COOS BAY — A report by an anti-fossil fuels advocacy group about a proposed natural gas facility and export terminal in Coos Bay project's in-state greenhouse emissions would be comparable to Portland General Electric's coal-fired plant in Boardman, and its total lifecycle emissions 15 times worse.
According to the report by Oil Change International, the emissions estimate of Jordan Cove includes an estimated range of methane leakage along the 229-mile supply chain from Malin in Klamath County to Coos County finds that even a conservative estimate undermines claims that gas supplied to global markets via the project would lead to a net reduction of GHG emissions.
Jordan Cove Project spokesperson Michael Hinrichs refuted the group's report.
"Upon first glance, this OCI report looks exactly like the previously paid-for report to support the opposition’s conclusions. It appears to use an inaccurate comparison that supports a pre-determined stance," said Hinrichs.
"There is another side of the story, the project has filed with FERC hundreds of pages of scientific reports by third parties and the work done by the Project has resulted in Jordan Cove receiving approval for our air permit by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
"The project is putting Oregon on the path to supplying a cleaner energy future for our customers. Natural gas is cleaner burning, has fewer pollutants, is less expensive and more efficient than other fuels that are capable of meeting around the clock energy demand.
"The project has direct benefits to the State of Oregon including thousands of construction jobs, hundreds of good paying permanent jobs, and the significant tax benefits to the four counties and to the State of Oregon," he said.
The 229-mile Pacific Connector Pipeline would have the capacity to push 1.2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas across Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties to a plant in Coos Bay where the gas would be turned into liquid form and be transported to Asian markets. The pipeline would connect to existing pipelines to transport natural gas from Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and the Montney Basin in British Columbia.
Oil Change International's study estimates Jordan Cove's in-state greenhouse gas emissions at 2.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents a year, including 1.8 million tons from the terminal and another 400,000 tons from its feeder pipeline and a compressor station.
The study's estimate for terminal emissions, which assumed it operated at 85 percent of capacity, is a bit less than the maximum emissions level the company has projected in its applications with federal and state regulators. And that would put it at or near the top of the list of stationary emissions sources in Oregon tracked by the Department of Environmental Quality, particularly as PGE's Boardman coal plant, the state's largest source of emissions, is slated to close in 2020, according to a Jan. 11 article published in The Oregonian.
The Oil Change study also estimated the project's "lifecycle" emissions, including upstream methane leakage rates in gas production, processing and transportation, as well as emissions from tanker transportation to Asia, local distribution and combustion in China. It said those total emissions would be 36.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year, more than half of it from burning the gas in Asia. That's about 15 times the Boardman plant's emissions, or the equivalent of 7.9 million passenger vehicles.