From Colorado to Oregon, activists work to stop LNG Pipeline
Opponents of the more than 200 mile proposed LNG, or Jordan Cove Pipeline, have teamed up with Colorado activists in their latest protest against the project.
On Wednesday, residents from both states met at the Talent Community Center to discuss how the pipeline would negatively affect Oregon and Colorado.
It was part of their 'Jordan Cove: Rocky Mountains to Pacific Coast Tour.'
A grassroots attempt by concerned parties from both states, the tour made stops in Klamath, Jackson and Coos Counties, all of which would include some part of the proposed pipeline.
Pete Kolbenschlag is one of the tour's speakers. A resident of a small agricultural town in western Colorado, he's afraid the pipeline would increase demand for Colorado oil, revving up the industry he believes hurts both the environment and his town's quality of life.
Kolbenschlag said concerns would deepen in southern Oregon if the pipeline goes through. Headed by Canadian energy company Pembina, the project would dig through nearly 400 waterways and tunnel under five major rivers.
"Oil and gas development, from when they take it out of the ground, to when they put it in the pipeline... there's climate impacts along that whole chain," he said.
Oil transported through the pipes would then ultimately be exported to foreign markets, primarily in Asia. Once completed, the 3-foot diameter pipeline would have the capacity to carry one billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Concerned environmental activists, affected landowners and tribal members submitted 43,000 comments to the Department of Environmental Quality during the agency's public comment period, which ended August 21.
"Clearly it shows that there are a lot of people that really don't think this is a good idea for Oregon," said Kolbenschlag.
The DEQ is now asking Pembina to to submit additional information on how the pipeline could "affect beneficial uses of ground and surface water" by October 7.
Over the next year or two, they expect to see additional permit applications from the company. At that time, the agency said it will likely hold additional public comment periods, along with informational meetings.
Until then, proponents of the LNG pipeline vouch for the economic growth Pembina promises would accompany their project.
That supposedly includes thousands of temporary and permanent jobs in Oregon, plus millions of dollars in property tax revenue.
Regardless of those promises, Ashland Resident Elizabeth Hallet said her support can't be bought.
"Jobs and revenue are nothing compared to our Mother Earth. Nothing," she said. "They're very very temporary, but the earth is going to roll on."