During a presentation before the Rotary Club of Guam, Senator James Moylan explained his decision to not sign a legislative resolution urging the governor to request for a pause in military construction at Northwest Field.
Moylan presented several arguments in support of the military buildup and by extension, the construction of the Live Fire Training Ranges planned in the area.
According to Moylan, the buildup would provide opportunities for new money to be circulated throughout the local economy in the form of federal contracts, job opportunities, and support for local businesses.
“There’s an economic impact if you’re going to halt or you’re going to pause the buildup or the firing range and one of the quotes at that public hearing was the economic fallout was justifiable. Well, I disagree I don’t think it’s justifiable,” Moylan said.
The senator then highlighted the recent $80 million dollar contract between the federal government and Black Construction, which he said was new money being circulated throughout the island, eventually trickling down to residents employed with the local contractor.
However, it was not just the potential economic opportunities which convinced Moylan that the military’s presence has only benefited the island. There is also the time and money spent on protecting the controversial Hayun Lagu.
“If the military wasn’t there to protect the tree we wouldn’t have known it existed. We wouldn’t have taken care of it and it would have been extinct. So from my point of view, I’m glad we have this opportunity to take care of this tree and preserve the culture that way as well,” Moylan said.
He added: “The military is trying to re-establish the tree and make it populate once more. I don’t think our government of Guam could do such a thing. First, we don’t have the money and second, we don’t have the manpower to do that either.”