1 thought on “WIRT Comments on Port of Lewiston Fiscal Year 2015 Budget

  1. This letter is to be considered as public comment for the Port of Lewiston proposed budget for the fiscal year commencing on July 1, 2014. Because the official public hearing is being conducted at 7 am on June 11, which apparently is an optimal time slot for Port staff but not the public (who must attend to their own jobs), this letter serves as notice of public opinion not only from this author but also from many local residents with whom I have conversed.

    This past year, we have witnessed increasing awareness and protests of climate-damaging policies on a national scale. Locally, we have seen protests of megaloads initiating from the Port of Lewiston and winding their way to the Alberta tar sands via Highway 12 and several other attempted routes via more than one carrier. We have seen increasing public awareness of the environmental and human health damages associated with tar sands projects, Bakken oil, and all fossil fuel use. These projects are not a “big find,” as stated on your website, for us. Many local residents do not want transport of these fossil fuel components to continue for “years to come.” We live here, and want to farm here, and maintain our rivers and fish and scenic byways here. Yes, protests will continue, and also education efforts to reach those who are still unaware of the imminent dangers of fossil fuel dependency, which has economic benefits only in the very short term for a small number of clients, but eventual long-term damages to many industries of our region. The Pacific Northwest and the Inland Northwest will be damaged by fossil fuel dependency and transport of coal and oil here, as they affect one of the most fertile farming regions of the nation, the fishing industry, and the tourism industry. None of this is good for our region in the long run, and determined public opinion against this is present and will continue to grow.

    Why not investigate the use of the port for less toxic options? We are seeing much more wind and solar energy development in Washington state – what about Idaho? The public is now aware of the toxins released from tar sands and fracking, and the backlash is just beginning. It would be a better business model to look to the future – begin to investigate other options for non-fossil-fuel-based transports. I have to look ahead in my business, and so too should the Port of Lewiston. Resistance will continue.

    Lori B.

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