This photo shows an aerial view of the North Spit, the proposed site for the Jordan Cove pipeline.

Anti-pipeline protesters said they feel vindicated by a report released Thursday stating the natural gas pipeline and export facility proposed in Southern Oregon would be the state’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, while a project spokesman found the information to be inaccurate.

The report, published by Oil Change International, says the Jordan Cove project would produce more than 15 times the emissions of the Boardman coal plant, Oregon’s last remaining coal plant set to close in 2020, and equal the emissions of nearly 8 million passenger vehicles. In total, the report says the pipeline will produce 36.8 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

Oil Change International is an advocacy organization focused on “exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy,” according to its website.

The 229-mile Pacific Connector Pipeline would have the capacity to push 1.2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas across Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties to a plant in Coos Bay where the gas would be turned into liquid form and be transported to Asian markets. The pipeline would connect to existing pipelines to transport natural gas from Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and the Montney Basin in British Columbia.

“The emissions estimate includes an estimated range of methane leakage along the supply chain and finds that even a conservative estimate of methane leakage undermines claims that the gas supplied to global markets via the project would lead to a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” the report said.

It also asserts there is no evidence that natural gas from the project would replace coal in global markets, and the project undermines the need to reduce emissions from all sources of fossil fuel to address the climate crisis.

Michael Hinrichs, a spokesman for Jordan Cove, said the report seems to use an inaccurate comparison to support the pipeline opponents’ views.

“There is another side of the story,” Hinrichs said in a statement Thursday. “The project has filed with (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) hundreds of pages of scientific reports by third parties and the work done by the project has resulted in Jordan Cove receiving approval for our air permit by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.”

Hinrichs said Jordan Cove puts Oregon on the path to supplying a future of cleaner energy for its customers.

“Natural gas is cleaner burning, has fewer pollutants, is less expensive and more efficient than other fuels that are capable of meeting around-the-clock energy demand,” he said.

He added the project would create thousands of construction jobs, hundreds of good-paying permanent jobs and tax benefits for the state and the four counties the pipeline would cross.

Stacey McLaughlin, who owns land where the pipeline would cross near Myrtle Creek, said she agrees with Oil Change International’s findings.

“This report is very clear and the project will be taking us down a road we cannot come back from, and it will be affecting the health of thousands of Oregonians,” she said.

She said greenhouse gas emissions have already started to cause the irreversible effects of climate change.

“We’re already past the point of no return,” McLaughlin said. “We are going to have to find ways to try and stop it if we intend to protect ourselves into the future.”

Other affected landowners and environmental activists from around the state went to Salem on Thursday to encourage Gov. Kate Brown to deny the project.

Deb Evans was among the estimated 200 people holding anti-pipeline signs outside the state capitol Thursday. She owns timberland between Klamath Falls and Ashland, where the pipeline would run across. Evans said speakers were passionate at the protest, including people from the Klamath Tribes, representative to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council Bill Bradbury and State Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland.

“The message was clear, the report just solidified what we already thought was true about this project,” Evans said. “The greenhouse gas emissions are over the top and the project is not something Oregon needs to meet any kind of climate goals by 2050.”

She was referring to goals the Oregon Legislature adopted in 2007 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to below 14 million metric tons by 2050.

Evans said Brown needs to come out against the project.

Reporter Emily Hoard can be reached at 541-957-4217 or ehoard@nrtoday.com. Or follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

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Business, Natural Resources and Outdoors Reporter

Emily Hoard is the business, outdoors and natural resources reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4217 or by email at ehoard@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

(2) comments


Interesting how they are using "PROJECTED" data to tell us that there WILL BE these things happening and they are unable to include projected evidence from proponents of the project.
I find it duplicitous to take only the data you project in account and ignore opposing views so you can publish what you are representing as the only factual conclusion. I thought reportage included investigation and not just taking the claims of one side of an issue to be the only truth.


Look around in your travels Mr. Salesman, the effects of climate change are all around us. Fires, floods, hurricanes, and storms of epic proportions . . . the report is not the only truth it is just another nail in the coffin for this stupid, stupid project.; and, come on it offers substantive data - read it.

Moreover, if we're going to talk "PROJECTED" data, let's look at the data submitted by the "proponents," Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector. Take a week or three and read through the thousands of pages of reports where their "data," doesn't even include "projected" evidence much less anything concrete just simplistic statements like, "we've examined the potential threat and determined that it is negligible."

Let's next examine the mitigation measures proposed for the damage to the South Umpqua River . . . you'll need to mosey on over to Coos County to find them - meanwhile the South Umpqua River and our communities to quote the menace in the Oval Office turn into "shitholes," while the more than 400 waterbodies affected by the pipeline suffer. Oh, and what about the hundreds of threatened species that really won't be harmed because well, "the proponents said so." Read through the Biological Assessment and get a real whiff of this project and the damage it will cause.

My favorite proponent "projected" data are the 6,000 temporary jobs ... a number that has now grown by 2,000 from the original project numbers of 4,000 and the project no longer includes the South Dunes power plant that accounted for the 175 permanent jobs that has now mysteriously grown to 200 and no power plant. Oh, and the millions of tax dollars keeps growing too with no substantive data to prove the financial calculations.

If your travels ever take you to the Oregon coast you might visit the Dunes, the sand there is soft enough for burying your head on the reality of climate change and the deadly effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

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