STOP LNG Pipeline from Clearcutting Oregon!!
Background info on organizing against proposed liquified natural gas pipeline from Coos Bay to Malin. Upcoming meetings in Medford and Canyonville (see calendar). Also briefly explains the political tensions resulting from natural gas extraction in countries like Bolivia..
Several activist groups in Oregon are organizing this weekend to oppose the approval by FERC of a liquified natural gas (LNG) pipeline from Coos Bay to Malin (near Klamath Falls)..
Details on meeting locations;
"WARNING: Parts of your property have been identified for possible
condemnation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the purpose
of building a gas pipelilne...Find out what you can do about it...
Natural Gas Pipeline Public meetings:
Saturday, December 9th, Medford Public Library, 205 South Central, Medford, 1-4 pm
Sunday, December 10th, Canyonville Youth Center, First and Pine, Canyonville, 1-4 pm"
The majority of the LNG imported to Coos Bay via ocean tankers will be exported to CA upon reaching the borderline near Malin. Oregon's Klamath-Siskiyou mountain ecosystem will bear the brunt of the pipeline's linear clearcut effects in the form of erosion and invasive species..
International dislike towards U.S. foreign policy will likely increase in countries like Bolivia, where natural gas deposits are extracted from beneath the feet of indigenous populations and exported to the U.S., leaving the bolivians with polluted watersheds and little else. no wonder
Bolivia attempts to nationalize their natural gas deposits before US corporations extract the gas for profitable export..
Here's some background info from Umpqua Watersheds;
"In Southern Oregon, a new natural gas pipeline project has been proposed. It would travel underground through Coos and Douglas County 223 miles, to the California border south of Klamath Falls.
A corridor a minimum of 100' wide will have to be clearcut the entire 223 miles to accommodate the machinery necessary to bury a 36" natural gas pipeline. 153 miles of the pipeline corridor is planned on private land, going through and near the farms and yards of thousands of people. 70 miles will be on BLM and Forest Service lands. The pipeline will be operated by Williams Pacific Connector Gas Operator LLC.
After construction, the pipeline will be maintained with a permanent cleared land opening of 75' on private land and 50' on public land. The openings are larger on private lands because the pipeline road would be permanent, whereas on public land the road would be rebuilt when needed. This clearcut corridor will completely sever southern Oregon forests and wildlife - there will be no tree bridges allowed to cross the corridor.
Buried underground and under rivers with its 100' wide clearcut corridor, the pipeline will leave Coos Bay and go south east. It will be located north of Coquille, south of Dora and Sitkum, just north of Camas Valley, through Olalla, and south of Dillard. After it crosses the South Umpqua River, it will turn south and cross both forks of Myrtle Creek, travel east of Milo, cross the South Umpqua River again, go over Wildcat Ridge in the Umpqua National Forest, and south to Trail where it will cross the Rogue River. It will eventually make its way over the Pacific Crest Trail south of Lake of the Woods, and on to Klamath Falls to meet up with the California pipeline.
The plan is to ship Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from other countries into Coos Bay on huge tankers. The gas is "liquefied" because more gas can fit on a tanker in that form. A terminal, built on the North Spit of Coos Bay, would re-gasify the natural gas. The LNG terminal would be a closed loop system using natural gas to reaheat the LNG, this means additional CO2 emissions which contribute to the greenhouse gases. Natural gas will then be piped to California via a new pipeline that goes from Coos Bay to Malin, Oregon south of Klamath Falls, where it will join an existing natural gas pipeline that goes into California.
According to the Williams Pipeline Company, over 90% of the gas in this pipeline is slated for California. The graph at left illustrates natural gas consumption rates in December of 2005. During this time, energy rates in Oregon are very high due to cold weather, but as you can see, our energy needs still did not compare to those of California's. There is currently no unmet demand for natural gas in California."
In addition to disruption of habitat and pollution, the transport and unloading of LNG requires that the gas remain liquified at a supercooled temperature to prevent explosions. Those unexpected events in life along the coast (storms, tsunamis, accidents, equipment malfunction, etc..) do not provide for the safety of coastal residents in the event of an LNG explosion if the gas cannot be maintained at supercooled temps..
read on @;
"Just How Dangerous is LNG?
LNG can become highly unstable and exhibit intense pressure if it is not kept at -259 degrees Fahrenheit. LNG can rapidly vaporize, expand and ignite to burn people and property thousands of yards from the core of the fire. No precaution or risk assessment can guarantee safety in case of accident, earthquake, or terrorism.
"An ignited LNG vapor cloud or large LNG pool fire can cause extensive damage to life and property"
California Energy Commission, July 2003
read on @;
This is a deja vu' of Humboldt Bay, CA when a corporation named Calpine attempted to bring an LNG terminal to Eureka. So many residents of the region came to city hall to express dissent of this intrusion that additional meetings were called. Eventually Calpine realized that their plan wouldn't fly with the people of Humboldt and they withdrew their proposal. We wish the same experience for Jordan Cove Energy corporation in Coos Bay..
This from EPIC;
"A cloud of controversy suddenly lifted from the North Coast on March 17, when Calpine Corp. announced that it has given up on its plans to construct a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility on Humboldt Bay. The surprise decision came the day after an unprecedented 1,500 people packed a Eureka City Council meeting, with the vast majority expressing emphatic opposition to the plan.
