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Protesters to gather in Klamath against LNG pipeline
By STEPHEN FLOYD H&N Staff Reporter
Oct 5, 2016
A protest has been organized for this weekend in downtown Klamath Falls against the Jordan Cove Energy Project, which is seeking to install a natural gas pipeline from Klamath County to the Oregon coast.
Scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at Veterans Memorial Park, the Protection Walk/Rally will allow residents to voice concerns about the impacts of the
project, which would see 232 miles of pipeline installed between Malin and Coos Bay.
Organizer Renee Frye said the project poses a threat to multiple aspects of people’s lives, from potential contamination of waterways to the loss of private property and the depletion of
“There’s a lot of things that go on with this,” she said of the pipeline.
Developers for the project are seeking licensing approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) following the rejection of their initial application March 11. FERC has the
option to rehear an amended application and is considering the option to do so.
Local opposition has already been voiced by the Klamath Tribes, which sent a letter Sept. 21 to state officials citing the potential impact of the pipeline on cultural and natural resources.
Developers, however, argue the project would create “hundreds of permanent, real jobs” and would boost both the economy and tax revenue.
A spokesperson for the project did not return multiple requests for comment for this article.
Frye said the idea for a protest was sparked when her father, Jack Thom, chief and medicine man for the Karuk Tribe, heard concerns about the project during a sweat lodge meeting.
Cultural, ecological issues
Frye said the main worries about the project are the cultural and ecological damage that could come from digging the lines, as well as the potential pollution of the Klamath and Rogue
rivers, which the pipeline is planned to travel under.
Frye said, even without these potential risks, area natural gas users will not be able to access the fuel in the pipes as developers intend to export it to Asia.
“The trouble is Oregon and California aren’t getting anything out of it,” she said.
(Klamath County business groups have asked for a valve to be included at Malin for gas that could be used for future development).
Frye said those with property along the proposed route of the pipeline are also at risk of having their land taken if they oppose the project, as state authorities could potentially exercise
eminent domain laws to force the sale of the land.
And Frye said she does not hold the developers of the project at fault as she understands they are a business attempting to make money, but said she wishes they could better understand
how the project is affecting local residents.
“The ultimate take-way would be knowledge and to know this has been going back and forth for about a decade,” said Frye of the goals for the protest.
Frye said more than 100 demonstrators are expected to attend including those who may otherwise be on opposing sides when it comes to natural resources and water issues. She said,
though such topics can be contentious, both sides have been coming together over mutual concerns about JCEP.
“Once they realize everyone is actually on the same side with this, they’re very responsive,” she said.
“Our blood is all red no matter our religion or our culture,” she continued.
Featured speakers, including Thom, are expected to participate while time will also be given to members of the public willing to step to the microphone.
“The floor is open, we’d like everyone to speak,” said Frye.
The protest will also include a walk from the park to the Klamath County Courthouse four blocks away on Main Street.
For more information, contact Frye at 541-281-9330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Taylor R. Tupper
Klamath Tribes Public Information/News Dept.
Tribal Administration Office
501 Chiloquin Blvd, or PO Box 436
Chiloquin, Oregon 97624
Phone: 541-783-2219 ext. 147