by Laurie Dougherty

The Jordan Cove LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) project in southern Oregon would bring natural gas through a 230-mile pipeline from Malin near Klamath Falls to Jordan Cove in Coos Bay.  The gas will be cooled to a liquid at -261 degrees F and loaded on ships for export to Asia. Why should we care here in Salem?

We care about our climate. The liquefaction plant would be the largest single source of climate-changing emissions in Oregon once the coal power plant in Boardman closes in 2020. That doesn’t count gas leaked during production and transmission, or the fuel from 115 huge LNG tankers each year, or combustion emissions at the destination.

We cherish Oregon’s natural beauty. The high-pressure pipeline, prone to leaks and potentially explosive, would cross more than 450 rivers, streams and wetlands.  It would cut a 95-foot wide swath through public and private land, including stands of old-growth forest and critical wildlife habitat.

We respect Native American heritage and the need to honor treaty obligations. In a New York Times Op-Ed Don Gentry, Chairman of the Klamath Tribes, said, “The Klamath people oppose this project because it puts at risk their watersheds, forests, bays, culture, spiritual places, homes, climate and future.”

We want to be good neighbors to affected landowners who are fiercely resisting this project yet face the threat of eminent domain:  Stacey and her husband who bought a derelict piece of property, cleaned it up, planted thousands of trees and now host a herd of visiting elk.  Frances, Director of the Oregon Women’s Land Trust, who said, “We are not an acceptable risk.” Bill, a rancher and Republican from Douglas County writing in the Medford Mail Tribune, “[A]ll I’m trying to do is protect what I already have. And I’ll keep fighting…. Republicans should understand that.”

We know Oregon needs an economy that is healthy and innovative. As Senator Jeff Merkley concluded after long deliberation, in addition to renewable energy jobs, we can “energize our construction economy by building desperately needed drinking and wastewater systems; improved bridges, roads, docks, jetties and rail; electric lines; and rural broadband.”

We think zombies are scary and cruel and this is a zombie project – twice denied permits by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – but it’s back, its backers hoping for a better deal from Trump’s appointees.

We intend to stop it before it starts. Contact us at 350 Salem OR (350salemor.org). We’re part of the statewide No LNG Exports Coalition. Learn how to file comments with state and federal agencies. Rally with us at the State Land Board meeting on June 12. Rally at 9:15 am, meeting at 10. Dept. of State Lands 775 Summer St. NE Salem.

By Laurie Dougherty, Communications Facilitator, 350 Salem OR, local chapter of international climate action organization 350.org