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LNG Pipeline Update: White House Weighs In

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With a sense of deja-vu, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) is back for its third attempt at placing a pipeline that will run diagonally all the way from the California border near Klamath northwest to Coos Bay. Construction permits have been rejected twice before by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), but shortly after Donald Trump was elected in November, word began to circulate that Veresen, the Canadian company proposing the pipeline, planned to resubmit its application to the FERC for approval of the pipeline again—apparently hoping that a change in the federal government’s attitude towards energy sources and global warming may provide an opportunity.

And last week, those fears took a step towards a frightening reality when the Trump White House weighed in. White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn all but promised that the administration would approve the permit, saying that it would offer a big economic boon to the U.S. economy.

Of course, there are a few flaws with that statement. Foremost, the company that would own the pipeline is Canadian.  

Meanwhile, on the local front, Measure 6-162 is edging towards a vote in mid-May. The measure would prohibit the transportation of fossil fuels within the county as well as the development of any non-sustainable energy systems, particularly hydraulic and pneumatic fracturing; essentially, banning the pipeline. But opposition is gathering a war chest of funds, a reported $358,500 in campaign contributions, more than 30 times the amount the Yes on Measure 6-162 committee has received. Not surprisingly, the bulk of these funds (92 percent) have been funneled from Veresen, the Alberta-based company behind the proposed pipeline. VOTE YES on Measure 6-162.

 

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