Despite the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, on Thursday, March 19 a politically unbalanced Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the Jordan Cove Energy Project and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline over the objections of numerous state, federal, and local stakeholders and decision makers (details here.)
Shortly after the FERC decision on Thursday, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) issued a statement on Thursday, explaining his opposition to the project:
“A few days ago, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell stacked the decks when yet another Republican commissioner was confirmed to FERC, leaving the Commission unbalanced. This is despite current law that says the FERC should be an independent and bipartisan commission. Today, a stacked and incomplete FERC approved the controversial and complicated Jordan Cove project. There was no rush. A balanced and full FERC should have made the decision. If that’s not bad enough, the Commission has decided to disregard local private property rights and environmental concerns identified by Oregonians. Both shortcomings and additional ones have been documented in the strong objections to the Jordan Cove project by three Oregon state regulatory agencies. All this adds up to a clearly rigged process designed to advance Trump-McConnell corporate interests over Oregonians. All these violations are contrary to everything the Oregon Way stands for – fairness, transparency and accountability. I now have to oppose this project.”
Senator Ron Wyden now joins Senator Jeff Merkley, Representative Peter DeFazio, Oregon State legislators Senator Jeff Golden, Senator James Manning, Senator Michael Dembrow, Representative Pam Marsh, Representative Tawna Sanchez, and the Jackson County Commissioners in opposing the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline.
Also, after the FERC decision on Thursday Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who has remained neutral on the project and has previously committed that the Jordan Cove LNG project must meet all state requirements for the protection of Oregon’s citizens and natural resources, issued a clear statement about FERC’s decision:
“I want to reiterate that I will not stand for any attempt to ignore Oregon’s authority to protect public safety, health, and the environment. I have asked the state’s lawyers to consider all appropriate legal action to assure that Oregon permitting processes will be followed. And let me be clear to the concerned citizens of Southwest Oregon: Until this project has received every single required permit from state and local agencies, I will use every available tool to prevent the company from taking early action on condemning private property or clearing land.”
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) expressed his opposition to the Jordan Cove LNG project in a 2017 guest opinion titled “Create jobs without jeopardizing our future,” stating:
“Jordan Cove will contribute massively to pollution that is profoundly damaging our state and our world. Generations from now, our grandchildren will wonder why we continued to burn fossil fuels when the catastrophic consequences were so evident. Thus, it becomes clear that we have to shift from building large-scale fossil fuel infrastructure, including Jordan Cove, and instead invest massively in building the enormous backlog of infrastructure projects that will improve our state and nation, not damage it.”
Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-4) added his voice to those opposing the project in 2019, explaining:
“I do not support the Jordan Cove LNG terminal for the following reasons: The federal approval process is run by unelected political appointees, the project tramples on private property rights, and it will exacerbate the urgent and immediate threat of climate change.”
Oregon State Senator Jeff Golden (SD 3) and Oregon State Representative Pam Marsh (HD 5), decried the timing of FERC’s decision, noting Friday:
“[Jordan Cove LNG] has repeatedly failed to secure necessary approvals from Oregon state agencies. In the wake of outright denials and objections from the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Land Conservation and Development, Pembina withdrew their application to the Division of State Lands just before it would have been rejected. The fact is that on multiple fronts, the Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector Pipeline proposal falls dramatically short of the minimum environmental standards that guide Oregon’s decisions on natural resources…We will stand with Oregon state officials in taking every lawful step to prevent that from happening. And we will continue to stand with tens of thousands of Oregonians ready to take every lawful step to ensure that the Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector Pipeline project is never constructed.”
The Jackson County Commissioners have long opposed the Jordan Cove LNG project and sent detailed concerns to the Oregon Department of State Lands in 2019:
“The Jackson County Board of Commissioners is unanimously opposed to the Jordan Cove Pipeline project. The proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline has not been adequately planned…”
Communities and individuals across Southern Oregon have opposed the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and fracked gas pipeline for more than 15 years. Tens of thousands of Oregonians from across the political spectrum have worked together to educate our neighbors and decision makers about the irreparable environmental, safety, social, and economic impacts of the project, which would become the largest single-source of climate pollution in the state if built. The State of Oregon has already denied critical state permits that Jordan Cove LNG cannot move forward without, even with FERC’s recent approval.
During this very challenging time and on behalf of the numerous organizations, impacted landowners, businesses, and others who have worked tirelessly to defeat this handout to Canadian fossil fuel special interests, we thank our Oregon leaders for standing up for Oregonians, public and private lands, wildlife, clean water, and our shared climate.
Andrew Napell * Barbara Brown * C2 Cattle Co. * Clarence and Stephany Adams * Craig and Stacey McLaughlin * Frank Adams * John Clarke * Kenneth and Kristine Cates * Linda and Mike Craig * Larry and Sylvia Mangan * Jody McCaffree * Pamela Brown Ordway * Patsy R. and John M. Roberts, Jr. * Ron Schaaf and Deb Evans * Russ and Sandy Lyon * Tammy Bray and John Caughell * Wendy and William McKinley * Jim and Joan Dahlman * Mitzi Sulffridge * Nichols Bros. Inc. * Tim and Natalie Ranker * 350 Corvallis * 350 PDX * Cascadia Wildlands * Citizens For Renewables/Citizens Against LNG * Greater Good Oregon * Hair on Fire Oregon * Institute for Fisheries Resources * Landowners United * Oregon Coast Alliance * Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility * Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition * Oregon Wild * Oregon Women’s Land Trust * Our Land, Our Lives * Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations * Pipeline Awareness Southern Oregon * Rogue Climate * Rogue Riverkeeper * Sierra Club, Oregon Chapter * Stop Fracked Gas PDX * Trout Unlimited * Western Environmental Law Center