Jordan Cove

Department of Energy green lights Jordan Cove

LNG facility receives approval to export to non-Free Trade Agreement countries
2014-03-24T09:30:00Z 2014-03-24T10:03:06Z Department of Energy green lights Jordan CoveBy Chelsea Davis, The World Coos Bay World
March 24, 2014 9:30 am  • 

COOS BAY — The Jordan Cove Energy Project has cleared another hurdle with the U.S. Department of Energy’s support.

On Monday morning, the U.S. DOE conditionally authorized Jordan Cove to export liquefied natural gas to non-Free Trade Agreement countries. The approval allows Jordan Cove to export LNG at a rate of 0.8 billion standard cubic feet per day for 20 years.

The LNG facility had already been granted approval to export LNG to Free Trade Agreement countries in December 2011. The U.S. has FTAs with 20 countries.

The Natural Gas Act directs the DOE to grant export authorizations unless it says the proposed exports “will not be consistent with the public interest.”

Officials have been watching the DOE’s list closely, where Jordan Cove’s application sat in the No. 1 spot awaiting approval or denial.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., applauded the DOE’s decision. Wyden, former chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, had urged DOE to strongly consider Jordan Cove’s application.

“This announcement is exactly what Coos Bay, North Bend and America need: new jobs and new investment, while factoring in a changed geopolitical landscape through a case-by-case process,” Wyden said in a statement. “Priority one for me has always been ensuring American jobs and employers see the full benefits of the natural gas renaissance. The Department of Energy must monitor markets closely and be prepared to adjust course should any threat to American jobs or energy security emerge.”

Mark Wall, co-chair of Boost Southwest Oregon, said his email account began bursting as the news became known among supporters.

“It’s a great day for Coos County, and a long time coming,” he said. “It’s not the end of it, of course. But this is the one step that makes it all financially feasible.”

Veresen Inc., Jordan Cove’s parent company, announced in October 2013 that it had finalized 25-year non-binding Heads of Agreement with three prospective customers in Indonesia, India and an eastern Asian country. Indonesia and India are not FTA countries.

“It basically is catering to people who do not have the decency to sign a trade agreement with us,” said Jody McCaffree, executive director of Citizens Against LNG. “If they want our gas, sign a trade agreement with us. We’re giving them our cheap gas at our expense. It’s just totally unconscionable that they would do that.”

The DOE has been working on this particular application for the last two years, receiving public comments for and against the project, as well as around 200,000 public comments about the impact of increased LNG exports.

“Obviously they didn’t consider any of our concerns, which is disappointing,” McCaffree said. “It just feels like citizens’ voices are not being heard.”

Jordan Cove is still waiting on the biggest stamp of approval: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Jordan Cove public affairs director Michael Hinrichs expects FERC’s draft Environmental Impact Statement could be published in April or May, and the final EIS near the end of 2014.

Without FERC’s approval, Jordan Cove dies.

The South Dunes Power Plant is the only Jordan Cove component that doesn’t fall under FERC’s jurisdiction. The plant requires a site certificate from Oregon’s Energy Facility Siting Council. Oregon Department of Energy spokeswoman Diana Enright previously told The World that Jordan Cove will have to wait at least a year for a decision.

Reporter Chelsea Davis can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 239, or by email at chelsea.davis@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @ChelseaLeeDavis.

Copyright 2015 Coos Bay World. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(8) Comments

  1. TEP
    Report Abuse
    TEP - March 27, 2014 11:43 am
    This project is not going to be an economic savior for Coos Bay. With the port closed 3.4 days per week, there will be jobs lost in fishing and tourism to offset the jobs gained. The exhaust from the 420 megawatt power plant will degrade the air quality here, thus causing problems for people with asthma and other respiratory problems. The county auditor has stated that all of our property taxes will be going up, while Jordan Cove doesn't have to pay any.
  2. regards
    Report Abuse
    regards - March 25, 2014 1:57 pm
    Send an email to the Jordan Cove Public Affairs Spokesman,Michael Hinrichs. His email photo is of a man (presumably him) making fun of a Rabies Warning sign. Yes, nothing but the best and brightest future ahead!
  3. bes
    Report Abuse
    bes - March 25, 2014 1:43 pm
    We have good schools, roads, parks fire and law enforcement now. It's hard to believe that not one of our county commissioners has the guts to stand up for the real majority and not just the booster club who recieved $15k from LNG to spew propaganda for personal gain. With a 40% chance earthquake/tsunami zone it is not in the public interest to build a lng facility on the north spit, not to mention the overall carbon pollution factor at over 2 million metric tons per year just to get started
  4. Bulldog1979
    Report Abuse
    Bulldog1979 - March 25, 2014 10:17 am
    Hopefully this will breath some life into the Bay Area. The environmentalist leftists have been trying to destroy the country by destroying the economy for 40 years now. I remember all the economic activity in the 60's and 70's. Plenty of money for the cities, schools, counties. We had good roads, law enforcement, great fire departments recognized nationwide, parks, etc, and everything was paid for without going in the hole. This is a good thing for everybody in the State of Oregon.
  5. ladthebad
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    ladthebad - March 24, 2014 12:57 pm
    Fantastic news! Yes, the citizens have been heard. Its about time.
  6. reedsportresident
    Report Abuse
    reedsportresident - March 24, 2014 11:58 am
    Thank goodness...hopefully this moves forward and jobs are created as promised!
  7. Retread
    Report Abuse
    Retread - March 24, 2014 11:27 am
    To the contrary, Jodie. I think Salem and Washington are finally listening to the citizens of Coos Bay. Businesses and citizens banded together and the majority has been heard.
  8. DHCollins
    Report Abuse
    DHCollins - March 24, 2014 10:26 am
    This is good news. Baby steps win the race here.

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