One Company Profits, The Rest of Us Lose

The Jordan Cove Fracked Gas Pipeline Proposal: One Company Profits, The Rest of Us Lose

Out-of-state energy speculators want to build the Pacific Connector pipeline across public and private lands in Jackson County and many other communities to transport at least 1.2 billion cubic feet of fracked gas per year from Canada and the Rockies to Coos Bay, where it would be shipped overseas from a giant new terminal. Veresen, a Canadian energy company would make massive profits, while the rest of us would pay the price. 

Trampling on farmer and landowner rights. If landowners along the pipeline route don’t accept a small, one-time payment for permanent use of their land for the pipeline, the government will grant Veresen the power of eminent domain to force them to anyway. After 13 years, Veresen still has less than 35% of contracts with landowners.   

Threats to traditional tribal territories. Cultural resources, traditional tribal territories and burial grounds are threatened by both the the pipeline route and the export facility. The Karuk, Yurok, and Klamath Tribes have all passed resolutions opposing the pipeline. 

Huge backward step on climate. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, exporting natural gas from the US to Asia could end up being worse from a greenhouse gas perspective than if China simply built a new power plant and burned its own coal supplies. The terminal would also become one of the largest sources of climate pollution in the state. Fracking wells that would supply this project have been documented to leak substantial amounts of methane – a powerful greenhouse gas that can make natural gas projects worse than coal in a 20-year timeframe.

Serious safety risk. LNG facilities and natural gas pipelines are highly explosive. For example, in 2014, the Plymouth LNG facility in Washington exploded, injuring workers and forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate their homes. The Jordan Cove terminal would be built in a region vulnerable to tsunamis, while the pipeline, full of high-pressure gas, would pass through an area with a high risk of wild fires.

Higher energy prices.  Exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) “puts pressure on prices and that wouldn't be good for consumers,” according to Avista Senior V.P. Jason Thackston in 2014.

Threats to existing jobs and businesses. The pipeline will affect farms and fishing businesses as it disturbs more than 400 waterways and damages salmon and steelhead habitat.  “Horizontal Directional Drilling” would happen under the Klamath, Rogue, Umpqua, and Coquille Rivers, threatening our rivers with pipeline drilling accidents called “frack outs.” 

Major local impacts, few jobs. More than 1,000 temporary residents from outside our communities will descend on the region during the construction phase. Corporate CEOs promise that dozens of jobs will remain after construction, but history has proven that such promises are rarely kept.

Junk science. An environmental impact statement by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the last proposal was labeled “incoherent” by the Oregonian, especially since it left out the climate impact of fracking, transporting, and liquefying the gas. The environmental review is nowhere near complete, with impacts to water quality, wetlands, and endangered species never having been fully analyzed by state and federal agencies, in part due to the company’s refusal to provide key information on time. 

Clean energy development creates far more jobs than fracked gas.  Each dollar invested in clean energy creates two to seven times as many jobs as spending that dollar on fossil fuels. Businesses, elected officials, and community residents in the Rogue Valley have been working together to speed our transition to cleaner energy like solar and to greater energy efficiency. This project threatens all the progress we are making.

Veresen has been throwing money around to try to gain the support of elected officials. Our elected officials need to hear from us. Urge Gov. Brown, Sen. Wyden, and Sen. Merkley to:

 1) Oppose this project.

2) Help speed our transition to cleaner energy and greater energy efficiency.

3) Bring together federal, state, business, labor, and community leaders to spur sustainable jobs for people who already live on the coast and in other parts of Southern Oregon.

Their numbers are: 

Governor Brown: (503) 378-4582

Senator Merkley:  (202) 224-3753

Senator Wyden: (202) 224-5244


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

PRESS RELEASE: Legally Required “Open House” Suddenly Announced for Thursday, March 9 in Medford

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Gov. Brown, Sen. Merkley, Sen. Wyden: Stand Up Against Trump's Fossil Fuel Agenda in Oregon

Dear Governor Brown, Senator Merkley, and Senator Wyden:

As you know, Donald Trump has an energy agenda that includes support for fossil fuel lobbyists’ projects like the Keystone, Dakota Access, and Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector pipelines instead of investment in clean energy jobs and energy efficiency.

