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Your View: Jordan Cove would benefit Oregonians

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was written in response to our editorial on Friday, Jan. 11.

In a recent editorial the Editorial Board said “We don’t think exporting U.S. and Canadian gas for the profit of a Canadian company constitutes a public benefit.” While I have no argument with that comment, it has absolutely nothing to do with the issue of whether or not the project would be of benefit to Oregonians.

I can almost understand the argument if it were written by someone who, for whatever reasons, hated the thought of corporations and that their very existence was evil. And maybe this is indeed the case. And, in particular, maybe the Pembina Pipeline Corporation is the worst of the lot — I just don’t know. Lacking specific information to the contrary, I tend to accept the concept that a corporation that has been in the business for 65 years has more than a passing interest at stake in such a project.

Such a company would, and I am guessing here, recognize that it had to provide some incentive to the state of Oregon for allowing such a project besides having Oregonians think nicely of them. And, as I read the story readily available on the internet, Oregonians would benefit to the tune of more than $100 million annually.

Maybe that isn’t such a huge pot of money in the overall scheme of things, but for a state that, along with its local communities, often looked in vain for ways to better support libraries, state police, educational institutions, jailhouses, etc., it would seem that we ought to be a bit more receptive. For a state that is considering putting restrictions on the proliferation of plastic straws, a no-brainer.

In comparison with Kennedy’s trip to the moon — and this is stretch — the pipeline project is child’s play and the payoff far more probable. A corporation undertaking such a project would evaluate the risks involved. Through proper instrumentation and the use of modern technologies, they would be able to rapidly locate, isolate, contain and repair trouble spots. In comparison with other means of transport, it seems highly do-able. The techniques for crossing rivers and streams have been long established.

Might things go wrong? Sure. After all, there are humans to consider. The pipeline itself might represent a challenge to some who absolutely cannot stand change. The protectors of the status quo. But that always was and will continue to be the case.

Perhaps it matters to some whether a corporation makes a profit and perhaps it matters whether that corporation is domestic or foreign. But, when considering things important to Oregonians insofar as the pipeline project is concerned, do we really care if a corporation made untold billions of dollars or zero? If billions — it probably would be encouraged to take on more such projects. If zero, how best to bow out.

Caution: Check and verify and check once more. But do it.

Seymour Collins lives in Ashland.

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