Letters to the EditorOpinion

Letter: Sorenson has experience as a progressive environmentalist

I met Pete Sorenson in the late 1980s.@@http://petesorenson.com/@@ He was a practicing environmental attorney in a third-floor walk-up office bustling with law students. People were becoming disgusted with the grass-seed agricultural practice of burning harvested fields. Sorenson wrote a “field-burning ban” ballot initiative for us, which did not succeed in gathering enough signatures, but the movement proceeded to get a phase-down bill passed in the state legislature. Sorenson then worked with me and another plaintiff to begin the process of suing the first Bush Administration EPA for not promulgating the Clean Air Act regulation for particulate matter (PM10). The EPA wrote the regulation.@@http://www.epa.gov/pm/[email protected]@

Then in the early 1990s, Sorenson gave me emergency free legal advice over the phone. Seneca timber company workers showed up with heavy equipment claiming they had access through our property to their recently purchased adjacent property. They threatened me with “idle equipment” and “labor time lost” costs, which could be thousands of dollars. Sorenson’s excellent advice absolved me of liability from their threats. My county records search revealed that Seneca and all timber companies had been prohibited from using our road access.

My confidence and admiration for Sorenson continued to grow after another Clean Air Act action. Sorenson may not remember, but I then encouraged him to run for public office. He has continued to stand for scientifically sound environmental principles and not deceive citizens as to what they are.

I do not know Andy Stahl as well. I did vote for him when he ran for Crow/Applegate/Lorane school board. Since this is the only elected office he has held, and he lost his bid for re-election, one wonders if this is a rousing endorsement.

My question for Stahl is this: if you aspired to the Board of Commissioners as an environmentalist and progressive democrat, why didn’t you run against Faye Stewart when you lived in our district? Why run against a fellow progressive environmentalist who has a long and outstanding record?

Jan Nelson
Eugene resident

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