LNG: More Information

More Information on the
Jordan Cove Proposed LNG Project

 

The Jordan Cove LNG/ Pacific Connector Pipeline project is a massive development proposed to allow corporations to ship the abundance of fracked natural gas from the U.S. to the Pacific Coast for export to Asia. The project is huge, involving dredging, massive tankers and a huge LNG facility in Coos Bay, and a 229-mile pipeline through Oregon. The project is now in its third iteration. First proposed to import gas, it was switched to export after the massive fracking boom. The export project has already been rejected by FERC as not being in the public interest. Then, the Trump administration announced it plans to reverse that intelligent Obama-era decision, along with the Keystone XL and DAPL pipelines, and here we are.

The Pacific Connector Pipeline would be a buried, 3-foot pipeline carrying fracked natural gas from existing pipelines at Malin, Oregon (at the California border near Klamath Falls), to a new export facility to be built at Coos Bay. 

The pipeline itself would travel across two mountain ranges, six major rivers, and hundreds of salmon-bearing streams.

70 miles of the pipeline would travel through public forests and waterways that shelter federally protected endangered species. It would destroy over 3,000 acres of terrestrial wildlife habitat and cross over 400 water bodies supporting salmon streams. The clearcut swath would also fragment habitat for two imperiled bird species: the northern spotted owl and the marbled murrelet.

160 miles would be through private land, owned by hundreds of Oregonians who have not given their permission. These landowners are faced with the ominous threat of the government forcibly taking their land and giving it to the pipeline company through eminent domain. 

Rural Oregonians also would face heightened safety risks. Most southern Oregon families in the path of the pipeline are in what is considered a “Class 1” location because of a low population density. This allows a lower safety standard, meaning fewer weld inspections (10% vs. 100%), thinner pipes, shallower trenches, fewer block valves, higher gas pressure, and fewer patrols and leak surveys.[1] Even though southern Oregon has issues with earthquakes, steep mountains, unstable soils prone to landslides and annual forest fires, safety standards are still reduced. 

The Jordan Cove Terminal would supercool and liquefy the natural gas (LNG) for overseas shipping. The LNG terminal would include a marine berth to be dug out of the North Spit, big enough for two huge ocean takers, two enormous gas storage tanks (storing 80 million gallons of LNG), and a new 450 megawatt power plant, all built on top of unstable sand dunes, in line with the airport runway, in a tsunami and earthquake zone, in rough seas within sighe of the New Carissa ship wreck and near a highly populated city.

The Oregonian recently reported[2] that FERC is not requiring Jordan Cove to consider multiple failure events,as occurred in Fukushima when the earthquake and tsunami devastated the Japanese coast.  Oregon geologists warn that a similar mega-thrust earthquake off the Oregon coast is overdue. “This will happen during the lifetime of the facility” said a seismologist at Oregon State University, adding “I would certainly have reservations about building one of these terminals down there”.

If the power plant and its backup system were to fail, the 80 million gallons of LNG would immediately begin to warm and expand. What could happen then? Veresen isn't going to describe that catastrophe in southern Oregon's most populated coastal area, and FERC is not requiring them to even consider what would happen.

Global Warming issues:
LNG is a worse polluter of our climate than coal.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) proposed to give the Jordan Cove Terminal a permit to emit 2.16 million tons of CO2e a year. That’s half of the 4 million tons CO2e that Boardman Coal plant puts out in a year. While Boardman, Oregon's only coal plant, is scheduled to close before 2020 because it is so polluting, DEQ is proposing to allow over half the CO2e emissions in Jordan Cove for the many decades that plant will run.

The 2.16 million tons of CO2e produced at the Jordan Cove terminal doesn’t even count the fossil fuels used to build this massive infrastructure, the fossil fuels used by the ships, the burning of natural gas once it gets to the end user, or the biggest impact of all, the methane leaks rom fracking and transporting.

Recent studies[3] have shown that large methane leaks occur at fracked well sites and pipes. Unburned methane leaking into the atmosphere is up to 100 times more potent a greenhouse gas than coal. This means that LNG causes more climate pollution than burning coal. The myth that natural gas is a “bridge fuel” has been busted.

Environmental issues:
The pipeline, LNG terminal, and shipping would impact 28 species protected under the Endangered Species Act, including 7 species of whales (ship strikes), 4 sea turtles, 2 salmon species, 4 other kinds of fish, 7 plants and 4 birds[4].

The pipeline through southern Oregon would impact the homes of 80 spotted owls.  Marbled murrelet habitat in the coast range is similarly impacted by directly destroying nesting habitat as well as inviting nest predators along the edge of the pipeline clearcut.

FERC requires mitigation for impacts to endangered species. Unfortunately, the proposed mitigation for the pipeline’s impacts to our bird species is appalling… It’s commercial logging. Veresen claims that if they can just do commercial timber sales along the edge of the pipeline route (even in old growth forests), the probability that a wildland fire would jump over the linear clearcut would be reduced, in theory saving spotted owl and murrelet habitat on the other side. They claim this will make up for the “taking” (killing) of dozens of spotted owls and marbled murrelets.

Oregon Dunes: The LNG terminal is proposed to be built on the southern edge of the remarkable and unique Oregon Dunes, immediately adjacent to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (ODNRA). Studies[5] have found that unique wetland ecosystems in the ODNRA are susceptible to water well drilling on the North Spit. The Jordan Cove LNG Terminal and the South Dunes Power Plan will use a tremendous amount of fresh-water from well-drilling on the North Spit, threatening to dry up lakes, such as Horsfall Lake, and other wetlands in the southern part of the ODNRA.

Economic Issues:
The U.S. Department of Energy determined[6] that if we export natural gas, our electric, cooking and heating costs will rise, because we will be competing for natural gas on the world market. They estimated we could loose up to 1.2 million jobs because the increase in natural gas prices will cause some manufacturing to move overseas[7]. (Compare this with the 150 jobs the Jordan Cove project will bring to Oregon).

The threat of eminent domain could impact the property values of over 600 private landowners in southern Oregon along the proposed pipeline route. Williams Pipeline, made initial offers to landowners in 2013, and it is shocking how low they were. For instance, Williams Pipeline wants to use 8 acres of private property near Days Creek. They offered the owners a one-time payment of $2,290 and included information on how eminent domain works.

While Veresen stands to make billions of dollars on this project, southern Oregon will see virtually none of that, even though we are bearing most of the burden facilitating the project, being forced to live with a potential bomb in our yards, and limiting what we can do on our property.

How can a corporation in a foreign country (Canada) claim their pipeline, used to ship their gas to China, for their private profit, is the public good of U.S. citizens? Veresen claims they deserve the power to condemn Oregonians lands, because they will provide jobs fracking more wells. They will also provide their investors with lots of money. Therefore, they claim this project is in the public good.

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[1] Jordan Cove FEIS for Importing NG. May 2009. page 4.12-54.

 

[2] http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2014/06/coos_bay_lng_terminal_designed.html

 

[3] Measurements of methane emissions at natural gas production sites in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24043804

Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Shale Gas, Natural Gas, Coal, and Petroleum. Environmental Science & Technology. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22107036

 

[4] Biological Assessment for the Jordan Cove Energy and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project. 9-2013.

 

[5] Plant Associations of the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. USDA FS PNWR. Technical Paper R6-NR-ECOL-TP-09-98. Cristy, Kagan, Weidmann. 1998. Page 13

 

[6] Department of Energy NERA Study. 12-3-2012.

 

[7] www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/wyden-highlights-flaws-in-doe-export-study-

 

 
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