Northwest NEWS

February 1, 1999

Editorial

U.S. Forest Service needs to be citizens' watch dog

   I welcome the newspaper editorials questioning the proposed oil, gas, and jet fuel pipeline through the Snoqualmie Valley and the heart of North Bend. They have highlighted so many of the concerns of this Texaco, ARCO, GATX (Olympic Pipe Line Co.) plan.

   I attended my first Cross-Cascade pipe line meeting in 1996 at the Snoqualmie Middle School. I know I have mentioned before that when asked what the pipeline benefits for the valley would be, Olympic answered a one percent drop in tanker traffic over the pass!

   After years of research, most valley citizens, mayors, and town counselors have concluded the pipeline proposed is just too risky. We've certainly had our share of Olympic's "hired guns" testifying at public meetings--attempting to make "mole hills out of mountains."

   It hasn't worked. One of Olympic's paid experts is Joann Hamick, who I believe participated in the early pro-Snoqualmie Ridge meetings as a hireling of Weyerhaeuser.

   The Environmental Protection Agency's review of Olympic Pipe Line Co.'s Draft Environmental Impact Study found the document "very deficient" in providing information and even failed to show why the pipeline was needed.

   We hope that our Congressional delegation is taking heed of the facts of this matter. We trust they can urge the U.S. Forest Service (who has right-of-way permitting powers) that they must act as the citizens' watch dog and not a lap dog for Olympic Pipe Line Co.

JoAnn Klacsan, North Bend