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LNG Pipeline Protesters Pack Environmental Quality Commission Meeting

It may be a few days after Halloween, but climate activists and concerned citizens sure think the proposed Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal is a trick and not a treat. Dozens of protesters, many wearing red as encouraged by protest organizers from 350 Eugene, showed up at the Nov. 3 Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) meeting in Eugene to raise concerns about the energy project that won’t seem to die.

 

In the works since 2010, the Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal, would create a 229 mile pipeline from rural Klamath County to Coos Bay. The pipeline and terminal, which are owned by the Canadian company Veresen, would move fracked natural gas from America’s interior to export markets abroad.

 

The EQC is an oversight board appointed by the governor to direct the work of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Activists are targeting DEQ because the agency will be responsible for issuing water and air pollution permits for the project.

 

Roseburg resident Francis Eatherington, a former conservation director for Cascadia Wildlands and part-owner of property in the path of the pipeline, says the pipeline makes no sense for the people of Oregon. She points out that the company has proposed to use eminent domain to force landowners to allow the pipeline to cross their lands.

 

“It’s incredible that we’re giving America’s gas away to China,” Eatherington says. “Because it’s getting exported it will make our natural gas prices go up, and the profits will go to a Canadian company.”

 

Eatherington called out Sen. Jeff Merkley for failing to oppose the project. She says, “Sen. Merkley has a ‘Keep It in the Ground Campaign’ and he can’t even support our greenhouse gas goals here in Oregon by coming out against these projects.”

 

Paul Howard, a Eugene resident, says he’s opposing the Jordan Cove project because the export terminal, “would be the single most polluting facility in the state” in terms of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emission. He says that Oregon should follow the example of Washington and California and deny permits for coastal pipelines and export terminals.

 

“We don’t need additional fossil fuel infrastructure,” Howard says. “We are weaning ourselves off petroleum as a primary fuel source and moving to wind and solar as an economic necessity, let alone the climate change impacts.”

 

Multiple Coos Bay fisherman also raised concerns over the impact additional dredging for gas tankers would cause to the fishery many rely on for business in Coos Bay.

 

Mirinda Hart of Myrtle Creek, a member of the Round Valley Tribe in Northern California, says that resistance to the project has been and will continue to come from water protectors inspired by Standing Rock. Hart, who helped out in the Standing Rock camps, says “it is the ultimate goal and common thread of the resistance that we hope to not get to that point and that the project will be denied again.”

 

“But if we have to mobilize, people will come," Hart said.

 

Rowena Jackson, a member of the Klamath Tribes who lives in Eugene, attended and read a poem in protest of the proposed terminal:

 

"I am Water from Klamath and Crater Lake"

 

Make no mistake

Forever, I refuse to Negotiate

Make no mistake

Forever, I refuse to Relinquish

It is a given to protect, and love our fish

 

For all my relations and next generations

I don't accept Nestle bottled water, in consultations

 

Make no mistake

It was the government's fault, to over allocate

Water is life, corporations excavate

My elders fought hard, near and far, (look Up)

Inter-generational trauma, I nurture my scar

 

Make no mistake

I am water, from Klamath and Crater Lake

I will protect, our Senior water rights

I embrace tribal sacred sites

 

Since time immemorial

Keep it to one burial

RIP my ancestors,

Heads up oppressors and even investors

 

NGO's are everywhere

Headlines here and headlines there

Against the oil & gas pipelines

Klamath Senior Water Rights

Since Time Immemorial and on the sidelines

I am bringing awareness and addressing the highlights

 

Since 1864,

we are still at war

Making calls on water, Just look at the websites

Ancestors are with me as I roll up my sleeves

Stakeholders "hurry! relinquish your water, rights"

Negotiate now! greedy like thief's

 

IN Wells Fargo I divest

Because mother earth and her veins are stressed

 

Canadian Company, Pacific Connector gas pipeline

From bloodline to coastline, it's time to resign!

Pardon me while I  file as an INTERVENOR

I will always oppose you, to keep this land cleaner.

 

It was a headache to intervene

I jumped thru FERCS hoops and in between

Electronic submission accepted

In hopes we are not rejected

 

I hold legal power to appeal

If FERC can’t keep it real

 

Strike 3

I repeat No LNG

 

This is my home

Like the Lava Beds catacomb

 

So I pray for the people

We overcome all this evil.

United we stand

As I raise my hand