The proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and Pacific Connector gas pipeline in Oregon would release the equivalent of 36.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, without offsetting even dirtier fossil energy sources in Asia, Oil Change International concludes in a briefing released last week.
The project would exceed emissions from the state’s last remaining coal plant, Boardman Coal, more than 15-fold, Oil Change notes. Oregon is retiring Boardman in 2020 due to climate and air quality concerns, but the new project would put Governor Kate Brown’s greenhouse gas reduction targets out of reach.
“The facts show that Jordan Cove will increase global emissions, as it will increase the flow of fracked gas to world markets and undermine the clean energy transition,” said lead author and Oil Change Senior Research Analyst Lorne Stockman. “The emissions associated with this project would dig a substantial hole, undermining Oregon’s efforts to lead on climate action.”
“Communities across Oregon and northern California have been fighting this fracked gas project for over a decade,” added Hannah Sohl, Director of Rogue Climate. “It’s time that Governor Brown stands with our communities and stops Jordan Cove for good by utilizing her role on the Oregon State Lands Board, or by directing state agencies to deny vital permits for the project.”
Sohl added that, “while the Trump administration’s regulators may be full steam ahead on fossil fuel projects, the state of Oregon has a critical opportunity to stand up for our communities and the climate, by doing whatever it can to stop Jordan Cove LNG.”
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkeley (D-OR) recently reversed his support for Jordan Cove in an op ed in the Medford Mail-Tribune, Oil Change notes. The project has already been rejected by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and has run into “massive opposition” along the pipeline route and at the proposed terminal location in Coos Bay.
The Oil Change release also cites Klamath County landowner and small-scale timber operator Deb Evans, who will lose her land under eminent domain if the project goes ahead.
“Whether it’s snowless winters, more extreme wildfire seasons, or invasive pine beetles, rural communities are already seeing the first impacts of climate change,” she said. “Industries that once thrived in rural Oregon are facing severe setbacks as the climate changes. This project would exacerbate climate change, adding to an overwhelmingly devastating and costly impact to livelihoods while also threatening private property rights. We can’t have that in Oregon, or anywhere else today if we want a sustainable economy and healthy climate for future generations.”