Oregon Senators Merkley and Wyden Oppose GTN XPress, Urge FERC To Deny Pipeline Expansion
December 20, 2022
Community groups expressed strong support today for a statement by Oregon U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announcing their opposition to the GTN XPress project, a major expansion of fracked gas infrastructure in the Northwest. On December 16, 2022, the Senators sent a letter urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to deny the GTN XPress project. Senators Merkley and Wyden explained that GTN XPress would “undermine efforts by Oregon to lead the fight against climate chaos.” The Senators pointed out that “Oregon has enacted policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move away from fossil gas, including making investments in renewable energy. Renewable alternatives can meet energy demands without the climate and safety risks caused by fossil fuels.”
Senator Merkley and Wyden also highlighted the health and safety risks of pushing more fracked gas through an aging, existing pipeline. TC Energy is the company behind the GTN XPress project, which is essentially a request to push even greater volumes of fracked gas into the Northwest through an existing pipeline. Earlier this month, TC Energy’s Keystone oil pipeline ruptured, prompting watchdogs to question whether TC Energy’s decision to run that pipeline at higher pressure caused the 588,000-gallon oil spill. Senators Merkley and Wyden told FERC, “GTN XPress would risk the safety of frontline communities and the planet for a project that isn’t necessary.”
Community groups welcomed the Senators’ opposition to GTN XPress, and echoed the letters’ call for FERC to deny the project.
“We applaud Senators Merkley and Wyden for calling attention to a major threat to Oregon’s climate goals and the health and safety of residents near the GTN Pipeline,” said Dan Serres, Conservation Director for Columbia Riverkeeper. “GTN XPress has no place in a state and region working to diminish our reliance on fracked gas. The Senators are speaking for thousands of people in Oregon, Washington and Idaho who, along with the Attorneys General of Oregon, Washington and California, have already demanded that FERC deny this project.”
FERC is expected to make a decision on the project as early as February 2023.