Today I read a pretty good (BALANCED) article regarding Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
I have to hand it to the hard workers over at Columbia River Business Alliance. They certainly have their brainstorming efforts down.
I don’t like to make a habit out of writing about (LNG), but there were several oddities that I just couldn’t resist.
The first oddity is the reason for shooting the flame thrower – The CRBA claims the lease should be investigated by the Governors office because the lease rate reflected siting a golf course and not an LNG terminal. Well, no, the lease was NOT based on siting a golf course OR an LNG facility. The lease was based on the appraised value of the VACANT land which was ZONED recreational. Governors office – please don’t waste your time AND OUR TAX DOLLARS investigating this.
As a former Port Commissioner and one of 5 who voted to approve the lease, let me tell you what my brain was thinking at the time – 500 construction jobs, $10m per year in property taxes ($250k of that would go to the port), and about 50 full time good paying jobs. I would also call this thinking “The Big Picture”.
Looking back, could we have asked for more money for the lease? Probably. Probably could have gotten it too. Why didn’t I think of that? Because our policy was to lease land based on 10% per year of appraised value. Which is exactly what we did. I would call this “The Small Picture”
This is why I’m so angry about the Oregon AG office’s assault on the former director of the port. It is so misguided in so many ways. Other than gather information from the company, the former port director had NO VOTE on the lease which puts a pretty big hole in their argument.
Another oddity – a quote from the director of CRBA Peter Huhtala stating the port should be charging $1m per year because of other deals struck with Astoria and Coos Bay. I guess I’m out of the loop on this because I am unaware of any LNG companies paying this much per year to either of these jurisdictions. Peter – you need to come forward with proof. I simply can’t believe it.
Yet another oddity – This time it’s a quote from the present Port of Astoria Director Jack Crider in which he states “But the lease was “a bad business deal, ” given hundreds of thousands of dollars the Port has spent in legal costs and staff time”. This one actually caused me to chuckle because based on the nutcase commission Jack has on his hands, we couldn’t have gathered enough in lease income to cover the follies of legal costs and staff time. Jack, if I were you, I would apply for some stimulus money to cover this because I don’t think your commission gets it. After all, it wasn’t our “bad business deal” that caused your legal costs and staff time. It was your comical commission who decided they were smarter than everyone else and voted NOT to approve the lease extension (which in effect caused your legal costs and staff time). And while I’m at it, and since Jack is so good at troubleshooting hindsite, lets see how far taxpayers are out of pocket in 4 years on the Tongue Point deal. Did it ever occur to you why your predecessor didn’t put the “deal” together? You’ll know soon enough.
So, once again Governor Ted, please don’t waste a nickle pursuing this folly. The AG office has already spent enough of our tax dollars on this. Please don’t throw good money after bad.