As Senator Merkley eloquently said in response:

“The proposed Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines have inspired unprecedented grassroots opposition, and for good reason: they would turn on the tap to the dirtiest fossil fuels in the world while threatening drinking water. This executive order is a slap in the face to our tribes and to every American who cares about clean water or a livable planet. Instead of using his power to try to ram these damaging pipelines through, Trump should listen to the voices of the millions who have expressed deep concern about the lasting negative impact these projects would have on our nation.

If President Trump wants to advance infrastructure projects to create jobs—and I certainly believe there are a tremendous number of roads, highways, bridges, levees, and power lines that need to be repaired and improved—I invite him to take a look at the comprehensive infrastructure investment package Senate Democrats released today. The Senate Democrats’ package would create many times more jobs while investing in the infrastructure our communities actually need.”

Under the Obama administration, the federal government denied permits for the Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. We will now need the support of Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden to ensure that that decision is not reversed and that clean energy investment is part of any infrastructure package that emerges from the U.S. Senate.

In addition, we need our state to deny permits for this LNG project and stop allowing an out-of-state corporation to hold landowners hostage and threaten our waterways and climate. We also need Governor Brown to provide active leadership to help create clean energy jobs and put Oregonians to work in creating a clean energy economy.

This is a defining moment for Oregon’s elected leaders. As you saw with the marches this past weekend, grassroots Oregonians are organizing for a bold alternative. We need you to stand up to Trump’s fossil fuel industry agenda, not only in the Midwest but here in Oregon.

Sincerely,

Rogue Climate
Citizens Against LNG 
Rogue Riverkeeper
Pipeline Awareness Southern Oregon
Douglas County Global Warming Coalition
Umpqua Watersheds
Oregon Women’s Land Trust
Southern Oregon Pachamama Alliance
Climate Action Coalition
Onward Oregon
Community Alliance of Lane County
Columbia River Estuary Action Team
350 Corvallis
Sustainable Energy & Economy Network, Center for Sustainable Economy
350 Salem
Raging Grannies Eugene
The Climate Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis


FERC Deals Severe Blow to LNG Project Strongly Opposed by Southern Oregonians

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Denies Rehearing of March 11, 2016 Denial of Permits for Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal and Pacific Connector LNG Pipeline.

The Federal Energy Regulator Commission (FERC) today dealt a severe blow to the Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal and Pacific Connector LNG Pipeline that have been strongly opposed for years by a grassroots coalition of Southern Oregonians.

In today’s action, FERC denied a rehearing of the commission’s March 11, 2016 order that denied permits for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and pipeline.

“Today’s action shows that when Oregonians organize and speak out we can win,” said Hannah Sohl, director of Rogue Climate, one of the organizations involved in a broad coalition opposing the LNG project. “This order puts the public interest over the special interests of large out-of-state corporations interested only in short-term profit at our expense. Our state should be focused on creating good-paying jobs in improving energy efficiency and the expanding clean energy industry, such as solar power, not on new fossil fuel projects that hurt us all. This should be the end of this LNG project but we will have to remain vigilant to ensure that is the case.”

The LNG project would have trampled landowner rights, risked polluting more than 400 waterways, driven up energy prices, and created the largest source of climate pollution in the state.

FERC’s order today noted that the March 11 order found that “Pacific Connector 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.”

FERC policy provides that fairness to affected parties requires that at some point there be a final determination on an application except in “extraordinary circumstances.” Landowners have long complained that their properties have been held hostage for years by the possibility of the pipeline crossing their land through use of eminent domain.

FERC notes in today’s order that “Pacific Connector had every opportunity to demonstrate market need.  Nevertheless, it failed to do so over a three-and-a-half year long period, despite the issuance of four data requests by Commission staff seeking such information.  As a result, we do not find that Pacific Connector’s request to reopen the record to file precedent agreements at this late date rises to the level of extraordinary circumstances that would overcome our need for finality in the administrative process.  Pacific Connector’s request to reopen the record is denied."

The FERC Denial is linked here. 


Jackson County Commissioners oppose proposed LNG pipeline after 700 local residents sign petitions and many comment at commission meetings

The Jackson County Commissioners have sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking the agency to uphold its decision to deny Jordan Cove/Pacific Connectors application to build a 232-mile pipeline through southern Oregon to export fracked gas from a terminal at Coos Bay.

Veresen and Williams, the out-of-state companies that would stand to profit from the proposed project, have asked FERC to reconsider its denial that was issued March 11.

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