Anyone who has lived in Southern Oregon the last few years is well-aware of the increasingly brutal fire seasons we’ve suffered. Many who oppose Pembina’s Jordan Cove Project claim it will make our community more vulnerable to wildfires and could cause even more devastating and destructive fires. The irony behind this is that one of the biggest groups opposing the project, Rogue Climate, caused one of the biggest wildfires of the summer last year.

In case you forgot, the Rogue Climate group admitted responsibility for the 400-acre Lobster Creek Fire that cost over $2 million to fight. Ironically, Rogue Climate was planning to travel to Coos Bay to protest the Jordan Cove Project after the camp but had a change of heart after the fire broke out. https://mailtribune.com/news/top-stories/rogue-climate-group-linked-to-lobster-creek-fire

What Rogue Climate – and other groups opposing the project – fail to realize is that the Jordan Cove Project can actually decrease the risk of wildfires and help fight the fires and smoke that engulf our communities every summer. The pipeline's right-of-way access and maintenance roads will act as fire breaks, while construction of the pipeline will clear brush and other wildfire fuels, plus it will be monitored 24/7, providing early warning systems for fires. In addition, the project is expected to contribute more than $1.1 million in tax revenue to local fire districts in Southern Oregon.

Why would we oppose a project offering real solutions to one of the biggest problems we face today? While we're at it, let's push to resume responsible logging practices on our National Forests and reduce the fuel sources feeding these nasty fires. Yes, whether caused by lightening strikes or careless individuals like those involved in last summer's infamous Lobster Creek Fire near my home town.

Todd Goergen

Coos Bay

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