Opponents of a natural gas export project in Southern Oregon are on a month-long protest hike along the route of a proposed pipeline. This weekend, the hikers neared the halfway point in Jackson County.
The 230-mile Pacific Connector Pipeline would supply the Jordan Cover liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal, proposed for Coos Bay on the Oregon coast.
On Saturday, six “Hike the Pipe” trekkers temporarily gave up their boots for life vests. They floated the stretch of the Rogue River where the pipeline would cross.
Umpqua Valley native Emmalyn Garrett plans to hike the entire route. She says the reception so far as been positive.
“People have pulled over in their vehicles as we’re walking along the side of the road and said, ‘I’m an affected landowner and I’m so in support of what you’re doing.’ They’ve handed us food and snacks outside of their windows,” she says.
The LNG project has become a point of contention for fossil fuel opponents and land rights advocates, many of whom decry the use of eminent domain along the pipeline route. Others have raised concerns about how wildfire would effect the 3-foot diameter underground pipeline, as well as the damage it could do to waterways in its path.
In a draft review, federal energy regulators indicated that the terminal and pipeline’s effects on the environment were generally within reason, suggesting relatively minor changes to the proposed plans.
Much of the support for Jordan Cove hinges on promises of jobs and economic development for rural communities.
Hike the Pipe will host an even in Winston on September 15th, and then end in Coos Bay September 26 – just a few days before federal regulators are slated to release the final environmental review of the project.