In the Saturday, June 28, issue of The Daily World, Mark Reisman asks us to “measure the risk and find a way to make oil work here.” He builds his argument on the foundation that the Harbor’s “economic and social decline” will be reversed through capital investment in “the oil transportation opportunity.” That foundation is as unstable as the mud flats where the oil storage tanks are to be built.
We wish Birch Bay continued good luck in avoiding ecological disaster at their refinery. For it is only luck that has spared them so far, not corporate compliance with regulations. Corporations have an obligation to create dividends for their shareholders and weaken and ignore regulations to do so. Maybe Birch Bay will welcome the extra tank car traffic we wisely reject.
Do not be fooled by the old chestnut “Jobs!” No one from any of these oil companies has provided a straight answer about the number and type of jobs to be created from the oil projects. A clue: there aren’t plans for large employee parking lots in the blueprints.
It would not take an earthquake or explosion to kill the Harbor, just the daily drip, drip, drip of this toxic substance. Let some town without beauty or soul enslave itself for a handful of silver. Grays Harbor is not the place for the oil industry.