Cross-posted from EF! Newswire
Pipeline Resistors Disrupt Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s Inauguration
[SALEM, OR] — Activists with Southern Oregon Rising Tide interrupted Governor Kate Brown’s inaugural State of the State address this afternoon to demand the Governor direct state agencies to deny the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and fracked gas pipeline. Following the Governor’s swearing-in ceremony, the activists unfurled a large banner reading “Hey Kate: Walk your climate talk. Support the frontlines, stop the pipeline.”
At the same time, more pipeline resistors gathered on the front steps of the Capitol building with large banners calling on the Governor to live up to her promises to take strong action on climate change.
“Governor Brown talks a big talk about climate change, but she’s remained silent on the largest fossil fuel proposal in the state and claims it’s a federal decision, not a state decision,” said Alex Budd of Southern Oregon Rising Tide. “Our state has the power to stop Jordan Cove LNG and it’s time our Governor shows up for communities who have been on the frontlines of this project for over 13 years.”
Governor Kate Brown has stated in interviews that Jordan Cove LNG is a federal decision, however, the state of Oregon denied permits and stopped a much smaller LNG export terminal proposed on the Columbia River in 2011. Additionally, the Department of State Lands stopped a coal export terminal by denying the same permit they are currently considering for Jordan Cove LNG in 2014.
If built, the Jordan Cove LNG terminal would become the largest source of climate pollution in Oregon and open up fracked gas exports from the West Coast of the United States. A recent report from the research organization, Oil Change International, concluded that the full lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of the project would be equal to over 15 times the Boardman Coal plant, which is set to be shut down in 2020 because of pollution concerns.
“In our region, hotter, drier summers mean longer and more intense wildfire seasons,” said Zac Wilner, a wildland firefighter from Jackson County. “Governor Brown should know that it is unacceptable to permit any new fossil fuel infrastructure, especially an explosive gas pipeline through Southern Oregon’s most fire-prone forests.”
Just last week, thousands showed up to Department of State Lands hearings across Klamath, Douglas, Jackson, and Coos counties to ask the agency to deny ‘Removal-Fill’ permits for the 229-mile highly explosive gas pipeline and mega-export terminal. The DSL who could issue the permit is overseen by the Oregon State Land Board, which is tasked with denying permits that jeopardize Oregon’s clean water and is headed by Governor Kate Brown. Impacted Tribal members, landowners, students, and more expressed concerns around the project crossing waterways nearly 500 times. Construction of the pipeline would risk the clean drinking water of over 150,000 people in Southern Oregon. The final DSL hearing on Jordan Cove will take place tomorrow, January 15, in Salem at the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, with a rally starting at 4:15pm.
“Our communities aren’t backing down in the face of this project; we will continue to take action to defend water, land, and communities,” said Grace Warner of Southern Oregon Rising Tide.
Southern Oregon Rising Tide is dedicated to promoting community- based solutions to the climate crisis and taking direct action to confront the root causes of climate change. We are based in the mountains and rivers of rural Southern Oregon, with most of our members living on ancestral Takelma land in so-called Jackson and Josephine Counties.