Kitz on coal: I’ll make decision by May 30, but answer will be NO

John Kitzhaber_thb

by NW Spotlight

Kitzhaber cares more about environmental activists than jobs for Oregon – he admits to stretching state’s regulatory morass to what the Oregonian calls “the snapping point” to try to stop this low environmental impact project and the jobs it will bring to Oregon.

If you’re wondering how Governor Kitzhaber can simultaneously declare that it’s time to “say no to coal exports” while informing Ambre Energy that he’ll make a decision on their coal export terminal regulatory permit by May 30th, you’re not alone.  The Oregonian was equally perplexed, and they wrote a strong editorial  condemning the Governors’ comments.

Can any business have confidence in a transparent, consistent process for permitting at this point?  The answer appears to be “no.”  We’ve seen our share of Oregon politicians pandering to their environmental base, but this is a new low.  The Governor chose the occasion of a speech in front of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters to upend the regulatory review of Ambre’s permit and simply declare the project dead.

The comments were met by collective silence by business groups, which may be nervous to weigh in on the dreaded “coal issue.”  But, they’d be wise to get active.  In that same speech the Governor said he wanted to introduce legislation that would increase the regulatory burden on construction projects.  Growing Oregon businesses and attracting new ones to the state is what creates jobs.  Kitzhaber appears intent on making this job harder for everybody but wind farms and solar installations.