I consider myself to be an environmentalist with a cursory knowledge of ecology. Short of neutering ourselves into extinction, humans and human activity are always going to have an impact on the environment.
As long as we continue to talk on cell phones, watch television, drive cars and build stick houses, we are going to consume energy and exploit natural resources. Obviously, our species will prevail longer on this planet if there were fewer of us and we did all of this wisely.
The proposed Roseburg biomass cogeneration project, as currently planned, is not a state-of-the-art facility. But, it is a first step. Reducing emissions by 35 percent while burning slash and undergrowth at the facility is better than burning the slash piles in the forest without any emission controls.
It would be desirable to incorporate plans for improving emission controls on the Roseburg facility to 73 percent or 100 percent and perhaps making it a showcase state-of-the-art-facility. But, that takes money; not law suits.
It is demoralizing to witness the Siskiyou County expend $50,000 of taxpayer dollars on attorneys to defend their decision in a law suit filed against them by the Ecology Center. The Ecology Center is probably committing an equal amount in attorney fees to pursuit the action in the court theater.
Why not do something positive and proactive? Combine the two sums being wasted on attorney fees and invest $100,000 to retrofit the emission controls on the Roseburg biomass cogeneration plant. Structure it as a loan to be repaid with interest by Roseburg from the profits reaped in generating electricity for our community.
But, I am being naïve. There are too many entrenched interests. It is better to retain a couple of attorneys than to keep 33 mill workers employed. And, we are going to continue burning slash piles in the forest without emission controls while threatening to spark wildfires.
A first step