Hundreds of Oregonians protest proposed LNG pipelines

It’s unclear whether Gov. Kate Brown will allow the projects to move forward.

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Hundreds of protesters gathered outside of the Capitol in Salem on Tuesday to express their lack of support for a pair of proposed liquefied natural gas pipelines.

The Statesman Journal reports on the demonstration:

“This is an assault not just on the environment, but an assault on democracy,” speaker Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told the crowd. “It just is a bad deal all around.”

Kennedy is president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a national coalition of local groups advocating for clean water. Canadian company Veresen Inc. wants to build an export terminal in Coos Bay, on Oregon’s south coast. The Jordan Cove Energy Project would receive natural gas through a new, 232-mile-long pipeline. Meanwhile, American company Oregon LNG is trying to build an LNG terminal in Warrenton, on the north coast near where the Columbia River enters the Pacific. A new pipeline would connect the terminal with one in Woodland, Washington.

At this time, it’s unclear whether Gov. Kate Brown will allow the projects to move forward.


Brown is the third governor to deal with the LNG question in Oregon, and decisions made on her watch could have far-reaching environmental and economic consequences for the state.

In contrast to Gov. John Kitzhaber’s behind-the-scenes support of LNG, and Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s full-throated criticism of federal regulators he thought were rubber-stamping the terminals, Brown’s stance is still unclear.

One of the protesters’ major concerns was that the pipeline would cross the private property of some Oregonians. 

Portland Business Journal wrote about a rancher who has refused to cede to the energy companies’ requests:

“I feel like a girl getting stalked by a guy she’s trying to get rid of,” he said.

[Bill] Gow said he’s been offered $14,000 in exchange for granting a 100-foot by two-mile easement that will affect 26 acres. He has a myriad of reasons for refusing the offer. He says a pipeline is potentially unsafe, will devalue his ranch and bring unwelcome workers and equipment to the property.