A climate change activist group in the Pacific Northwest Monday demonstrated against Northwest Natural Gas Co. for its support of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility and related pipeline as an offshoot of wider demonstrations in Portland, OR.

At one point in the afternoon about a dozen demonstrators from Convergence for Climate Action occupied the Northwest Natural headquarters lobby in downtown Portland.

The incident was peaceful and no one made any demands, according to a utility spokesperson who spoke late Monday to NGI. However, in a written announcement on the action the activist group said its demonstrators were demanding to talk with either CEO Mark Dodson or COO Gregg Kantor.

The demonstrators were opposed to Northwest Natural’s proposed joint venture 223-mile natural gas transmission pipeline, which would connect to the proposed NorthernStar Natural Gas Bradwood Landing LNG receiving terminal on the Oregon side of the Columbia River just east of where it flows into the Pacific Ocean. The pipeline is proposed to give Oregon a second interstate natural gas link and diversity of supply (see Daily GPI, Feb.15).

Calling Oregon’s largest natural gas distribution utility “one of the region’s biggest climate criminals,” the climate group said the proposed gas pipeline would cross wetlands in the Columbia River Estuary, Willamette Valley farms, the Mt. Hood National Forest and then into Madras, OR. “[We] oppose the pipeline due to related global and local environmental destruction and social justices.” the group said.

Northwest Natural’s spokesperson reiterated that the pipeline is needed to improve reliability, diversity of supply and the cost of energy for its 600,000 customers. Compared to current supplies, which come from one interstate pipeline, the additional option will lower consumer costs, the utility contends.

“Northwest Natural’s Palomar Pipeline would only increase our dependence on another foreign fossil fuel,” said Sandy Miller, a member of the activist group. “It is widely recognized that in the fight against climate change, the last thing we need is to build new fossil fuel infrastructure.”

At a Northwest energy conference June 4 in Portland several presentations pointed to the need for new and more diverse natural gas supplies for the region, including LNG (see Daily GPI, June 19). The Northwest Natural Gas Association sponsored the one-day annual conference.

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