April 18, 2016. Daily Astorian.
April 16, 2016. OPB News.
April 15, 2016. Portland Tribune.
March 23, 2016. Daily Astorian.
LNG flew the surrender flag on April 15, 2016, dropping plans to build an Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export terminal on the lower Columbia River. Oregon LNG could not overcome intense local opposition, which sustained for over ten years. Not only is this an inspiring story of David versus Goliath, but an incredibly important victory for our climate and environment.
The Victory Over Oregon LNG prevents:
- 1.2 billion cubic feet per day of fracked natural gas sent to Asia. That’s twice as much gas as the entire state of Oregon uses each day. Oregon LNG would have shipped a stunning volume of carbon.
- A huge new driver for more fracking across the west. An LNG terminal is a regressive investment that locks us into fossil fuel transport for decades, which our climate cannot afford.
- A bridge to nowhere. Natural gas is not a bridge fuel. We are moving aggressively toward renewables, and natural gas fracking and burning takes us in the wrong direction.
- The destruction of critical salmon habitat by dredging a huge hole in the Columbia River for LNG tankers. Oregon LNG proposed the largest dredging by a private company in the history of the Columbia River, over 700,000 cubic feet across 135 acres. And the filling of 34 acres of wetlands.
- A giant industrial scar and militarized zone in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, the Columbia River estuary.
- LNG vessels competing for space with salmon fishing boats. LNG vessels have large security zones that would push fishers off the river.
- The threat of eminent domain to take land of family farmers. If approved, Oregon LNG would have the power of eminent domain to construct a pipeline on private land without landowners’ permission.
“After 10 years of fighting, we protected the Columbia River from dirty gas export. This is yet another huge victory for clean water and our climate. Tens of thousands of people stood up to protect clean water, public safety, and our climate. What an amazing effort and result!” – Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director, Columbia Riverkeeper
By Dan Serres, Conservation Director
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally did something that people can celebrate. For the first time in recent history, FERC – often nicknamed the “Federal Energy Rubberstamp Commission” – denied an LNG terminal and its connecting pipeline. In its decision, FERC said that Jordan Cove LNG had “presented little or no evidence of the need” for LNG export. FERC determined that the project’s benefits did not outweigh the impacts to private landowners and communities along the pipeline route, noting “significant opposition from directly-impacted landowners.”
The Oregonian explained the decision, quoting long-time LNG activist Jody McCaffree, rancher Bill Gow, and local landowner John Clarke. And the News-Review in Roseburg detailed how an unusual coalition of conservative landowners and environmental activists stood firm in their opposition to the Pacific Connector Pipeline.
First of all, this is a huge victory for the hundreds of local activists in Southern Oregon who have worked for over a decade to protect Coos Bay, family homes, forests, rivers, salmon habitat, and our global climate from a major destructive proposal. We are proud that Oregonians – both along the Columbia River and in Southern Oregon – have maintained solidarity in opposing all LNG projects in Oregon. Although Jordan Cove’s parent company, Veresen, will undoubtedly challenge FERC’s decision and attempt to revive its dying project, FERC’s decision is a devastating blow from which the proposal is unlikely to recover.
Where does that leave Oregon LNG and Jordan Cove LNG, now?
Oregon LNG faces the same obstacles at FERC that defeated Jordan Cove. Namely, Oregon LNG has little on-the-ground support, and it has failed to secure any customers for its exported fracked gas. Using the same logic it applied in Jordan Cove’s case, FERC could deny Oregon LNG.
Remarkably, just a week before FERC denied Jordan Cove LNG, an impartial City of Warrenton hearings officer ruled that the Oregon LNG project would interfere with public trust rights, violate local laws to protect salmon, and periodically block public access to traditional fishing grounds. Oregon LNG appealed the hearings officer’s final order to the Warrenton City Council, and the Commission will hold hearings on May 4 & 5 at the Warrenton Grade School. Please plan to join us in Warrenton for one final hearing on Oregon LNG!
Most importantly, Oregon’s own agencies have critical decisions to make in coming months. After hearing from thousands of Oregonians, Oregon’s Governor and state agencies could deny Oregon LNG and Jordan Cove LNG, regardless of any federal actions by FERC or Warrenton. Because the two projects would be Oregon’s largest climate change polluters if they were built, and because both projects threaten to harm water quality and salmon habitat, Oregon is well-positioned to deny both proposals outright. Oregon’s Department of State Lands could deny key permits for the Pacific Connector Pipeline as soon as May 2016.
Help Send a Clear Message to Governor Brown, Call Her Today: 503-378-4582
- Tell her who you are and why you are opposed to LNG
- Urge Gov. Brown to use her power to protect Oregon from LNG
“Oregon LNG’s final environmental review pushed back: Federal government sought more information from company”
Feb. 10, 2016. Daily Astorian.
“Oregon LNG refiles case against Army Corps: The energy company says the decision is to maintain its legal options”
Jan. 15, 2016. Daily Astorian.
Jan. 11, 2016. The Oregonian.
Jan. 11, 2016. Daily Astorian.