Jordan Cove pipeline is not a panacea

Despite the fact that the state of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality opposes the Jordan Cove project, Rep. Scott Tipton recites age-old arguments that if only a natural gas pipeline were built to a proposed Pacific LNG port on the Oregon coastline, western Colorado will have another boom economy.

Our economy in western Colorado has been stabilized over the past five years due to a balanced economy and we already have interstate pipelines from Colorado to the West Coast!

Here is a summary of the Jordan cove project (from The Oregonian):

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on Monday denied a water quality certification for the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and its feeder pipeline, the Pacific Connector pipeline, though the agency left the door open for the company to reapply.

In a letter Monday to the project backers, the agency said “DEQ does not have a reasonable assurance that the construction and authorization of the project will comply with applicable Oregon water quality standards.”

DEQ is in charge of administering the federal Clean Water Act in Oregon and the certification is required for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue permits for the project.

The decision was applauded by opponents of the controversial project, but it is not a deal killer. Jordan Cove can request a contested case hearing within 20 days. DEQ also said it was making its decision “without prejudice,” meaning the company can also resubmit a new application.

This isn’t the first time the project has faced regulatory opposition. Federal regulators denied a license for the project in 2016 because backers didn’t show sufficient demand for the facility to overcome the impacts of the pipeline on landowners. Various iterations of the project have been under consideration since 2004.

DEQ’s letter to Jordan Cove described a lengthy back and forth between Jordan Cove and the agency, with multiple requests for additional information by DEQ, incomplete and inadequate responses by Jordan Cove, and late responses that provided inadequate time for the agency to review them.

The agency said it was denying the application because there “is insufficient information to demonstrate compliance with water quality standards, and because the available information shows that some standards are more likely than not to be violated”

This project would be detrimental to our neighbors and should not be supported!

BENNETT BOESCHENSTEIN

Grand Junction


America’s health-care system is a sinking ship

Healthcare costs in the U.S. have continued to skyrocket, as we in western Colorado know all too well.

The U.S. pays $3.5 trillion per year for healthcare, well over $10,000 for every American man, woman, and child. Most get poor coverage, wait lines, a scanty list of preferred providers, and for many, a deductible far higher than their accessible savings — a trap-door to bankruptcy. The most common reason for American bankruptcy is medical costs. We allow more than one million medical bankruptcies per year, says Kaiser Family Foundation.

A study published in the Lancet, the Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) Index, ranked the U.S. 29th, way behind almost all other first world (and even some third-world) nations. Every other industrialized country provides each and every citizen lifelong, comprehensive, effective care, for HALF the price we pay per person. Picture having all your loved ones automatically covered from birth to death, and covered very well. No worries, mate.

A million healthcare bankruptcies, sky-high rates with astronomical deductibles, and poor outcomes amount to an all-American Titanic disaster. The strange thing is, all folks on board could survive, and very nicely, if resources were shared intelligently as in a Medicare for All system – as ALL other industrial nations have already demonstrated. Yet folks continue hugging their position on a lifeboat, afraid of giving up their crappy but privileged seat, while millions of the uninsured flounder around them in the frigid waters.

Medicare for All is a cheaper, more efficient solution that would cover everyone.

KAREN PONTIUS

Durango


Looks like Sentinel’s editorial board could use some diversity

The idea of the Sentinel editorial board incorporating two voices from the community at large is an interesting experiment.

However, with six members, only one is a woman and to my knowledge, there is only one with Mexican heritage. Our community might be better served if one of the new members were either female or of an ethnic minority.

KAREN SJOBERG

Grand Junction

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