Time is of the Essence

“Hearing from our governors could really tip the scales in this campaign,” -Audrey Leonard, Columbia Riverkeeper


Environmental Leaders Ask West Coast Governors to Oppose GTN Pipeline Expansion: “Time is of the Essence”

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Local, national organizations send a plea for governors to oppose a massive increase in greenhouse gas pollution from TC Energy’s gas pipeline expansion proposal  

Portland, Ore. (February 21, 2023)—Over 50 local and national organizations leading the fight against climate change sent a letter asking Governors Inslee, Kotek, and Newsom to take a stand against a fracked gas expansion project—TC Energy’s GTN XPress proposal—that would hinder the region’s ability to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. 

The letter urges the governors to join a growing list of officials that have told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that GTN XPress is not in the public interest. Oregon’s U.S. Senators Merkley and Wyden recently condemned the project for “risk[ing] the safety of frontline communities and the planet.” 

“People along the pipeline are outraged by GTN XPress,” said Maig Tinnin, Rogue Valley Coordinator for Rogue Climate. “Despite an outpouring of opposition, FERC is poised to rubber stamp the project, with no regard for the disproportionate burdens it will place on Tribes and communities.”

The three governors frequently tout their climate credentials. Governor Kotek told a crowd at a campaign rally that she would oppose GTN XPress if elected. Recently, Governor Newsom proclaimed, “later is too late to act on climate change.” And, Governor Inslee has rebuked new gas infrastructure in his state, referencing “the damaging impacts of natural gas production and distribution.” 

“Hearing from our governors could really tip the scales in this campaign,” said Audrey Leonard, Staff Attorney for Columbia Riverkeeper. “Constituents are wondering where the governors are on this issue, while simultaneously feeling ignored by FERC.” In a letter drafted by TC Energy, Idaho officials lent their support for GTN XPress in October.

“Time is of the essence,” the letter reads. FERC could make a decision as early as next month.

Local and national organizations that joined the letter include: Columbia Riverkeeper, Rogue Climate, 350 Deschutes, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Verde, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, Onward Oregon, 350 Eugene, Breach Collective, Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light, 198 methods, Sierra Club Washington State Chapter, Sierra Club Oregon Chapter, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, 350 PDX, Food & Water Watch, 350 Yakima, Sierra Club California, FracTracker Alliance, Pacific Environment, Climate First: Replacing Oil & Gas, RE Sources, 350 Seattle, Linnton Neighborhood Association, SoCal 350 Climate Action, 350 Humboldt, Californians for Energy Choice, Oil Change International, Social Eco Education, CleanEarth4Kids.org, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, California Democratic Party Environmental Caucus, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, Romero Institute, California Interfaith Power & Light, 350 Spokane, Waterkeeper Alliance, Rogue Riverkeeper, Beyond Toxics, Oregon Just Transition Alliance, Friends of the Earth US, Vashon Climate Action Group, California Nurses for Environmental Health and Justice, Action for the Climate Emergency, San Diego 350, Idaho Conservation League, Climate Health Now, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Zero Hour, and Cascadia Climate Action Now. 

Fracked Gas Fight Heating Up

TC Energy, the same company behind the Keystone Pipeline, aims to significantly increase the volume of methane gas pumped through the aging GTN pipeline. The results? Increased risks to public health and safety. More fracking. And locking communities into fossil fuels for years to come. Columbia Riverkeeper and partners are actively fighting this proposal.