No local benefit from pipeline
An October 30 editorial mistakenly urges Douglas County to take “a narrow view” to facilitate approval of the pipeline to carry natural gas for export through Coos Bay. This is opposed by quite a few Douglas County landowners.
Back in 2009, Douglas County approved a pipeline that would carry imported gas from Coos Bay. Buying the developer’s argument that the only difference between the 2009 plan and today’s is the direction of the gas flow, the editorial demands that Douglas planners limit their considerations to local issues only. Given their previous approval, they should just rubber-stamp this one. The editorial issued a dire warning that if local governments start interfering with national policies, “the country can’t work.”
Wrong — this country works despite constant local interference with national policies. We have sanctuary cities, states legalizing pot, boycotts against foreign allies and much more.
Equally absurd is the argument that the gas flowing coastward instead of inland should make no difference. The earlier pipeline application was filed when domestic gas prices had risen to $10 because of a feared national shortage. Back then it could be argued that Douglas County landowners needed to make a few sacrifices so America wouldn’t run out of gas.
Today, booming gas production has caused prices to drop by 70 percent, so now the line’s purpose is to export gas to countries where prices are much higher. This is a purely private interest of a company called Veresen, which is Canadian and plans to export Canadian gas. Despite the claim that this will “increase the country’s net wealth,” it won’t, unless we’re part of Canada.
In plain words, if some Douglas County residents’ property values and their peace of mind are to be destroyed, there better be some good reasons. So far, I see none.
Wim de Vriend