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Letters from readers for the Aug. 8, 2014 issue


Stop oil export runaround

The Wall Street Journal published July 31 reports that Enterprise Products Partners LP successfully lobbied the U.S. Commerce Department arguing hydraulically fractured oil, having gone through inexpensive $1 million “stabilization” plants, which were supposedly built to make fracked oil safe for pipe-tanker transport to refineries, constituted a form of refinement, thus allowing it export status. They’ve even come up with a new name for it: “condensate.” Clever.

Background: After the Arab oil embargo in the 1970s, Congress passed a law that only refined oil products could be exported. This demand for “value added” strengthened American supply and put Americans to work.

With South Texas-North Dakota crude flooding the market, the fear in the oil industry is prices will drop. For most of us, that’s the hope.

Since when is the possibility of lower fuel costs bad for America? Wouldn’t we enjoy $2.25 gasoline?

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Suzanne Bonamici and Greg Walden, need to stop export of “condensate” and demand full refinement, denying this end run around the law.

Wayne Mayo

Scappoose

An open letter to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden

One year ago I sent you an email pertaining to the ability to extract waters from the Columbia River by offsetting certain portions of the river below Bonneville Dam with rock submerged jetties. You sent me a “I’ll get back to you” email, which was obviously a joke.

Now we watch the news daily concerning California’s drought, its loss of food production and, eventually, its effect on the human population. Let me remind you of a few figures pertaining to the amount of waters wasted to saline base in the Pacific Ocean by not using the flows of the Columbia River to aid and abet California.

The outflow of water at Port Westward is 400,000 cubic feet per second — that’s 1.4 billion cubic feet per hour, or 34.56 billion cubic feet per day.

I guess if you called Jerry Brown, the governor of California, and said, “Jerry, Oregon can supply you with 2 or 3 billion cubic feet of water per day,” he’d kiss your ring and shout, “The messiah is here!”

But don’t pay attention to this email, either. God knows — Christian God, Jewish God, Muslim God etc. — that you wouldn’t want to solve real human problems, just talk about them.

For once in your life take politics out of your actions and apply humanity instead.

Len Waggoner

Scappoose

Thank you, firefighters

Last week’s lightning storm provided extra excitement in the Scappoose area. There were several fires that started as a result, and one of them was on our land. It can be difficult to find them from the ground as the trees are tall enough to prevent even seeing the smoke. We could see smoke from one fire south of our place, but finding or even knowing that we had a second one was a challenge. During our search, Scappoose Rural Fire District Chief Mike Greisen joined me in the search for the fire on our place. Later I learn that, while he had been out most of the night helping others who had fires, lightening had hit his barn. He came home to a burned building.

A fund has been set up to help with the loss of Mike’s barn at St. Helens Community Credit Union, any branch. The fund is called “The Greisen Barn Fund.”

Even after our fire was under control, Mike returned to make sure of it. A sincere “thank you” goes out to him and the fire department for what they do.

The Oregon Department of Forestry also was extremely helpful in locating and responding to the various fires from the lightning. Big thanks go out to the Columbia City office and the South Fork crew, who spent the time and work to ensure the fire was out. ODF has followed up to make sure there is no flare up from the fire.

The residents of south Columbia County are fortunate to have people such as these who are dedicated to the safety of our homes and resources.

Scott Russell

Scappoose