Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Connector Pipeline’

Mar28

Blog: Jordan Cove LNG knocked to its knees

by Francis Eatherington, Cascadia Wildlands Umpqua Regional Advisor
 
Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied the Jordan Cove Project. We were shocked as FERC is known as the rubber-stamping government agency that approves fossil fuel projects at any cost. Even the promoter of Jordan Cove, Canadian-based Veresen Inc., said it was “shocked and disappointed” with the decision. The energy scheme would have resulted in the construction of the 232-mile Pacific Connector Pipeline through southwest Oregon, which would have brought fracked gas from Canada and the Rockies to Coos Bay where it would be super cooled and exported to markets in Asia — a real loser for clean water, wildlands, climate stability and families in the path of the pipeline.
 
LNGrally_farmSignFERC had already missed its decision deadline scheduled for December 29, so by March 2016 we were wondering, “Were they late because a group of the landowners under threat of eminent domain recently wrote to FERC?” On lawyer letterhead, they reminded FERC that if there were no buyers for the gas Veresen wanted to export, there was no “public need” required for eminent domain to take their farm and forestlands.
 
Veresen had recently admitted to FERC it had no buyers for the gas, and only 3% of the impacted landowners had agreed to host its pipeline. FERC could not give Veresen permission to forcibly condemn 97% of the private property needed for the pipeline if no one wanted the gas. (That is actually FERC’s definition of public need… that there is a buyer for the product. The landowners also objected to a foreign-owned corporation taking their land only for corporate profit).
 
When FERC denied the Jordan Cove permit on March 11, they cited “significant landowner opposition” and that “Pacific Connector has presented little or no evidence of need for the Pacific Connector Pipeline” because Pacific Connector has not “entered into any precedent agreements for its project.” FERC concludes “issuance of a certificate would allow Pacific Connector to proceed with eminent domain proceedings in what we find to be the absence of a demonstrated need for the pipeline.”
 
The cheers of victory reverberated around the 650 impacted landowners and dozens of organizations who have fought this terrible project for over 10 years. The day was spent on the phone, email, and social media in tears of joy.
 
This gas export scheme would have been Oregon’s largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, with an infrastructure tying us to fossil fuels for decades, and it would have impacted 33 rare fish and wildlife species protected under the Endangered Species Act. Moreover, the liquefied natural gas terminal would have been built in a tsunami evacuation zone where the big one is expected at any time.
 
Let’s all rejoice in FERCs decision to deny it, even if the decision was not for any of the reasons mentioned above. While we should celebrate this victory, our work is still not done. We need to convince Oregon Governor Kate Brown that if FERC found no need for this project, the state should also stop work on the many permits required for the Jordan Cove export terminal.
 
A word of caution: FERC’s decision stated that if Veresen finds any buyers, FERC could reconsider their decision. And sure enough, on March 22, Veresen announced, with great fanfare, that it may have found a buyer and is in “preliminary discussions” for 20% of the production capacity at Jordan Cove. Its press release included small print saying “no assurances can be given as to future results… undue reliance should not be placed.” We hope FERC pays attention to the small print, as we can imagine its rubber stamp quivering in the air.
 
(2015 anti-LNG rally at the state capitol. Photo by Francis Eatherington.)
 
Mar11

FERC Denies Jordan Cove LNG Permit! Major Victory for Oregon

Friday, March 11, 2016: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) laid out a major victory today for Oregon communities, wildlife, waterways, and wildlands, when they DENIED the plans to construct a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Pipeline through the state of Oregon, and also denied the plans for its associated Jordan Cove export terminal out of Coos Bay, OR.

Cascadia Wildlands, coalition members, volunteers, and countless climate activists celebrate this outstanding step in the right direction.

 

For years, Cascadia Wildlands and allies have been closely monitoring the Jordan Cove LNG project, which was proposed by a Canadian company, Veresen, who wanted to export Canadian gas[1] to Asia by building a 232-mile long pipeline from Klamath Falls to Coos Bay.

The proposed Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal  would have required building the 232-mile long pipeline through sensitive forestland and waters in southwest Oregon in order to move fracked gas to the coast, to be supercooled, and then shipped to Asia. To do this, Veresen needed to convince our government that the scheme is in the "public interest" so they could get the right to condemn property owned by Oregon families through eminent domain.

Opposition was strong from the public, and FERC heard our movement's cries! It was declared that the pipeline was NOT in the best interest of the public, and the potential positives DO NOT outweigh the negative consequences of such a project.

Let's keep this momentum going!

You can donate to Cascadia Wildlands today to help continue our conservation and climate work.

