Pipeline a national issue

The Pacific Connector pipeline project is back. As you know, there is no public scoping meeting scheduled to take place either in Jackson County nor the greater Portland area. California, Washington and northern Oregon have stopped pipelines to their coasts, leaving Southern Oregon as the Achilles's heel of the West Coast.

If an export terminal is built in Coos Bay, huge amounts of U.S. fracked gas will be shipped to Asia. The result will be gas supplied to the highest bidder (Asia) and domestic gas prices will go up. This will lead to more fracking and probably open the door to more pipelines. Cradle to grave, this is environmentally just as bad as coal.

I attended the FERC public meeting in Klamath Falls on the Oregon Institute of Technology campus last week. It was set up so there was no public discussion: those who wanted to make comments were taken into a room for their statements to be recorded with a five-minute time limit.

Our senators and the governor have remained silent on this issue. It seems that the jobs created have been waved as a carrot to gain approval of this pipeline. If the state and possibly a large corporation such as Tesla were to invest in solar, wind and tidal energy farms, many more sustainable jobs would be created.

FERC will soon be in the hands of the industry leaders. But our state can also deny permits. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of State Lands can both shut this project down.

Victor Chieco

Ashland