Veresen Inc., a Canadian energy company, is teaming up with a U.S. company to export natural gas to Asia by proposing a 230-mile long pipeline (Pacific Connector Pipeline) through southern Oregon, ending at Coos Bay on the Oregon coast at the proposed Jordan Cove Export Terminal. There the natural gas would be liquefied (LNG) to condense it for transportation across the ocean. The federal agency in charge of this is the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC).
In March 2014 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) gave permission for Veresen to export. While FERC has to find exporting in the "public good" to allow eminent domain, the DOE has to find it in the "public good" to allow exporting to non-free-trade agreement countries, like China. We were disappointed that Senator Ron Wyden "applauded" their decision. (Write him a letter about that by clicking here).
The relatively new technology of “fracking” has produced an abundance of natural gas. Veresen claims that the only way to continue fracking is to allow exporting by building a LNG terminal in Coos Bay and a 230-mile pipeline across southern Oregon to feed it. FERC agreed to consider their request and will issue a draft environmental impact analysis in the summer of 2014. Even though the DOE fast-tracked their approval, the FERC approval is the bigger, more difficult permit Veresen must get.
The Pacific Connector Pipeline is proposed to travel from Malin Oregon (near Klamath Falls), across two mountain ranges, six major rivers, and hundreds of salmon-bearing streams. 160 miles would be through private land, including hundreds of family farms that stand to loose property via the threat of eminent domain. (The power of eminent domain allows for tiny, unfair compensation.) 70 miles of the pipeline would travel through public forests and waterways that shelter federally protected endangered species. The 36", high-pressure (1,480 psi), unodorized gas pipeline would be buried about 5' deep and require over a 100' wide clearcut through southern Oregon forests.
The Jordan Cove Terminal would turn the natural gas into liquefied natural gas (LNG) for overseas shipping. The LNG terminal would include a marine berth big enough for two huge ocean takers dug out of the North Spit, two enormous gas storage tanks, and a new 420 mw power plant, all built on top of unstable sand dunes, in line with the airport runway, in a tsunami and earthquake zone, in rough seas within site of the New Carissa ship wreck and near a highly populated city.
Recently the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) proposed to give the Jordan Cove Terminal a permit to emit 2.16 million tons of CO2e a year. That's half of the 4 million tons CO2e that Boardman Coal plant puts out in a year. While Boardman, Oregon's only coal plant, is scheduled to close before 2020 because it is so polluting, DEQ is proposing to allow over half the CO2e emissions in Jordan Cove for the many decades that plant will run. To tell Oregon's Governor what you think about that, click here.
The gas flowing through the pipeline would mostly be Canadian gas from Veresen, destined to Asia and other non-free-trade countries. We strongly oppose this proposal because exporting our domestic natural gas will:
- Extend our dependence on foreign oil;
- Delay our transition to natural gas for transportation and replacing coal-generated electricity;
- Increase our electric bills. Increase gas cooking and heating cost (DOE 12-2012 report);
- Increase the practice of fracking a controversial gas-extraction process. (Jordan Cove Resource Report 1). Among other problems, this will increase methane releases to the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon. 3 to 9% of drilled methane leaks unburned into the atmosphere making LNG as polluting as coal.
- Decrease jobs in the United States because higher gas prices will cause some manufacturing jobs to move overseas. (DOE 12-2012 report) This is why Dow Chemical has concerns about exporting.
- The threat of eminent domain on U.S. citizens from a Canadian company is unfair. It takes away the power of citizens to negotiate a fair price for the use of their land. While Veresen stands to make billions of dollars from exporting their gas, they insist on paying landowners only a small, one-time payment.
- Threaten our coastal shores with invasive species from ballast water dumped from foreign ships in preparation for receiving LNG.
Currently the federal government is developing a draft Environmental Impact Statement, due out Spring of 2014. For more information click here.
Recent posts on this topic:
- Forests, Fracking and LNG: Francis Defending People and Places March 21, 2014
- Douglas County Planning Commission says no to [LNG] pipeline January 11, 2014
- Natural Gas Export Plan Unites Oregon Landowners Against It May 29, 2013
- Dow-funded study says [LNG] prices triple with aggressive exports March 12, 2013
- Extractive Industries are Killing the Planet–Eugene Rally March 3rd February 28, 2013
- Eugene Fossil Fuel and Climate Rally February 17th February 13, 2013
- Department of Energy OKs Economics of LNG Exports December 7, 2012
- Coos Bay Port Officials Visit China October 29, 2012
- Thanks too to Senator Wyden for his Message to FERC–Longer Comment Period For Pacific Connector Pipeline and Listen More to other Federal Agencies August 17, 2012
- Rep. DeFazio Requests that FERC Increase Transparency and Extend Pipeline Comment Period August 16, 2012
- Coos Bay Gas Pipeline Puts Much at Risk–Get Engaged August 15, 2012
- Bob Ferris on the Radio in Coos Bay–of Timber, Coal, LNG, and Jobs August 13, 2012
- FERC releases Notice of Intent to do a draft Environmental Impact Statement and askes the public for scoping comments. August 3, 2012
- The Carbon Curtain Coalition July 7, 2012
- Developers and Opponents vow to fight on. June 5, 2012
- LNG: More Information June 1, 2012
- Cascadia Wildlands opines on Jordan Cove export proposal. April 24, 2012
- FERC withdraws import permits. Frees landowners from eminent domain threat, for now. April 17, 2012
- Jordan Cove announces change from Import LNG Terminal to Export LNG Terminal. September 23, 2011