Through the whole debate about Jordan Cove, I've heard many people who support it talk about the "big picture" here in Coos Bay. They talk about the urban decay and the economic desperation. They talk about the decline of the timber industry, and how other industries have seen a decline as well. They talk about how there is no money here, no opportunity, and no economic growth to be found.
While that might all be somewhat true, there's an even bigger picture, and it might be hard to swallow for us locally.
The bigger picture is climate change.
The IPCC report on climate change pointed out "Pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems."
Among those transitions, and probably the most important of all, is the transition off of fossil fuels. That means coal, oil, and natural gas. Besides that, we will have to start removing greenhouse gasses from the air. What the Jordan Cove Energy Project would result in is massive amounts of methane emissions (would be largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in state). We know that methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and all in all, methane exacerbates climate change.
Now why would we allow a methane emitting pipeline to be built through hundreds of miles of Southern Oregon just to export a fossil fuel that we have to transition almost completely off of in the next decade, and almost certainly will be obsolete within 30 years?
For a quick and probably short term economic boom that won't even really help average Oregonians?
Are we that selfish that we are willing to exacerbate climate change, which poses a danger to the future of our planet, just so we can have a quick economic boost? That's selfish.
Why not invest in tourism? Let's support small businesses and encourage more to come here.
Let's start building the first US offshore wind turbines and first ever wave farms.
Let's take our own initiative to fight climate change and bring carbon neutral/carbon negative fuel here that removes CO2 from the atmosphere and gives us cleaner cheaper gas that works with any vehicle today. Squamish, BC has a carbon engineering company that is ready to expand.
Why don't our politicians encourage them to come here?