Communities in Oregon and northern California prepare to fight fracked-gas pipeline and terminal for third time

Landowners, Tribes, and community groups are ready to stop the proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline and Jordan Cove LNG export terminal for the third time in 12 years, following yesterday’s announcement by Veresen Inc. that it has filed its permit application for the project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The Jordan Cove LNG export project has been rejected twice by FERC – most recently in December 2016. Last year, FERC found that the potential impacts to communities and landowners along the pipeline route were far greater than any benefits the pipeline would generate.

But now, Veresen has filed a new application, hoping that a new pro-fossil fuel administration in Washington D.C. will overlook the project’s flaws. It submitted a “pre-application” to FERC in February. The application filed this week kicks off the official FERC environmental review process, including public hearings in the upcoming months. The state of Oregon will simultaneously conduct an environmental review process on state permits for this project.

The 235-mile Pacific Connector Pipeline would trample landowner rights, impact Tribal territories, risk polluting more than 400 waterways, drive up energy prices, and create the largest source of climate pollution in the state. Building the LNG export terminal at Jordan Cove would have a devastating effect on the Coos Bay estuary, and on the important fishing and oyster industries in the area.

The Trump administration has openly pushed for the Jordan Cove LNG project, with one White House official saying as early as January of this year the administration would issue permits for Jordan Cove. In response, Sens. Merkley and Wyden called into question the commitment of the administration to a fair and thorough environmental review process.

“We’ve fought this speculative project twice and won, and we will do it again. This Canadian company, emboldened by a change in the political climate, is trying to push this project through once again on the backs of landowners who have been harassed for more than 12 years,” said Deb Evans, a Klamath County landowner who would be impacted by the pipeline. “This is a private corporation asking for the power of eminent domain to export Canadian fracked gas through our property, putting us at risk against our will. It is just plain wrong.”

Even if FERC were to approve the project under the Trump administration, Oregon state agencies have the authority to deny permits. “Gov. Brown and our state agencies have a critical role to play in protecting the waters on which all Oregonians depend,” said Jody McCaffree with Citizens Against LNG “We are counting on our state agencies to stand up for Oregon by denying permits that don’t meet state requirements. This would shut the project down once and for all.”

“We’re asking Gov. Brown to stand up to Trump’s fossil fuel agenda and to put the health and safety of our communities and our climate over the special interests of large out-of-state corporations interested only in short-term profits,” said Hannah Sohl with Rogue Climate. “Our state should be focused on creating good-paying jobs in improving energy efficiency and the expanding clean energy industry, not on new fossil fuel projects that hurt us all.”

“The Jordan Cove LNG project is the only export terminal FERC has ever rejected,” said Susan Jane Brown with the Western Environmental Law Center. “With FERC’s reputation as a rubber-stamp agency, this speaks volumes about how deeply flawed the Jordan Cove LNG and Pacific Connector Pipeline proposal truly is. Additionally, forcing Oregonians to assume risk to their clean water and air so a Calgary-based company can export fracked gas overseas is a terrible deal for America.”

Contacts:
Hannah Sohl, Rogue Climate, 541-840-1065, gro.etamilceugor@hannah

Jody McCaffree, Citizens Against LNG, 541-756-0759, moc.reitnorf@seerffaccm

Deb Evans, impacted landowner, 541-601-4748, moc.liamg@3norbed

Susan Jane Brown, Western Environmental Law Center, 503-914-1323, gro.walnretsew@nworb

Signed by the Coalition to Stop the Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove LNG Terminal including: 

Rogue Climate
Rogue Riverkeeper
Landowners United
Western Environmental Law Center
Cascadia Wildlands
Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition
Center for Biological Diversity
Pipeline Awareness Southern Oregon, Douglas County
Oregon Sierra Club
Stop Fracked Gas PDX
Center for Sustainable Economy
Sustainable Energy and Economy Network
Climate Action Coalition, Portland
Red Earth Descendants
Jordan Cove Resistance, Douglas County
Klamath Riverkeeper
Our Revolution Southern Oregon
350 PDX
Portland Raging Grannies
Hair on Fire Oregon
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Oregon Coast Alliance
350 Salem OR

 

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