On July 15, the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) rejected Coos County’s approval of the proposed liquified natural gas line that is proposed to run from Coos Bay to Malin, cutting through properties in Trail and going under the Rogue River.
In a press release, David Lohman, a Medford attorney representing the Southern Oregon Pipeline Information Project said, “Correcting the problems with this permit-if Coos County decides to try to do so- will require a lot of new work by Jordan Cove and the county, including public involvement processes that were skipped over before. And we now know of additional problems to bring to LUBA’s attention the next time around.”
On the heels of the LUBA decision, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners held a public hearing on July 16. They had released their proposal several days prior to the hearing in which they urged FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to halt the project. They listed concerns about easements across private property, going under the river and other streams and through watersheds and asked FERC to halt all proposed LNG projects in Oregon pending an independent programmatic environmental review and a needs assessment.
The vote was 2-1. Jack Walker voted against the resolution
Barbara Falcy, who has been a strong opponent of the project, said she was happy the two commissioners opposed the pipeline. She was stunned, she said, by Commissioner Walker’s comments. “This is the United States of America,” said Falcy. “What we have gone through in the last year is the kind of thing that formed this country. It shows that individuals and especially groups can make a difference.”
“The commissioners’ decision was an essential step in sending a message to state government that local communities do not want the pipeline,” said Eagle Point-Butte Falls resident Richard Harrington. “The county’s resolution ties in with the Shady Cove City Council’s resolution and those from other cities.”
Lohman said, “Jackson County Commissioners have protected their constituents from a project full of problems. He said he feels if pressure is continued, the pipeline will permanently be stopped. He said there are so many reasons not to build it, that investors will pull out rather than continue to throw their money in. “This,” said Lohman, “is what democracy is about – standing up and being heard.”
By Nancy Leonard and Margaret Bradburn
Of the Independent