To The Eagle: I've attended a couple of town and county LNG-related meetings wherein the Sheriff's Office indicated it may double its force to provide security for LNG tankers in the Columbia River. Now that I found out a little bit about it, I don't get it. Why would we (the county) go into a new line of business even if it didn't cost us anything? The Coast Guard was on record in their water suitability study that they could accommodate LNG tanker traffic. Even though they might not want to, they are qualified to do all of the security work along the river or find somebody who is. With all respect to Sheriff Bardsley, whom I personally love, the last people I would go to for a maritime security operation is a modest, mostly land-based police operation in one of the smallest counties in the state. I don't get it. We have some actual problems in this county. I don't see the point of inventing new ones. Why are we considering being diverted from our primary responsibilities in order to pursue some adventure out on the river in what is essentially an Oregon operation (for eight county jobs)? Getting involved almost certainly will generate indirect costs, which the county will have to bear in excess of those direct costs the agreement can nail down. In my industry (petroleum), they might range from 10-30 percent of direct costs. Unless the Sheriff's office has built a business model based on actual maritime law enforcement experience from other counties or cities, the indirect costs could be greater and thereby place a large burden on this county. I hope that any agreement has some nifty exit clauses in case we cannot afford that burden. From my perspective, the only thing we need to address is how an LNG terminal affects us, both positively and negatively; not those operational security problems that are their responsibility to fix. I just don't get it.
James Reed Cathlamet
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