Pressures rise over Pacific Connector Pipeline

Klamath Falls, Ore. – The fight against a proposed pipeline is continuing.

One group gathered today in Klamath Falls to fight the move – while a southern Oregon leader shared the advantages a pipeline can deliver.

A crowd of about 20 people protested against the Pacific Connector Pipeline outside the Klamath County Government Center.

“We know what they’re doing, and they’re not going to do what they did to the Standing Rock people.”  Stated Tribal member Ramona Mason.  “It’s our duty as indigenous people to protect our homelands.”

The natural gas pipeline would stretch more than 230 miles from Coos Bay to Malin.

There are four major pipelines that meet at the Tuscarora Metering Station just outside of Malin, making it one of the largest natural gas hubs on the west coast.

Malin Mayor Gary Zieg says the jobs and revenues from taxes are a big boost to the economy.  “We have a park, a library, and schools that all get quite a bit of extra tax money – so it does help us.”

But Mason argues that the pipeline could come at a higher price.  “What is he going to do when the pipeline breaks and it distracts all of their status quo in Klamath County?  What are they going to do when their livestock can’t be fed, or their crops are ruined?”

The path of the billion dollar ‘Ruby’ pipeline from Wyoming is still visible from Malin.

But Mayor Zieg says other existing pipelines are hidden under farm fields.  “The pipelines are buried well.  If you didn’t know where they were, you couldn’t find them.”

But Ramona Mason says she’s still concerned about damage to sensitive sites.  “This is traditionally Klamath and Modoc homelands where this pipe is going to go under.”

The final decision on the pipeline will be up to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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