I work at the Wauna paper mill, and I am offended by the arrogant and dismissive words that state Rep. Tiffiny Mitchell recently directed toward hardworking people in her district (“North Coast needs clean energy jobs,” The Daily Astorian, April 4). For her to say that Oregon’s proposed cap and trade legislation doesn’t put hundreds of local jobs at risk is an outright lie.
I have 22 years of service at the mill, and my father had 42 years of service. I’ve seen millions of dollars of investment in Wauna to keep it competitive with facilities inside and outside our company. Plus, I've seen millions of dollars invested in our local community from coworkers spending money at businesses, and I’ve watched my coworkers (and myself) coach kids’ sports and donate to United Way.
Growing up in Westport, there wasn’t much besides Wauna. I feel lucky that I have a high-tech job close to home that supports my family. If cap and trade legislation is passed, people are going to still want toilet paper. The question is, would you rather buy from the Wauna mill, where it is made in a sustainable way, gives local kids jobs so they don’t have to move to Portland, and supports our local economy? Or, would you rather buy it shipped in using more carbon from other states or countries thousands of miles away?
Mitchell is not an expert on paper-making; my family has 64 years of experience in paper-making, and I can tell you that this bill will impact the mill and not improve the environment.