A new fracked gas power plant in Oregon? No way.

The “Perennial Wind Chaser” (Perennial) is a proposed fracked gas power plant located in Umatilla County near Hermiston, Oregon. The facility would include four turbines with a maximum capacity of 415 megawatts. The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) approved the power plant in 2015, before before the serious climate change impacts of methane leaks from fracked-gas production were fully understood. Construction on the facility has been delayed, in part, because the company has not been able to find a purchaser for the power that would be generated by the facility.

If built, this project would be responsible for 1 million tons of pollution per year, making it one of the top 5 largest polluters in Oregon.

Current Status:

Since this project was initially approved in 2015, Oregon now has new goals for limiting greenhouse gas emissions through the new climate change executive order from March 2020, which include carbon offset fees that companies have to pay if building major polluting facilities.

In September—while our state was on fire and thousands of people were losing their homes—Sumitomo Corporation (a subsidiary of one of Japan’s major industrial conglomerates) began prematurely building a road for this project so they could sneak in before their site certificate expired. If they had waited and applied for a new site certificate, then they would be forced to pay newly-enforced carbon offset fees, upwards of $10 million.  Even though the company lacked both a stormwater and an air pollution permit, a buyer for the gas, and a site plan for the facility, two Oregon agencies, the Energy and Facilities Siting Council and the Department of Energy, allowed the Perennial facility to proceed.

Columbia Riverkeeper is now challenging this move in court under the Clean Water Act for Perennial’s failure to obtain a construction stormwater permit.

Take action!

On October 30, 2020, 14 organizations, including 350PDX, sent a letter to Governor Brown and the Oregon Dept. of Energy, demanding they:

  • Terminate Perennial’s permit
  • Launch an investigation into Perennial’s actions
  • Protect Oregon and our climate future.

We need your help to echo these demands by writing to Governor Brown and the DOE today!