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Letter: Eastern Oregon deserves same protection as coast

Published on January 30, 2018 3:49PM

Governor Kate Brown: I heard your perfect response to the Trump Administration’s plans for offshore drilling along our Oregon coast: “In what universe would this be okay?  Our coastal beaches are really important to Oregonians. They are very important to who we are and very important to our economy.”

I knew I had to write to you on behalf of all of us in Eastern Oregon.

Eastern Oregon has been fighting for its very life for the past 10 years. Now Idaho Power, a $6 billion out-of-state corporation, has plans to take advantage of Eastern Oregon. They are trying to do it as quickly and quietly as possible.

The proposed B2H transmission line from Hemingway, Idaho, to Boardman offers no direct benefit to anyone in Oregon. It will impact prime agricultural land and local landowners, degrade our wild lands, endanger our wildlife.

Tourists travel to Eastern Oregon to escape crowds and industrialization. They come to hike or hunt, enjoy our relaxed pace of life and enjoy our natural scenery.

I live in Baker City, where tourists come to visit the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. The B2H, as planned, will cross the trail eight times. Monster 200-foot-tall towers, less than a quarter mile from the center’s picture windows, will mar the view of the Oregon Trail. With the B2H, visitors will travel along 300 miles of transmission lines supported by steel towers as high as 16-story buildings, just as the people who visit and live on the Oregon coast will see miles and miles of drilling rigs.  

I appreciate your strong statement on behalf of the residents of western Oregon. As governor for the whole state of Oregon, I would respectfully request that this same statement be made on behalf of the residents of Eastern Oregon.  

JoAnn Marlette

Baker City


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