Coos County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins admits that corporations have more power than communities, landowners and individuals. Guess what! Cribbins is okay with that and supports corporate privilege over the fundamental rights of her own constituents
The pro-gas/fossil-fuel anti-sustainability strategy to defeat Measure 6-162 is to claim anything they want without proof. If what they claim creates fear then all the better because they know that Measure 6-162 represents a move towards the people of Coos County having more say in what happens where they live than the corporation, especially foreign corporations like Veresen. This means the “good-old boys” like the chamber of commerce and corporate speculators like Veresen don’t get to have free run of non-sustainable economic development like they used to.
On the right are some of the false claims made by pro-industry and anti-democracy extremists to confuse voters
Myths Perpetrated by Corporate Special Interests
Myth 1 – Taxpayers will pay to defend the ordinance
FALSE: Let’s put this in context. Coos County will only ever have to defend a democratically enacted ordinance, if and only if, a government, a corporate entity like Veresen or an individual do not respect the will of the people. By making this claim, pro-gas boosters are admitting that Veresen, the Canadian company behind Jordan Cove LNG, does not respect the people of Coos County.
Secondly, taxpayers already subsidize the fossil-fuel industry to the tune of $600 billion annually and Coos County taxpayers will further subsidize Jordan Cove LNG through enterprise zone tax benefits.
Direct taxpayer subsidies to the fossil-fuel do not include the additional costs to the public of healthcare owing to the environmental degradation caused by non-sustainable fossil-fuel energy infrastructure.
How much would electricity cost in the United States if the retail price reflected the health impacts of burning fossil fuels? A paper recently published by researchers at the Environmental Protection Agency finds that accounting for such costs would add an average of 14 to 35 cents per kilowatt-hour to the retail cost of electricity. Nationwide, these hidden health costs add up to as much as $886.5 billion annually, or 6% of GDP. – Forbes Magazine – April 8, 2013
Myth 2 – Is radical and doesn’t share our values
What is radical is allowing our county to be used as a resource colony so that Canadian shareholders can receive short term profits from 19th century non-sustainable energy technology at the expense of American landowners.
Myth 3 – Is legally flawed and unconstitutional
FALSE: First of all, this claim openly admits that under our current system of law, corporations have government sanctioned rights and privileges that communities, landowners and individual citizens do not. Secondly, both the US Declaration of Independence and Article 1 of the Oregon Constitution grant authority for the people to amend their government when it fails to provide for the safety and welfare of its citizens.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. – US Declaration of Independence
Section 1. Natural rights inherent in people. We declare that all men, when they form a social compact are equal in right: that all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; and they have at all times a right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.— Oregon Constitution
Myth 4 – Could ban moving fuel on highways and rail
FALSE: This claim is an outright lie designed to put fear into the voters. The ordinance specifically protects these activities for residential, commercial and industrial use.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any corporation or governmental entity to engage in fossil fuel transportation through or into Coos County except the transportation of fossil fuels intended for residential, commercial, or industrial use for on-site power, heat consumption and vehicle refueling.
Myth 5 – Could infringe on hunting and farming rights.
Section 3. Statements of Law – Community Bill of Rights protects ecosystems and waterways enhancing both agriculture and recreational hunting and fishing.
(b) Right to Scenic and Recreational Preservation. All residents of Coos County possess a right to the preservation and enhancement of the scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the County, including unspoiled vistas and outdoor recreational opportunities, thereby improving the area’s appeal to tourists and future residents.
Myth 6 – Will stall our local economy and kill jobs
FALSE: MEASURE 6-162, THE COOS COUNTY RIGHT TO A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FUTURE ORDINANCE supports sustainable jobs and enables a sustainable economy. Unlike fossil-fuels, sustainability is a growth industry and not dependent upon taxpayer funded government subsidies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics average starting wages range from $42K to $62K and go much higher for management positions.
In fact, the fossil-fuel industry kills more jobs than it creates. Ocean acidification which is caused by global warming almost cost the Pacific Northwest 3000 jobs.
Myth 7 – Denies funds for schools and county
FALSE: Small businesses and sustainable jobs are the backbone of any economy. In the US small businesses account for 60 to 80 percent of all U.S. jobs and provide, by far, more tax revenue for schools and public services than the a href=”https://www.iisd.org/gsi/fossil-fuel-subsidies/fossil-fuels-what-cost”>heavily taxpayer subsidized fossil-fuel industry.