September 18, 2009 Volume 110 Number 18

Clatsop County Commissioners face recall for supporting LNG plant

Three Clatsop County commissioners who support a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, proposed for a site 20 miles east of Astoria on the Columbia River, are facing a recall effort by opponents of LNG.

The recall targets are commissioners Jeff Hazen, Ann Samuelson, and Patricia Roberts. All three support building the $650 million LNG terminal, in line with the Oregon AFL-CIO and the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council, which already has a project labor agreement in place with the developer, NorthernStar.

“This terminal will not only provide hundreds and hundreds of construction jobs for our members and their families, it’s also going to ensure a safe, reliable supply of energy for our area, which will result in good jobs in the Pacific Northwest,” said John Mohlis, executive secretary-treasurer of the Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council.

After it is built, the terminal — which will import, store and process liquefied natural gas — will have an operating budget of $30 million a year.

Tom Chamberlain, president of the Oregon AFL-CIO, said stabilizing energy costs is crucial for the region’s future. “And while we should vigorously pursue renewable energy, natural gas can serve as a bridge to the cleaner energy future we all want,” he said.

Some residents are angry because the three commissioners voted to approve land-use zone changes to allow construction of the terminal at Bradwood Landing, site of a shuttered lumber mill. Last month, some of those LNG opponents filed paperwork with Clatsop County to start collecting signatures to force an election to recall them.

The number of signatures to trigger a recall election is determined by taking 15 percent of the voters who voted for governor in the 2006 election.

A recall petition for Hazen would need 445 valid signatures from voters in District 1. For Samuelson, the number is 447. The deadline to get signatures is Oct. 19. The election would be held Dec. 8.

A petition to oust Roberts was approved Aug. 26. Petitioners need 441 signatures by Nov. 23. That election can be held no later than Jan. 12.

District 2 covers the area south of Warrenton to the center of Seaside and includes the city of Gearhart.

Hazen is county commissioner for District 1, which takes in Warrenton and Hammond and a portion of Astoria.

Samuelson is county commissioner for District 5, which covers portions of Seaside east of U.S. 101, and Cannon Beach, Arch Cape south to the Tillamook County line, east to the Columbia and Washington county lines, including Hamlet and Jewel.

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