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Your Constituents Do Not Want a Power Plant in Their Backyard!!!
by Lyn Brock, Bonanza, Oregon  2/24/05

At ten o'clock on Thursday, February 24, 2005, a public meeting was held
during the weekly County Commissioners' Meeting to take public comment
and decide on COB's request to extend the enterprise zone to the
proposed COB site in Langell Valley.

Heather Marlow the County Planning Director and Zone Manager spoke
first, explaining the proposed extension of the enterprise zone.

According to my notes, nine people spoke in favor of expanding the
boundary of the enterprise zone to include the Langell Valley site and
the Dairy site as necessitated because of the distance involved.  Most
of those in favor appeared to be union men and possibly most of them
were from out of the area because they were not required to state their
addresses as usually required for the rest of us.

Nine people spoke in opposition to the expansion, seven of them actual
residents of Bonanza and Langell Valley area or Poe Valley or Malin. 
Two of the nine were residents of Klamath Falls.

I asked of Commissioners Switzer and Elliott whether they have
integrity, defined by Websters as honesty, sincerity.  The question that
I keep hearing from folks all over our county is why don't these men
take seriously their responsibility to represent the majority of their
constituents.  It has been obvious to those attending meetings
concerning the COB Energy Facility that these two commissioners
represent the interests of COB and KCEDA.  This is all about the
almighty dollar.  I went on to state, "Langell Valley is not an
appropriate location for an enterprise zone."

"Let's think about it this way," I said.  "Al Switzer has a wealthy
friend who wants to move to Klamath County.  His friend is a big man,
loud, and not well liked.  Al has decided his friend should move into my
house with my family against our wishes.  And the man may stay for 30
years.  Of course, I could sell.  I could move away.  But his friend is
here to stay.

"And John Elliott won't do what is right either.  He is just willing to
go along with what Al wants.  He knows this is not right.  He admits it
is all about money.

"This is what they are doing to many, many families and landowners in
Langell Valley.  They are choosing to impose this large, noisy, unwanted
industry on an agricultural community."

Commissioners Switzer and Elliott are not representing the wishes of
those who elected them.  They are not protecting our property rights or
our way of life.

Other speakers voiced similar concerns.  The two senior commissioners
failed to take their responsibility seriously when appointed as special
advisors during the state siting process, they haven't attended meetings
when asked by their constituents, they haven't listened to concerns of
residents of Klamath County nor have they answered questions asked, they
haven't read the application or Final Order to be informed.

Stephanie Bailey reiterated that they have surveyed business owners and
received more feedback than usual and, of those who responded, the
majority were in favor of the extension of the enterprise zone.  Another
speaker pointed out that 500 people were surveyed and 100 responded.  Of
those 100, 87 were in favor.  That means that 413 were opposed or
unaccounted for.  I would like to ask Ms. Bailey how many farmers she
surveyed.  Farms are businesses, too.  How many farmers in Langell
Valley did she question?

Trey Senn mumbled some ideas about Climate Trust.  I wish I could have
heard him more clearly.  I think he said he has been in discussions with
the governor and with Climate Trust.  I think he said something about
Climate Trust looking to help agriculture in the basin.  Climate Trust
is the entity to which COB will have to pay $13 million or $26 million
up front because of the huge amount of carbon dioxide they will produce
over the allowable limits.  This is mitigation for damages, you might
say, caused by carbon dioxide to our environment.  Climate Trust usually
spends this money to plant trees or other environmental projects in
South America, not in the area where the environment is affected as it
will be in Langell Valley.  The idea of Climate Trust looking to help
agriculture in the basin is something we would like to see implemented. 
I hope you can deliver this one, Trey, if we have to have this energy
facility sited in our valley.

Bill Brown spoke against expanding the enterprise zone boundary to
include Langell Valley.  He stated that incentives are to lure
businesses here which is not necessary for COB.  They have already spent
millions of dollars attempting to get a permit to site their facility
here.  He mentioned a survey or questionnaire he had filled out by
participants at a Town Hall meeting recently in Lorella.  He stated that
96 percent did not want the enterprise zone extended to Langell Valley.

Commissioner Elliott stated that we need electricity.  Who is we?  The
forecast for the northwest is that there is an abundance of electricity
for years to come.  Klamath County certainly doesn't need more energy
than is already generated here.  Mr. Elliott stated that EFSC hires
experts to look into the issues.  No, Mr. Elliott, we attended all the
hearings.  They didn't hire any experts.  Department of Energy asked
some of the state's experts for their advice such as Water Resources
Department and DOGAMI.  Then they overruled their expert advice and did
what the siting process does ... expedited the siting.  Their
application and more recent documents contain many, many errors.  Their
Final Order states that Klamath County is the least populated county in
the state.  That isn't correct.  Their process issued the Final Order
without requiring them to do the seismic studies required by law.  The
process is flawed.  Mr. Elliott, you haven't done your homework.  COB
hires experts.  They paid CH2MHill to write their technical material. 
We found errors in it and we aren't the technical experts.  We continue
to find misstatements of facts from our commissioners, from COB, and
from our state.

Commissioner Switzer ... I don't know what to say.  You say we called
you names.  Who did?  What name did any of us call you?  I was there.  I
was taking notes.  Is it "calling names" to state facts ... facts that
we can back up ... to question your integrity when we have tapes of your
meetings and written material from your own office or from the state
documents that prove our statements?  When are you going to face the
real issues?

Switzer called for a motion.  Elliott moved and Switzer seconded to
expand the boundaries of the enterprise zone to include the site in
Langell Valley.  Only Commissioner Brown voted against the motion, of
course.

Switzer had said something about not going over the fence in 2001.  He
said he questioned whether to go over the fence or stay and fight the
fence.  I don't see the parallel here.  You aren't fighting the fence. 
You are on the other side of the fence from your constituents and you
are socializing with COB and KCEDA.  I guess you are having a good
time.  We aren't.  We are working and fighting to protect our families
and our way of life and our property rights.  Commissioner Switzer, that
is your job.  That is what we pay you to do.
 

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