Whenever traveling in Oregon, we’re struck by news about the counterproductive economic policies the state — and sometimes, its voters – pursues to be fair and green, green and fair. The pay-off is a broken state budget and joblessness.

But sometimes the news is good for industry, employment and the economy, and it’s only fair to note those occasions, too. The Coos Bay World includes two such reports on its front page today.

Company Acquires Westport“:

The recent acquisition of a company exploring methane in Coos Bay coalbeds indicates renewed interest in a dormant project.

Last Friday, Carbonics Capital Corp. announced its purchase of Westport Energy LLC — a company that has been leasing about 104,000 acres in the Coos County basin. Carbonics, based in New York, became the third company to invest in the county’s potential to produce natural gas from coalbeds.

In 2003, Methane Energy Corp. identified the basin as a hotbed for methane activity with about 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas in deeply-buried coalbeds — enough to supply Coos County for 6,000 years.

And, “Train track funding hits crossroads“:

REEDSPORT — $7.8 million: Port officials think it’s enough to restore rail service to the South Coast by spring 2011.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski announced that the state would award them that much Wednesday morning at American Bridge Manufacturing — a company that has committed to using the rail — in Reedsport.

Georgia Pacific in Coos Bay and Southport Lumber Products LCC in North Bend also have said they will use the rail service, which closed in September 2007 due to unsafe tunnels. The mills have had to truck materials since then.

American Bridge Manufacturing produces large bridge components at its Reedsport, Ore., plant, huge metal pieces that move much more cost-effectively on rail than truck. More at The Register-Guard newspaper, “Coos Bay gains rail line grant.” Excellent example of useful infrastructure investment.

Farther up the Oregon Coast, there’s even more good news supporting jobs and a competitive manufacturing economy, “Clatsop County approves LNG pipeline.”