On May 27, Hellgate Jetboat Excursions applied for a US Army Corp of Engineers 404 permit and Department of Environmental Quality 401 certification to dredge over 1000 cubic yards of gravel, sand, and sediment at 9 locations in the Rogue River.While local businesses are an important part of the regional tourism economy, the greater Rogue Valley community deserves to have their voices heard especially when it comes to major decisions regarding the health of the river that we all depend on and enjoy.Ask the US Army Corp of Engineers to extend the public comment period for Hellgate Jetboat dredge application!Local communities deserve more time to weigh in on a recent 404 Rogue River dredge application from Hellgate Jetboat Excursions.Submit your comments to ask the US Army Corp of Engineers to extend the public comment period and hold a public hearing so that community members have a voice for clean water, native fish and recreation on the Rogue.
The Forest Committee of the DPO Environmental Caucus had a Zoom meeting a while back with Senator Merkley’s staff. Sen Merkley is the Chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the U.S. Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Forest Service
The Forest Committee discussed funding needs for forest management, especially creating defensible space around homes. The committee also asked the Senator to declare his position on the protection of old-growth forests. One of his staff members provided the following statement on Senator Merkley’s positions, which will be submitted to ODF as public comment for Oregon’s Climate Change & Carbon Plan (CCCP).
- The Senator strongly supports protecting old-growth forests, which are critical carbon sinks and wildlife habitats. He has consistently fought against attempts to grant exemptions to NEPA and other environmental laws.
- The endless cycle of catastrophic wildfire is perhaps the greatest threat to the health of our forests and wildlife, as well as to communities. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to forest management, but strategic thinning and prescribed fire are important tools to reversing this dangerous trend. Finding ways to incentivize innovative wood products offers a pathway to getting more of this work done, while also providing an alternative source of building materials to concrete and steel—whose manufacturing produces a massive amount of carbon emissions—and creating jobs in new industries.
- The Senator has championed the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program because some of these tough questions about how to manage our forests are best answered by stakeholders on the ground. We’ve had great success here in Oregon with getting stakeholders with really different perspectives to the table to create forest management plans that support ecosystems, sustainability, and industry.
- As the new Chairman of Senate Appropriations Committee that funds the Department of Interior, the Senator is working to find ways to strengthen our land management agencies so they can manage our forests and other public lands in ways that better reflect the range of values we place in our forests
You can find the draft of the CCCP and more information here.
You can help by submitting CCCP comments and questions to ODF with the submission form available here.
To be assured consideration, comments must be received by Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
We have a date for our hike up the beautiful Pipe Fork Creek. Thank you for your responses to our Survey Monkey questionnaire! Based upon those responses the hike will be this coming Sunday, June 20th. We will meet in the Safeway shopping center parking lot, near KeyBank. This is the Safeway near the intersection of Williams Highway and Union Avenue. We will be leaving the Safeway parking lot at 9:00 am sharp and carpooling to the trail head. Try to be there by 8:45 am.
Joe Stodola will be leading the hike and will be accompanied by Cheryl Bruner and, possibly, Chaz Rogers as well of the Williams Community Forest Project who will function as our expert guide(s). Please join us on a breath taking adventure through old growth forest, resplendent with waterfalls and Port Orford Cedar. Our County Commissioners are considering selling this land to the highest bidder. In all likelihood, the highest bidder would purchase it for logging. There may not be much more time to see this area in its current state of natural beauty.
We plan to conclude the hike at 1:00 pm. Bring water. Wear comfortable hiking shoes. Dress for the weather. The terrain varies from easy to moderate. The pace will be relaxed with ample time to ask questions.
Fourteen people responded to the survey. Seven said they would been available for this day. Hopefully, this time slot has opened up for more of you. Also, we would love to have you join us, even if you did not respond to the survey. Just be at the Safeway parking lot on time.
Lynda Spangler and Joe Stodola will be leading a hike up the beautiful Pipe Fork Creek. Lynda and Joe will be accompanied by Cheryl Bruner and/or Chaz Rogers of the Williams Community Forest Project who will function as our expert guide(s). Please join us on a breath taking adventure through old growth forest, resplendent with waterfalls and Port Orford Cedar. Our County Commissioners are considering selling this land to the highest bidder. In all likelihood, the highest bidder would purchase it for logging. There may not be much more time to see this area in its current state of natural beauty.
