How are we going to stop Jordan Cove?
Given a FERC Final Order regarding Jordan Cove is expected in November 2019 it is good that Wim DeVriend has reminded us that local citizens who don’t stand to lose their property to eminent domain enabled a foreign corporation to interfere in a local election that would have protected landowners who are threatened by the project. Unfortunately, DeVriend misspoke about the Coos County Right to a Sustainable Energy Future ordinance ballot measure from the May 2017 ballot as providing “civil liberties for trees”. This is a false reading of what establishing a legal framework to protect the rights of nature would accomplish. The truth is, both in the failure of current environmental law and much more critically for our very survival, is that by acknowledging ecosystems having the right to thrive and flourish and naturally evolve its really a necessary and common sense recognition of our symbiotic relationship with nature.
DeVriend is right, leaders of the local anti-LNG group opposed the ordinance, but these same people also spread a rumor that I was personally “bought off” by Jordan Cove LNG so I wouldn’t hold their opinion in too high esteem.
While many opponents of the LNG terminal have thrown all their eggs into the regulatory basket, including the local group here in Coos County, many communities across the country are thinking out of the box in order to stop harmful, non-sustainable development like Jordan Cove. Just up the coast from Coos Lincoln County has successfully stopped poisonous aerial spraying of pesticides by industrial timber since their community bill of rights ordinance passed in May 2017. The foundation they and others have worked from is that aerial spraying or fracking or LNG terminals are really issues having to do with fundamental rights that is the rights to a healthy environment, rights to clean air and water, and the right for the community itself to be the primary decision maker on such corporate proposals like LNG terminals instead of being treated as a door mat to corporate raiders. The shorthand here is that community rights not only matter but that they are superior to that of the corporate state itself who is looking to undermine those very rights of the community, nature included.
FERC is in the business of granting permits, not denying them and the agency is funded by the very industry it is supposed to be regulating. Statistical evidence says Jordan Cove will receive its long-fought permit next year. The question then becomes what are we willing to do to stop this albatross when all else has failed?