Over 300 people attended a standing room only hearing on the Jordan Cove Energy Project at Klamath Community College Monday night. For two and a half hours, supporters and opponents of the project were able to voice opinions. The hearing was held as an opportunity for the public to specifically voice opinions on the removal-fill permit application. A process required by the State of Oregon for the proposed Jordan Cove Energy Project.
Attendees could publicly voice their opinion or submit a written opinion on the permit application.
Many in attendance voiced their opinions on the project, few included facts, for or against the removal-fill permit application specifically, but all voiced their opinion from their heart. Every person that wished to speak could do so with two-minutes of comment until the 8:00 pm closure of the hearing.
The room was well divided, attendees could easily be picked out as to what side they support. Pipeline opposers were in red shirts and hats many stating, “No LNG.” Pipeline supporters could be found wearing bright green shirts, hats or hi-visibility construction vests.
Dozens had the opportunity to make public comments about the removal-fill permit application for the Jordan Cove Energy Project. Below are a few of those notable comments.
Don Gentry, Chairman of the Klamath Tribes
“We have a lot of our members here. We are a people placed here by our creator according to legends and stories, we are the first people of the land. We have been here since time immemorial and with that our people have lived and died here and buried our people here. We have subsisted on everything our creator has placed here. The fish, the wildlife, the waterfowl, a lot of these associate with the rivers and the wetlands. I think it is important for you to understand the heart of that.
The Klamath Tribes oppose the project we have been participating where we can in various processes. Providing substance in comments in this permitting process. We are concerned about the impacts of the project. Risks of implementing the project and maintaining the project over time. The impacts on the water quality. We know that there is potential frack out, there is potential for problems to occur that could affect the concerns that we have. One of the significant concerns we have is the potential to disturb human remains. We know that the rivers migrate over time. There is a significant risk of disturbing human remains which are burial grounds, like a cemetery. We don’t know where all these remains are but have been commonly disturbed. That is one of the things that can be mitigated.”
Perry Chocktoot, Member at Large Tribal Council
“This project will not benefit the people of Klamath Falls, the State of Oregon or the Klamath Tribes. It jeopardizes the health of the Klamath and Rogue Rivers.”
Taylor Tupper, Klamath Tribal Member
“I strongly appose the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas Pacific Connector pipeline. This pipeline will destroy Oregon’s water resources. The water, fishing, recreation, and the future people. We know that the liquid moving through these pipelines is caustic and we know that it will cause damage to everything in the future. One of the things about this pipeline is that it’s a Canadian corporation that wants to ruin our 485 waterways and contaminate our clean air in Oregon.
This is crystal clear to myself and my tribe. This violates everything we uphold as a community, the rights of my tribal people, and it will expose and destroy tribal cultural areas if allowed. I live here, I fish here, I raft here, I kayak here, I drink here, my people will continue to be here. These outsiders have lied across this nation, I am tired of their propaganda. When will they know, after the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught that money cannot be eaten?”
Leslie Lowe, Klamath County Resident and President of the League of Women Voters
”Our members have grave concerns regarding the insufficient information of the engineering processes that will be used for each water body crossing. We are aware that every water body crossing is different and each requires a detailed engineering description for DSL to make an informed decision on whether to grant or deny the permit.”
Janice Miller, Klamath Tribal Member
“I worked on two of the gas pipelines that have gone through. This is extremely bad for our land, animals, water and our people. Please go back to Canada and ruin your own land.”
Other Notable Concerns
Numerous attendees voiced concerns with potential hazards and disasters related to a failure of the pipeline – damage caused by earthquakes, tsunami damage at the LNG terminal, blowouts and explosions causing wildfires, just to name a few.
Derrick Degroot, Chair, Klamath County Commissioners
“The Klamath County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to support the Jordan Cove Pipeline. There are thousands of temporary jobs while the project is being built. Those jobs pay over $85,000 per year, which in Klamath County is about double our median wage. These jobs will impact us in a way that multiplies over time. Those jobs will then bring other jobs that will help support us. We have been living with pipelines in Klamath County for a very long time. The GTN pipeline has been here for over 60 years and they have been a great partner for us with absolutely no complications. Pipelines have been a friend of Klamath County for a long time and we would like to continue that legacy.”
E. Werner Reschke, Oregon House Representative, District 56
“Pipelines are not a new phenomenon to Klamath County. My specific comments are concerning the removal-fill permit number 60697-RF for the Jordan Cove Energy Project LP and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP. I believe the applicant has met the requirements for the department to issue this permit and I ask the department issue this permit in a timely manner.
The projects design uses proven methods and technologies to safely cross beneath waterways and avoid impacts to aquatic life. Jordan Cove is going above and beyond the mitigation requirements to restore the Kentuck Golf Course in Coos Bay for increased habitat for Coho Salmon. Oregon already has marine terminals, LNG storage and facilities, several interstate gas pipelines. This project merely leverages those elements.”
Heather Tramp, Executive Director, Klamath County Chamber of Commerce
“The expected economic impact to our community is supposed to be equal or more than both the Co-Gen project and the Ruby Pipeline. Which were helpful to a lot of our retail, lodging and housing industries for that reason we support this project.”
Joe Spendolini, Executive Board Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman of Chamber Government Affairs Committee
“I am here this evening to ask that you approve the application for the Jordan Cove Pipeline. The number of jobs that is going to generate. The number of positions that are local individuals, local craftsman they are going to be able to enter the workforce as an apprentice and stay on the project, one project all the way through to become a journeyman. I think that is incredibly important. The economic impact is going to be felt throughout the entire county. We saw it with the Co-Gen, we saw it with the Ruby Pipeline. The economic impact was felt at all of our merchants, hotels, restaurants, gas stations. The property tax dollars that will be paid with the pipeline is going to add about $6-6.5 Million in property taxes to all of the many different taxing districts, including over $1 Million in to the county’s general fund.”
Robert Kingzelt, Klamath County Resident
“Klamath County has a long history of large pipelines running through our region and our experience has been very positive, an excellent safety record. The drilling equipment to be used on this project is world class.
Economic benefits to this part of the state are enormous. Most people know this project is a $10 Billion project in total, it will provide $60 Million in property taxes to Coos, Douglas, Jackson and Klamath Counties. The estimate is about $6 Million to Klamath County.
In addition, there will be 6000 jobs in construction with an average salary of $85,000, that is tremendous in our area. There will be 200 or more jobs at the LNG facility in Coos Bay that will be permanent. This project will have the biggest positive boost to our area since being hit with the great recession of a decade ago.
Local leaders are very strongly supporting the project. Senator Greg Walden, Senator Dennis Linthicum, Representative Reschke, Klamath County Commissioners, City of Malin, Klamath County Chamber of Commerce and KCEDA. There is a cost-benefit ratio for every project involving natural resources. This project has an exceptionally high return to our community for the modest risk we are taking.”
Additional Public Hearings
If you were not able to attend tonight’s hearing or wish to attend future hearings. Four more additional public hearings on the removal-fill permit application will occur over the next 8 days.
Tuesday, January 8th from 5:30-8 p.m.
Jackson County Expo, Central Point, Oregon
Wednesday, January 9th from 5:30-8 p.m.
Seven Feathers Casino, Cedar Room, Canyonville, Oregon
Thursday, January 10th from 5:30-8 p.m.
Mill Casino, Salmon Room West, North Bend, Oregon
Tuesday, January 15 from 5:30-8 p.m.
Department of Veterans' Affairs, Auditorium, Salem, Oregon