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Congregation testifies against Jordan Cove

FERC’s own website lists the following areas of FERC’s responsibility. It states that FERC “Ensures the safe operation and reliability of proposed and operating LNG terminals.” The proposed site for the Jordan Cove LNG terminal is right in the middle of a tsunami inundation zone. The state of Oregon’s own geologists are preparing for a major, 9 magnitude, earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone within the time frame of this proposed pipeline and terminal. The potential for catastrophic loss to Southern Oregon’s land and people is significant and should convince the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that FERC cannot ensure Jordan Cove’s safe operation, that the project creates an unacceptable risk, and therefor should not be licensed.

Another area of FERC responsibility states that FERC “Oversees environmental matters related to natural gas and hydroelectricity projects”. We have grave concern that pipeline construction will damage many of the hundreds of streams and two major rivers that it will cross. Many of our communities get their drinking water from this part of the Cascades and this project is a serious threat to those water sources. The possibility of pipeline rupture, significantly higher in an earthquake zone, poses grave environmental concerns which FERC must consider.

The members of our team oppose this pipeline and terminal for other reasons as well. As a UCC Creation Justice Church, we understand the reality of climate change. Depending on whom you believe, Jordan Cove will become either the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Oregon after 2020 or close to it. But no matter the source referenced, the plant will make Oregon more of a climate polluter not less. This is another environmental concern.

Finally, though perhaps outside of FERC’s responsibility, we also feel that it is a serious injustice to allow eminent domain to be used on American citizens so that a Canadian company can move LNG to Asian markets. This was never the intended purpose of eminent domain.

We recognize this project does provide some economic benefits and Pembina has done a magnificent job filling our mailboxes, TV screens, and local newspapers with that picture. But while Pembina denies the risks, FERC is mandated to consider the real and incredibly dangerous safety and environmental risks posed by this project. We believe that FERC should, once again, deny a license for this project.

Peter Ware lives in Medford.