Northwest NEWS

January 25, 1999

Editorial

EFSEC and U.S. Forest Service failed to hold any public hearings on the Cross Cascade pipeline

   In an editorial which appeared on Jan. 17, the Seattle P-I put its finger on a number of reasons to reject the application of Olympic Pipe Line Co. to construct a Cross Cascade pipeline.

   The fact it failed to mention, however, was that both the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) and the U.S. Forest Service refused to hold any public hearings on the draft Environmental Impact Statement, despite the written requests of hundreds of citizens.

   It is no surprise that the U.S. Forest Service has deaf ears to public concerns about resource management on their lands. But too little attention has been paid to EFSEC, an independent agency created by the Legislature in 1970.

   What confidence can the public have in an agency that was created as a one-stop energy permit source for the energy industry? The real issue at the heart of this project is whether it is needed. This is the one critical issue that EFSEC will NOT address in its proceedings.

   EFSEC will not address the question of need and has refused to hold public hearing on the DEIS. It is up to the public to convey to Gov. Locke, who will make the final decision, that not only is this project unnecessary, but EFSEC itself needs to be overhauled to help our region properly address our energy policy for the 21st Century.

Angela Storey, Tacoma