The fix is in. JPR reports that Jordan Cove LLC (aka Pembina, those Canadians) hired a Washington DC lobbying firm to boost Jordan Cove. There are plenty of lobbying firms in DC; however a recent employee of this particular oil & gas lobbyist happens to be newly-appointed Secretary of the Interior of the United States, David Bernhardt who last march told local representatives of Colorado"s fracked gas companies that he was "totally behind" the Jordan Cove project. Bernhardt is supposedly recused for two years from involvement with his former firm's business but the current administration in Washington doesn't actually obey the law. I reckon the decimated FERC Commission will approve the permit in January. Pembina has discovered it's cheaper to buy legislation in the country to their south rather than legitimately apply. We must hope that Oregon's DEQ and the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) continue to insist that Pembina actually prove they can build this project without laying waste to the air and water of Oregon's Southeast. We must hope that Gov. Kate Brown will finally stand up and refuse to permit our state to be the only one on the entire West Coast to allow this sort of wholesale environmental destruction.
Ainslie Krans wrote a letter last week in which he said, "... we believe the project is safe ..." and later he hedged, "I believe Jordan Cove is as safe as any project can be of this magnitude." I have no reason to doubt Mr. Krans' sincerity. Fifty years ago I told a high-school sweetheart that birth control was safe. I was also sincere. Just because you can say something doesn't make it true. And Mr. Krans, Jordan Cove is hardly "a very ordinary endeavor," as you claim.
The Google machine says for natural gas alone the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has collected data on more than 3200 SERIOUS or SIGNIFICANT accidents since 1987. These only involve natural gas pipelines. You can add storage, pumping station, and production accidents. And when you consider the number of accidents across the entire fossil-fuel spectrum it becomes intuitively clear to even the most casual observer that fossil-fuel infrastructure is safe until it's not. A "Fail-Safe" simply does not exist. Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
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