Pipeline and LNG Terminal Project Puts Oregon Governor On the Spot

A protest in Salem, Oregon against the Jordan Cove LNG terminal and Pacific Connector pipeline   Photo: Rick Rappaport

In Oregon, there is a fossil fuel infrastructure project undergoing permitting and approval that is stirring up controversy, putting the newly re-elected Governor of the state, Kate Brown, on the spot over her campaign promise to tackle the issue of climate change The Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and its Pacific Connector Gas pipeline would transport fracked natural gas from Colorado all the way to Oregon’s coast, where it would be super-cooled into liquid form and loaded on ships in the terminal bound for international markets.  A huge crowd of protesters attended a state hearing on the project expressed grave concerns about the large quantities of soil that would need to be displaced in order to install the proposed three-foot wide pipeline, spanning 229 miles, 78 wetlands, and 485 waterways across the state through four Oregon Counties.  

The $10 billion project has hit many roadblocks in the 12 years since it was first proposed during the Bush Administration when LNG terminals were permitted readily.

Interestingly, ranchers, environmental groups, and Native American tribes are opposed to the project, while labor unions favor it because they claim it will provide 1400 jobs, as well as providing millions in tax revenues to the counties it crosses. Several permits are pending, including the Oregon Department of State Lands permitting process that ends on Feb. 3., and at the federal level, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement which is expected to become public as soon as February 15th.

Why This Matters: The project has friends in high places both at the state and the federal level, and its owners gave generously to various political campaigns in order to smooth the way for the pipeline despite public opposition.  According to Ecowatch and the DeSmog Blog, the CEO of the Canadian company that owns the project met with President Trump and Gary Cohn, who then led President Trump’s National Economic Council.  Cohn announced soon afterward, the “first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to permit an LNG export facility in the Northwest.”  So it could be that the federal permit approval process is… well, rigged.  Governor Brown, what say you?  The Oregon Department of State Lands could make a decision on the project as soon as early March.

Up Next

New Study Finds Warming Waters Pushing Tuna Away from Reliant Pacific Nations

New Study Finds Warming Waters Pushing Tuna Away from Reliant Pacific Nations

by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A new study released by Conservation International found that tuna populations will likely be pushed from the waters of 10 Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) due to climate change. For nations that rely on tuna as a source of food and income, the consequences could be devastating. Conservation International urges the global […]

Continue Reading 530 words
How Climate Change Could Affect Germany’s Elections

How Climate Change Could Affect Germany’s Elections

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Earlier this month, devastating floods washed through western Germany, leaving people dead and swaths of cities destroyed. It was the worst flooding Central Europe has seen in decades, and the short, intense rainfall is “one of the hallmark manifestations of a human-warmed climate,” as Yale Climate Connections put it. […]

Continue Reading 537 words
Carbon Border Taxes Face Debate, Unjust or Necessary?

Carbon Border Taxes Face Debate, Unjust or Necessary?


by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Carbon border taxes are gaining popularity in North America and Europe, but many are skeptical that taxing imports from countries with weak emissions policies will encourage climate action. Others are calling border taxes unjust. John Kerry, the U.S. Climate Envoy, called border tax policies a “last resort.” Nevertheless, Congressional Democrats have already proposed one […]

Continue Reading 575 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.