Cheers and jeers

Cheers — to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for agreeing to extend the public comment period for the proposed liquefied natural gas pipeline from Malin to Coos Bay. A permit to import gas was withdrawn when the company announced it intended to export gas instead.

Regardless of the advisability of running gas through a 3-foot-diameter pipe under rivers and through forest land and private property, reversing the flow and exporting a vital energy resource deserves deliberate and careful consideration.

Jeers — to the Republican Party, which chose "We Built It" as the Tuesday night theme of its national convention in Tampa, Fla. The name is taken, of course, from an out-of-context quote of President Obama's poorly phrased statement that business success depends on government-funded education, services and infrastructure. Just a few problems with the GOP's theme: First, the Tampa Bay Times Forum, site of the convention, was constructed with $86 million in taxpayers' money, 62 percent of the total cost. Another problem: The GOP — and the Democrats — each received grants of $18,248,300 through the Presidential Election Campaign Fund for their conventions. The money comes from 33 million taxpayers who direct $3 to the fund on their federal income taxes. Each convention also gets $50 million in federal grants for convention security.

Cheers — to REI, which is opening a Medford store soon, for putting its money and its employees to work in the outdoors, where its customers use its products.

REI donated $10,000 each to Lomakatsi Restoration Project for a Bear Creek cleanup effort and to the Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association for trail restoration. Then it dispatched new employees to work on the creek on their first day on the job. Employees will spend another day on another stretch of the creek next month.

Cheers — to another government grant, this one to repair the historic McKee Covered Bridge over the upper Applegate River. The bridge has been closed to pedestrians since last fall because of safety concerns. The McKee Bridge Historical Society has agreed to raise $59,000 locally to contribute to the $550,000 estimated cost.

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