Sponsored by Oregon Business

State slams FERC’s LNG approval

| Print |  Email
Wednesday, October 01, 2008

BradwoodLanding Its isolated location and industrial zoning makes Bradwood Landing — a once-bustling mill town — a highly desirable location for NorthernStar Natural Gas.

ASTORIA In mid September, federal officials approved a controversial liquid natural gas project located on the Columbia River and in doing so set the stage for a potential legal battle between the state of Oregon and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Moments after FERC announced its approval of the Bradwood Landing project — which consists of a $580 million terminal 20 miles upriver from Astoria and a 36-mile-long pipeline that would stretch east to Kelso — Gov. Ted Kulongoski slammed the agency.

“Moving forward with this project as is — which is incomplete — disregards states’ rights in this process,” he said in a statement. “If legal action is necessary to compel FERC to do this right, I am prepared to exercise that option.”

It’s unclear when the situation might reach that point. The state has asked FERC for a new approval hearing, the final step before legal steps are taken. The public also has 30 days to appeal the FERC’s decision.

The Bradwood Landing saga began three years ago when Texas-based NorthernStar Natural Gas announced it would take super-cooled liquid natural gas imported via ship from Africa, the Middle East and Indonesia, warm it to a gaseous form in a $580 million terminal, and transport it through pipelines to Oregon, Washington and California.

NorthernStar and FERC officials argue the project is crucial in helping the Pacific Northwest meet its growing natural gas needs. But Kulongoski, environmental groups and Clatsop County residents argue FERC hasn’t adequately considered environmental issues associated with the project. There are other challenges as well: The same week FERC handed down its decision, Clatsop County overwhelmingly voted to ban pipelines from crossing certain types of land. (Northern Star says the ballot measure isn’t legally valid.)

In their approval, FERC commissioners countered each of the challenges offered by Kulongoski and others. But those rebuttals weren’t sufficient for the governor. “The commission has decided to ignore the law and instead, approve a project with incomplete mitigation plans and without regard to Oregon’s important concerns,” he said in his statement.

As options for a peaceful resolution of those concerns disappear, the pressure, like an over-filled tank of natural gas, is building.

ABRAHAM HYATT



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

More Articles

4 highlights of the MLS labor deal

The Latest
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
timbersthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.


Read more...

On the Brink

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Leslie Carlson channels the big idea.


Read more...

Epitaph for a Boondoggle

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The CRC is a cautionary tale about how we plan for, finance and invest in transportation infrastructure.


Read more...

Opening soon: 3 of the coolest new breweries in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, March 19, 2015
brewthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are 278 companies licensed to operate as brewery, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Here are three new beer-making hubs slated to open soon.


Read more...

100 Best: The Power of the Worker

March 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
AND AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Technology is empowering people like never before and transforming how employees interact in the workplace. How can companies attract and keep staff engaged in this rapidly changing world?


Read more...

City announces plans for Portland summer-league baseball team

News
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
IMG 3888BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Baseball is returning to Portland and city officials are hoping economic opportunity comes with it.


Read more...

Uncertainty about convention center hotel could cost Portland an NBA All-Star Game

The Latest
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
463545460BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

NBA commissioner: "I would love to end up having an All-Star Game in Portland. It's really just a function of ensuring that we can fit in town."


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS