The operative word employed by Jon Barton regarding gas being cleaner than coal is “burns." Yes, natural gas burns cleaner than coal and oil but that is just part of the story. According to Sightline Institute, “Natural gas is mostly methane (CH4), a super-potent greenhouse gas, which traps 86 times as much heat as CO2 over a 20-year period. And even over the course of a century it is still far more damaging than carbon dioxide.”

Worse, natural gas pipelines leak. Leaked natural gas can’t be recovered, it can, however, build up in enclosed spaces and explode. Human-caused warming has increased the area burned by wildfire in the western United States, according to according to the Fourth National Climate Assessment. https://nca2018.globalchange.gov.

Removing 200-plus miles of carbon sinks in the form of trees and vegetation to make way for a pipeline (or firebreak as Todd Goergen likes to call them) only makes the problem worse.

To suggest that burning natural gas in Asia will improve air quality in Oregon is like telling your kids to only smoke filtered cigarettes. It also ignores the cost to the health of the communities where this fracked gas is extracted and for those who like studies. I urge you to read the Cornell research that shows how natural gas out-pollutes coal over its lifetime.

Yes, I admit to generally skipping over Todd Goergen’s letters because how many times can you read the same thing over and over. However, I do want to thank him for reminding everyone how the Canadian company he relentlessly champions spent almost $1 million to interfere in our democratic process (seems the Russians get all the press). People should not forget.

Mary Geddry


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