We, the undersigned, ask that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the State of Oregon, and the State of Washington consider these comments in relationship to the proposed development of the Oregon LNG terminal planned for Warrenton, Oregon; the 85-mile pipeline from Woodland, WA, to feed it, and the 136-mile Williams Washington Expansion pipeline.
Specifically, these issues must be fully examined within the planned Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for these linked projects, and fully considered by all other governmental agencies and elected officials.
1. LNG export and domestic energy security.
Exporting LNG will reduce domestic energy security. Natural gas is important to the U.S. until we can transition away from fossil fuels; it is destructive of our national interest to export it. This LNG export proposal damages our nation’s goal of energy independence.
2. The domestic price impact of exporting LNG.
Exporting LNG raises domestic prices by forcing us to compete for gas on the more expensive world market; this hurts homeowners, small businesses, and manufacturers – and all consumers, since many price increases are passed on. Federal estimates (by the U.S. Energy Information Agency) are that prices could increase by as much as half, with maximum export.
3. The harm to U.S. manufacturers and jobs from exporting LNG.
Exporting LNG to countries with lower labor and environmental standards, and therefore lower manufacturing costs, just makes it that much easier for them for them to compete unfairly against American manufacturers and take American jobs. This would be exporting a competitive economic advantage.
4. The incentive LNG export creates for more fracking.
Exporting LNG will increase the polluting practice of hydro-fracturing (fracking), a highly controversial and destructive form of gas extraction. FERC must consider the environmental and economic impacts of significantly increasing fracking.
5. Liability from building dangerous and risky projects.
Oregon LNG wants to build an explosive industrial facility on a sand spit in a major earthquake and tsunami zone. Moving massive explosive tankers across the Columbia bar carries its own risks. LNG pipelines are also explosive, and often leak, and will crack when the next earthquake hits. Running one under the Columbia River and through some of the most valuable timber on the planet puts the river and Oregon forests at severe risk, and the Williams Washington Expansion pipeline raises comparable risky in Washington.
6. Negative environmental impacts.
Building a set of huge industrial facilities in one of the most productive salmon estuaries on earth will inevitably damage it in major ways. Pipelines require clearcuts the size of interstate highways, and would run through communities, farms, woodlands, streams and wetlands. Building pipeline through mountainous terrain carries additional risk of landslides and erosion. The environmental destruction is huge, including harm to watersheds and water quality, and damage to endangered and threatened species.
7. Using eminent domain for private purposes.
These projects are not in the public interest, and it is wrong to use eminent domain to support private profit without public benefit.
8. Global warming and climate change.
It’s getting hotter on our planet – and climate disruption is getting worse. Increased drilling for natural gas, fracking, and liquefying and shipping LNG will contribute to climate change. No increase in the use of fossil fuels can be justified; the obligation is to move away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. Renewable energy is ready for prime time, technically and economically; that’s where the focus must be.