Jordan Cove Project Wins Big Court Victory
The Jordan Cove LNG export terminal has overcome a key legal challenge, providing a massive boost to Western energy producers hoping to ship natural gas to Asian markets.
A group of Oregon landowners had petitioned the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s certification of the Pacific Connector pipeline that would carry natural gas from energy basins in the Rockies to the export terminal on the Oregon coast.
The three-judge panel ruled that the “merits” of the group of landowners was “not so clear as to warrant summary action” and overturn the FERC approval.
“Petitioners have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review,” the judges continued.
Western Wire has provided extensive coverage of the prolonged process to get the Jordan Cove project greenlighted including the U.S. Department of Energy issuing a final federal approval order in July.
However, the export terminal and connecting pipeline still have numerous state regulatory obstacles to overcome like the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s decision last spring to deny a critical water permit.
But this month’s federal court victory ensures what would have been a fatal blow to the project was defeated and energy industry leaders praised the court’s decision as a key step towards finally bringing the project online.
Chelsie Miera, the Executive Director of the West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association this week said, “It’s wonderful to see that, yet again, the courts understand the tremendous need for this crucial project.”
Miera also highlighted the environmental benefits of Jordan Cove because of natural gas’s role in lowering emissions.
“Utilizing the Jordan Cove project, we will be able to positively affect global carbon emissions and in turn, climate change. The Piceance Basin natural gas provides some of the cleanest energy molecules on the planet,” she said.
“West Slope COGA hopes that those in decision making positions to approve this project in Oregon can step away from their emotion driven ideals and look at the facts of this beneficial project which would give opportunity for Americans and those living in Asian countries to emerge from energy poverty,” Miera continued.
The court ruling was also praised by the head of Western States and Tribal Nations, a transnational initiative led by western state, county, and sovereign tribal nation governments.
“We strongly support the court’s decision to uphold Jordan Cove’s FERC certification,” said Andrew Browning, the organization’s president.
“Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah as well as the Ute Tribal Nation, a founding member of WSTN, will provide natural gas to Jordan Cove. Our gas is produced in accordance with the strictest environmental regulations in the nation and world. Enabling exports of our natural gas from the West Coast is the fastest way to help our Asian allies replicate our success in improving the global environment, while simultaneously creating durable rural economic development in the American West,” he continued.
Western States and Tribal Nations has prioritized cleaner American-produced natural gas that’s exported to international markets that are currently relying on dirtier fuels.