Over 60 people lined entrances to the Convention Center to greet attendees of the Portland Business Alliance’s (PBA) Annual Meeting. Signs and leaflets informed members that PBA has endorsed the Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove fracked gas plant in Southern Oregon.
Deborah Romerein, of Stop Fracked Gas/PDX says, “Many business owners I’ve spoken to who have learned of PBA’s position on Jordan Cove and the Pipeline have told me they are appalled and shocked.” The project proposed by the Canadian company, Pembina, was already denied twice by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Approval of the project is expected because the Trump Administration has made it a priority and hand-picked new FERC Commissioners.
The PBA endorses this project largely because of the jobs promised to economically distressed regions in Southern Oregon. But thousands of jobs would be lost in salmon fishing, farming, forestry, clam and oyster harvesting, recreation and tourism. PBA claims 6000 temporary jobs will be created, yet Pembina’s own claim is 455 temporary jobs, the great majority going to out-of-state workers.
PBA claims there will be 175 permanent jobs when the project is completed. Pembina claims 150. Many of the permanent jobs are highly technical and will be filled, again, with out-of-state employees. The experiences of other communities with similar projects show that perhaps just half of the promised permanent jobs have materialized.
Jessie Lopez said he is there because “it is unwise to invest in fossil fuel infrastructure. I’m offended by PBA’s endorsement of this fossil fuel project.”
Oregon cannot afford the price of jobs promised by this project, and we cannot allow this project on our watch. These jobs do not justify harming Oregon’s land, waters, wildlife, and people. This project will only add to the problems of climate destabilization already caused by the burning of fossil fuels, including carbon dioxide and methane.
Glenna Hayes of HOPE says, “I believe businesses in Portland have better intentions than are represented by PBA’s stance on Jordan Cove. Most business owners understand the value of clean sustainable solutions so they can thrive in the future.”
Governor Brown has described climate change as “the biggest threat to Oregon’s environment, our economy and our way of life.” Jordan Cove would become the largest greenhouse-gas- emitter in Oregon after the Boardman coal plant closes in 2020.
Further information about the proposed Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove fracked gas project:
The Cascadia earthquake fault line is just offshore, and the Jordan Cove plant would be built on an ocean sand spit in the tsunami zone. The sand spit will act like liquid during an earthquake, causing the plant to explode, topple and sink. In the event of an earthquake or fracked gas explosion, 16,000 people live in the hazardous burn zone. It is for this reason that Long Beach, CA rejected a proposal for a fracked gas plant and port.
Estimations of greenhouse gas emissions from the Jordan Cove plant include the amount of energy used to extract fracked gas, transport it through the pipeline, cool it, liquefy it and load it onto tankers bound for Asia. These ships are the length of three football fields. Such large vessels would require dredging the Coos Bay channel, decimating the oyster beds and fishing and tourism industries.
The Pacific Connector Pipeline includes a 229-mile fracked gas pipeline that will create over 2000 acres of permanent clearcuts and risk polluting nearly 400 waterways and five major rivers, while desecrating native cultural and burial sites. Pembina will seize private and public land through eminent domain, in the name of public interest.
Links for further information:
Stop Fracked Gas/PDX is a coalition of Portland Metro area activists coordinating with groups in Southern OR who are concerned about climate destabilization caused by the extraction and burning of fossil fuels.
Written by: Deborah Romerein