Hundreds gather to voice opinions on LNG pipeline

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Hundreds of people packed the Jackson County Expo Tuesday night to share their thoughts on the Jordan Cove Energy Project’s proposed liquified natural gas (LNG) pipeline.

It’s one of several public hearings taking place across southern Oregon hosted by the Oregon Department of State Lands over a removal-fill permit application, meaning they could remove or fill materials in waterways and wetlands.

The proposed LNG pipeline, channel and terminal would cost 8 to 10 billion dollars.

It’s been in the works for almost 13 years backed by a Canadian company.

The pipeline would stretch 230 miles through Coos, Douglas, Jackson and Klamath counties to transport natural gas.

Back in 2016, Jackson County Commissioners came out against the proposal, commissioners in Klamath County, however, are in support of it.

The Federal Regulatory Commission denied the projects application to build and operate the pipeline back in March of 2016, then again in December of 2016.

People against it say it could damage waterways putting wildlife and commercial fishing at risk.

“The people who feel like ‘oh, they’re going to make all this money because of it,’ are the same people who are sharing the same planet, the same earth, breathing the same air, drinking the same water,” said project oppose Eroldi Idlore. “So that needs to be the priority, sustaining the earth and preserving what is here.”

But project backers say it will bring job opportunities and economic benefit to the area.

“If anybody’s gonna do the work, we definitely want this work, right? This is what we do, we dig in the dirt,” said project supporter and member of the laborers union Lori Baumann. “It’d be a lot of money for our membership that actually lives down here and tries to find work down here. It means that a lot of pipeline workers can actually work close to home, which it just never happens.”

This was the second of several hearings about the project. The next one is Wednesday in Canyonville followed by North Bend and finally, Salem.

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