Wyoming Governor Becomes Latest Leader to Join Group Promoting Jordan Cove
Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Pipeline Authority became the latest to join the Western States Tribal Nations (WSTN) agreement this week, joining governments in the west to promote natural gas development produced in the region.
WSTN formed after the release of an April report that detailed the abundance of natural gas resources in Utah’s Uinta and Colorado’s Piceance basins.
“Wyoming has abundant natural gas and we have worked long and hard to maximize the value of that resource for Wyoming residents. This coalition allows us to partner on additional efforts to develop gas responsibly and ensure it is used to meet the energy needs of America and the world. These resources are essential to powering a low-carbon future, and we look forward to the work of this coalition,” said Gordon.
CEA released the “Natural Gas Markets for the Western States and Tribal Nations” report that projected $93 billion in additional Gross Domestic Product from liquified natural gas (LNG) exports that could support approximately 433,000 additional jobs. The report was commissioned by the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development, former Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Colorado Energy Office, Colorado Mesa University’s Unconventional Energy Center, and the Ouray and Uintah Utes, the report was joined by Garfield, Mesa, Moffat, and Rio Blanco counties in Colorado and the LiUNA Local 720 trade union.
The Memorandum of Understanding for the WSTN expansion in Salt Lake City, Utah included the Utah OED, Ute Indian Tribe, and signatories from four Colorado counties: Garfield, Mesa, Moffat, and Rio Blanco.
The April study will be updated to reflect the addition of the Wyoming Pipeline Authority, CEA said. The addition of Wyoming came as a result of report’s recommendations.
“We’re very pleased that stakeholders across the region see the importance of accessing our domestic resources to not only benefit families and businesses here at home but also abroad. The natural gas across the West will be tantamount to achieving both our economic and environmental goals,” said Consumer Energy Alliance’s Chief Operating Officer Andrew Browning.
The natural gas resources potential examined in the report includes completion of the Jordan Cove LNG facility in Coos Bay, Oregon.
“The most promising U.S. LNG export option on the U.S. Pacific Coast is the proposed Jordan Cove LNG liquefaction facility located in Coos Bay, Oregon. The Jordan Cove LNG project, if completed, will become the best-positioned LNG export terminal in the U.S. to serve markets in Asia. The key advantage that Jordan Cove enjoys is a significantly shorter shipping distance to Asia relative to other LNG export terminals in the U.S.,” the report’s authors wrote.
Colorado’s Energy Office is no longer associated with the project, having adopted a position of official neutrality on the LNG project, according to Executive Director Will Toor.
“The Polis administration position on that export infrastructure is one of neutrality, so the administration is not supporting or opposing that export infrastructure and because of that we thought that it would be inappropriate to be part of a report specifically advocating for that,” Toor said in early May.
But WSTN members celebrated the Wyoming governor’s decision to add his state to the expanding natural gas coalition.
Shaun Chapoose, representative of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Council, welcomed the Wyoming Pipeline Authority as part of the Tribe’s environmental efforts.
“The Ute Indian Tribe supports the collaborative approach recommended in the Western States and Tribal Nations Report. This approach encompasses the Tribe’s core values: being responsible stewards of the environment by producing cleaner burning fuels for global consumption while promoting tribal self-determination and improving economic development,” said Chapoose.
Dr. Laura Nelson, Energy Advisor and Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED) for Utah, praised the decision.
“The Governor’s Office of Energy Development is pleased to welcome the Wyoming Pipeline Authority to WSTN. Their collaboration effectively expands the partnership across Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Tribal Nations to promote the development of, and access to, our unparalleled Western energy resources and to growing economies overseas, all while providing for environmental outcomes,” Nelson said. “We’re proud to see, here in Utah, yet another opportunity to achieve win-win results by advancing strategic partnerships,” she added.
Rose Pugliese, a Mesa County Commissioner, spoke on behalf of Colorado’s participating counties.
“Marketing our natural gas resources collectively to countries in Asia and other viable markets will aid in the geo-political stabilization of our political allies overseas as well as strengthen our rural energy economies,” Pugliese said.