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Smell Before You Strike

We all know the odor of a gas leak, or should. Lately I’ve detected a lot in the county. First, regarding the use of gas from the Ruby line in Lakeview, during the permit process, I asked folks “off the record” what the chances of Lakeview tapping into the line would be, and the response was “slim to none”, as the infrastructure needed would cost WAY more than the town could afford. Okay, second on this issue: I also asked the destination of the gas, and it was initially proposed that all of the gas would go to California. Now, the companies are planning a just- approved pipeline from Malin to Coos Bay, so the gas from Wyoming can be EXPORTED as LNG (liquefied natural gas), just as the processed tar sands product flowing through the controversial Keystone line from Canada to Texas will also be to send those “desperately needed in the U.S.” resources, overseas. Yeah, right, there was never any con game being played by Ruby, or Trans Canada.

On a local level, the fumes are strong from a few, blaming our current commissioners for a lot of stuff that is purely “odorant”, more related to a methane source than that “rotten egg” smell from a leaky natural gas line. Just one example, when binding arbitration gives a decision, the settlement is NOT PUBLIC RECORD if reserved in whole or in part by the arbitration authority. The commissioners could not therefore legally reveal terms of settlement, just like some elements of union negotiations are NOT public record items. For another “public official” to reveal said non-public details from a settlement, is well, questionable if not prosecutable.

To keep this brief: when you smell gas, take a close look at where it’s coming from, and don’t strike a match until you find out what’s really behind the leak.

Doug Troutman


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