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Campfires And Friendly Faces, But No Pipelines In Jordan Cove Ads

JPR News
A collection of Jordan Cove Energy Project mailers.

For the last few months Southern Oregonians have been awash in slick mailers, TV commercials and online ads about a Canadian energy company. But at first glance, you might not realize that they’re advertising a natural gas project.

The mailers are large and glossy. They show photos of people who could easily be your neighbors roasting marshmallows and camping down by the lake, or sitting on barstools at a nearby diner.

They say things like “we are your neighbors and friends” and “protecting Oregon’s natural beauty.”

One mailer doesn’t even have the word “pipeline” in it. But that’s what it’s advertising. The company Pembina wants to build a 230-mile natural gas pipeline and processing facility in Southern Oregon.

Spokesman Michael Hinrichs says the ads help educate people about the Jordan Cove project.

“We heard from folks in Southern Oregon that they wanted greater engagement,” he said. “So one part of that engagement is advertising.”

He wouldn’t disclose exactly how much Pembina invested in marketing, except that the number was in the millions.

Rogue Climate director Hannah Sohl is against the project. She says Southern Oregonians aren’t buying into the marketing.

“This Canadian corporation is trying to sell this project as if they are our neighbors and our friends and as if they have the best interests of our community at heart,” she said.

The Jordan Cove project has a round of hearings starting next week about a dredging permit. Find more information on the Oregon Department of Lands website.


April Ehrlich is JPR content partner at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Prior to joining OPB, she was a regional reporter at Jefferson Public Radio where she won a National Edward R. Murrow Award.