Take Action: No New Fracked Gas-Fired Power Plants

Help us convince the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council that there is no room in Oregon for a new fracked gas-fired power plant

Dear Governor Brown and the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council: 

I urge you to reject the Request for Amendment (RFA) to Perennial Wind Chaser’s (Perennial) site certificate for a proposed gas-fired power plant. In the four years since Perennial received it’s initial site certificate from the Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC), the environmental impacts of fracked gas have become increasingly apparent. It is clear that to combat climate change we need to reject new fossil fuel infrastructure, including new fracked gas power plants like the one proposed by Perennial. 

I urge EFSC to deny Perennial’s RFA because:

  1. The Oregon Supreme Court recently ruled that the rules under which Perennial applied for an RFA are invalid and EFSC cannot legally apply invalid rules.

  2. The rules provide that EFSC must consider “any changes in facts or law since the date the current site certificate was executed” in its evaluation of a request to extend the construction deadlines. New studies released since EFSC approved Perennial’s proposal demonstrate the cradle-to-grave climate change impacts of fracked gas. Specifically, methane released into the atmosphere during the production and transport of fracked gas is a far greater contributor to climate change than previously understood. Governor Brown has recognized climate change as “one of the most significant threats to Oregon’s economy, environment, and way of life,” yet fracked gas infrastructure, like Perennial’s 415 megawatt gas-powered facility, still threatens the health of our communities and our climate. 
  3. EFSC rules require that a preliminary RFA include an explanation of the need for an extension. Perennial claims it has “been unable to obtain a power purchase agreement and it is unlikely that one will be obtained before the required construction start date.” Perennial failed to explain what, if any, steps it took to obtain a power purchase agreement. Moreover, the company admitted that there is currently no market demand for its proposal. EFSC should not authorize a gas-powered plant that is not needed or wanted. 

EFSC should deny Perennial’s RFA. 

Thank you for considering this comment.

Sincerely,

Overview

Methane leaks from fracked-gas production are greatly accelerating climate change. We need to aggressively move away from fossil fuel consumption and toward renewable sources of energy. Despite this, energy companies are looking to develop new fracked gas-fired power plants in our region. Building additional fracked gas infrastructure would only entrench our region in fossil fuel use for decades to come. 


Background

Columbia Riverkeeper is challenging the Energy Facility Siting Council’s (EFSC) decision to amend a site certificate which would allow Perennial Wind Chaser an additional two years to begin and complete construction on a brand new fracked gas-fired power plant in Hermiston, OR. 

The facility was first permitted in 2015, before the serious climate change impacts of methane leaks from fracked-gas production were fully understood. Construction on the facility has been delayed, in part, because the company has not been able to find a purchaser for the power that would be generated by the facility. 

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