Fossil Gas Pipeline: Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have written to the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Richard Glick, and the other FERC commissioners, urging them to follow the advice of the Oregon Attorney General and withdraw permits for TC Energy’s Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) Xpress project. The letter was sent in response to a senators’ request.
Senators From Oregon Urge Against Building A New Fossil Gas Pipeline
According to a letter written by Merkley and Wyden, “in order to establish a net-zero emissions economy by 2050, President Biden vowed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52% by 2030, below 2005 levels.” “The FEIS submitted to the FERC estimates that the project would result in annual emissions of 2.3 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent for at least the next 20 years.
According to your FEIS, the project is expected to cause nine billion dollars in climate-related damage over the next 28 years. And this is done through a process that will gradually reduce the pipeline’s climatic impact. Vice President Joe Biden’s promise cannot be kept if additional pollutants are released into the atmosphere as a result of pipeline expansions such as the GTN Xpress.
The Senators emphasise in their letter how Oregon has implemented policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning away from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy. Among these policies is a shift away from the state’s reliance on natural gas. These regulations demonstrate how renewable energy sources can meet the demand for electricity while posing fewer environmental and public safety risks than fossil fuels.
“The GTN Xpress would jeopardise the safety of frontline communities and the environment for a project that is not required,” they wrote. “ In its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) stated that it is unable to define the end use for the 51,000 Dth/d that Tourmaline Marketing Corp has subscribed for, indicating that demand for the project is uncertain.
Adding fossil gas infrastructure in an area that is rapidly transitioning to renewable energy is risky and not in the public interest because it may leave consumers on the hook for the costs of an underutilised project.
Senators Merkley and Wyden then urge the chairman and commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to listen to Oregon when it says the GTN Xpress is incompatible with climate goals. They also emphasise how moving forward would be detrimental to the public’s interest.
“The expansion of fossil gas through the GTN Xpress will undercut Oregon’s efforts to encourage a cleaner, safer, and more effective alternative to fossil gas.” “GTN Xpress would be promoting a market for polluting fossil gas from a foreign country rather than assisting the people of the United States,” they concluded.
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