Pipeline Proposal

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, June 25 2012 at 4:57 PM, Updated: Mon, June 25 2012 at 5:12 PM

A 230 mile long natural gas pipeline that would stretch from Coos Bay to Malin is the subject of several meetings this week.   Your input is sought on the 'Pacific Connector' gas pipeline.

Malin is already a hub for gas pipelines...and Malin City Recorder Kay Neumeyer says those projects have provided money and jobs.

"Like when the Ruby Pipeline was here, it filled up our RV park - and actually paid for having an RV park built.  So, that was a big benefit."

But while the Ruby Pipeline went across rather remote areas of Wyoming and Northern Nevada, the Pacific Connector pipeline will be going through more populated, more ecologically sensitive areas of Oregon.  The proposed route goes through Klamath, Jackson, Douglas, and Coos counties.

While scars are left from burying a 36-inch pipe, Malin Public Works Director Robert Grounds says the land heals quickly...

"I know it is an open trench at one point in time, but they just finished this last year in the spring...and as you can tell behind me, there is no trace left."

While the plan 4 years ago was to import natural gas, Pacific Connector / Williams Corporation spokesperson Michele Swaner notes that plan has been change to export...

"Well, it really reflects market changes in the natural gas industry."

That shift has triggered additional opposition to the project. 

While the project might bring some money to Malin, Kay Neumeyer knows there's a risk...

"We haven't really seemed to have any problems yet, but always worried about if a pipeline would blow up, or something."

Meetings on the proposed pipeline are being held:

Monday, June 25 / Umpqua Community College / Roseburg

Tuesday, June 26 / Red Lion Hotel / Coos Bay

Wednesday, June 27 / Shilo Inn / Klamath Falls

Thursday, June 28 / Rogue Regency Inn / Medford

All meetings will run from 6 to 8 p.m., with presentations getting underway at 7:pm.

You can find out more information online at:  www.pacificconnectorgp.com 

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

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.

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