The Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas project is still alive, despite being denied by federal regulators last year. Canadian energy company Veresen has resubmitted its plans and are holding a new round of required public meetings this week.
Backers of the export terminal propose to build a pipeline to bring natural gas from the inland West to the Port of Coos Bay on the South Oregon Coast. There, it will be liquefied and exported to markets in Asia.
“It’s kind of this zombie project that keeps coming around that just won’t die,” said Robyn Janssen of Rogue RiverKeeper, a southern Oregon environmental group that has been leading the charge against the project.
This isn’t the first regulatory rodeo for the Jordan Cove LNG project – it’s actually the third iteration of the project. Managers are re-starting the federal regulatory process, believing they will have better luck with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission under the Trump Administration. FERC has approved Jordan Cove for "pre-filing."
This is also the third time that environmental and landowner rights groups have geared up for a fight.
"We’re just getting ready and circling the wagons and ready to show them that opposition is still just as strong as it was, if not stronger,” Janssen said.
Janssen says the national mobilization against the Dakota Access Pipeline has brought many more people into active opposition of the Jordan Cove LNG project.
Environmental groups oppose the fossil fuel project, saying Oregon should instead be looking to develop its renewable energy economy. Landowners in the path of the proposed pipeline have objected to the possible use of eminent domain to take their land. Others have cited safety concerns, saying Oregonians are taking on all of the risk, while it's the Canadian company that owns that project that will benefit most.
Proponents of the project want the jobs and economic development the LNG terminal will bring - both temporary construction jobs, and a smaller number of permanent operational jobs at the terminal outside of North Bend.
Public meetings are being held the week of March 20th in the four southern Oregon counties affected by the project.
Jordan Cove spokesperson Michael Hinrichs says the open house-style meetings will allow the public to lean about what's different in the proposal this time around.
"We have optimized our engineering design to both meet a greater sense of efficiency... as well as address concerns or issues the general public has expressed in the past," he said.
The new proposal shrinks the footprint of the terminal by eliminating the separate power generating facility. This will allow the temporary housing for construction workers to be located on site, lessening potential traffic increases in the Coos Bay area.
Public Open Houses (all 4pm-8pm):
Tuesday, March 21: The Mill Casino, North Bend
Wednesday, March 22: Seven Feathers Casino, Canyonville
Thursday, March 23: Medford Public Library, Medford
Friday, March 24 – Oregon Institute of Technology (Mt. Mazama Room), Klamath Falls