Northwest Environmental Defense Center

Northwest Defense is the Northwest Environmental Defense Center's blog (and newsletter). Learn about NEDC's latest work, current issues related to air and water quality, and conservation measures in the Pacific Northwest.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Liquefied natural gas exports: not the answer for Oregon

By Marla Nelson, Staff Attorney

Two major liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects are proposed for Oregon's coastline: (1) Jordan Cove LNG, and (2) Oregon LNG. Natural gas is a cleaner energy source that oil or coal. But that does not mean LNG is a sustainable option, or the right option for Oregon. Concerns about the LNG export terminals proposed in Oregon include harm to property rights, wildlife, water resources, air quality, and the climate. LNG production requires lots of energy and freshwater. And although LNG may be a cleaner energy source than coal, the proposed LNG export terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon, would become one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in Oregon once PGE Boardman shuts down in 2020. LNG export is simply not the answer for Oregon.

Jordan Cove LNG is a proposal to build an export terminal and storage facility on the bay side of the North Spit in Coos Bay, Oregon. The Jordan Cove LNG export project envisions an LNG terminal and connecting pipeline through Coos, Douglas, Jackson, and Klamath Counties. The export terminal itself would include a 420 megawatt power plant, natural gas cleaning systems, four liquefaction trains, LNG storage tanks, and LNG ship load-out facilities. NEDC is working with a coalition of conservation groups and individuals to oppose the Jordan Cove LNG project.

One way of opposing the project is by analyzing and commenting on the authorizations needed from federal and state agencies for the project to move forward. Authorizations required for the Jordan Cove LNG export facility include:
  • Authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under sections 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act
  • Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by FERC - Group comments (not including NEDC); State of Oregon comments submitted by Richard Whitman, Natural Resources Policy Director, and Oregon state agencies
  • Formal consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) (collectively, the Services) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and under section 305 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) for FERC's authorization of the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and gas pipeline projects
  • Department of Army authorization to construct from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Request for clarification from the Corps to Jordan Cove Energy Project L.P.
  • Section 401 water quality certification from Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) - Group comments submitted by Crag Law Center
  • Standard Air Contaminant Discharge Permit (ACDP) for construction and operation, from DEQ - Group comments submitted by NEDC
  • Renewal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater permit from DEQ (formerly held by Weyerhauser)

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