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Posts Tagged ‘Coos Bay LNG’

While we’ve been gone from our home state much has happened here on the coast to cheer about.

Jordan Cove LNG Terminal Permit Denied

LNG pipelinesPerhaps the biggest and brightest win here on the coast was the denial by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Canadian-based energy company Verisen’s application for a permit to construct a liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal on Coos Bay’s north spit.

Through 14(!) years of shenanigans that began with the coy proposal that Jordan Cove would be for import (which local activists doubted from the start) and ended with the old switch-a-roo to export, ultimately the Jordan Cove project sunk when the company couldn’t prove the need for it. (Currently there are no potential overseas buyers for the LNG.) Additionally the company had been unsuccessful in securing the rights-of-way for the pipeline linking Wyoming’s gas fields to the oceanside facility. Verisen would have had to rely on eminent domain to seize the necessary land route (long, costly and likely to create very hostile [ex]landowners).

Both sides were stunned by the decision which came without warning Friday March 10. While local activists cheered, Verisen pledged to re-submit. But for now the terminal, located in a tsunami zone and near a school, is dead in the water.

For more information see: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2016/03/feds_deny_jordan_cove_lng_term.html

There are also previous posts on this blog. Search “Coos Bay LNG terminal”.

Bandon Biota Abandons Golf Course Plans for State Park Land

Bandon Property Boundaries courtesy of the Oregon Coastal Alliance

Bandon Property Boundaries
courtesy of the Oregon Coastal Alliance

In September 2015 Bandon Biota LLC, the developers who brought the south coast Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, abandoned plans to use a piece of undeveloped state parkland south of Bandon in a land/money/gorse clearing swap that included helping to purchase land in Eastern Oregon for a new park. Folks in Eastern Oregon weren’t too happy about that, nor, it ended up, was the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) who originally passed the Bandon coastal land to State Parks. BLM nixed the deal because the original documents of transmission stated that the land would remain permanently undeveloped park, no matter the apparent enticements offered. Many had argued from the beginning that agreeing to swap state park land would set an unfortunate precedent and were greatly disappointed by the State Parks Commissioners April, 2014 decision to give the project the green light. Since it turned out it was really BLM’s decision to make, they untimately stepped in and stopped the project.

You can see more about it here: http://www.oregoncoastalliance.org/victories/bandon-biota-exchange-a-controversial-project-ends/

There are a number of previous posts about this “deal” also on this website. Enter “Bandon biota” in search.

Next Up: Oregon phases out Coal and the hottest February ever.

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Recently I read of a setback for the proposed Jordan Cove LNG (liquified natural gas) terminal in Coos Bay. Having spent years at a public agency evaluating proposed coastal petroleum developments on both economic and environmental grounds, I was pleased. Phew, I thought. That proposal’s toast.

Then today I received a request from Onward Oregon (www.onwardoregon.org/) to contact my state senator to vote no on HB 2700 streamlining the permitting process for “linear development.” Since a pipeline (read “linear development”) would be required to move that LNG from Coos Bay, this bill obviously would have a salutary effect on future terminal plans.

So I decided to do some investigating. And I found some very interesting information:

Why is the Port of Coos Bay so interested? “Significant investment by the Jordan Cove [LNG] project in a marine waterway will provide leverage for the Port to develop new cargo facilities and revitalize marine commerce in the Coos Bay harbor.” [my emphasis added] (Current Projects, International Port of Coos Bay. www.portofcoosbay.com/lng.htm)

So if you build it they will come. Maybe, maybe not. At least the Port’s not using the standard economic development pitch, jobs—all of 50 to 75 “family wage” jobs (whatever that means: permanent? significantly more than Oregon’s $8.50/hr minimum wage?) and 500 construction jobs over a three-year period promised by developer OregonLNG. (www.oregonlng.com/pdfs/OregonLNGTerminalFact_Sheet208.pdf)

What are the risks? LNG facilities are considered hazardous by the State Fire Marshall and the State Building Codes agency. And the facility would be constructed in a tsunami inundation zone. (www.oregongeology.org/pubs/fs/LNG-factsheet.pdf) OK so they plan to berm the storage tanks. I guess they’ll  reconsider after the seawall failures in last month’s tsunami disaster in Japan.

Additionally the pipeline would cross private land, salmon spawning streams and ecologically significant late-successional and old growth reserve areas in the National Forest. A 100-foot-wide clear-cut corridor would be required. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=17wtgUqa77_dZP3KuVIP1aHIDN6zDa6qYpVz-Dn4hadLKfeDDcZjKPknZY-Wt&hl=en

Oh, and did I mention the dredging? The CO2 emissions?

Does Oregon Need the Natural Gas? According to the State Department of Energy analysis, nope. Not at all. You can see the full story at the https:// docs. google.com document cited above.

But wait. Here’s the most remarkable development, reported March 17, 2011: “After years of denying that the Jordan Cove LNG project had any intention of exporting domestic natural gas, Jordan Cove Project Manager Bob Braddock now admits they are seriously considering export due to cheap, surplus domestic natural gas supplies. Growing U.S. natural gas supplies make an LNG import facility unnecessary and not economically viable.” [my emphasis added] (orsierraclub.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/jordan-cove-admits-to-contemplating-lng-export-facility/)

Good grief. Same project: just reverse the natural gas flow. That really takes chutzpah.

Definitely I’m writing my State Senator to vote no on HB 2700. Hope you will too.

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