Let me get this straight. The Calpine Corp., a big-time pirate in the California energy scandals of a couple of years ago, has been given the go-ahead by the Port of Astoria Commissioners to pursue a gigantic liquefied natural gas plant on the mouth of the Skipanon River in the Columbia estuary.
And the people of Astoria, Warrenton and elsewhere didn't know anything about the plans. Now that the project has been approved by the port, it's pretty much a done deal. It's disconcerting not one mention of these plans have been made by the port or any of those who just ran in the recent elections.
We really ought to be told. For a variety of reasons, port cities in Maine, Massachusetts, and California have rejected Calpine. The taxpayers of our area may very well suffer under this corporate give-away. Liquefied natural gas bunkers and ships are major terrorist targets requiring massive security infrastructure and attention by Homeland Security. We could also discuss the pros and cons of shipping natural gas from Australia and Indonesia in giant ships, which might be preferable to shipping it from Montana. We could weigh out the potential gain of 50 to 75 jobs against the impact such an industry might have on tourism in the Astoria area.
We need to be involved in the decision-making process. Thank goodness The Daily Astorian gave us, the taxpayers who are going to be bailing out Calpine, a heads-up on the project approval in the newspaper ("Energy firm eyes Warrenton site," The Daily Astorian, Nov. 4 and "Calpine Corp. looks into building natural gas receiving terminal at mouth of Skipanon River," The Daily Astorian, Nov. 9). Otherwise, we would never have known this was coming down.
The Port of Astoria Commissioners decided that we, the people, would not know anything at all about its plans for the liquefied natural gas plant. I understand that the public meetings do not allow for any citizen input. This is unacceptable.
We, the citizens, have a right to know what the rulers have in mind for us. Let's not allow our elected representatives to get away with such antics.