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Fourteen years in LNG purgatory.

Is Jordan Cove paying Jon Barton by the word, without caring WHAT he says?

“Stick to the facts!” an uppity Barton lectured a Jordan Cove critic the other day, gleefully daring her to name “people who have lost their land” to the company by eminent domain.

Clearly, Barton doesn’t know that eminent domain cannot be used until the federal government OKs Jordan Cove, which has not happened – yet. Meanwhile, hundreds of landowners on the pipeline route have lived in LNG purgatory for 14 years, not knowing what will happen. I wonder how well Barton would sleep if for 14 years gas speculators had threatened to run a big ole’ gas pipeline by his bedroom window. As one poor landowner put it: “Our American dream has turned into a Canadian nightmare.”

Barton did bring up one good point, by bragging about “the Cheniere project” and its “benefit to South Texas.” I assume he’s talking about the lower states’ first – and so far only – operating LNG export terminal, Cheniere at Sabine Pass, Louisiana, that has been shipping LNG for a couple of years now. But if I lived in Louisiana, I wouldn’t mind Cheniere myself.

One reason is Louisiana’s abundance of pipelines, so eminent domain was unnecessary. More importantly, if Cheniere spills any LNG, nearby people cannot be hurt! Cheniere sits on 1000 acres of filled swamp land, and is surrounded by many more miles of uninhabited swamp. In fact, Cameron Parish, although as large as Coos County, has only 10% of our population, and no incorporated cities.

Conclusion: Cheniere meets the LNG industry’s most basic safety rule: spills can never be ruled out, so terminals must be miles away from local population centers and industries. That rule is being flagrantly violated by Jordan Cove, whose property is far too small and too close. One tacit admission is the 40-foot concrete wall they want to build on the property line they share with the Roseburg chip terminal, to avoid cremating Roseburg’s crew. But experts call that a recipe for disaster, since it will confine LNG and gas spills in the moorage slip, potentially killing everybody in it and increasing chances of an explosion that could destroy the entire terminal. That is the opinion of Jerry Havens and James Venart, no doomsayers, but LNG fire scientists with worldwide reputations.

Stick to the facts, indeed!

Wim de Vriend

Coos Bay

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