There are a number of mysteries to solve in Columbia County in the waning months of 2019. Chief among them is why, after every one of Riverkeeper’s environmental questions and objections to NEXT Fuel locating in Columbia County have been answered and refuted, is Riverkeeper not welcoming NEXT Fuel’s Advanced Green Diesel here? Riverkeeper filled local papers with objections to “filthy coal trains covering our communities with coal dust”, then fears of exploding oil trains spontaneously combusting next to schools taking the lives of their children. NEXT Fuel explained to them in Town Hall meetings that their product is used cooking and vegetable oils they recycle into a second-generation bio-fuel to replace diesel.

 Riverkeeper warned of miles-long trains either careening dangerously, or creeping safely but endlessly, through our towns cutting off firefighters or police responding to emergencies. NEXT Fuel explained their product will be barged in and out. Riverkeeper raised a specter of fiscal irresponsibility of NEXT Fuel. Port Commissioners hired an investigator to investigate Riverkeeper’s allegations. All proved to be false. NEXT Fuel answered every Riverkeeper accusation. Yet the Riverkeepers who unseated good long-serving Commissioners on these accusations refuse to vote in favor of NEXT Fuel locating here.

Bottom line: The carbon dioxide gas savings created by NEXT Renewable Fuels Oregon will be equivalent to removing more than 1 million automobiles from the road.

The mystery to solve: If Riverkeeper’s goals are what they claim, why are not those Riverkeeper Port Commissioners welcoming NEXT Fuel into Columbia County? What is Riverkeeper’s true agenda?

Kathleen Fisher

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