On Nov. 16, I attended the information session about the proposed liquefied natural gas plant facility in Warrenton where a representative of Calpine answered community questions about the proposed project. There were many provocative questions that I truly believe Clatsop County residents need to consider and address as the permitting process begins for the LNG facility.
I would have liked to have heard the Calpine representative's answers to some of these questions. However, I could not because the people sitting near me, who were clearly opposed to the plant, proceeded to sigh audibly, make loud comments and hiss as the representative spoke. They also responded to other differing opinions by loudly grunting or making negative comments.
I am saddened by this behavior, not only because it is inherently disrespectful, but I generally am aligned with these people politically. These are people who I know would be outraged if their opinions or public speeches were greeted with such rudeness. These folks champion freedom of speech and the importance of treating everyone with respect unless, apparently, the opinion conflicts with their own.
Over the next two to three years, there will be several public hearings as Calpine seeks local, state and federal permits and requests zoning changes for its proposed facility. I encourage concerned citizens to attend these meetings, to ask questions and, as Lee Cain stated at the meeting, to seriously consider the long term. What kind of businesses do we want and how they will affect the beautiful face of the Columbia River estuary over the next 50 plus years?
More importantly, I encourage all of those that attend these meetings to listen, even if you don't like what you are hearing. It is only through careful analysis of the rhetoric supporting this project that educated decisions and arguments in opposition can be formulated. If you cannot muster enough common courtesy to let others speak unhindered, please stay home so that those of us that would like to make informed decisions and formulate cogent arguments based on the information provided can do so.