For nearly a decade, out-of-state energy speculators have attempted to construct a liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal and pipeline in Coos Bay, which would export fracked gas to Pacific countries. Construction of the Pacific Connector would require a 230-mile long, 95-foot wide clearcut across fire-prone forests and private lands in southwest Oregon to carry fracked gas from the interior west and Canada to the north spit of Coos Bay.
We are representing Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition in preventing this dangerous and environmentally-destructive project from being constructed. The campaign to stop the proposed Pacific Connector fracked gas Pipeline and Jordan Cove LNG export Terminal in southern Oregon is comprised of landowners, businesses, climate and conservation groups, Native Tribes, and concerned residents working together to protect our home from fossil fuel exports. This coalition believes we must move quickly towards a clean energy future.
What's at Stake
The natural gas plant and export terminal would be constructed in Coos Bay on the banks of the estuary. This potentially explosive facility would be located on of one of the most dangerous earthquake and tsunami zones in North America. The construction and operation of the LNG plant would cause extensive damage to the Coos Bay estuary and harm other public uses of these important natural resources. Jordan Cove would also be a significant source of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, pouring more than 30 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year into the atmosphere.
On November 27, 2017, Crag secured a major victory against the LNG plant when Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) found that the developer could not ensure compliance with local land use safeguards for estuaries and tidal lands. Crag challenged local land use approvals issued by Coos County. LUBA found that Coos County had not adequately justified the project’s significant negative impacts to the Coos Bay estuary as well as commercial and recreational fisheris and access to shellfish beds. LUBA also issued a strong statement regarding Coos County’s obligation to include the input of local Tribes during the land use review process.
The pipeline’s proposed route would cross hundreds of miles of Oregon, decimating massive swaths of public, private, and Tribal lands. Through the use of eminent domain, over 300 landowners would lose property and be forced to suffer the consequences of fossil fuel infrastructure right outside their homes. Since 2010, nearly 500 people have been injured and 100 have been killed as a result of pipeline accidents, leaks, and spills; the public safety concern for Oregon residents is unacceptable. Meanwhile, 80 miles of old-growth forests providing imperiled wildlife habitat and serving as critical carbon sinks would be demolished. 50 feet on each side of the pipeline would be forcibly cleared to minimize wildfire risk, yet multiple miles of the pipeline will run through recent wildfire areas. The pipeline’s construction would impact 400 different waterways across the region, polluting the water we drink, destroying critical salmon habitat, and undermining the state’s fishing industry. The pipeline would also cross traditional Tribal lands and burial sites of the Yurok, Hoopa, Karuk, Modoc and Klamath Tribes.
In order to proceed, the LNG plant and pipeline require a water quality certification from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Oregon Governor Kate Brown could deny this permit and prevent this disastrous project once and for all. Our state leaders in Oregon must stand with the people to protect our land, water, climate, and safety.
Jordan Cove has repeatedly been denied federal and state permits, decisions which have consistently been upheld in court. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has twice ruled that a fracked gas pipeline and export project in Southern Oregon, proposed by a Canadian corporation, is not in the public interest. Once in March 2016, and again in December 2016. A report released in January 2018 concludes that the project’s in-state emissions would make it the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon, and a 2018 survey shows that the majority of Oregonians oppose the Jordan Cove LNG Project.
Despite this firm opposition, Pembina, the company proposing the Pacific Connector Pipeline and the Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal, is hoping that the influence of huge campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry in the 2016 elections will push Congress, the White House, and Oregon state agencies to allow this zombie pipeline project to come back from the dead. In December 2016, the former company, Veresen, announced that they planned to try again and in January 2017, started the pre-filing process to ask FERC to consider the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export project again.
Although Jordan Cove will likely apply for permits again, we remain committed to preventing the pipeline and export terminal from ever being constructed.
We have worked with Oregon Shores and diverse conservation groups, Tribes, and local landowners to fight against the development of pipelines and export terminals that would not only re-shape the landscape, but also continue to lock us into a dirty energy economy. We will continue to advise and coordinate with the coalition of more than 20 local, regional, and national groups on campaign strategy, grassroots organizing, and messaging to decision-makers.
Chris Winter and Courtney Johnson are proudly leading our work on this case. Staff Attorney Courtney Johnson shared why preventing the project is so important.
“With the potential to be the largest source of greenhouse gases in the state, this project is totally inconsistent with the state’s climate goals. Hundreds of waterways, wildlife habitat areas, and private property would be impacted. And the gas terminal would be located in the earthquake and tsunami path of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. All of these impacts and more have brought together a variety of individuals and organizations to oppose Jordan Cove.”