On Sunday, April 29th we commemorated the People’s Climate Movement for Climate, Jobs and Justice with the first in our upcoming series of six Oregon Just Transition Alliance Webinars to highlight the strategies for a Just Transition. This webinar focused on the first key strategy of “End the Bad” which recognizes that we live in an economy that is exploitable of our labor, our resources for the purpose and benefit of a few. As we transition to an economy that encompasses both the need to end the extractive economy and a vision for healthy, thriving, life affirming and connected local economies in its place, we need to include communities and workers in the conversation.
As natural gas continues to be touted as the transition fuel of choice, the industry’s extraction and rush to build infrastructure and its consequences have been coming under increased scrutiny. Natural gas pipelines and compressor stations are associated with specific risks and health problems, which frequently bring the most harm to low income communities and communities of color, who are often given little or no choice about hosting gas infrastructure in their communities in the first place.
We’re excited to build power this month with our friends at Rogue Climate. Allie Rosenbluth, Community Organizer at Rogue Climate, lead us on a deep dive into the nearly decade-long fight to stop the proposed Pacific Connector Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Pipeline and associated Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal in Coos Bay. This “zombie” fossil fuel project, noted for having been determined “not in the public’s best interest” and rejected twice within past four years by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, was redesigned and proposed by Canadian-based Pembina in January 2017. Banking on significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry in 2016 election, Pembina and other pro-project groups including the Portland Business Alliance are hoping to see the pipeline and terminal in service by 2024.
Like most extractive projects, the life-cycle of LNG subject our frontline communities to a host of environmental threats. This 233-mile pipeline running through southern Oregon would critically endanger traditional tribal territories, cultural resources including salmon runs, and burial grounds. The Karuk, Hoopa, Yurok, and Klamath Tribes have all passed resolutions opposing the pipeline. Additionally exporting LNG would raise domestic prices of gas. It’s important to note that utility increases disproportionately impact low income rate payers. The company is promising that anywhere from 1,000-3,000 temporary construction jobs will be created by this project however many of these workers will be from outside of local communities, creating temporary workers camps that have been associated with increased violence on women (especially Indigenous women), crimes, drug usage, and higher rent and costs of living”.
“Say it with me, fracked gas is not a bridge fuel”, Allie remarks. “The gas industry likes to tell folks that we have to rely on fracked gas as a bridge fuel from coal and oil to renewables.”
Say it loud! If you want to join the fight stopping this project follow Rogue Climate and NoLNGExports and sign up to take action here to learn how you can support to stop this project. (@NoLNGExports) Rogue Climate (@RogueClimate)
A report released by Oil Change International details, for the first time, the full accounting of greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the proposed Jordan Cove LNG Export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas Pipeline project in Oregon.
A video of the webinar with subtitles will be posted early next week here as well.