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DeFazio visit

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, left, walks on the tarmac with Coos Bay Mayor Joe Benetti during a visit to the Southwestern Oregon Regional Airport in North Bend in August.

In a letter to campaign supporters Friday, U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., announced that he does not support the Jordan Cove Energy Project.

DeFazio said in the letter he doesn’t support the pipeline project because the federal approval process is run by "unelected political appointees, the project tramples on private property rights, and it will exacerbate the urgent and immediate threat of climate change."

“The project would irreparably harm the land, livelihood, and communities of Southern Oregon. The proposed pipeline route would travel through hundreds of miles of public lands and streams which are home to endangered salmon and other species,” DeFazio said in a statement to The World newspaper.

Even before it was passed in 2005, DeFazio has spoken out against the Bush-Cheney Energy Policy Act, which allowed the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission to claim eminent domain for energy projects.

“That’s why I introduced legislation to reverse FERC’s eminent domain powers, and stop projects such as Jordan Cove from taking people’s property and degrading critical watersheds,” DeFazio said.

However, throughout the history of the project, DeFazio has not taken a hard stance against the Jordan Cove Energy Project.

“For years, communities across Oregon have been asking Representative Defazio to stand with us in opposing the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and fracked gas pipeline,” said Ashley Audycki, Rogue Climate’s Coos Bay organizer. “We are thrilled that he has joined Oregonians in opposing this project and moving forward solutions that create jobs in renewable energy instead. Now we are looking to Governor Brown and Senator Wyden to show the same leadership.”

In his statement to supporters, DeFazio made it clear that while he is against the project, there is nothing his office can do to stop it.

“Congress does not have a role in approving or denying this project — the sole authority lies with FERC, which is an independent bureaucracy managed by Trump political appointees at the agency,” DeFazio said.

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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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