VICTORY (for now)! Feds reject LNG pipeline and terminal


Federal energy regulators have denied the certificate needed to build Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Export Terminal and Pacific Connector Pipeline in Southern Oregon. Regulators say the public benefit of the pipeline does not outweigh the adverse effects on landowners in its path.

The Calgary-based energy company Veresen Inc. and its pipeline collaborator, the Williams Partners, were denied applications to locate the Jordan Cove Energy Project in the Southern Oregon coastal town, as well as a feeder pipeline that would have stretched across the state.

In a 25-page final order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission didn’t focus on the Jordan Cove LNG terminal itself. Instead they pointed to the Pacific Connector Pipeline, which would have brought natural gas 230 miles from south-central Oregon to Coos Bay. From there it would be liquefied and put on ships bound for Asia.

“The proposed Jordan Cove LNG Terminal can provide no benefit to the public to counterbalance any of the impacts which would be associated with its construction.” stated the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in their report.

The FERC further states, “Because the record does not support a finding that the public benefits of the Pacific Connector Pipeline outweigh the adverse effects on landowners, we deny Pacific Connector’s request for certificate authority to construct and operate its project, as well as the related blanket construction and transportation certificate applications.”

The companies that proposed the terminal and pipeline are requesting a rehearing of the decision.

Opponents of the LNG pipeline have been protesting their objections to the project. Activists argue the project would create the largest source of climate-changing carbon pollution in the state. The pipeline would also threaten fragile waterways, undermined existing jobs and businesses, increased energy prices, and trample landowners’ rights.

“Today’s action proves that grassroots organizing works.” Said Hannah Sohl, director of Rogue Climate. “Until Oregonians began to organize, the LNG project was on its way to being rubber-stamped without much scrutiny. Together, our coalition stopped it in its tracks.”

The LNG terminal, its 232-mile feeder pipeline and a natural gas-fired power plant were expected to cost some $7.5 billion. Supporters were hoping for construction jobs, permanent positions and increased taxes and fees to communities that have suffered decades of economic downturn.

A leader in the Boost Southwest Oregon group that has advocated for the project, Mark Wall, said his group was disappointed but called the ruling a bump in the road.

Alan Journet, co-director of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now is concerned that market forces could bring new life to the Jordan Cove pipeline. “While SOCAN is delighted that the project has been declined, it is troubling to see that throughout the review procedure, no serious consideration was given by FERC to the tremendous cost from the cumulative impacts of the project in terms of the greenhouse gas emissions it would stimulate.  Indeed, FERC stated that the denial is issued without prejudice to Jordan Cove and or Pacific Connector, who are able to re-submit an application which could be greeted favorably should a market need for the services be demonstrated in the future.”