Bill Gow- Douglas County
Bill Gow started running cows in the hills outside of Roseburg in 1991. Today, three generations live on his ranch. Bill became a spokesman for landowners after learning that Pembina wanted to cross part of his property with the pipeline.
A chosen way of life
Ranching isn’t easy. But I didn’t choose to be a rancher because it’s easy. I chose to be a rancher because I love it, and for the lifestyle it affords me and my family. Both of our kids were raised in rural Oregon. They both went to college, came back and are doing very well.
I have been a Republican for 45 years; I’m as conservative as they come. The Republican Party was built on private property rights and Second Amendment rights. This is one of our core issues. But now our Republican leaders want to throw us under the bus for a few temporary jobs.
They always talk about the wonderful jobs that Jordan Cove is going to create. But the reason people live in Oregon is because it’s beautiful and pristine compared to other places, not because it has the best jobs in the world. You want good jobs, go down to Texas or Louisiana where you can’t breathe the air and people are dying of cancer. The good things about Coos Bay are the natural beauty and the clamming, crabbing, and fishing. They put this pipeline and LNG facility in there and all of that’s going to be gone. And once it’s gone, you don’t get it back.
Property rights at risk
This is a foreign company that wants to take Canadian gas through Oregon and send it to Asian countries. And they want to use my land to do it. They already tried to put their pipeline through Canada, Washington and California. I guess they figured the people of Southern Oregon are dumb enough to sell their souls for fifty cents.
I was invited to a conference in Washington, DC, so I could tell my story about the pipeline. While I was there I learned that we’re not alone. People all over the country are getting ripped off worse than we are. I spent some time in Virginia where the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is going through—what a nightmare. They’re already cutting the trees down. This one poor woman has a 42-inch pipeline goes right by her front door.
These companies are picking on people in poor rural counties because they think they can ram their projects through with little to no resistance. The other thing I learned on my trip back East is the sheer amount of money these companies have, and the amount they’re willing to spend to push their projects through. They give out grants, they fund whole Sherriff’s departments, but that’s just a drop in the bucket for them. It’s no wonder the commissioners in these counties are bending over backwards to get a piece of it.
Not for sale
Anyone who supports Jordan Cove has a finger in the pie. The problem with getting to know more is it scares you. Once you see what’s going on in places like Virginia it makes you cringe about what could happen here.
The company offered me $14,000 to run the pipeline through my property. I said no. I don’t care if it’s a million dollars. I don’t put a price on my family, and I don’t put a price on my land. It’s been 12 years of living hell and meetings and this and that, and all I’m trying to do is protect what I already have.
“I chose to be a rancher because I love it, and for the lifestyle it affords me and my family. This is our home. It’s not for sale, and it’s not to be used for any purposes other than what we decide.”