Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, August 29 2012 at 5:22 PM, Updated: Wed, August 29 2012 at 5:34 PM
A proposed natural gas pipeline that would stretch from Coos Bay to Malin is being scrutinized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
FERC is holding hearings tonight in Klamath Falls, and Thursday night in Medford.
Paul Friedman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline would extend more than 200 miles, and run from the coast to Klamath Falls under the rivers and through the hills...
"The Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline is a 230 mile long pipeline that's going to connect to the existing infrastructure near Malin, pick up gas from Gas Transmission Northwest, from the Ruby Pipeline, and take it west to Coos Bay."
The public is invited to weigh in on environmental concerns.
"If all goes well, we would expect to get our certificate in the end of 2015." Notes Chris Bias, Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline project manager. "And begin construction essentially then."
Backers say the $1.5 billion dollar project would bring nearly 1800 jobs to Klamath, Jackson, Douglas, and Coos Counties.
Opponents say they have concerns about safety, damage to sensitive environmental areas, and disruption of access to public and private property.
Paul Friedman notes that FERC will be hosting a meeting tonight at O.I.T., and meeting Thursday in Medford to take your comments.
"We want the public to express their concerns, raise questions they have about the project, and identify environmental issues that they want our staff to focus on."
The original plan for the pipeline in 2006 was to import natural gas. Market changes have altered that plan to export.
A FERC meeting will be held in Klamath Falls this evening at 6:30 in the O.I.T. college union auditorium.
A meeting will be held Thursday Night at 6:30 in Medford at the school district education center auditorium on Oakdale Avenue.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.