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Letters to the Editor, March 16

LNG would bring invaders

The Coos Bay LNG facility would likely result in the introduction of aquatic nuisance species. Arriving ships will be using foreign ballast water. The U.S. Coast Guard notes: 1. Ballast exchange (to prevent introductions) depends on weather and sea surface conditions, and “… is not always possible to perform ... .”, and 2. There is still some residual water that may contain exotic species.

Non-natives also attach to hulls and release offspring or detach in new waters. Furthermore, invasives from across the Pacific would then have easier access to other Oregon estuaries via Oregonian boaters.

The loss of out-competed, parasitized or preyed-upon members of a healthy food web is incalculable. Oregon’s fisheries and estuarine wildlife are at risk. In 2008, over $26 million was spent in Oregon on invasives..

Considering that ballast water exchange compliance may be sacrificed for expediency, the coverage limitations of one DEQ employee charged with monitoring all ports, and our inability to detect such problems before aliens are well-established, this project would likely accelerate the introduction of aquatic nuisance species.

The cost is not worth a few dozen permanent jobs. The DEQ shouldn’t allow Oregon to be a doormat and should deny permits for this project.

Marylou Schnoes, Central Point

Kudos to National Cemetery

At a time when so many find it easy to fault government entities, I would like to give kudos to the staff and crew at the Eagle Point National Cemetery.

I recently had occasion to be involved in arrangements there. I met and worked with caring, professional and effective people in every aspect of the operation.

Thanks for making a trying time a little easier to bear. You are a tremendous example of how effective a government operation can be performed. Thank you for your service to veterans and their families.

Bern Case, Medford

Deny pipeline permits

Through Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s own observations, Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline has failed to demonstrate that it can meet DEQ standards to prevent impairment of the water quality of the waters of Oregon.

There are over 200 pages of comments from various Oregon state agencies in the letter the governor’s office sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 12 pointing out deficiencies with the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. It is quite clear to us that JC/PCGP glossed over many important issues and cannot meet DEQ and the Clean Water Act standards, so it ignored them.

Accidents and frac-outs will occur. ODFW says, “Pipeline crossings using horizontal directional drilling or other subsurface methodologies can be expected to cause frac-outs …”

In a frac-out, drilling fluids from HDD, and mercury and arsenic that naturally occur in our local soils, will be spewed into the Rogue River causing devastating consequences for residents’ drinking water, water quality, fish, endangered species and the economy. Undoing such horrible contamination would be next to impossible.

Urge ODEQ to deny permits to JC/PCGP. Oregon cannot afford it.

Joyce Chapman, Shady Cove

The goal is profit

George Orwell stated: “There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe them.”

The permitting process for LNG pipelines requires that corporations meet only the lowest standards. Regulatory agencies then cannot deny the project from proceeding, even when it’s not in the best interest of most local residents. As witnessed in local FERC "public hearings," which were the equivalent of a disorganized dog-and-pony show, where the room was too small to include all 300-plus citizens who turned up.

Current federal energy policy dictates that we maintain our fatal addiction to fossil fuels rather than "economically uncompetitive alternatives." Why? Since 1918 approximately 80 percent of government subsidies and tax advantages for energy producers have been monopolized by oil and gas industries. That playing field is far from level. The question is one of politics. How much money must be "contributed?" How much PR work has to be done?

This project negatively impacts private property rights and community and environmental values. No matter how many graphs and studies say it’s going to work as planned, we all know fish die when toxins spill. The overall goal is to make a huge profit, not satisfy the locals.

Dennis Specht, Medford

Letters to the Editor, March 16