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An open letter to the mayor, City Council members and city manager:

Securing new jobs for Vallejo is certainly critical for our future. And yet, I feel that clear thinking and thoughtful planning principles need to be used when considering new projects for our community. Overall impacts of a project, both positive and negative, must be considered, especially if the proposed business is industrial in nature, such as that of the proposed Bechtel/Shell LNG Terminal on Mare Island.

Perhaps the most important question of all is how many jobs would Vallejo citizens gain in return for the blight and pollution?

I had the opportunity to tour the Calpine 880 megawatt (MW) natural has (NG) power plant with the LNG Health and Safety Subcommittee on Oct. 10. The committee felt that the Calpine facility could serve as a model of the proposed facilities (since the Calpine NG facility was 880 MG and the proposed Bechtel/Shell NG facility is 900 MW).

According to Mr. Dwayne Null, chief operator of the Calpine NG Power Plant, only three people "at any one time" work at the (880 MW) Calpine facility. The total number of people employed is 20. Of these positions, there are three levels of employment opportunities, according to Mr. Null:

-- "Level A": Operators -- Highest level, many years of direct experience running an LNG facility, extensive experience, engineering degrees. There are three operators on the facility at one time, and they run the entire facility operations.

-- "Level B": Equipment Operators -- Also highly trained, with many years of direct experience working at/doing equipment work at an LNG facility, senior experience in heavy industry, degree and LNG operations required,

-- "Level C": "Entry" level employment (likely no more than 4-7 employees of the 20 people employed) -- Needs at least 6-12 years of Navy experience, directly in LNG facilities.

Kind Leaders, do you know 4-7 people in Vallejo that have the type of experience to possibly get even an "entry" level position at the proposed LNG facility? Do you feel that up to seven long-term employment placements would be worth the lifetime of air pollutants that our entire community would suffer?

I feel that a handful will benefit, and the rest of us will suffer with respiratory diseases for years into the future. As an environmental toxicologist, I urge you to Vote "no" to LNG and to Shell and Bechtel. I pledge you my time and energy in the future to help find viable commerce for our community, should you choose to vote "no." I'm certain that I know other community members that would do the same.

Please do not sell out. I know that You know the truth, too.

Thank you so much for listening,

Gayle Edmisten Watkin


© 2002 maggdog communications
Photos courtesy of Michael Halberstadt, Joyce Scharf and Friends of VallejoCPR
Page Last Updated Jan 4, 2003