Veresen tries to dodge public opposition with 'Open Houses'

Canadian LNG Company Tries to Dodge Public Opposition to Its Latest Plan to Get Fracked Gas Pipeline Approved

Legally Required “Open House” Announced for Thursday, March 23rd in Medford Veresen, the Canadian corporation that would profit from a fracked gas pipeline through southern Oregon and export terminal at Coos Bay, has a new gambit to bring the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project back from the dead.

The project has been rejected twice by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) – most recently in December 2016. FERC found that the company “failed to demonstrate a need for the project sufficient to outweigh the potential harm to the economic interests of landowners whose property rights might be taken by exercise of the right of eminent domain.”

But now, with a new administration in Washington DC, Veresen has pre-filed for a new application, claiming that because it made some changes in the proposal it is entitled to restart the entire process.

FERC requires that a company hold “open houses” along the pipeline route. Veresen has suddenly announced that those open houses are about to happen on very short notice (see schedule and locations below), obviously hoping that few local residents will hear about the meetings in time. After multiple complaints were filed and wrong information regarding dates was received by landowners, Veresen moved back the dates of the open houses by two weeks. See the new schedule listed below.

“Southern Oregonians have demonstrated, year after year, that we don’t want this pipeline and export terminal,” said Hannah Sohl, director of Rogue Climate, one of the many organizations opposed to the LNG project. “Apparently, this Canadian company thinks it can sneak in and out of town without anyone noticing. But many of us will be there to show we want our federal and state government to encourage good-paying jobs in improving energy efficiency and the expanding clean energy industry, not new fossil fuel projects that hurt us all.”

Veresen’s latest proposal still would…

  • Trample the rights of landowners by threatening them with the use of eminent domain if they don’t let this private company use their land for the pipeline.

  • Threaten nearly 400 rivers and streams.

  • Raise energy prices here at home.

  • Create severe danger of explosions in fire-sensitive areas and the tsunami zone on the coast.

  • Create one of the largest sources of climate-changing greenhouse gas in the state.

  • Disturb tribal territories, cultural resources, and burial grounds.

On Thursday, Feb. 24, at a town hall in Ashland, Sen. Ron Wyden called for a ban on use of eminent domain, or the threat of it, to force landowners to let the pipeline cross their land.

 

The following is the schedule for the “open houses.” Each of them will run from 4p.m. to 8p.m.

 

Tues. March 21st – North Bend

The Mill Casino (3201 Tremont St., North Bend, OR 97459)

Wednesday, March 22nd – Canyonville

SevenFeathers Casino (146 Chief Miwaleta Ln., Canyonville, OR 97417)

Thursday, March 23rd – Medford

Ramada Inn Conference Center (2250 Biddle Rd., Medford, OR 97504)

Friday, March 24th – Klamath Falls

Oregon Institute of Technology (Mt. Mazama Room - 3201 Campus Dr., Klamath Falls, OR 97601)

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