Environmentalists, Feds Block Two Proposed LNG Export Terminals in Oregon

Published May 23, 2016

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied an application for the construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas export terminal proposed for Oregon’s Jordan Cove on March 11, 2016.

FERC’s decision surprised many, because it had approved the LNG terminal’s environmental impact statement in December 2015, clearing the way for the project’s long-awaited construction.

Just one month prior to the Jordan Cove project’s cancellation and after a decade of haggling with local officials and fighting with environmental activists, Oregon LNG, another LNG developer, informed local and state officials it was withdrawing its proposed $6 billion LNG terminal and pipeline, which had been planned to be built on the nearby Skipanon Peninsula.

On April 15, 2016, The Daily Astorian reported a “coalition of residents, environmentalists and fishermen” had put significant pressure on government officials to deny the LNG proposals. According to the Astorian, the coalition “attacked the project as misguided and potentially dangerous.”

Projects’ Potential Benefits Lost

“From the standpoint of some activists, all new fossil-fuel facilities should be stopped simply because they are fossil-fuel facilities,” said John Charles, president and CEO of the Cascade Policy Institute. “The mythical ‘climate crisis’ trumps all other concerns.

“I believe the Jordan Cove project and the Oregon LNG project would have been very positive for Oregon, by bringing in a very large investment to an economically depressed region by outside private investors,” Charles said.

The LNG terminal and pipeline construction projects would have brought thousands of jobs to the state, says Marita Noon, executive director for Energy Makes America Great.

“LNG terminals provide well-paid permanent jobs and billions in ongoing tax revenue that would have befitted the local communities in the form of better schools and public services,” Noon said. “The projects would have provided additional markets for our abundant American natural gas, not only benefitting Oregon but also other states and the federal trade deficit as well.”

Michael McGrady ([email protected]writes from Colorado Springs, Colorado.