Jordan Cove Project Boosted By Federal Approval
The proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector Pipeline project scored a major victory on Thursday after receiving approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The project has faced numerous regulatory and political challenges since first being proposed more than a decade ago but has slowly pushed forward and was given renewed support after being acquired by Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corporation in 2017. The pipeline would carry natural gas produced in basins in the Rockies to Coos Bay, Ore. for export to Asian markets.
Pembina called FERC’s approval a “significant step forward” and noted it’s the first time the federal agency has approved a west coast gas export facility.
“We appreciate FERC’s science-based approach to their review. The approval emphasizes yet again that Jordan Cove is environmentally responsible and is a project that should be permitted given a prudent regulatory and legal process was undertaken,” said Harry Andersen, Pembina’s Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer.
FERC Commissioner Bernard McNamee voted in favor of the permit and said that “the project’s environmental impacts are acceptable considering the public benefits that will be provided by the project,” according to the AP.
The other supporting vote came from Chairman Neil Chatterjee who said the responsibility now falls on Pembina to require the local permitting necessary in addition to federal approval.
The company touted recent progress on that front in recent months, saying it had “received approval on all 14 local jurisdiction county and city applications and permits” and “signed voluntary easement agreements that constitute 77 percent of the privately-owned portion of the proposed pipeline route.”
But the state of Oregon continues to be a major roadblock. In February, the state’s Department of Land Conservation and Development objected to the project, saying it would cause “adverse effects.”
Leaders across from the West, however, continue to push for a green light for the project. Western States and Tribal Nations (WTSN), a coalition of state and local governments and sovereign tribes, applauded FERC’s approval.
WTSN President and CEO Andrew Browning said the Jordan Cove project will bring economic and tax revenue benefits to rural communities along the natural gas supply chain and will help Asian countries cut emissions.
“It also represents a way to help our friends and allies in Asia cut their emissions. The environmental gains that Jordan Cove and other LNG projects can help realize globally cannot be overstated. Over the last decade, the move to natural gas from higher-emission fuels has cut global emissions by the equivalent of 57 percent of South America’s entire emissions output,” Browning said.
Western Wire has extensively covered the Jordan Cove project.
Both of Colorado’s U.S. Senators, Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner have been longtime supporters, as is Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, along with numerous other local, state, and federal officials across the west.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has directed the state to take a neutral position while Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley is opposed, which has drawn bipartisan criticism from elected officials and businesses and trade unions.