Over a Thousand Turn Out in Force to Department of State Lands Hearing in Jackson County Displaying Wide Opposition to the Jordan Cove LNG Export Proposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, January 8, 2019


Allie Rosenbluth, allie@rogueclimate.org, 541-841-2330

Stacey Detwiler, stacey@rogueriverkeeper.org, 541-488-9831

Over a Thousand Turn Out in Force to Department of State Lands Hearing in Jackson County Displaying Wide Opposition to the Jordan Cove LNG Export Proposal

[CENTRAL POINT, OREGON] -- Over a thousand gathered for a rally and packed the Department of State Lands hearing to demand the Oregon agency denies permits for the LNG export terminal and 229-mile highly pressurized fracked gas pipeline in Southern Oregon proposed by Canadian-based corporation, Pembina. In March, after reviewing public comment, the Department of State Lands will release a decision on whether Pembina can excavate millions of cubic yards of sediment from Oregon waterways to export fracked gas overseas.

At the rally and hearing, community members, including indigenous leaders, landowners, students from local high schools, and Senator-elect Jeff Golden, raised concerns about the project’s impacts to the nearly 500 waterways that would be degraded by the construction of the pipeline, especially around the Rogue River where Pembina is proposing to build the pipeline underneath. People also raised concerns about the project’s threat to public safety, landowner’s rights, Tribal territories and cultural resources, the climate, and existing jobs in fishing, tourism, and recreation.

“The Jordan Cove terminal and pipeline poses unreasonable threats to southern Oregon streams, rivers and the Coos Bay estuary,” said Donald Barry, Medford resident and former Chief Counsel to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. “Construction of the project threatens native fish populations and our drinking water. The Department of State Lands must uphold Oregon's environmental standards and deny permits."

The Department of State Lands is one of several Oregon state agencies that can stop Jordan Cove for good by denying this critical ‘Removal-Fill’ permit. This same project was denied by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2016, citing lack of public interest as well as impacts to private landowners. The project is opposed by a broad coalition that includes landowners, small local businesses that would be impacted, native tribes, health professionals, climate action and water quality advocates, and more.

“It’s time for Governor Kate Brown to take a stand and direct the Department of State Lands to protect our properties, our water and our air,” said Toni Woolsey, a landowner on the proposed crossing of the Rogue River in Trail. “This town is centered around fishing, rafting, and the tourism industries which could take a big hit if the 3,000 foot drill under the river fails. I hope they deny this permit for the unjust Jordan Cove export terminal and pipeline, and let us go back to our lives.”

This was one of five hearings the agency is hosting to listen to the public’s concerns regarding the fracked gas export proposal. Hearings and community-led rallies beforehand will be held in Jackson County on Tuesday, January 8, Douglas County on Wednesday, January 9, Coos County on Thursday, January 10, and in Salem on Tuesday, January 15. DSL will be accepting public comment online and by mail until Sunday, February 3.

“This pipeline threatens the Klamath Tribes’ natural resources, like our roots, berries, animals, and the river we depend on,” said Hannah Schroeder, Chair of the Klamath Youth Council. “These are the main sources that keep our Tribe in contact with our culture, and this pipeline would risk all that.”

“This project is a huge step in the wrong direction. Our communities need a transition to clean energy that creates local jobs, not a fracked gas export terminal and explosive pipeline,” said Hannah Sohl, Executive Director of Medford-based community organization Rogue Climate. “Governor Kate Brown and her state agencies should stand with communities across Oregon and stop Jordan Cove for good.”

“This project puts the health of the Rogue and the more than 485 rivers and streams along the pipeline route at risk,” said Stacey Detwiler of Rogue Riverkeeper. “Dredging out Coos Bay and damming, dredging, and digging below waters and wetlands that flow into the Klamath, Rogue, Umpqua, Coquille, and Coos Rivers threatens clean water and the health of our communities. We urge DSL to stand up for Oregonians and clean water by denying this permit.”