It’s unbelievable that Jay Inslee did not know his Cabinet and staff members have been in discussions with Riverside Energy CEO Lou Soumas for nearly a year concerning a crude oil and biofuel refinery near Longview, Washington. It’s even more unbelievable that, according to emails, our green governor’s executive director of policy and the state’s director of commerce met with the company’s CEO in a state office in February and Inslee didn’t know about it.
According to a recent editorial, these incidents prove that Inslee lied to reporters when he told them he knew nothing of the project on May 28th. Union-Bulletin.com,
“So does anybody believe Inslee was not briefed on the meetings with Riverside Energy? Of course not. He knew about this project, and in much greater depth, than has been reported by the media. Inslee seems to have purposely misled reporters and the public.
“If Inslee did not want to discuss the matter, which would seem reasonable given the economic and political considerations, he should have declined to comment. Sure, it would have been uncomfortable but that is preferable to lying.
“Now, Inslee and his crew are scrambling to control the damage. They are putting a happy face on the project while trying to distance themselves from being caught in an attempt to deceive.”
As for his excuse, Inslee makes matter worse for himself by making a small—yet very telling—slip-up. Union-Bulletin.com,
“‘So I think I’d probably categorize these as: We’re trying to figure out what they have in mind,’ Inslee said. ‘This does not presage any agreement whatsoever or opposition whatsoever because you have to know what you’re doing.’
“Hmmm, so if, as the governor said, ‘we’ are trying to figure out what Riverside Energy has in mind, doesn’t that imply he was part of ‘we’— and therefore aware of what was occurring?”
Update: The Union Bulletin has since pulled back their editorial. Whatever may be its reason, the question of whether Inslee’s executive director of policy and the state’s director of commerce would actually take on a project that would offend Inslee’s strongest constituency (the extreme “greenies”) without first talking to him remains more than relevant.