Letters to the Editor

Profits are not the issue when Phillips 66 plan has so many risks

During the SLO County Planning Commission meeting May 16, Commissioner Jim Irving stated that he understood that the Phillips 66 request for a permit was about profits. He then asked, “What’s wrong with profits?” The answer, of course, is “nothing” … unless those who are taking the profits are harming “us.”

The Planning Commission is in place to protect the public interest. Most of the time, this refers to the San Luis Obispo County public. Now, however, the health and safety — the public interest — of many communities is in the hands of the SLO County Planning Commission. Like it or not, commissioners, you find yourselves in a position of tremendous and powerful responsibility.

It is unseemly to be anything but extremely serious about this issue. You are required to acknowledge the huge responsibility in which you find yourselves.

Ordinarily, land-use concerns affecting the Nipomo Mesa would be paramount … dust, views, noise, etc. These concerns, though valid, pale in comparison to this: a milelong, milewide blast zone traveling the length of our state on antiquated rails and bridges, three times a week.

Your decision is more important than usual. Please treat it that way.

Profits are not the issue.

Steve Pax, San Luis Obispo