Activists with Rising Tide participated in a day of action across the state of Oregon, urging the state’s highest ranking elected officials to oppose natural gas exports in Oregon.
In Medford, members of Southern Oregon Rising Tide interrupted an address by Senators Wyden and Merkley at a climate change conference this morning. Activists and community members called on the Senators to “walk their talk” on climate change and to take a public stance against the Jordan Cove LNG export project.
The federal legislators were speaking at Our Critical Climate, a two-day climate change summit focused on the impacts of climate change in Southern Oregon. Senators Wyden and Merkley addressed the conference Wednesday morning, touting their opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline, oil drilling in the Arctic, and tax cuts for fossil fuel corporations. Both Senators have refused to take a public stance either for or against the Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove project, which together would export fracked natural gas through Southern Oregon to overseas markets.
Community members have appealed to Wyden and Merkley for more than a year to oppose the fossil fuel project, yet the two continue to sit on the fence and dodge questions about their position. In communities across Southern Oregon, frustration is mounting as the Senators take vocal positions against fossil fuel infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL pipeline and Shell’s Artctic oil drilling but refuse to oppose LNG exports which threaten their own state and constituents.
The Senators continued their speeches after activists with Southern Oregon Rising Tide disrupted the address with banners, but cut their remarks short and refused to take questions from the audience, making quickly for the door instead.
On the other end of the state, activists with Portland Rising Tide held an action urging Governor Brown to oppose LNG at the office of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
One activist, dressed as Kate Brown, delivered a ‘notice of condemnation using state powers of eminent domain’ to the the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) offices in downtown Portland. As ‘Kate Brown’ stated “The legal right of eminent domain is government’s right to take private property for public good. I wouldn’t seize a federal agency office without good reason unlike, for example, FERC’s willingness to give multi-national corporations the power to use eminent domain to build export pipelines for corporate profit. In this case, it is in the clear public good of the state of Oregon to use my power as governor to oppose FERC’s rubberstamping of destructive pipeline projects.”
A broad coalition of Oregonians across the state object to FERC’s September 30th approval of a Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Pacific Connector Pipeline Project and Jordan Cove liquefaction plant in North Bend and to the plans for the Oregon LNG project in Warrenton.
Now, diverse groups of climate justice activists, landowners, and rural residents are turning their attention to the state agencies who would also have to approve LNG projects in Oregon including the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the State Land Board. In 2010, then Governor Ted Kulongoski publicly vowed to stop the federal government from moving forward with a import proposal for the Jordan Cove projecdt and the OR DEQ rejected permits for the north coast LNG project.
Activists are hoping the state leadership will take a similar stance with the current projects. “Our Governor and agencies stood up for Oregon when these were import projects. Now that these are export projects that are even more blatantly intended for corporate interest and not public good, we expect an equally firm stance from state leadership.” said Portland Rising Tide activist Sarah Gould.
Video of the Portland Action: https://youtu.be/d1c7MkMbe5M
For breaking info follow @pdxrisingtide and @sorisingtide on Twitter: #nolng #nolngexports #stopjordancove #nopipelines #floodthesystem.