Mr. Galen Lee’s Jan. 24 letter to the editor regarding his position on Jordan Cove based on Oil Change International’s greenhouse gas emission report raises a great concern of how paid-for reports are being treated like independent, expert studies.
Unfortunately, Mr. Lee may think that this report is an honest apples-to-apples study of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of Jordan Cove versus the Boardman coal-fired power plant, but in reality, it is written to intentionally manipulate readers through false comparisons and cherry-picked data. It doesn’t take more than a five-minute Google search to challenge the report’s findings based on actual permits granted to facilities around the State of Oregon.
There is more than enough credible and supported data on this subject matter, but since that data doesn’t support an extremist view, the opposition to Jordan Cove paid for their own assessment that reaches a predetermined conclusion. The “study” was conducted by Oil Change International, but if you look at their referenced methodology, you find that they reference their own calculations instead of referencing independent data. It is the same as saying, “I have an opinion that is supported by previous opinions I came up with.” It’s meaningless.
Sadly, this kind of cult of bad science plagues the global climate change discussion. The Obama Administration already conducted extensive research into the natural gas supply chain and found that methane leaks are drastically lower than what these activists are selling.
So why not just use the Obama Administration’s data? Because it doesn’t fit their narrative and it actually proves that Jordan Cove would, indeed, be a net benefit to global climate change.
Perhaps the greatest pet peeve we have with this report and the oppositions is their mantra that “Jordan Cove is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in Oregon.” It is completely false. A simple search within the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will show you how fabricated their claims really are.
Oregon’s DEQ permits and EPA’s Title V permits show Jordan Cove is not the largest polluter of anything in Oregon! There are a half-dozen existing power plants in Oregon with higher than, or comparable greenhouse gas emissions to Jordan Cove. In order, the largest greenhouse gas emitters are Boardman Coal Plant, Carty Generating Station, Hermiston Generation Plant, Port Westward and Beaver power plant, Klamath Energy, Hermiston Power and THEN Jordan Cove, followed closely by Coyote Springs.
Boardman is permitted to emit 4,000,000 tons of greenhouse gas per year whereas Jordan Cove is down at 1,936,000 tons per year. This activist group, however, compares the entire life cycle of emissions for Jordan Cove to what Boardman produced on site and when the facility wasn’t running at full steam. Now ask yourself, how can that be a fair and objective comparison?
Does Jordan Cove emit greenhouse gases? Yes. That’s not debatable, nor is it the point of this editorial. The point is that the opposition is intentionally misleading the public and is trying to peddle their report as independent and fair.
Jordan Cove is and has always been a cleaner-operating facility than facilities with older and less-advanced equipment. In fact, in their public hearing presentation in 2014, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality staff pointed out that Jordan Cove is significantly cleaner than the previous Weyerhaeuser facility that sat on the North Spit. Even when that assertion was challenged by local opponents, DEQ staff said that the facts don’t lie and Jordan Cove is without a doubt cleaner than other infrastructure that has been permitted in Coos County.
Further, Jordan Cove’s latest application cut its air emissions even more. But we’re betting the opposition doesn’t want to pay attention to that either. Not to mention that the activists perpetuating falsehoods are actually giving coal quite the endorsement by not even mentioning toxic coal emissions separate from greenhouse gases.
Coal pollution sickens and kills thousands of people every year. Those emissions are so vast that Oregonians are breathing in pollution, including toxic mercury, nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, that was emitted thousands of miles away in Asia. Coal emits almost 10 times as much pollution as natural gas.
Operation of the Jordan Cove plant could replace as many as 11 coal fired power plants in Asia with cleaner burning gas fired plants. It’s precisely why countries like Japan, China, India and South Korea are interested in Jordan Cove and see it as a strategic tool to help them meet the Paris Climate Accord goals.
Oregon can play a key role in cleaning up Asia’s air by allowing shipments of cleaner-burning liquefied natural gas from the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal in Coos Bay. Now is the time for us to support the largest private investment in Oregon’s history. Clearly, The Jordan Cove Project will benefit our local, state & national economies while helping reduce global air pollution.
R Todd Goergen, Co-President
Rick Skinner, Co-Present
Boost Southern Oregon