For more information on the overall project, click here.

For more information specifically on:

The Pipeline
The Terminal
Global Warming Issues
Environmental Issues
Economic Issues


[1] Jordan Cove Resource Report 1, March 2012. Appendix B.1 Navigant Study page 3. “Jordan Cove is supplied 70 percent by Canadian gas”…

Mar12

Dow-funded study says [LNG] prices triple with aggressive exports

by Jenny Mandel, E&E reporter

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 
 
Domestic natural gas prices could nearly triple by 2030 if high levels of exports are seen, according to a study paid for by Dow Chemical Co.
 
"If left unmonitored, high [liquefied natural gas] exports could prevail at the cost of the broader economy," the report warns.
 
A "likely" level of LNG exports of 20 billion cubic feet per day would send prices to $8.80 per million British thermal units in 2030, the analysis says, while a "high" export scenario of 35 bcf/day by that year would put them at $10.30/MMBtu. That is above the $6.30/MMBtu the study says would otherwise be seen in 2030, given what it describes as a "reasonable" demand forecast.
 
Consulting group Charles River Associates (CRA) released the study, carried out for Dow, yesterday. The analysis was commissioned to take into account a draft study of LNG exports published by the Energy Department in December and carried out by NERA Economic Consulting, as well as comments received by DOE in response to that study.
 
The Dow report was completed to inform the company's comments filed during a second round of feedback solicited on that study by DOE that wrapped up late last month (EnergyWire, Feb. 26).
 
NERA considered export scenarios with between 6 bcf/day and 12 bcf/day of exports, far less than the "likely" level reflected in CRA's assessment.
 
Dow did not directly publicize the study, though Charles River Associates issued a news release on it yesterday. A representative for the chemical company said it had no comment on its contents beyond the feedback submitted to DOE.
 
The wisdom and proper legal treatment of exporting LNG or keeping it in the United States to support domestic manufacturing and other uses have been hotly debated, and Dow has been among the loudest voices urging DOE to move slowly in approving export applications.
 
Some stakeholders in the debate have said Dow should provide analysis supporting its claims that energy-intensive manufacturers would be harmed by extensive exports, and the study responds to that argument. DOE is obliged to carefully consider comments received through the public comment process in deciding how to proceed on 18 projects currently awaiting broad export permits.
 
The analysis focuses on domestic price effects of higher LNG exports, rather than global price adjustments, and reflects announcements by manufacturing companies of "more than $90 billion" in new plants and other facilities that would, if built, consume natural gas.
 
It claims that the NERA study misrepresents the natural gas intensity of certain manufacturing segments and underestimates future demand from manufacturing, natural gas vehicles and the replacement of coal-fired electric power generation.
 
The result, CRA concluded, is an underestimate of the employment, trade balance and gross domestic product effects of expanded LNG exports.
 
"Current expectations for a low cost, gas-driven electricity economy and significant deployment of natural gas vehicles could be foregone due to LNG exports," the firm said.
 
Click here for the CRA study.
 
Aug17

Thanks too to Senator Wyden for his Message to FERC–Longer Comment Period For Pacific Connector Pipeline and Listen More to other Federal Agencies

Thank you Senator Wyden.  

Click here for copy of letter

Aug16

Rep. DeFazio Requests that FERC Increase Transparency and Extend Pipeline Comment Period

Click here to read Rep. DeFazio's letter to FERC.

 
 
Aug15

Coos Bay Gas Pipeline Puts Much at Risk–Get Engaged

Gabe Scott in Alaska

by Gabe Scott
 
Last week’s massive refinery fire in Richmond, California should serve as a wake-up call. Not that we needed another to remind us of a basic fact: oil and gas infrastructure is dangerous. When things go wrong, they go very wrong, very quickly.
 
Add this to the list of reasons why the Pacific Connector Pipeline and LNG export terminal at Coos Bay is a bad idea: it’s not safe. 
 
I’ve been participating lately in a nationwide citizen committee on pipeline safety, put together by the Pipeline Safety Trust (http://www.pstrust.org/initiatives_programs/New-Voices-Project/). The opportunity to share information and learn from activists, landowners, industry and regulators has been astounding, and has opened my eyes to the downsides of natural gas infrastructure that, as an environmentalist, I admit I hadn’t given enough thought to. 
 
Here’s the thing about gas pipelines and LNG plants — they blow up.  They blow up a lot. They blow up big. And the people who you might expect would put safety first, don’t. 
 
