We’re In A Hole. Let’s Stop Digging: Prevent fracked gas exports in Oregon
by Guest Blogger
February 4, 2015
This guest blog was written by Lesley Adams of Waterkeeper Alliance in Talent, Oregon. She and thousands of others are working to stop a proposed gas export terminal and pipeline that threaten Oregon’s Coos Bay. Stopping coal and gas export proposals are crucial to the fight for against climate change. You can help! Add your voice here.
The worlds preeminent scientific body on climate change has stated that we have already taken up a huge amount of our global budget for greenhouse gas emissions and we have very little room left if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. This means we must keep roughly 2/3rds of proven reserves of fossil fuels in the ground.
Yet, those who stand to profit more from fossil fuel extraction are furiously trying to dig out as much as they can before climate impacts can no longer be denied and the tides are turned toward renewable energy sources.
One such project is the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) proposal that would construct a 230-mile pipeline to transport fracked gas from the Rocky Mountain states to export from the Oregon coast at Coos Bay.
The Jordan Cove gas export project would make a Canadian gas company filthy rich by bloating the dangerous fracking frenzy at the expense of average Americans. Building the first gas export terminal on the U.S. west coast would accelerate more fracking in the Rocky Mountain States, yet the impacts of increased fracking to feed this export project are not found anywhere in the federal analysis.
Similarly, despite scientific evidence that fracking and methane (natural gas is primarily methane) are contributing significantly to greenhouse emissions, there is nothing in the federal analysis that considers the impacts of this proposal on our climate.
Just like with Keystone XL, the gas company keeps touting the temporary jobs that will be created during construction. We certainly need good jobs, but temporary construction jobs in fossil fuel development are not the answer for a sustainable future. The U.S. should be a leader in shifting us away from fossil fuels and into a robust renewable energy culture. One million dollars of investment in oil and gas development creates 5 jobs. The same amount of investment in solar creates more than 14 jobs.
The project would have tremendous impacts including logging streamside forests, dumping fish-suffocating sediment into waterways that are critical habitat for imperiled salmon, fragmenting important habitat for imperiled wildlife species and extensive dredging in the sensitive Coos Bay estuary. This proposal also creates a wealth of safety concerns, including an export terminal built on a sand spit that is vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis.
Exporting gas form the western U.S. would not only continue our addiction to harmful fossil fuels, but it would harm both the average American and U.S. businesses by raising bills for ratepayers and threatening an American manufacturing renaissance. Today, U.S. manufacturers are putting Americans back to work and creating high-paying jobs due to an abundance of affordable natural gas, which is vastly preferable to sending our energy resources, and jobs, overseas.
And last but not least, hundreds of landowners are being threatened with eminent domain for no public benefit; rather a Canadian company wants to export gas to Asia.
This project is clearly not in the public interest and is only convenient for a foreign-owned gas company to make billions by ballooning the fracking frenzy.
TAKE ACTION: Send a letter to FERC describing how you believe this project is not in our best interest and that there is no public need for it. Together, we can protect our values, our climate, and our waterways from gas exports!