FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, February 20, 2020

CONTACT:
Allie Rosenbluth, 541-816-2240, allie@rogueclimate.org
Damon Motz-Storey, 303-913-5634, damon@oregonpsr.org 

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Votes 2-1 to Not Move Jordan Cove LNG Forward

[Washington, D.C.] – Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted 2-1 against Jordan Cove LNG. Commissioner McNamee stated that FERC needed more time to review permit denials from the State of Oregon, including last night’s Coastal Zone permit denial, while Commissioner Glick said the project was not in the public interest.

“This project has been hanging over our heads and threatening our home with eminent domain for over 15 years,” said Sandy Lyon, an impacted Landowner in Douglas County. “FERC should follow the lead of Oregon and deny Jordan Cove LNG for good. Our communities have made it clear and we deserve an end to this project.”

After 15 years, Jordan Cove LNG has failed to qualify for multiple necessary state and federal permits to dredge Coos Bay for an LNG terminal and to trench across Oregon for a 230-mile fracked gas pipeline, threatening harm to Tribal resources, private landowners, drinking water, and fishing grounds along the way. 

“The State of Oregon has made it clear in multiple denials that Jordan Cove LNG would harm our clean air, water, climate, and communities,” said Dr. Jan Hodder, a Coos Bay resident and marine biologist. “Jordan Cove LNG has no path forward without state permit approval and FERC should not even consider the project until Jordan Cove LNG can meet state standards.” 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) denied the Clean Water Act Section 401 permit on May 6, 2019. This January, anticipating another permit denial, Jordan Cove LNG withdrew its Removal-Fill application from the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL). Just last night, the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) denied the Coastal Zone Management Act permit for Jordan Cove. DLCD asserted that the Jordan Cove LNG project cannot move forward without critical State permits, even if Jordan Cove LNG is approved by FERC.

Jordan Cove LNG still has not re-applied for a DEQ clean water act permit.  In a recent letter from Oregon DEQ to FERC, the state agency noted that it is unprecedented for FERC to make a decision on this type of large-scale project without re-applying for the denied 401 Clean Water Act permit, stating: “ODEQ is not aware of any FERC precedent where it has acted on a license for a LNG facility or a certificate of public convenience and necessity for an interstate natural gas pipeline before the applicant applied for water quality certification under section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act. 

“Federal law is clear: Oregon’s objections under the Coastal Zone Management Act and Clean Water Act mean that FERC cannot approve this project,” said Nathan Matthews, senior attorney with Sierra Club. “FERC does not get to second-guess or overrule Oregon on these matters. Jordan Cove has not provided and cannot provide information showing that the project will comply with Oregon and federal law. Rather than leave this application open waiting for additional information that will never come, FERC should deny the application outright, just as FERC did four years ago.”

In 2016, FERC also denied Jordan Cove LNG because the project was not in the public interest and because the company failed to provide the necessary information. Similarly, FERC Chairman McNamee voted “nay” on Jordan Cove LNG today because he still needed more information about the project.

“The Klamath Tribes hopes FERC will act swiftly to deny this project that would harm the cultural and natural resources that are vital to our people and that we reserved to be protected through our treaty,” said Chairman of the Klamath Tribes Don Gentry. “This project is not viable. We are committed to protecting our interests, as we have for time immemorial. Pembina should leave our communities alone by pulling out of this project entirely.”

Over 40,000 people sent comments to FERC opposing Jordan Cove LNG, and hundreds showed up in opposition at public hearings in Coos, Douglas, Jackson, and Klamath counties last summer. 

Tens of thousands of people across the region have spoken out against this Jordan Cove LNG for over a decade. The State of Oregon has listened to our concerns and so should FERC,” said Allie Rosenbluth, Campaigns Director for Rogue Climate. “It’s time to put an end to Jordan Cove LNG for good this time so our communities can focus on creating local jobs in clean energy instead.”

“For years my Tribe, and others, have advocated to stop Jordan Cove LNG, and we will continue to stand up until this pipeline is stopped for good,” said Ashia Wilson, a member of the Klamath Tribes and freshmen at University of Oregon. “The State of Oregon’s actions leave me hopeful that when our communities come together, we can protect our home.”

Jordan Cove LNG Permitting Timeline

  • In 2016, FERC denied this same project because “Pacific Connector failed to demonstrate a need for the project sufficient to outweigh the potential harm to the economic interests of landowners whose property rights might be taken by exercise of the right of eminent domain.”
  • On May 6, 2019, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) delivered a severe blow to Jordan Cove LNG by denying the Clean Water Act Section 401 permit because the massive LNG export terminal and pipeline could not demonstrate that they would meet Oregon’s clean water standards. 
  • On January 21, 2020, Oregon Department of State Lands rejected a request from Jordan Cove to extend the permitting deadline for Jordan Cove LNG. Anticipating a permit denial, on January 24, 2020, Jordan Cove withdrew its state lands permit application entirely.
  • On February 19, 2020, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development denied the Coastal Zone Management Act Consistency Certification for Jordan Cove, marking the third key state permit the Jordan Cove failed to obtain.
  • On February 20, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) did not issue an approval for Jordan Cove, citing a need to understand Oregon’s denial the night before. FERC provided no indication of when it would revisit Jordan Cove’s application.

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The opposition to the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline consists of impacted landowners, Tribal members, commercial fishermen, youth, health professionals, and community leaders from four impacted southern Oregon counties and regional allies. We seek to protect our health and safety, resources, and way of life by ensuring that this harmful project is never built.