SOUTHERN ORE., – The Jordan Cove LNG project, 15 years in the making, is being dealt a potentially fatal blow. This morning, the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission upheld Oregon’s denial of the pipeline.
Now, as environmentalists rejoice, it’s unknown if the Canadian company behind the project will continue to try and push forward.
For several years, Canadian company Pembina has tried to move forward with it’s billion dollar Jordan Cove Energy project.
But, to the surprise of environmentalists, the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission, or FERC, put a major roadblock in its plan when it upheld Oregon’s denial of a key permit.
“We were overjoyed when we found out that FERC upheld Oregon’s authority to deny Jordan Cove LNG. We immediately got on the phone with impacted land owners, tribal members, and other community members who had been fighting this project for over fifteen years,” said Rogue Climate’s campaign director Allie Rosenbluth.
She says FERC’s support of the state’s decision to deny the project- a choice made based on the Clean Water Act- could be the nail in the coffin.
“We know that this project isn’t over until Pembina cancels it, but this is a huge win and a huge testament to the 40,000 people who submitted comments opposing this project,” she added.
If constructed, the natural gas pipeline would span 229 miles through southern Oregon from a liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos Bay all the way to Malin in Klamath County.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality had several specific concerns about the pipeline and it’s impact on the environments, like the potential risk to the Coos Bay estuary. The Klamath tribes also opposed the project.
“Any pipeline that comes trough has a lot of potential to disturb historical cultural sites and burial grounds,” said Don Gentry. Gentry is the chairperson of the Klamath Tribal Council.
“I’m not aware of any project that’s had so much written and vocal opposition to the project. Citizens rose up and opposed this,” he said. “If we are looking out for our future, we just can’t continue to support projects like these.”
Rosenbluth says if Pembina wants to continue to pursue the project, it has a lot more work to do: “they would have the reapply for many permits at the state, federal, and local level.”
“I’m hoping that Pembina will get the message and stop wasting their time and effort on this project that isn’t feasible and isn’t supported,” Gentry said.
We reached out to Pembina for comment on FERC’s decision and have not heard back.
Grace Smith is a reporter for NBC5 News. The Chicago native is a recent graduate of the University of Miami with a Communication Honors degree specializing in Broadcast Journalism. She minored in Creative Writing and focused her senior thesis on social media usage and engagement. During her time at the University of Miami, she anchored multiple award-winning student television programs, covering everything from music festivals to the Super Bowl.
Though she loved Miami's beaches, she's thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest where she can experience all four seasons and have a real Christmas tree! When she’s not at work, you can find Grace glued to any television showing live sports (especially if it’s the Chicago Bears) or attempting a new recipe as she learns to cook.