Where is our governor?
While some, myself included, may not feel warm and fuzzy reading visceral analyses of the oil projects and those certain citizens’ fight against the doom, gloom, death and destruction of Grays Harbor County, it speaks truths — volumes.
We all need to wake up! We have hashed over the myriad reasons the proposed 2.7 billion gallons yearly — crude oil by rail — should not come here. We have compiled statistics proving it’s a bad idea. We have shown informational power points on dangers of bringing this Bakken crude oil through communities. We have written letters to the editor. We have written to our congressmen. We have drawn pictures. We have made flyers and signs, t-shirts and buttons. We have put our hearts into this issue for all the right reasons. We have run a non-partisan candidate for Port Commissioner. Now a candidate for County Commissioner. We’ve made public comment —several times. We have gone door to door warning Grays Harbor that the sky is falling — don’t miss the metaphor!
After more than a year, is all this rhetoric accomplishing anything? Are we talking to the right people?
To me, it’s become exhausting and angering trying to present logic, again and again, concerning these “oil tank farms” on the shores of a one-of-a-kind estuary, no possible response plan, with an economy dependent on the fishing and shellfish industry, where thousands of jobs could be lost in one fell swoop, located in both earthquake liquefaction, tsunami zones, more than 110 explosive 1.5 mile long trains carrying crude oil through our communities each month. There is absolutely not one positive benefit, including jobs, with this endeavor. Although, as citizens and property owners and (that really dirty word) — environmentalists, we are expected to mask our rage — just be reasonable and state the facts — and be polite. While we present the “case against crude” to citizen groups, forums, the City of Hoquiam, Department of Ecology, State of Washington, Hoquiam City Council, to consultants for Imperium and Westway — asking all to consider costs and risks, include U.S. Development in their scoping. Let’s have another debate; let’s have another forum; blah, blah blah. Let’s have another bigger environmental review and see if we can slip it past the sleeping property owners and people of Grays Harbor!
Do we honestly need more facts and statistics than have been presented in the last year showing this to be a profoundly bad idea — putting all at risk? If we get more statistics and make more two minute public comments will it make a difference? Will the 44 public comments made at Hoquiam High recently make a difference?
Did our 40 some written comments made to the City of Hoquiam and the Department of Ecology last April and June make a difference — on the first round of environmental applications for Westway and Imperium? No. They received our concerns, yet made a resounding ruling — MDNS (mitigated determination of non-significance). They couldn’t squeak it by the Shoreline Hearings Board — so we get a second chance. Full EIS this time. More commenting. More scoping. All while the third company, U.S. Development is coming up for first round environmental review — more public comments due. Does anyone read our comments? Can we influence the consultant on the current EIS scoping, whose fee comes from Westway and Imperium? Are we talking to the right people?
Facts and figures have been compiled … percentages presented — parameters of reason. It’s exhausting. It no longer seems reasonable. An archetypal theme — good against evil and begins to feel like evil has the upper hand with hoops to jump through. More hoops than I could have imagined — mired in hoop jumping. After the Elma Grange meeting, I hit the wall. Finally, it felt futile— almost nonsensical trying to communicate with the Department of Ecology, which stands up front with a microphone and no answers, as if they still don’t have enough facts on this matter to say it’s over their heads — un-scopable, un-doable — un-mitigatable! Citizens have done some fine research; we have presented a powerful argument against these oil projects, which I will not bore you with, again. I’m starting to wonder if we are talking to the right people?
Where is our clean energy governor? Admittedly, after all these past efforts, we learn he is the only person who can unequivocally save us by saying, “No.” This oil project proposal is dangerous, economically unsound — proven to be not in the best interest of the health and well-being of citizens of Grays Harbor or the State of Washington!” Those words would be music to my ears. This battle would be justified for all concerned. We are waiting for Gov. Inslee — our clean energy governor — to weigh in on this life or death issue in Grays Harbor. Is that too much to ask? This is a clean energy global issue. He is ultimately The Steward of our Land … Grays Harbor… Washington … The Evergreen State. Let’s have him weigh in — now.
Where is Gov. Inslee?
Carol Seaman is a resident of Aberdeen.