Having attended the Salem No-LNG export rally referenced in pro-gas booster Mark Wall’s gushing praise of America’s regulatory process a certain irony is worth pointing out. Both sides are claiming that the same regulatory agencies and rule of law will either be their salvation from unwanted fossil-fuel development or the source of success for permitting yet another 19th century, polluting, non-sustainable energy project.
A woman supporting Columbia Riverkeeper at the rally told me that the Jordan Cove and Oregon LNG projects violate the CZMA and so would not be built. What a relief to those of us opposing this polluting industry if it were true. However, Peter Hansen, CEO of Oregon LNG also quotes from the CZMA as confirmation for the success of his project. How can they both be right?
The Columbia and Rogue Riverkeeper along with other anti-LNG groups, like Wall, have placed their faith in the regulatory agencies even though they know the odds are stacked statistically in favor of the industry. These organizations work to build the public record filing substantive comments to support the eventual legal challenge once a permit is granted.
Sustainability is effectively illegal under our current system of law and because we have yet to assert our inalienable right to local self-government the traditional strategy for stopping or delaying these projects is to sue the regulatory agencies for violating NEPA once a permit is granted.
It’s like watching the Ducks vs Beavers. Both sides know the rules and both sides acknowledge that the referees may have a bias. The underdogs want to play anyway and barring a Hail Mary pass, hope to cry foul when the winners are caught using under-inflated footballs.
Wall invokes the constitution in his rant against anti-gas activists. Our own constitution is used by non-sustainable industries to elevate the rights of corporations over the rights of the community. The existing rule of law denies us the right to be self-determining or to implement a sustainable energy and economic future like that envisioned in the SDAT report.
Rally keynote speaker Robert Kennedy Jr, himself pro-gas but opposed to exports, calls the process “an assault on democracy.”
Oregon’s Constitution notes that “…all power is inherent in the people, and … founded on their authority …” We have the right to “alter, reform or abolish” our government if it stands in the way of sustainability.
Support the Coos County Right to a Sustainable Energy Future Ordinance.