| Law & Industry Daily
Published on: Monday, September 10, 2012

FERC mulls Oregon LNG proposal


WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (LID) – Federal regulators moved on the environmental review of a controversial proposal to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Southern Oregon.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is preparing a draft environmental impact statement for the pipeline project for which Jordan Cove Energy Partners LP is seeking a 234-mile pipeline route to transport gas from a proposed $4.5-billion export terminal at the Port of Coos Bay to the small town of Malin, near the California border.

The proposed Pacific Connector Pipeline would serve a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal at Jordan Cove and a LNG export facility in Malin. At the terminal, super chilled natural gas would be off boarded from supertankers, warmed and moved as a gas via pipelines.

The subterranean Pacific Connector pipeline would carry about 1 billion cubic feet of LNG, sought ultimately for wide-open markets in Asia.

Late last week, FERC posted on its website the commission’s Department of Energy Projects’ staff presentation on the Jordan Cove Liquefaction Project (FERC Docket No. PF12-7).

Recently, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) successfully sought a 30-day extension of the public-comment period, to Oct. 29.

Since Tulsa, Okla.-based The Williams Companies ($WMB) and partner Veresen Inc. ($VSN), a Canada-based energy-infrastructure and development company, filed their proposal in 2006, debate over the project has raged in Southern Oregon.

While proponents say the project will bring much-needed jobs and tax revenues to Southern Oregon, critics often say they worry of potential environmental harms, including disturbances of endangered species.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; Pub.L. 91-190) requires FERC to consider potential environmental harm from the project. The 49-year-old statute is codified at 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.

In July, a three-judge panel of the Oregon Court of Appeals heard a case challenging a separate LNG project. Specifically, an 85-mile pipeline proposed in for Northwest Oregon. The case is Oregon Pipeline Co. LLC v. Clatsop County, No. A148770 (Or. Ct. App. 2012).

For More Information: The LNG Law Blog by Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP attorneys has covered Oregon’s LNG developments extensively. Their coverage is here.

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