Calling on Governor Kate Brown to oppose the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export facility and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, a group of ‘raging grandmothers’ and youth activists held an intergenerational sit-in protest inside the Governor’s office in Salem on Monday, October 19. Members of the Raging Grannies of Oregon, Southern Oregon Rising Tide, 350.org Eugene, and Cascadia Forest Defenders came together at the Oregon state capitol building with songs and art urging Brown to speak out against the project.
Intergenerational activists of many ages stormed into Kate Brown’s office this morning and set up a tea party with “the governor”. Sipping tea, they discussed the way different generations perceive the climate crisis, and what hopes for the future as both young and old climate activists.
They talked with “Kate Brown” about the myriad environmental and social problems with the LNG pipeline, and asked her to use her power as Governor to oppose the project. Grannies told young activists that it was their future that is on the line, and the young people asked grannies how older generations see their role in fighting the climate crisis. The tea party ended with a toast to intergenerational climate justice activism and a better future.
“As grandmothers we want to leave a better world for the generations to come, and inspire work to restore communities, ecosystems, and watersheds that we all depend on,” says Peg Morton, a member of Eugene Raging Grannies.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is considering approval of the Jordan Cove LNG export project to export fracked gas through a proposed 232 mile pipeline from Malin in Klamath County to Coos Bay. The proposal would be the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the state. Many are looking to Governor Brown for leadership in opposing the project, as Governor Kulongowski did in 2010 when the State of Oregon challenged FERC’s approval of Jordan Cove’s original import proposal.
“We’re here today because we’re not backing down in the fight against climate change,” says Deb McGee of 350Eugene. “We need Governor Brown to join us in standing up to fossil fuel corporations and LNG exports. We need Governor Brown to stand up for our communities, rivers, wildlife and forests.”
The proposed LNG project would export gas from the Rockies and parts of Canada, where groundwater contamination is a well-cited consequence of fracking operations. On the west coast, the project threatens Coos Confederated Tribes ancestral lands and cultural sites, would cross the treasured Pacific Crest Trail, and affect hundreds of sensitive streams and waterways.
“As a young person living in Coos Bay, I see that accelerating climate change with fossil fuel exports does not offer us a healthy future,” says Amanda St.Martin of Southern Oregon Rising Tide. “Half of the jobs Jordan Cove offers will be held by people from out of the state. This project is not a wise economic or environmental choice for our communities.”
“Building a gargantuan export facility fed by more pipelines will drive more fracking and exacerbate climate change,” said Laura Rose of Cascadia Forest Defenders. “Governor Brown has an opportunity to take a real leadership role both in the fight against climate change and in protecting the health of rural communities by publicly opposing this LNG project and others like it.”
Acting in solidarity with the protest at the capitol, activists with the Klamath Justice Coalition in Northern California hung a banner off of a bridge at the confluence of the Klamath and Trinity rivers, highlighting the threat to the Klamath watershed & communities posed by the LNG project.
The protest at the capitol follows Portland Rising Tide’s 10/14 demonstration at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission offices (story here) and Southern Oregon Rising Tide’s interruption of Senators’ Wyden and Merkley’s 10/14 appearance in Medford (story here).