This is in response to Erhard Gross' letter, (The Daily Astorian, April 21) or to anyone else who shares his opinion.

Many folks, anti-LNG and supporters alike, came to this project with an open mind, (me included) and after countless hours of reading, watching films and doing research, only then, we decided if LNG is for/not for, our area or our future. We have forced ourselves to become experts on every aspect of Calpine, LNG and Oregon's economic infrastructure, in a matter of months, in addition to working our regular jobs. To quote a pro-LNG advocate, "We need your patience on this issue."

Even though it's hard work, the only way to truly make up your mind is to do the research yourself.

As for the alternative to Columbia River LNG, it is at our doorstep. Currently in Europe, fuel prices are much higher than in the U.S.; our fuel rates are surely headed up as well. In Germany, France and Great Britain, they are starting a vigorous push for an alternative to fossil fuel called bio-diesel. It is made from three sources, the canola plant, soybeans and the palm oil plant. Close to 70 percent of Europe's automobiles are diesel-powered and more than 2 percent of its diesel is bio-diesel; this percentage is rising quickly and is set to hit 6 percent in four years. Most notably the canola plant grows best in mild marine climates; in Oregon, canola can produce more than 900 pounds of oil per acre. Bio-diesel is far cleaner than petroleum diesel. The canola plant uses the sun, Earth's most consistent energy source. It also uses carbon dioxide, a harmful greenhouse gas. And rain, (the more the better) to create a renewable energy source that will help us cure our addiction to depleting fossil fuels.

As the prices at the pump rise, our country will be forced to start making bio-diesel sooner rather than later, and Clatsop County can lead the way. Bio-diesel production creates far and away more jobs than any LNG terminal and local land can be used for farming once again. Plus the profits stay in our area. Oregon Bio-diesel Company is already setting up co-ops in Tillamook and Walla Walla, Wash. We are already officially behind, in the race for this financially lucrative business. We have an advantage though, we have a large river that can handle large ships of palm oil from South America and Asia for supply in the winter months.

I challenge everyone to get educated on this and other alternatives for LNG and Oregon's future. It is ironic that people can criticize the port and then turn around and not do the "due diligence" themselves on this LNG issue. The port election will be one of the most important votes in Clatsop County history. It will be solely based, not on the county's past, but its future.

Tryan Hartill

Astoria

Tags