For more than 12 years, a Canadian gas company has been trying to force communities in southern Oregon and northern California to accept a fracked gas pipeline through Oregon and the first fracked gas export terminal on the west coast.
The proposed project would construct the 229 mile Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline (PCPL) across private and public land in southern Oregon to export fracked gas from Canada and the Rockies. The pipeline would terminate in Coos Bay of southern Oregon, where the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility would be built to super cool the gas and load it onto tankers.
The pipeline and terminal would trample the rights of more than 600 landowners through the use of eminent domain, disturb tribal territories and burial grounds, threaten 400 waterways including the Rogue and Klamath Rivers, and create the largest sources of climate pollution in the state of Oregon.
By the end of the Obama administration, the project was dead in the water. The requested permit had been denied by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as a result of massive opposition from local residents and a lack of contracts with impacted landowners.
After the 2016 election, Pembina, the pipeline developer, saw a new opportunity and re-applied only weeks after Trump stepped into office. In his first few months in office, Trump’s administration identified Jordan Cove as a priority fossil fuel infrastructure project and has since hand-picked members of the FERC commission to ensure this project, and other ones like it get federal approval, regardless of the social and environmental costs.
Fortunately, even if FERC approves this latest pipeline application, Oregon’s state agencies have the authority to deny state permits and stop the project once and for all due to impacts to Oregon’s waterways, air quality and land.
A diverse and grassroots coalition of youth, indigenous tribes, landowners, conservation groups and social justice organizations from across the region are coming together to stand up against this project. Along the west coast, we need our elected officials and state agencies to stand up for clean water and healthy communities and create a pathway towards clean energy jobs. Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Senator Jeff Merkley—who have both portrayed themselves as having strong stances on the environment and climate action—have so far refused to take action against the project.
Federal and State hearings on the pipeline permits are expected to take place throughout 2018. You can find out more about upcoming hearings and get involved at www.nolngexports.org.