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Herald and News: Klamath Falls, Oregon

Published Jan. 16, 2004

A new source of pollution

Roger Hamilton, our former Klamath County commissioner and Oregon public utility commissioner, was almost mobbed by an angry crowd in the old commission hearing room.

That crowd years ago was very angry. The topic: pollution (wood stove smoke). Unfortunately, the wood stove smoke was so bad inside Klamath Falls proper and the urban growth boundary, we had the worst polluted air in the nation. This polluted air is somewhat caused by our inversion problem because the foul air is trapped in the Basin.

Now we have a company from Chicago that insists on building an electrical plant to pollute Bonanza air and, possibly, the groundwater and earth.

I say that to pollute Bonanza's airshed for 20 jobs and the development is unreasonable and very difficult to mitigate. Are the powers-that-be going to mitigate the Amazon rain forest? What are they going to mitigate?

Now, I'm talking about another company, Masami. Masami most generally gets a slap on the wrist when it is given a penalty. This has been going on for a long time locally.

I bought copies of five years of Masami's penalties on its business near the stockyards. This may be too hairy and make your hair stand straight up when you read this documentation. Thank goodness Masami's proposed hog factory near Bonanza was stopped.

Can you imagine the vast amount of pollution from the proposed Masami hog factory would have been combined with the very large Peoples Energy pollution?

The point I'm writing about in regard to the Peoples Energy and the Cob energy plant is the fact the powers-that-be are maybe locating heavy industry in a farm zone to pollute the people, animals, schoolchildren and the air and land.

It isn't difficult to figure how much the Cob will pollute. Just compare it to the city of Klamath Falls' Cogen plant that only works when it isn't broken down or waiting for repair.

These bureaucrats and elected officials that may be trying to shove the Cob plant down our necks are mentioned here: Catherine Van Horn (Energy Department, Salem), state Rep. Bill Garrard, a former Klamath County commissioner; state Sen. Steve Harper, a former commander at Kingsley Field and director of Klamath County Chamber of Commerce; and Klamath County Commissioners Al Switzer and John Elliott, who may be pushing for the Cob.

It is my opinion Switzer, Elliott and the Klamath Falls City Council will all have to OK the enterprise zone, which would give Rob Trotta, project manager of the Cob plant, and Peoples Energy at least $50 million for 10 years of free taxes.

Who gets the power from the Cob: California.

Who gets the money from the Cob: Chicago.

Who gets the kick in the neck? People from Klamath County as the farmers in Bonanza.

Nancy R. Roeder

Klamath Falls




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