State slams FERC’s LNG approval

| Print |  Email
Archives - October 2008
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

Light Reading

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Ask any college student: Textbook prices have skyrocketed out of control. Online education startup Lumen Learning aims to bring them down to earth.


Read more...

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Tuesday, August 04, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


Read more...

The Cover Story

Linda Baker
Thursday, August 27, 2015
01-cover-0915-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

How do you put a baby on the cover of a business magazine without it looking too cutesy?


Read more...

Bendafornia: What’s driving the Northern California migration?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
bendiforniathumbBY KEN MAES

A huge migration from Northern California has contributed to average 16% growth per year since 1990.


Read more...

Child care challenge

News
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


Read more...

Photo Log: Shooting 10 innovators in rural health care

The Latest
Monday, August 03, 2015
007blogBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

You may have noticed the photos of our rural health innovators departed from the typical Oregon Business aesthetic.


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