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  • Rick Bonetti

Rogue Climate Opposes GTN XPress

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

In a November 18, 2022 press release, Rogue Climate vows to oppose the proposed GTN XPress Fracked Gas Project after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement. Excerpts from the press release are reformatted and republished below.

From the Rogue Climate website: "GTN XPress is a proposal from TC Energy (the company behind Keystone XL) to increase the volume of fracked gas by 150 million cubic feet per day through the existing GTN pipeline. Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) is a 1,354-mile-long pipeline that cuts through British Columbia, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon."

The FTN XPress proposal is for the expansion of compressor capacity in three locations, not for adding new pipelines like the recent LNG proposal that was defeated.

In Oregon, the existing GTN Kent Compressor Station in Sherman County (east of Mt. Hood) would "uprate an existing Solar Turban Titan 130 gas-fired turbine compressor from 14,300 HP to 23,470 HP; Install 4 new gas cooling bays and associated piping, and improve an existing access road."

"The proposed GTN XPress fracked gas pipeline expansion would significantly increase the flow of fracked gas through the Northwest, The expansion of gas compressors capacity faces fierce opposition from a grassroots coalition of communities along the pipeline, climate advocates, tribal members, health professionals, and communities across Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho."

"Members of a regional coalition comprising dozens of community groups immediately condemned FERC’s short-sighted analysis stating that "FERC’s analysis failed to resolve deep-seated concerns from states, tribes, and community groups about the broader impacts of the project, including its conflict with state climate goals and failure to address upstream methane emissions from the harmful practice of fracking."

"The project has been heavily criticized by the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission, who have decried FERC’s lack of consultation as well as the climate and health impacts of the pipeline. In August, they wrote a full comment letter to FERC outlining deficiencies in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement."

"Most people near the pipeline and compressor stations don’t even know about the expansion,” says Diane Hodiak, Executive Director of 350 Deschutes. “There has been a near-total lack of opportunity for public engagement. It is being rapidly pushed with little room for input from the people who will be affected. With the rise in energy prices, ratepayers certainly don’t want to be on the hook for more price increases for the cost of infrastructure.” “From wildfires to droughts, Columbia River communities increasingly experience climate change impacts. That’s why West Coast states are united in opposition to GTN’s expansion plans,” said Lauren Goldberg, Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper. “FERC’s approach will worsen the climate crisis, downplaying the impacts of a proposal that will pollute our communities, impact health and safety, and create millions of tons of climate-changing pollution each year.”

“Oregon’s largest County just issued a report recommending against using fracked gas in homes because of its harms to public health,” said David De La Torre, Healthy Climate Program Director of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Pushing more health-harming fracked gas into our region may be in the interests of fossil fuel corporations, but it is contrary to the public interest and protecting people’s health.”

"The proposed expansion of the Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) pipeline, a subsidiary of TC Energy, would transport approximately 150 million cubic feet per day of additional methane gas from Canada for sale in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and California. FERC previously found the project would emit approximately 3.24 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, for at least the next 30 years. This is equivalent to adding 754,000 cars on the road each year until 2052. Experts and over 1,000 commenters from across the region warned that FERC’s estimates are too low and that the real climate impact would be far greater."

"This proposed pipeline expansion comes at a time when government agencies from the EPA to Multnomah County Health Department are calling for an urgent transition away from gas. Attorney Generals from Washington, Oregon, and California oppose the expansion, filing a Motion to Intervene and Protest in August 2022."

"Following successful community opposition to proposed new pipelines in recent years, pipeline expansions have become part of a national strategy to increase fracked gas. FERC has approved 15 similar XPress projects over the past 5 years alone, resulting in a dramatic expansion of fracked gas in the U.S."

In August 2022 the Attorney Generals for the states of Oregon, California, and Washington asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to deny the TC Energy proposal due to climate change. "They argued that allowing more natural gas to flow from Canada to the U.S. would harm the state’s efforts to combat climate change as the region shifts to renewable energy sources."

FERC is expected to make its final decision on the GTN XPress proposal on February 16th, 2023.

Rogue Climate is having a "Fossil Fuel Fighters Kickoff: Stop the GTN XPress" on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, at 6 p.m. at their office in Phoenix (205 N. Phoenix Rd, Suite G.) There will be food, art, information, and action steps to help Stop GTN XPress and build community with other folks in Rogue Valley interested in helping save all we can, by fighting new fossil fuel infrastructure in our region. Register here.

Rogue Climate helped bring communities together to stop the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and transition to renewable energy.

You can connect with Rogue Climate on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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