In the past two decades, the Pacific Northwest has become a major target for fossil fuel export including new pipelines, refineries, and export facilities for fracked gas. A majority of methane gas in the United States now comes from horizontal drilling in deep rock beds via hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking,” which has expanded at an alarming rate and has polluted communities throughout the US. Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee have both signed bills curtailing the practice of fracking in the Pacific Northwest, but major fracked gas infrastructure still threatens the health of our communities.
A collaboration of health professionals with the Washington and Oregon chapters of Physicians for Social Responsibility have spent many months synthesizing and reviewing research and data, making new findings and conclusions on the threat of fracked gas infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest and how our elected officials should respond to the crisis at hand. The reports discusses impacts to fishing, safety hazards from facility and pipeline malfunctions, mental health stress on people who may lose their homes and jobs to eminent domain or habitat destruction, and more. Specific case studies include the Jordan Cove LNG project in Oregon and the Tacoma LNG facility and Kalama Methanol refinery in Washington State.