Liquefied Natural Gas, like natural gas, is highly flammable. When spilled, it can easily go “boom.” As a matter of fact, because of its physical properties, spilled LNG also goes “boom” when it comes in contact with water, a phenomenon called “rapid phase transition” (see below video). In 2004, an explosion at an Algerian LNG liquefaction facility killed 27.
 
 
The Pipeline phase of the project would transmit natural gas through a 36” diameter transmission pipeline. Gas pipeline explosions can be massively destructive. In 1994, a 36-inch gas distribution line in Edison, New Jersey broke, threw rocks and debris more than 800 feet, and exploded in a blaze over 400 feet high— hot enough to ignite and burn several nearby apartment buildings. Last year, five were killed in Allentown, PA when a gas explosion flattened a rowhouse neighborhood, sending flames hundreds of feet into the air. It took workers another five hours to figure out how to shut off the gas flow. 
 

One of our concerns with the Pacific Connector pipeline is that the safety regulations are even weaker in rural areas than in populated neighborhoods, so families living along the Pacific Connector pipeline are at even greater risk. Getting blown up isn’t usually on our safety list when hiking and camping in wild lands, but the pipeline would make that risk real. In 2000, 12 campers were killed by a gas pipeline explosion near Carlsbad, NM.
 
These aren’t isolated examples. Leaks and explosions on this sort of pipeline are disturbingly common. In an average year, looking only at gas transmission pipelines (which is what Williams proposes), there are 113 reported incidents causing 2 fatalities, eleven injuries, and over $132 million in property damage. (Source: PHMSA http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/comm/reports/safety/AllPSI.html?nocache=1948#_ngtrans)
 
Oil and gas companies are fond of touting a “safety first” mentality. This is not just propaganda spin. Give credit where it’s due: they really do devote immense energy to safety, and their engineering know-how is breathtaking.

 

 

 
The trouble is there are so many things that can go wrong. Pipes corrode. Valves leak and get stuck. Unknowing construction workers dig into unmarked pipelines. People make mistakes. Equipment fails. Earthquakes and floods happen. There are a thousand and one things that can go wrong, any one of which can kill you. 
 
While one should give the industry credit for taking the engineering aspects of safety very seriously, their record on risk management and public process is dastardly. They are secretive, competitive, and selfish. They make the same “mistakes,” over and over again. 
 
After the 2005 explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery, which killed fifteen, a blue-ribbon panel was formed to investigate, headed by former Secretary of State James Baker. The panel’s recommendations centered on what they termed a “safety culture” and “process safety.” Details quickly get complicated, but the underlying notion is simple: when trying to make complex industrial systems safe, you need to analyze and address the whole ball of wax, not just this and that component. 
 
After the 2010 explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon, another blue-ribbon panel was formed. Their conclusions were damning. Process safety and safety culture were still not being implemented. And, the Commission found, these problems were not unique to BP, but endemic in the oil & gas industry. 
 
As we look at the Pacific Connector Pipeline and LNG terminal, familiar warning signs are everywhere. I’ll leave you with just one example. As Cascadia’s staff digs into the details, we have hit a roadblock. The company won’t share its maps, even with landowners along the proposed route. Their excuse is the preposterous claim that exact locations of the proposed line must be kept secret, to keep it out of the hands of would-be terrorists. 
 
That’s hogwash. Fundamental to pipeline safety and planning is everyone needs to know where, exactly, the line is. This information is needed whenever anyone digs a hole, whenever there is a leak that needs to be investigated, whenever a wildfire fighting crew is planning their attack on a blaze. You need to plan to avoid flooding streams, landslide areas, and places planned for other kinds of construction. You need to site the line to allow regular access for maintenance and surveillance. 
 
Terrorism IS a real fear. But hiding maps from landowners does nothing to prevent it. Far from requiring gas pipeline locations be kept secret (as if that were even possible), federal regulations require gas pipelines be clearly marked with bright yellow signs. 
 
The supposed security rationale is so absurd, so wrong-headed, that it calls into question the company’s basic trustworthiness. It suggests that Williams views this as their project, none of anyone’s business. That’s a pretty arrogant line to take when you’re forcibly appropriating other people’s private land through eminent domain. 
 
Far from putting safety first, indications are Williams is putting it’s own pocketbook first, last, and in the middle. That’s not just selfish. It’s also very, very dangerous. 
 
Please join Cascadia Wildlands in sending the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a message on the Pacific Connector Pipeline.  Click here to comment and do not be concerned when you get a message from FERC that your comment may not be considered.  We will make sure that your support of our concerns and any additional comments you provide will go to the appropriate place and be heard.  They will get our collective message.

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