Here in Klamath Falls, we’ve been hearing about the Jordan Cove Project for nearly 16 years.
This week, I am excited to see progress toward making this project a reality, with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) public hearings on the Jordan Cove draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The FERC is here to determine whether this project is in the public interest. It is up to us to show them that we need Jordan Cove, but furthermore, is an opportunity for our county to make a statement about being “open for business” and economic growth.
Klamath County has not seen the potential for an investment of this size in decades. This is a $10 billion project that, once in operation, will be an incredibly large taxpayer in Klamath County, contributing $5.3 million in annual taxes. In addition, Jordan Cove will also be a job creator for Klamath County, producing dozens of full-time jobs throughout construction and operation, both directly and indirectly.
Looking at the larger Southern Oregon region, the project will provide 6,000 construction jobs and 215 permanent positions. Economic stimulation of that extent in the region can only service exposure to our area and all its extraordinary assets.
Jordan Cove will also contribute substantial investments to local infrastructure and services, including $1.3 million annually to Klamath County government and infrastructure, more than $600,000 annually to public safety, fire and hospitals, and nearly $2.8 million for public schools.
Imagine how much more our public schools could do for children with $2.8 million worth of additional resources? The possibilities are more than exciting for what teachers and students could do by utilizing such funding. Klamath Community College (KCC) continues to do great things and is on track to do even more with their programs.
The Jordan Cove project would generate $230,000 annually for KCC, allowing the college to build on the momentum they’ve created with strengthening Klamath’s secondary education and workforce offerings.
Rural counties like ours rarely get opportunities such as this, and when they do, they usually fail to recognize the other impacts the project will have, such as environmental.
Thankfully, Jordan Cove adds to its economic contributions with positive environmental contributions, such as decreasing global greenhouse gas emissions by replacing coal use in Asia with clean-burning liquefied natural gas, a step forward that all Oregonians should support. From local to global, Jordan Cove serves a substantial public interest.
This project isn’t a question of jobs or the environment; Jordan Cove is good for jobs and the environment.
Jordan Cove and its parent company, Pembina, have also shown great progress in developing a long-term business in Southern Oregon through their work with landowners along the pipeline route.
Just this week they announced that they have secured voluntary easement agreements with over 80% of private landowners. This means that more than 80% of those who will be most impacted by the pipeline support Jordan Cove, a testament to Pembina’s strong commitment to families and communities throughout Klamath County.
Jordan Cove has shown time and again that it will benefit Klamath County. From jobs to increased tax revenue to fighting global greenhouse gas emissions, Jordan Cove will serve a growing public interest in Klamath County, from Klamath Falls to Malin to Chemult and Chiloquin.
Join me this week in explaining to FERC why we want and need Jordan Cove.
— Randy Cox is Executive Director, Klamath County Economic Development Association