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Mythical monster, Jordan Cove LNG

The current price of LNG on the world market is likely to cause investors to look elsewhere

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By John MacGregor

As a seasonal resident, taxpayer, and educator in the State of Oregon (and lover of the Oregon Coast), I have been appalled by the virtual insanity shown by the business and political leaders of Coos County over the past several years. This mental derangement is focused on a mythical entity called the Jordan Cove Energy Project.

This mythical monster causes many forms of aberrant and irrational behavior among many of the citizens of Coos County, particularly the so-called leaders. It leads them to sometimes conduct meetings in secret, violating the Oregon public meeting laws. It leads them to take actions in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, and to keep taking those actions even after they’ve been informed of their misbehavior. It leads them to chant “jobs, jobs, jobs,” despite the fact that the number of permanent jobs created by the monster would be modest at best.

The monster also motivates some of the political leaders to make promises “in order to get elected.” That kind of behavior has been going on since the dawn of time, but what is irrational about it in this case is that the promises in question have to do with the distribution of monies that the monster is supposedly going to create once it is safely in its den on the North Spit of Coos Bay. But the problem is that the monster isn’t even real.

In fact, despite the rah-rah claims of Boosters and C of C types, the Jordan Cove monster is farther away from reality than ever. The draft environmental impact statement and various county, state, and federal draft permits have been so thoroughly criticized that the necessary revisions are likely to drag out the regulatory process for years. And even if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission were to reach a “go” decision, there is substantial legal action already drafted and ready to be filed in justice courts from Coos County to Washington, D.C. .

More importantly, the economics for creating monsters like this are tanking daily. The current price of LNG on the world market is likely to cause investors to look elsewhere. Further, the Asian market for LNG would be more economically served by plants nearer to them geographically, most notably Australia. Jordan Cove’s parent company, Veresen, couldn’t help but be aware of this, but the local “cabal” of community decision makers is apparently oblivious.

And so we have the World articles about area school superintendents being dismayed by discussions at a recent meeting of the South Coast Community Foundation, in which the amounts of mythical revenues to be shared with the schools would be reduced during the first few years, while more would be placed in an endowment fund. This formula differs from the formula promised by Commissioner John Sweet when he was running for office (he “wanted to win”). So the irrationality has now ensnared the educators and they are concerned about the distribution of non-existent funds from a non-existent monster which has them all mesmerized and oblivious to reality.

John Sweet was quoted as saying at that meeting that the group needed to “grab themselves by the seat (of the pants) and make a decision.” They’re talking irrationally about mythical pie in the blue sky and have been for years. I agree that they should be grabbed by the seat of the pants, but I have a different outcome in mind.

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