To the Daily Astoria, pritned, with some editing, August10
To the Editor,
The Oregon Department of Energy(ODE) recently decided that only the "free market"(which of course, is not free at all, but is controlled by the transnational corporations and the governments that do their bidding), can decide the need for liquified natural gas refineries, and that other considerations, aside from perhaps economic hardship which the LNG industry might impose on an area, are irrelevant. We, the "public", have been invited by the ODE to submit comments about our concerns regarding economic impact of LNG on the Lower Columbia, to help formulate "standards that it can apply to LNG projects". Such comments are due by August 11.
Here is a "Rule" for ODE's consideration: The revenue of all jobs and lives lost and displaced due to the presence and activity of LNG tankers, security forces, and LNG refineries must be factored into the "Economic Impact Rule". Such calculations shall be made by an independent body, not allied with the petrochemical industry or the government agents it sponsors.
We are beginning to realize that converting the Lower Columbia River into the West Coast hub for the LNG economy will curtail our use of the river for both livelihood and recreation, and that our freedom will be taken away from us by transnational corporations that have no interest in anything but making a fast buck off our backs.
It's dawning on us that LNG refineries will mean windfall profits for electricity market manipulators wheeling and dealing like in the last reported Enron fiasco, only on steroids. As David Wu said on March 15 in Clatskanie,"the only way LNG can pencil out (for the Columbia River)is if it becomes an energy farm for California".
It looks like RFID chip manufacturers, iris-scanning companies, weapons makers, and Jersey barrier builders will also rake in the big LNG bucks. "Sy" Garrett, Perception Manager for Houston's Northern Star Natural Gas, said it best at his latest Port of Astoria presentation a couple of weeks ago: "Fishermen will be allowed on the river as long as they have the proper identification".
The occupation of the River by the LNG industry/security state spells the end of a way of life. The intrusion of the crack cocaine of fossil fuels into our beautiful place is the beginning of the endless petrochemical wars in Warrenton and Bradwood. Many are talking of leaving if the war comes here.
Perhaps others who are equally as talented and committed to community will move in to replace those who become refugees; perhaps it doesn't matter. Perhaps, as ODE et al has decided, it is best to "let the market decide". But let's not delude ourselves into believing we're playing on a "level playing field". And let's not pretend that the rape of the Columbia River is a "value-added" experience.