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Merkley, Wyden Sound Alarm on Fossil Gas Pipeline Expansion, Not in the Public’s Best Interest

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Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Richard Glick, and FERC commissioners urging them to listen to the Oregon Attorney General and deny permits for TC Energy’s Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) Xpress project.  

“In order to reach a net-zero emissions economy by 2050, President Biden pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52% by 2030, below 2005 levels,” wrote Merkley and Wyden. “According to FERCs FEIS, the project would emit 2.3 million metric tons of Carbon Dioxide equivalent emissions each year, until at least 2052. Your FEIS predicts the project will cause nine billion dollars in climate-related damage over the next 28 years. And that’s with a methodology that systematically minimizes the pipeline’s climate impacts. Adding new emissions through pipeline expansions like the GTN Xpress is incompatible with President Biden’s pledge.” 

In their letter, the Senators highlight how Oregon has enacted policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions—moving away from fossil gas—including investing in renewable energy. These policies show how renewable alternatives can meet energy demands without the climate and safety risks caused by fossil fuels.  

“The GTN Xpress would risk the safety of frontline communities and the planet for a project that isn’t necessary,” they write. “FERC itself said in its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) that it cannot determine the end use for the 51,000 Dth/d that Tourmaline Marketing Corp has subscribed for, a clear indication that demand for the project is uncertain. Adding fossil gas infrastructure in a region that is rapidly transitioning to renewable energy risks sticking ratepayers with the costs of an underutilized project and it isn’t in the public interest.” 

Merkley and Wyden’s letter continues by urging the FERC chairman and commissioners to listen to Oregon when it says the GTN Xpress is incompatible with climate objectives, highlighting how moving forward would not be in the public’s interest.  

“Expanding fossil gas through the GTN Xpress will undermine the efforts in Oregon to support a cleaner, safer, and effective alternative to fossil gas. Rather than helping Americans, GTN Xpress would be supporting a market for dirty fossil gas from a foreign country,” they conclude. 

Full text of the letter can be found here and follows below: 



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