Humboldt County joins a growing list of communities to reject proposed LNG import facilities, following Vallejo, California; Baja California in Mexico; and Harpswell, Maine.
Things did not look so promising in the weeks and months leading up to the meeting. Calpine attempted to woo local officials and community leaders through a "backroom" public relations campaign, with its "expert" making regular visits to claim LNG is safe and somehow good for the environment."
read on @;
Finally we need to discover the source of the natural gas deposits, and the effects of natural gas extraction on regional populations. One case in point is in Bolivia, where organized campesinos have practically shut down the country's roads with blockades to protest the extraction and export of the resources under their feet..
Following the election of Evo Morales, Bolivia nationalized their natural gas on May 1, 2006. This follows several decades of privatization initiated by World Bank/IMF to benefit US corporations eager to export Bolivia's natural gas..
This from ZNet;
"The privatization of Bolivia's oil and gas industry during the nineties was part of an ambitious economic overhaul, a condition of World Bank and International Monetary Fund restructuring plans implemented by the government of then-President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada. Along with five other key state industries, YPFB's exploration, drilling, and transportation operations were turned over to private foreign control. A few years later, the subsequent government of Hugo Banzer completed the dissolution of YPFB by selling off the country's refineries and pipelines at bargain prices.
Brazilian Petrobras paid $114 million for the Cochabamba refinery and an additional refinery in Santa Cruz. Zambrana points out that if you subtract the millions of dollars in materials, gas, and derivatives thrown in for free, Petrobras actually only paid $50 million to control 90% of Bolivia's refining capacity - the rights, the land, the machinery, even YPFB staff.
"The land alone is worth more than that," says Zambrana. "Basically we gave it away."
When Sánchez de Lozada sold his privatization plan to the people of Bolivia, they were promised a road to prosperity and were assured that the Bolivian government would remain in the drivers seat. But in a series of backroom deals with foreign corporations, Bolivians were forced to watch as someone else drove off with their gas.
It was this clash between promises and reality that ignited the explosive popular demand for nationalization that brought down two Bolivian governments in the last three years and made possible Evo Morales' unprecedented election victory last December.
Morales' nationalization decree promised to rewrite history, to use the second largest natural gas reserves in South America to flip the fortunes of this, its poorest country.
Functionally, the decree includes several components: an industry-wide audit of oil and gas companies operating in Bolivia; the renegotiation of export prices with Argentina and Brazil; increased production taxes on the country's two most productive gas fields; and the renegotiation of all foreign oil and gas contracts. The crux of the decree, however, is the rebuilding of YPFB into a functioning company active in all aspects of the chain of production, from exploration to commercialization. YPFB's rebirth is to be made possible by purchasing a majority shareholding in the five different consortiums that once made up the state company, but are now under private control.
In Bolivia's nationalization media show back on May 1st, soldiers marched in to secure oil and gas fields, and 'Nationalized' banners were hung far and wide. The government was quick to claim victory:
"This is the third and definitive nationalization of oil and gas," announced President Morales. "We've completed what we promised."
"From today onward the oil and gas will belong to all Bolivians. Never again will it be in the hands of the transnational corporations," assured Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera."
read on @;
Other safer and localized options include composting biomass and harnessing the natural gas emitted from biodegradation in each local community. In Minnesota, ethanol and biomass composting facilities can harness natural gas for lower cost than importing natural gas from abroad;
"Average annual price of natural gas rose 42 percent between 2000 and 2004, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Last year prices soared, reaching an average of $14.61 per thousand cubic feet in October - up 60 percent from October 2004. EIA forecasts that the prices for 2006 would range from $11.56 to $13.31 per thousand cu. ft. At these prices, making synthesis gas from renewable biomass is cheaper than burning natural gas, says Massie.
A proposed plant in International Falls, Minnesota would convert municipal solid waste into energy and slag with "minimal emissions and more profit." The $30 million Renewable Energy Clean Air Project (RECAP) has unified "a handful of private interests with county, state and federal agencies," notes Ag Innovation News. John Howard and Stephen Korstad, principals of Coronal, the project's architects, are confident that the plant would generate solid returns for its owner, Koochiching County."
read on @;
Basically, decomposing biomass releases natural methane gas that contributes to global warming if untreated. However, harnessing the methane and collecting it (termed 'biomethanation'), distributing to the community would be recycling waste gas, decrease greenhouse emissions and supply each community with free natural gas energy..
"In the present context, and in the context of Carbon Credits, the biomass wastes within the project boundary and because of the project are negativities. These wastes can be treated to prevent methane gas escape or to harness methane gas. This, when seen together with sanitation projects being taken up in rural areas, becomes a major source of energy. Further benefits of Carbon Credits as a result of methane capture and later power generation have been suggested and the advantage has been translated to numbers. The suggested integrated process provides energy, to the, sanitation, health and an overall better quality of life to the village."
read on @;
So instead of extracting natural gas from under the ground in Bolivia, transporting it at supercolled temps across hazardous seas to an earthquake prone coastline, constructing a massive pipeline with clearcuts across sensitive mountain ecosystems, why not harness natural gas from local biomass at half the price?? Oh yeah, some transnational corporation wouldn't reap enormous profits from making taxpayers subsidize their planned pipeline!!
contribute to this article
contribute to this article
add comment to discussion