We will set the date based upon your responses. We plan to go from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on a Saturday or Sunday in June. Click on the Survey Monkey link now and let us know the dates that you will be able to join us.
“We’ve grown leaps and bounds in our ability to collect climate data, particularly in the last 30 years since we’ve had satellites,” says Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at the Breakthrough Institute, a think tank in Oakland, California. “But at the end of the day, we need to know what is likely to happen in the next few decades and the rest of the century and centuries to come. And for that, you need some sort of model.” Meet the team shaking up climate models – (link to article in The Christian Science Monitor)
PRESS RELEASE: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Upholds Oregon’s Denial of Key Jordan Cove LNG Permit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Allie Rosenbluth, 541-816-2240, firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Hawley, Western Environmental Law Center, 206-487-7250, email@example.com
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Upholds Oregon’s Denial of Key Jordan Cove LNG Permit
Potentially fatal blow for fracked gas export terminal and pipeline proposed in Oregon
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) upheld the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s denial of a key permit for the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline. The Jordan Cove LNG project cannot move forward without a Clean Water Act approval from the state of Oregon.
This is the latest in a series of regulatory losses for Jordan Cove LNG, representing a huge blow to the 15-year-old proposal that has been vehemently opposed by Tribes, impacted landowers, fishermen, climate advocates, and others. The project has also not qualified for other critical state, federal, and local permits needed to move forward.
In its summary of today’s meeting, FERC wrote:
“The order finds that Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector never requested certification with respect to the Commission authorizations for the Jordan Cove Energy Project and that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality could not have waived its authority to issue certification for a request it never received.”
“The FERC decision is very encouraging. It is certainly our hope that Pembina will give up on this devastating project once and for all,” said Chairman Don Gentry of the Klamath, Modoc, and Yahooskin Tribes.
“The evidence in the record was clear, FERC had no choice other than to deny Pembina’s request to waive Oregon’s 401 water quality authority,” said impacted Douglas County landower Stacey McLaughlin. “Any approach to seeking approval of its Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove Energy Project without proper permits compromises the safety of Oregon’s landowners. Pembina is proving it cannot be trusted—this is not a characteristic seen in a ‘good neighbor.’”
“The headwinds for the Jordan Cove project continue to blow strongly. FERC’s decision to uphold Oregon’s authority to deny a water quality certification for the project demonstrates that measures are in place to protect the Coos Bay estuary and rivers of southern Oregon,” said marine biologist and Coos County resident Dr. Jan Hodder.
“Today’s unanimous FERC decision shows that when our communities come together and speak out, we win! Thousands of southern Oregonians have raised their voices to stop this project for years and will continue to until the threat of Jordan Cove LNG is gone for good,” said Hannah Sohl, executive director of Rogue Climate. “Now we must focus on creating good, local jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency in Oregon.”
“Today’s decision is a huge win for clean water and healthy communities who’ve been fighting this harmful project for nearly 15 years,” said Robyn Janssen, director of Rogue Riverkeeper. “FERC’s decision to uphold Oregon’s 401 denial gives me hope that this is the end for Jordan Cove LNG.”
“Today’s decision confirms Oregon’s right to protect its communities and waters from big polluters like the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline,” said Andrew Hawley, attorney at the Western Environmental Law Center. “We have battled this harmful behemoth for decades and defeated it at every turn. With everything we know today about climate change this project must never again rise from the ashes.”
“Jordan Cove LNG would have threatened the drinking water of nearly 160,000 Oregonians. Today’s FERC decision is a win for public health,” said Damon Motz-Storey, Healthy Climate Program director at Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Oregon’s right to deny Clean Water Act permits on the basis of unacceptable harm to our water resources is vitally important. This is a day to celebrate.”
“For 15 years this climate-polluting proposal threatened landowners, waterways, forests and imperiled species across southern Oregon,” said Dylan Plummer, grassroots organizer with Cascadia Wildlands. “Today, we can finally breathe a sigh of relief, and tomorrow we will redouble our efforts to end this project for good.”
