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No LNG Export Campaign Gains Momentum

April, 2015

Since 2006, people have been fighting the Jordan Cove Energy Project proposed for southern Oregon. Proponents of this project want to build a 230-mile long, 36” pipeline from Malin to Coos Bay Oregon to transport fracked gas (liquid natural gas—LNG) from the Rockies to Oregon’s coast to then be liquified and shipped overseas to Asia. The pipeline route would clear a 95’ wide swath through public and private forests, cross 400 rivers and streams in the Klamath, Rogue, Umpqua, Coquille and Coos River watersheds. All told those watershed crossings would excavate more than 6 million cubic yards of wetlands, streambeds along the pipeline route and from Coos Bay itself.

In addition to the obvious environmental impacts, this project would utilize eminent domain to seize private property for corporate gain, and raise our gas rates here at home by sending America’s resources overseas. Recently, the Oregonian reported that this project, if built, would quickly become the largest greenhouse gas emitter in Oregon, which goes against all efforts the Governor, and other state leaders have proposed to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Accounting for methane leakage at the fracking drill sites, Jordan Cove would result in 57 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year, a huge step backwards in the fight against climate change! The Jordan Cove project is not in the best interest of Oregon and its citizens.

A groundswell of opposition
In November 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released the long anticipated Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Jordan Cove project opening up a 90-day comment period on what they consider the environmental impacts of this project. Even a brief scan of the 5,000 page document, clearly showed that several elements have been left out of the overall impact list and that many of the inevitable impacts will not be properly avoided or handled.

Public hearings were held in all four impacted counties and turnout was huge! In Jackson county over 300 people stuffed themselves into a room that only sat 100. Nearly 70 comments were given with 85 percent of them being against the project. No LNG hats and buttons were visible throughout the room and the energy was high and heated. Local media captured the event and it became clear that southern Oregon does not want this project.

In January 2015, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) held a public meeting to allow citizens to ask questions regarding the impacts to public waterways along the pipeline route. Nearly 350 people attended this meeting and again energy was heated and high. Turn out for this meeting was a great success and means a lot as the DEQ is the state agency that has authority over whether to issue the water quality certificate required for Jordan Cove to move forward. The DEQ is responsible for evaluating all impacts to waterways affected by this project and will be paying close attention to how the impacts may violate Oregon’s water quality standards under the Clean Water Act.

But the fight is far from over!
Over the next year there will be more opportunities to speak up, submit comments, rally in opposition and defend southern Oregon from corporate interests and fossil fuel exports. Please contact us for important dates and events and to get involved! You voice and engagement is crucial and the time is now. Email or call our campaign organizer at sarah@rogueriverkeeper.org or 541-488-9831.