The nugget. (Sisters, Or.) 1994-current, February 25, 2015, Page 2, Image 2

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon
American Voices
Letters to the Editor…
The Nugget welcomes contributions from its readers, which must include the writer’s name, address and phone
number. Letters to the Editor is an open forum for the community and contains unsolicited opinions not neces-
sarily shared by the Editor. The Nugget reserves the right to edit, omit, respond or ask for a response to letters
submitted to the Editor. Letters should be no longer than 300 words. Unpublished items are not acknowledged or
returned. The deadline for all letters is noon Monday.
To the Editor”
Commissioner Unger —
Thank you for your interest to unite the
communities along the highway corridor lead-
ing into Sisters from the west.
One option is the STA desire to build a
10-mile bike and hiking path connecting
everyone to the Tollgate development, Black
Butte Ranch, a Suttle Lake unimproved bike
path and Camp Sherman.
When you support the plan, please be cer-
tain that this is a wise use of government mon-
ies, which are funded by citizen taxes.
Your studies, if responsible, need to include
impact statements affecting all involved citi-
zens and, where applicable, their private prop-
erties. Safety and security, as well as creation
of recreational opportunities serving the great-
est good for the greatest number of people,
should be assured within your domain of
responsibility. Maintenance funding and added
public safety resources for municipal and
state agencies must be adequately funded for
the added burdens created by non-motorized
citizen use of facilities built very near our
high-speed highways.
You must also be prepared to help provide
additional resources needed to deal with the
effect of problems created by increasing public
access to privately owned residential property.
I understand that some people favoring this
trail accuse some private property owners of
being selfish. Be aware that many of those
being unjustly accused are fervent supporters
of the Sisters community businesses and social
needs (examples include Habitat for Humanity
involvement, public schools involvement, and
church memberships whose missions specifi-
cally include support for community needs).
Perhaps those citizens are the ones most intent
upon preserving the environment we all enjoy
in Sisters Country. I suspect that there are
many people who very significantly support
Sisters, both financially and through service,
but do not crow about it.
William Peterson
See LEttERS on page 10
Sisters Weather Forecast
Courtesy of the National Weather Service, Pendleton, Oregon
Increasing clouds
Chance rain
Mostly cloudy
Mostly sunny
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PARIS — While surfing
the Internet on Valentine’s
Day, I came across a love
story so poignant that I just
have to share it with you.
I’m taking really hot and
heavy—as in actual fire.
I noticed a banner adver-
tisement for an event in
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in
April called the “Kingdom
Future Energy Summit,”
complete with a stunning
image of what appears to be
an ashen finger catching fire
as it reaches out to touch
a stream of oil. Ouch. It’s
the kind of image that you
might expect neo-hippies
to daydream between trips
to the recycling bin, not
one put forth by a Middle
Eastern petro-state whose
oil sector represents about
80 percent of its budget
revenues. What’s going on
here? Apparently a steamy
geopolitical liaison, that’s
I’ll bet you probably fig-
ured that the “future energy”
in Saudi Arabia is oil, since
the entire country is floating
on a sea of it. No, silly —
it’s renewable energy!
Has Saudi Arabia sud-
denly been hit on the head
with some kind of self-sac-
rificing environmental con-
science? Is this a sea change
for the founding member of
OPEC, the world’s top pro-
ducer and exporter of oil for
years, single-handedly able
to raise or lower oil prices,
(as we’ve seen in recent
As heartwarming as that
would be, it makes about as
much sense as some other
relatively recent oil inter-
ests masquerading as envi-
ronmental concern. Like,
for instance, Chinese bil-
lionaire and Communist
Party member Huang Nubo
pushing to purchase more
than 100 square miles in
Iceland for “eco-tourism,”
and later a large tract of
land in the north of Norway,
again for “ecological” rea-
sons. It shouldn’t come as
much of a surprise that both
overtures coincided with
China — a country geo-
graphically nowhere near
the Arctic — angling for a
place on the Arctic Council
alongside nations that are
actually located in that oil-
rich region.
As with everything else
in life, the fastest way to cut
through any window dress-
ing is to ask who benefits.
Granted, the Saudis have
no shortage of sun to power
solar panels, but continuing
to pump oil is far less work
than going to the trouble of
making solar-power equip-
ment. What do you know —
China is the world’s lead-
ing installer of solar-power
equipment, according to
the International Energy
Agency. The Saudis signed
an agreement in Beijing
last summer to benefit
from China’s expertise on
renewable solar and nuclear
energy. Saudi Arabia is
planning new solar power
plants in five regions by the
end of the year.
In 2011, China was will-
ing to suck up a loss of bil-
lions of yuan in a railway
project in Mecca, demon-
strating its commitment to
infrastructure-for-oil deals
with the Saudis.
So there we have it. The
world’s largest installer of
solar-power equipment has
linked up with the world’s
largest exporter of petro-
leum in a relationship that
feeds the insatiable appetite
of the former for black gold
and of the latter for gifts of
infrastructure that ultimately
benefit both.
What does this mean for
the rest of us? Saudi Arabia,
a longtime political ally of
the West, has diversified its
economic interests, open-
ing up bilateral trade in
Chinese currency and mov-
ing away from the U.S. dol-
lar. Political interests tend to
follow closely behind eco-
nomic ones.
Some would rightfully
argue that the United States
and its allies might soon
be distancing themselves
from the Saudis economi-
cally anyway, as the U.S.
moves toward energy inde-
pendence. What hasn’t been
given careful consider-
ation is what would fill that
vacuum left by the West,
and what the likely con-
sequences would be if it’s
filled by China.
Join us next time, when
Russia shows up on China’s
doorstep with red roses and
a jealous Iran tries to run
down Saudi Arabia in the
parking lot.
© 2015 Tribune Content
Agency, LLC.
Opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and
are not necessarily shared by the Editor or The Nugget Newspaper.