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Jordan Cove Fly Over

An aerial view of the land on the North Spit of Coos Bay, taken Sept. 20, where the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal would be.  

COOS COUNTY — Throughout the week, environmental activists from Oregon and Colorado have been traveling the route of the proposed Jordan Cove LNG project as part of an event they’re calling the Jordan Cove: Rocky Mountains to Pacific Coast, Community Resistance from Extraction to Export Project.

Pilot Bruce Gordon and activist Alex Budd sit in the front seat of a plane touring Coos Bay where the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal is propo…

The final stop on this multi-state tour was a fly over of Coos Bay and Jordan Cove, where Pembina plans to build its export facility.

“The idea was that when you read the news coming out of Oregon you might think that communities in Colorado, where the gas would be fracked, really want this terminal to be developed so that they can export their gas. When you read the news in Colorado you would think that everyone in Oregon really wants this terminal to be developed so that we can export some gas,” Activist Alex Budd said.

Colorado activist Pete Kolbenschlag contacted Budd, another activist working out of Grants Pass, and the two talked about how they could connect the two ends of the proposed pipeline.

“We wanted to bring more awareness and education to both of our communities about respectively what we’re each facing and how we’ll each be impacted by this project,” Budd said.

A group called Eco Flight participated in the LNG awareness event by providing a pilot to fly folks over the pipeline route.

“We’re a conservation organization, and our mission is to educate and advocate for the environment with small planes … I think that aerial perspective puts it into context where some of the challenges are, and really it begs a bigger question about demand for the resource,” Bruce Gordon with Eco Flight said.

A look from outside of Coos Bay at Jordan Cove, where Canadian energy company Pembina plans to build it's LNG export terminal. 

At layovers along the way the tour met with community members, first in Colorado where increased fracking and drilling would take place if the project were to progress, and then with communities in Oregon that will be impacted. Folks involved in discussions include landowners, various tribe members, farmers, and other folks who will be impacted by the decision to move forward on this project.

“One similarity that was really striking to me was that like a lot of Southern Oregon, these communities in Western Colorado where the fracking would be happening are also rural towns that have historically been dependent on boom and bust extraction economies,” Budd said.

The tour seeks to build relationships between communities facing the Jordan Cove Export Hub, Pacific Connector Pipeline, and related impacts from fracking and oil-and-gas development in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region.

“Meeting with folks in Oregon that are working on this and fighting this project was really meaningful to me I learned a lot about the passions of the people and what they’re worried about. I’ll be able to take that back to Colorado and talk to my own community to help them understand whats going on down here,” Kolbenschlag said.

During the flight, local activist and executive director of Citizens Against LNG Jody McCaffree pointed out points of interest pertaining to the Jordan Cove project. She talked about where the export facility would be located, approximately where the pipeline would come through to the North spit from the east.

“What I try to do with Eco Flight is have people not just look out the left side or the right side when they’re look at the world, but get them to look at the landscape, and encourage them to get educated on the issue,” Gordon said.

After the flight a group gathered to tour the North Spit near where the export terminal would be, to survey the land and talk about the different species that inhabit the area that might be impacted by the project.

The day ended with a public meeting about the Jordan Cove LNG project at the Coos Bay Public Library.

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Nicholas A. Johnson can be reached at 541-266-6049, or by email at nicholas.johnson@theworldlink.com.

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