A wide range of grassroots voices opposed to the Jordan Cove fracked gas pipeline and export terminal will be heard as the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) today opened a 60-day public comment period for Jordan Cove’s Removal-Fill permit.
During this time, DSL will hold public hearings in Klamath Falls, Central Point, Canyonville, North Bend, and Salem.
- Klamath County: Monday, January 7, 5:30-8PM, Klamath Falls Community College
- Jackson County: Tuesday, January 8, 5:30-8PM, Jackson County Expo
- Douglas County: Wednesday, January 9, 5:30-8PM, Seven Feathers Casino
- Coos County: Thursday, January 10, 5:30-8PM, The Mill Casino
- Salem: Tuesday, January 15, 5:30-8PM, Department of State Lands Building
DSL is one of several state agencies that can stop the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and high-pressure Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline. DSL has the power to deny the permit needed for dredging related to the project. A decision from DSL is expected no later than March 2019.
DSL is overseen by the Oregon State Land Board, made up of Governor Kate Brown, State Treasurer Tobias Reed, and Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. Under Oregon law, DSL has the authority to deny permits for projects that are not consistent with the protection, conservation, or best use of Oregon’s waters and that unreasonably interfere with navigation, fishing, or public recreation.
“Jordan Cove would provide short-term profit to a Canadian corporation while Oregonians would pay the price in risks to our rivers, drinking water, climate and local economy. We need Governor Brown and our state agencies to stop this project and help our state transition to clean energy instead,” said Hannah Sohl, director of Rogue Climate, a community organization based in Medford.
The permit under consideration by DSL would allow Pembina Pipeline Corp., the Canadian fossil fuel corporation behind the Jordan Cove LNG proposal, to excavate millions of cubic yards of materials from Oregon wetlands and waterways to export fracked gas overseas. This proposal would impact more than 485 waterways including the Coos, Coquille, Umpqua, Rogue, and Klamath rivers, while dredging activities in the Bay would hurt jobs in commercial oyster beds and sensitive fisheries.
The project is opposed by a broad coalition that includes landowners, existing small businesses that would be impacted, native tribes, health professionals, climate action and water quality advocates, and more.
“This project would re-shape Coos Bay, increasing tsunami risk to communities and threatening commercial fisheries,” said Stacey Detwiler of Rogue Riverkeeper. “Damming, dredging, and digging below more than 485 rivers and streams along the pipeline route, including the Rogue, puts our clean water at risk. We urge DSL to stand up for Oregonians and clean water by denying this permit.”
DSL also has the authority to deny the permit based on impacts to public health and safety. Dredging out Coos Bay will allow more water to move more quickly in the event of a tsunami, increasing risks to local communities. The export terminal would put thousands of Coos County residents in a hazardous burn zone, while the gas pipeline would cross some of Oregon’s most fire-prone forests. Just this October, a similar 36-inch diameter fracked gas pipeline exploded in British Columbia, starting a large wildfire and forcing the evacuation of nearby First Nations families.
“As a wildlands firefighter, I’m calling on Oregon Department of State Lands to reject the Removal-Fill permit for Jordan Cove. If you thought the fires of the last few years were bad, think about what could happen with a major gas line in the middle.” said Clarence Adams, who is also a landowner in the proposed route of the high pressure fracked gas pipeline. “The risks of the project sit on the backs of landowners both on and adjacent to the pipeline who will pay the price with our safety, property values, and drinking water security.
Hannah Sohl, firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-840-1065
Stacey Detwiler, email@example.com, 541-488-9831