Feds Deny Permit for Liquefied Gas Port, Pipeline

March 2016, Vol. 243, No. 3

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) – Federal regulators denied permits Friday for a liquefied natural gas terminal in the southern Oregon coastal town of Coos Bay.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued the 25-page ruling, saying the Jordan Cove Energy Project would hurt landowners, The World reported. The ruling also said there’s little evidence to support the need for a pipeline and not enough evidence of a public benefit.

The 230-mile pipeline route from the farming town of Malin east of the Cascades just north of the California border to Coos Bay has been opposed by private landowners and conservation groups. It crosses rivers, mounta ranges and a mix of private and public lands.

Regulators said in the ruling that the Pacific Connector Pipeline would affect nearly 160 miles of privately owned lands and about 630 landowners.

The planned port facilities to be built include a shipping channel, berths for LNG tankers and tugboats and refrigeration facilities to turn the gas into a liquid. The $7 billion project is led by Calgary, Alberta-based Veresen Inc.

Citizens Against LNG said Friday’s decision marked an important victory against eminent domain.

“CALNG is pleased that FERC recognized that private landowners should not lose their land for the benefit of a private company,” Citizens Against LNG President Katy Eymann told The World. “Landowners were threatened with loss, and this decision ensures that for the time being, they won’t face that threat.”

Supporters have touted jobs and an economic boost in the billions for Oregon.

Mark Wall with Boost Southwest Oregon, a group advocating for the project, said his group was disappointed in the ruling. But Wall called it a bump in the road.

“The project’s not dead. This is not a deal-killer,” he told The World.

Regulators said the companies involved in the project are free to reapply in the future and that the commission would consider their plans if they can demonstrate “a market need” for their product.

A spokesman for Gov. Kate Brown’s office who was asked for a reaction told The Oregonian Friday afternoon they were still reviewing the ruling.

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