Like everyone who uses TV, radio, cellphone, computer, takes area newspapers, and gets mail in a mailbox, our family continues to be imposed on and annoyed by the high dollar media blitz of Pembina Pipeline Corporation.
It starts with my morning coffee and a popup on my cellphone newsfeed, then TV commercials with promises to be “a good neighbor.” More ads appear during internet searches. Radio spots have soothed us with promises that Jordan Cove will create the community of our dreams. Full-page newspaper ads claim the Jordan Cove mitigation project is key to removing coastal coho salmon from the Threatened and Endangered Species List. Glossy Pembina color cards appear in the mail with photos of glowing tents by pristine mountain lakes after sunset, and a father and son fishing on a favorite stream — but not a single pipeline trench or massive LNG terminal in sight.
We are left to imagine that all that gigantic earthwork across Oregon and on Coos Bay will be accomplished by magic and environmental impacts of this sprawling industrial project will just disappear.
But this huge PR effort never pictures reality. Pembina is spending big money creating an image of the project it wants to represent to our communities. Pembina spokesman, Michael Hinrichs has sidestepped answering reporters’ questions about how much money the company has spent on creating this image, but that’s easy to see. What is pictured in the various ads coming at us lacks facts, filled instead with promises and claims, but it’s their right, as they are paying for the air time, videos, glossy mailers, online content, and newsprint space. Pembina has bought exclusive access to us, and they decline to tell or show us the vast impacts built into their plans for the overall LNG export project.
As residents we are left to discover the actual details found in their permit applications to agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Army Corps of Engineers, Oregon’s DSL, DEQ, and informational presentations such as those by the League of Women Voters of Coos County. Those details from various sources really begin to sober you up. The project’s scale and lasting impacts are massive.
A neighbor told me that “The deeper you look into this project, the less you like it.” Citizens should and deserve to have this deeper look so they can decide for themselves.