aside the sloganeering and make reasoned judgments as to whether this project is good for our community.

To be sure, Jordan Cove interests have put some money into persuading the local populace of the benefits of increased prosperity the project would bring through jobs and taxable infrastructure investment, promoting the safety record of the industry and elaborating on the steps being taken to protect our environment. They perhaps have not done such a good job of explaining the importance of LNG as a relatively clean bridge fuel between coal and non-hydrocarbon fuel sources. They have spent the bulk of their resources satisfying the dozen or so regulatory bodies charged with the responsibility of protecting us from bad things that might happen.

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Wouldn’t it be great if a team of enterprising investigative journalists, with no ax to grind, dug into the records and reported on where all this money comes from, on both sides, and what the facts are with respect to the environmental and safety records of the industry. Then we might actually know.

Jon Barton

Coos Bay

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