Fed­eral reg­u­la­tors de­cline to re­con­sider Ore­gon pipe­line

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Fed­eral reg­u­la­tors on Fri­day re­fused to re­con­sider a 230-mile liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas pipe­line that would have ter­mi­nated in the south­ern Ore­gon coastal town of Coos Bay, hand­ing a se­ri­ous set­back to a multi-bil­lion project to de­liver the gas to mar­kets in Asia.

In a 15-page opin­ion, the Fed­eral En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion de­nied re­quests from the Jordan Cove En­ergy Project, the Pa­cific Gas Con­nec­tor Pipe­line, the state of Wy­oming and the Wy­oming Pipe­line Author­ity to re­open the case and reaf­firmed the agency’s de­ci­sion from ear­lier this year. In that March 11 rul­ing, the agency found there was lit­tle ev­i­dence to sup­port the need for a pipe­line and not enough pub­lic ben­e­fit from the project, which has been tied up in a le­gal fight for sev­eral years.

Sup­port­ers of the pipe­line, how­ever, chal­lenged the de­ci­sion in an ap­peal and also moved to swing pub­lic opin­ion to their side. Wy­oming, which was among those chal­leng­ing that rul­ing, ar­gued that FERC should have con­sid­ered the eco­nomic ben­e­fit from the pipe­line to its res­i­dents from in­creased nat­u­ral gas pro­duc­tion, roy­al­ties and taxes.

Colorado sent rep­re­sen­ta­tives to Ore­gon to lobby for the pipe­line this fall and Colorado Gov. John Hick­en­looper asked fed­eral reg­u­la­tors to take an­other look at the $7 bil­lion project, which would al­low it to ship nat­u­ral gas to mar­kets in Ja­pan.

TV ad­ver­tise­ments tout­ing the pipe­line’s po­ten­tial eco­nomic ben­e­fits aired in Ore­gon dur­ing last sum­mer’s Olympic Games.

Vere­sen Inc., the Cal­gary, Al­berta-based com­pany, said in a state­ment Fri­day that it would con­sider an­other ap­peal or might sub­mit a new ap­pli­ca­tion to FERC.

“Vere­sen re­mains com­mit­ted to this im­por­tant en­ergy in­fra­struc­ture project,” said Don Althoff, Verensen’s pres­i­dent and CEO. “We are very dis­ap­pointed by FERC’s de­ci­sion, es­pe­cially in light of the sig­nif­i­cant progress that has been made in demon­strat­ing mar­ket sup­port for the project and the strong show­ing of pub­lic sup­port for the project.”

The pipe­line route would have stretched from the farm­ing town of Malin east of the Cas­cade Moun­tains, just north of the Cal­i­for­nia bor­der, to Coos Bay on the south­ern Ore­gon coast. The route, which was op­posed by pri­vate landown­ers and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists, would have crossed rivers, moun­tain ranges and a mix of pri­vate and pub­lic lands. — AP

PORT­LAND: Na­tive Amer­i­cans from left, Eu­gene Sanchez, Ja­son Um­tuch, Mar­tan Men­den­hall, and Hugh Ah­na­tock, all of Port­land, Ore­gon, drum and sing at the Oceti Sakowin camp where peo­ple have gath­ered to protest the Dakota Ac­cess oil pipe­line in Can­non Ball, ND. — AP

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