Backers of a liquefied natural gas project in southwest Oregon say they will try again to get federal approval now that the fossil fuel-friendly Trump administration is about to take power.
Last week, regulators effectively denied the Jordan Cove LNG terminal and pipeline application. But the incomingadministration has supporters hoping for a different outcome this time around.
The Canadian-owned Jordan Cove LNG project would transport natural gas to Coos Bay from sources in the Mountain West. It would then liquefy the gas and load it on ships bound for Asia.
Jordan Cove CEO Betsy Spomer says she and her company were incredulous about the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision to deny a rehearing of project’s application.
“It was clear it was political,” she says.
The application was initially turned down because backers did not establish there was an overseas market for the liquefied natural gas.
But there are many things about the project that Spomer expects the Trump administration to favor.
“It’s privately funded infrastructure, it creates jobs, it increases U.S. exports and it promotes the development of U.S. natural gas” the Houston, Texas-based CEO said. “And those are all goals articulated by the incoming administration.”
Texas is also the home-state of former-Gov. Rick Perry, Trump’s selection to lead the U.S. Department of Energy, the umbrella agency for FERC.
Opposition to the project has focused on climate change, safety concerns and the need to take private property on the pipeline route through eminent domain.
"If Jordan Cove does in fact refile, we expect the outcome will be exactly the same,” said Hannah Sohl of the anti-LNG group Rogue Climate.
In an email statement, Rogue Climate continued to encourage the state of Oregon to deny permits required by its own agencies. This has been a focus of anti-LNG activists since FERC initially denied the Jordan Cover permit last March.
Jordan Cove LNG's Spomer says the new application will reflect changes in the original design. Chief among the them is the elimination of separate 420-megawatt power plant. Instead power generation will be incorporated into the liquefaction facility, shrinking the footprint of the project.
Jordan Cove LNG has not indicated when it intends to refile.