Activists brought their campaign against a Southern Oregon fossil fuel pipeline project to Portland Monday.
The protest was part of a national push by climate activists who worry that such projects will ensure the continued burning of fossil fuels, which contributes to global warming. The Portland event included a theatrical skit in a park and demonstrating in front of banks accused of financing pipelines and other fossil-fuel infrastructure.
The Portland demonstration focused on the proposed Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove projects in Southern Oregon.
The project involves a pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in the Coos Bay area. The proposed 229-mile-long pipeline would connect the Oregon Coast to the Rocky Mountain region’s extensive network of gas lines. The liquefaction terminal would serve to convert natural gas to liquid form in preparation for export to Asia.
Proponents of the facility say it will bring jobs and other economic benefits to the area. The pipeline project alone would create 2,000 construction jobs, according to the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline website.
But activists at Monday’s rally were more concerned with the project’s environmental implications.
“The consequences are immense,” said Mia Reback of Portland’s Rising Tide Chapter. “This really is a life or death issue.”
Alex Budd with Southern Oregon Rising Tide said the potential impacts cover a wide range.
“Everything from the obvious climate impacts of expanding fracking and natural gas infrastructure, the direct impacts on waterways and streams, the clearcutting of forests,” he said.
Demonstrators said they chose to protest in front of banks because of their role in financing fossil fuel projects like Jordan Cove.
“We’re hoping to connect with people and get them activated to see how they as individuals can play a role in taking on this major, major financial banking system,” Reback said.
She said one of the goals of the demonstration was to educate people about, “how they can move their money and divest from these big banks into local credit unions … that are not invested in fossil fuel projects.”
Jordan Cove opponents have focused on JPMorgan Chase, saying it was helping to finance that project and other and other fossil fuel infrastructure.
Neither the bank nor the Canadian company Pembina, which owns Jordan Cove responded to interview requests.
In addition to its demonstration, the group encouraged passersby to fill out comment cards expressing opposition to the Jordan Cove project.