Pipeline a bad idea
In response to the Mail Tribune's editorial on liquefied natural gas imports (Feb. 17), although it is true energy needs are a fact of life, Oregon has many other solutions near at hand.
And as far as "triggering vigorous opposition," I say it's high time. Oregon already has substantial natural gas delivery systems in place, as well as product available in the U.S., domestically.
"GHK, a Robert A. Hefner III company that pioneered the technology to reach deep, high-pressure wells of natural gas reserves now used by all major U.S. companies, has produced 585 trillion cubic feet and estimates we have 1,500 to 2,000 trillion remaining. That is a 70- to 100-year supply at today's consumption rate in America. Big Oil companies were wrong when they convinced Congress that we were running out of oil in the 1970s." — Newsweek, Oct. 1, 2007
Why should Oregon be a pack mule to support outside interests' mega-billion dollar baby? These dollars will largely go into the corporations' and stockholders' pockets, while they dangle this carrot touting all the wonderful jobs to the Oregonian. It's a ploy that can be very effective, the ol' pulling-the-wool routine.
I've been to most of the meetings with Jordan Cove Terminal and Pacific Connector Pipeline representatives. The majority of the jobs, those long-term, will go to bids out of state. The peak project and very short-term grunt-work jobs will be had at the local level.
Approximately 80 percent of the pipeline, along with its 95-foot easement, truck equipment work areas and the substantial widening of what are deemed access roads, is slated to cross private property through eminent domain seizures and some public lands. There are many unforeseen hazards to our rivers, groundwater and shoreline, such as the prospect of horizontal directional drilling going under the Upper Rogue. There have been failures reported with this process.
So what does that mean? Shady Cove better have its issues with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and flood insurance taken care of. Then there's noise pollution through the roar of two solar gas turbines at the compressor station running 24/7 between Eagle Point and Butte Falls and the constant, high-pitched whining of the meter station between Shady Cove and Trail.
A very big question for the entire state is how well prepared is Oregon (Jackson County) to be an international energy point? This a very important question that has been left unanswered.
Can Jackson County provide law enforcement, fire protection, coverage against third-party damage, land-use planning, noise, groundwater and air pollution monitoring and assessments and other services to help maintain systems of this size and nature? Apparently the Planning Department does little to consider the impact to land and communities concerning interstate pipelines. How very ironic indeed that my home required an interior fire protection sprinkler system because of its proximity to a forested area, and yet it'll be just hunky dory to place a non-odorized, 1,440 pounds-per-square-inch, 36-inch diameter natural gas pipeline almost outside my bedroom door.
And exactly which years were you citing when stating "we're not convinced the risk is all that great" for possible disaster? Let me think ... yes, a few weeks ago in Lafayette, Tenn., when the natural gas compressor station blew up in a severe storm. Fortunately, no one was killed ... so, what, doesn't count? I suggest you get on the Internet and Google "explosions, pipelines and natural gas" and you'll get a quick education on Disasters 101 right here in the U.S. and with a frequency that's more than you'd care to know.
I've also been to the rally in Salem opposing LNG and had the opportunity to meet with legislators who now feel exploration of Oregon's renewable resources, such as solar, geothermal, wind and wave energy technologies will be cost-effective and long-term solutions. The idea of Oregon becoming a gateway bewilders me when the United States is finally looking to end our dependence on foreign oil.
We are now in a position to alter the course of the future of Oregon. But our choices would be vastly limited, and forever dictated by, such a gross error as presented by this far-from-perfect source.
Reread your own Associated Press article, "Oregon House approves renewable energy tax credit" in The Mail Tribune a few days ago — now we're talking jobs.
Marcie Laudani lives in Trail.