Well done sir! Medford Tribune: More Reasons to Oppose Gas Pipeline By Bryan…

Originally posted on http://ift.tt/13mgxE0 :

Well done sir! Medford Tribune:

More Reasons to Oppose Gas Pipeline

By Bryan Sohl
Posted Jan. 19, 2015 @ 12:01 am
I agree with the Mail Tribune that the Proposed Jordan Cove LNG pipeline project should not be built. The litmus test of “does this project serve the greater community good?” is not met. But there are other reasons as well.
One reason is safety. Williams pipeline, the Canadian company standing to reap huge profits on this project, has a questionable safety record. On Sept 14, 2008 in Appomattox County Virginia, a Williams Company 42-inch natural gas pipeline ruptured, causing a fireball half a mile high and wide. Five people suffered severe burns, two homes were demolished, and 100 others damaged. Imagine this occurring in Shady Cove, or in our local backcountry on a 104-degree, windy August day. Who knows how many hundred thousand acres might be burned.
Since 2002, there have been 95 “significant” gas transmission incidents involving Williams. In March 2013 in Parachute, Colo., 10,000 gallons of hydrocarbons leaked from a Williams pipeline contaminating soil, groundwater, and Parachute Creek, which continues to contain measurable cancer-causing benzene.
Since May of 2013, there have been four explosions in Williams-owned facilities. One accident in Louisiana killed two and injured 114. One in March of 2014 at a LNG facility in Washington State injured five and forced the evacuation of 400 residents within a two-mile radius. Another in April of 2014 forced the evacuation of another town in Wyoming.
Do we really want, or need this Canadian company, with this safety record, to profit at the expense of our safety? Is this a project that has so much “local good” that we should allow eminent domain to be applied to our neighbors property? Would you want this pipeline across your land?
I disagree with the Mail Tribune, however, in its characterization of this project as not having environmental risks. Besides the risk of a catastrophic fire should the pipeline rupture, there are other environmental risks. This pipeline crosses 400 different identified waterways. This includes major rivers with fish on the endangered species list.
Rivers crossed by this pipeline include the Lost River, the Klamath River near Keno (home of world class trout fishing), the Rogue River near Shady Cove (home of world class steelhead and salmon fishing), the South Fork of the Umpqua River, the Coquille River, and the Coos River. These rivers, and their headwaters, will be subject to siltation associated with the crossing of water bodies in steep terrain subject to high water flows and also the building of temporary coffer dams.
Warmer stream temperatures secondary to the 95-foot-wide swath of clearcut needed on both sides of each water body crossed will be seen. And then there is the real potential for a major “frack out.” or rupture of bedrock under the Rogue River, releasing tons of fine sediment into the Rogue River at the Shady Cove river-crossing site that could smother critical salmon and steelhead spawning beds for a long distance downstream.
We have worked hard in recent years to improve the health of our local rivers and streams, taking out multiple dams on the Rogue River, and we are soon to start this process on the Klamath. Recreational opportunities support hundreds of jobs in the fishing and whitewater communities here. Do we want to risk this? Is any chance of catastrophe that could affect our beloved rivers worth the benefit we might reap from this project? I think not.
In addition, there are huge environmental concerns with the disruption of critical wetlands in Coos Bay at the LNG terminal site from the required dredging of Coos Bay, and building of the terminal site on wetlands. This project would cross 11.6 miles of, and affect 239 acres of wetlands.
What about the non-local effects of fracking, and the use of toxic fracking chemicals on the environments and groundwater in the Rocky Mountain states and Western Canada that this project would help facilitate?
And lastly, do we in Jackson County want to be party to of the building of more and more infrastructure to facilitate the development of more and more fossil fuel use, primarily in Asia, or do we want to “just say no!” and take a firm stand that now is the time to move our energy infrastructure towards a renewable energy base? Now is the time we must take a firm and uncompromising position on issues that affect climate change. When I look at my children Rachel, Hannah, and Noah, and think about their future, and their kids' future, I know what the answer is.
Lets work to stop the Jordan Cove LNG pipeline project.
Bryan Sohl lives in Ashland.