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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
CONSTITUENTS SITTING IN OREGON GOVERNOR KATE BROWN’S OFFICE, REFUSING TO LEAVE UNTIL GOVENOR OPPOSES JORDAN COVE FOSSIL FUEL PROJECT
[Salem, OR] – Enough is enough. This is a crisis. Today, 10 impacted individuals began peacefully sitting in Governor Kate Brown’s office in the Oregon State Capitol Building, quickly joined by 65 more for a total of 75. The sit-in began after hundreds of Oregon and northern California residents entered the Oregon State Capitol Building singing “we have got the power, it’s in the hands of us all.” Allies in the capitol’s rotunda displayed a banner with all the watersheds impacted by Jordan Cove LNG over the Oregon State seal on the floor of the rotunda. The rural landowners, tribal members, and others along the proposed pipeline route are urging the Governor to publicly oppose the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline, which would damage four southern Oregon counties–and contribute to climate change. They want her to take a stand before the Federal Government issues a decision on the ill-advised project in February. The sit-in comes less than a week after the U.S. government issued a weak final environmental impact statement for the project, underlining the critical role that the State of Oregon must play in denying the project.
Governor Brown has said she wants Oregon to be a leader in climate policy. Keeping silent on a project that would become the state’s largest climate polluter is absolutely incompatible with “climate leadership.” The era in which natural gas, which is largely derived from fracking, could be considered a “bridge fuel” is long past. Scientists around the world agree fossil fuels must be phased out completely and quickly.
The sit-in was led by people living in communities directly impacted by the 229 mile-long fracked gas pipeline and export terminal, including former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury. Others quickly joined, taking seats inside the office in solidarity with the community members who began the sit-in.
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During the sit-in, people are singing, writing letters to Governor Kate Brown, and telling stories about how their homes and the places they love would be hurt by the project.
“It’s so clear to me that the Jordan Cove energy project in Coos Bay makes absolutely NO SENSE. It risks the safety of about 25,000 citizens while employing less than 200 people AND makes global warming worse for every resident of our planet,” said former Secretary of State and Coos County Resident, Bill Bradbury. “Helping a Canadian corporation make money while jeopradizing our citizens is just plain stupid. They don’t allow it in the state of California, they don’t allow in the state of Washington – we shouldn’t allow it in Oregon – just say NO!”
“The Jordan Cove LNG facility, pipeline, and tankers pose big risks to me, my family, and the lives and property of my friends and thousands of local residents,” says former Department of State Lands employee and Coos County resident, Mike Graybill. “I am taking action today to urge Governor Kate Brown to step up and take a position of opposition to this project. Oregon could and should invest in a future for Coos Bay that does not threaten so many people’s lives and negatively impact existing businesses and residents.”
“My husband and I have lived on our ranch for the past 29 years working extremely hard to create and live our dream. We raised our son here, teaching him to respect the land, its people and its incredible natural resources. For 15 of those years, we have been fighting the proposed gas pipeline which a fossil fuel corporation has chosen our land to cross and seize it from us by eminent domain,” said Sandy Lyons, an impacted landowner and rancher in Days Creek. “I am here today because we have tried every possible way to be heard and want somehow to gain the Governor’s attention to how wrong this is and the negative ways in which it will permanently scar us and our land.”
“We need to be ending our dependence on fossil fuels. And not criminalizing water protectors that are defending the sanctity of Oregon’s lands and waters,” said Thomas Joseph II, Hoopa Tribal Member and co-founder of California Kitchen. “Let’s not do Standing Rock again, lets create something new. Indigenous Knowledge is vital in this transition.”
“I live in Klamath County and this is a terrible deal for us. We would bear all of the environmental and safety risk so others could profit. Southern Oregon is not a sacrifice zone,” says Emma Marris, an environmental writer from Klamath Falls. “All Oregonians should be demanding this project be stopped. I could not look my children in the eyes unless I took this stand today.”
“As impacted landowners, my husband and I have been fighting the Pacific Connector Pipeline for over 10 years,” said Camas Valley resident Kris Cates. “We are concerned about the use of eminent domain to acquire an easement through our forested property. However, more importantly we feel a need to protect the environment for future generations, including our own grandchildren.”
“Today I stand with Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women,” said Onna Joseph, Yurok Tribal Member. “We are know pipelines bring man camps that pry on our communities and we need to stop the fracked gas pipeline today. Governor Brown please stand with Indigenous women and stop the Jordan Cove Terminal and LNG Pipeline.”
“I am here on behalf of every Oregonian whose air and water is threatened by this project,” said Southern Oregon University Student, Laura Burke. “I am here because the exploitation of public lands and resources is immoral and must be stopped within this decade. I am here because I have my whole life ahead of me and the decisions made today will directly impact the quality of that life.”
“I am here because of my spiritual commitment to live by the golden rule — do for others as you want them to do for you. A modern version is, do for the next generation what you would want done for your generation. In this era of climate emergency that means we must stop pouring climate pollution into our atmosphere,” said Caren Caldwell, retired Clergy and Jackson County resident. “Jordan Cove LNG, if built, would be the largest polluter in Oregon, and must be stopped now.”
In order to enrich a Canadian fossil fuel corporation, the Jordan Cove LNG export project would trample the private property rights of private landowners, harm the traditional territories and treaty-protected cultural resources of local Tribes, put hundreds of waterways and the drinking water of over 150,000 people at risk, threaten jobs in fishing and crabbing, pose a new major wildfire risk, and become the single largest source of climate pollution in Oregon.
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 stolen Takelma land.