Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, June 27 2012 at 8:25 PM, Updated: Wed, June 27 2012 at 8:37 PM
A new effort is underway to build a 230 mile long natural gas pipeline from Coos Bay to Malin.
An open house was held in Klamath Falls to discuss that proposal...
Project manager Chris Bias says the 'Pacific Connector' pipeline could bring big money, and nearly 1,800 jobs to Klamath, Jackson, Douglas, and Coos counties...
"Total cost of the pipeline is about 1.8 billion dollars. Instantly, tax revenues from that in the four counties which would be impacted is about 11 million dollars spread across the four counties."
But not everyone is in favor. There are concerns about safety... Damage to sensitive environmental areas... And the disruption to public and private properties. Anita Ward is one of those who are opposed to the project: "What it would do to Coos Bay is horrible. There will be dredging of the bay area."
When the Jordan Cove / Pacific Connector concept was first introduced in 2006, the plan was to import natural gas. Market changes has altered that plan to export...
"Actually, I like the idea of using it as export instead of import." Says State Senator Doug Whitsett of Bonanza. "It should help to alleviate our balance of payment."
Project manager Chris Bias notes that there will be many more meetings and formal hearings as part of the regulatory process...
"Our timeline to actually begin production would be in late 2015, and to have the facilities in service at the end of 2017."
A meeting to discuss the Pacific Connector pipeline will be held in Medford Thursday evening from 6 to 8 P.M. at the Rogue Regency Inn on Biddle Road.
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.