“The latest rejection of the Jordan Cove project is yet another victory for our clean water and our communities. We’ve said time and again that this project will never be built, and today’s announcement is just further proof of that,” said Sierra Club senior attorney Nathan Matthews.
“Jordan Cove LNG was poised to become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in our state of Oregon should it have been approved, responsible for 15 times more emissions than the now-closed Boardman coal plant’s annual emissions. This project was a disaster in waiting for the climate and communities in its path, and today’s news from FERC is a welcome relief after years of fighting this dirty project,” said David Turnbull, strategic communications director at Oil Change International. “Let’s hope this is the start of a new era at FERC, where communities and our climate are protected rather than ignored in the face of industry demands.”
The Trump administration is clambering to deliver on a final promise: to definitively open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most remote and ecologically pristine areas in North America, to oil and gas drilling –> https://sc.org/2UMdAKo
Trump in his final hours, just announced plans to sell the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to his fossil fuel cronies and campaign funders. This is our National Wildlife Refuge one of the most remote and ecologically pristine areas in North America and Trump is selling it to the highest bidder.
To make it hard for us to weigh in they are only accepting public comment via regular mail on the lease sale🙄 but since we are all social distancing and have plenty of time on our hands this isn’t that much to ask, is it. We need letters, 1000’s of them.
The deadline to receive letters is the 17th of December, but please mail it by the 10th to
State Director, BLM Alaska State Office
222West 7th Ave
Mail Stop 13
Anchorage, AK 99513-7504
Here is a sample letter. Use it, change it, make it your own, but send something!
RE: I am Against any and all lease or sale of oil or gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!
Exploration and development of gas or oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will create a web of roads and pipelines and could harm the waterways, wildlife, the pristine delicate landscape of this precious unique country.
Encompassing more than 19 million acres, the Arctic Refuge is the largest national wildlife refuge in the United States. It has no roads or facilities. Tucked in the northeast corner of Alaska along the Beaufort Sea, its delicate arctic landscape provides breeding grounds for caribou, denning sites for polar bears, and habitat for migratory birds, among other ecological rarities.
Extracting these oil and gas deposits can result in lasting damage to the environment. Specifically, oil and gas exploration and development causes disruption of migratory pathways, degradation of important animal habitats, and oil spills—which can be devastating to the animals and humans who depend on these ecosystems.
What national interest could be so compelling to put all that at risk? America is setting records, with oil exports anticipated to overtake those of Russia and approaching those of Saudi Arabia. America is flush with oil.
Please protect this beautiful National Wildlife Refuge
Oregon has only a modest tax on harvested timber that just supports the industry. Unlike Washington state, Oregon doesn’t tax the value of trees when cut to compensate counties for reduced property taxes while the timber was growing.
Read about it: Timber Tax Citizen concept
… and more: How to Protect Our Water
Here are some questions to get you thinking.
What is the best severance tax design and use?
- What percentage should be returned to the counties as property tax?
- Who should be taxed? And what rate?
- Revenue to protect watershed/drinking water
- Best mechanism to incentivize better forest management?
- Which forest management characteristics are most important for drinking water, fish protection and fire hazards?
- Is fire protection an important use of this revenue? What aspects-fire resistant building materials, defensible space or fire suppression?
A rural community coalition has already designed their own tax bill.
Let’s discuss the details of their plan as laid out in the handouts attached or linked here and see what you would like to see accomplished!
Strategy: How will we make a tax severance plan happen?
- What organizations do we need onboard?
- Are county commissioners supportive?
- Do we have the votes for a 3/5th majority?
- The industrial timber industry is a powerful lobby, what would you say to counter their opposition?
Want to get involved? Contact Catherine Thomasson or Jody Wiser with the Tax Fairness Oregon 503-819-1170
Interesting what sun and less air polution can do…
Solar panels in Germany smashed a record Monday, producing 32,227 megawatts of power and beating the previous record set March 23. Ample sun and a lack of human-created smog enabled solar generation to produce 40 percent of German power Monday compared to 22 percent produced by coal and nuclear facilities. Fully 78 percent of the electrical output in Germany on Monday was renewables.