What is the Jordan Cove LNG Project?
The Jordan Cove project is a proposal to transport fracked gas from the Rockies and Canada across southern Oregon to Coos Bay where it will be turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Jordan Cove terminal, put on large tankers and sent overseas. A 36-inch gas pipeline called Pacific Connector would travel 232 miles from Malin to Coos Bay crossing Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties.
What is LNG?
LNG stands for liquefied natural gas which is made primarily of methane gas. Methane gas is liquefied solely for the purpose of transportation and shipping. It is liquefied by being cooled at temperatures of -260 degrees Fahrenheit and takes up 1/600th of the volume that gas does in its natural state. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquefied_natural_gas)
Who is proposing this project?
Jordan Cove is being proposed by the Canadian gas company Veresen, and Pacific Connector is a joint venture of Veresen and Williams, an American pipeline company. (Jordan Cove Energy and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project 2014 DEIS Executive Summary, ES – 1).
Where will the gas come from?
Gas would be drawn from shale and conventional gas fields using the method of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in Canada and the Rockies. (Whitepaper: Analysis of the EIA Export Report ‘Effect of Increased Natural Gas Exports on Domestic Energy Markets’ 1/19/2012 Prepared for the Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P. pg.1-7)
Won’t gas exports raise our rates at home?
Yes. Exporting natural gas would cause domestic gas prices to compete on the world market, raising our natural gas prices by an estimated 25% and threatening U.S. jobs where factories depend on natural gas. The Department Of Energy has determined up to 1.2 million manufacturing jobs would move overseas. (Department of Energy NERA Study, 12-3-12).
How will private landowners be impacted?
Approximately 157 miles of the 232-mile pipeline would cross private property. There are 704 affected landowners on or adjacent to the proposed facilities and routes. Many of these landowners will be threatened with the use of eminent domain for the pipeline right of way. Landowners will be offered a small, one time payment for the use of their property, while they will lose access and endure limitations on that right of way for things like planting crops, building structures, the use of heavy equipment, and the clearing of all brush and trees. (Jordan Cove Energy and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project 2014 DEIS at ES-5, Appendix A, pg’s A-11, A-20).
How will this project impact our climate?
A recent article in the Oregonian shows that the Jordan Cove project, if built, would quickly become the largest source of carbon pollution in the state after the Boardman Coal plant shuts down in 2020. Jordan Cove’s power plant would produce 2.1 million metric tons of CO2 a year. In addition to direct power plant emissions, methane leakage at drill sites may bring that total to 57 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year. (http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2014/11/jordan_cove_lng_in_coos_bay_co.html)
Will public lands be impacted?
Approximately 75 miles of the pipeline would cross public Forest Service and BLM lands. The pipeline would create a linear, 95-foot wide clear-cut, and in doing so, would degrade and fragment forest habitat for endangered species, increase erosion, cut forests in old-growth reserves and riparian reserves. Forest plans for these lands currently do not allow such harm to our public resources for pipeline construction. As a result, the Forest Service and BLM are in the process of rewriting their management plans so as to allow for pipeline development. (Jordan Cove Energy and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project 2014 DEIS at ES-5 and 2-84).
Will Jordan Cove create jobs?
Jordan Cove claims it will create 150 permanent jobs at the terminal while temporary construction job numbers would average around 900. However, it is unclear as to whether these jobs will be sourced locally or if workforces will be sourced from out of state. Meanwhile, increases in our natural gas prices here at home will impact local businesses and has the potential to send our manufacturing and jobs overseas. Job loss will also occur in fisheries, oyster farms, tourism and more in the Coos Bay area due to the degradation of habitat and natural resources that these jobs depend upon. Recent studies have found that for every $1 million dollars invested in renewable energy development, 17 jobs are created which is more than three times as many as the 5 created for fossil fuel investments. (Jordan Cove Energy and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project 2014 DEIS at 4-786). (http://www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/other_publication_types/green_economics/economic_benefits/economic_benefits.PDF).
How are water resources and salmon impacted?
The proposed Pacific Connector pipeline would cross 400 bodies of water in the Coos, Coquille, Umpqua, Rogue and Klamath watersheds. These crossings would require extensive riparian clearing that would reduce shade increasing water temperatures in streams that already violate temperature standards for salmon and other cold-water fish. Construction of the pipeline would cause increased sedimentation in streams and rivers, which impacts fish and their habitat. Many of the streams and rivers that the pipeline would cross are home to native salmon that are in many cases already facing extinction. The amount of material that would be dredged out of the Coos Bay estuary and removed from streams is over 6 million cubic yards and would fill the Rosebowl stadium in Pasadena nearly 15 times! (Jordan Cove Energy and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project 2014 DEIS at 2-26).
Are there endangered species that will be threatened?
The project would impact 32 federally endangered or threatened species, including Coho salmon, marbled murrelet, northern spotted owl, six species of whale and four species of sea turtle. Extensive dredging for the terminal construction in the Coos bay estuary would have an enormous impact on sensitive estuarine habitats and marine species. (Jordan Cove Energy and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project 2014 DEIS, 5-14, 5.17).
Who authorizes the project?
There are a huge number of approvals the companies would need to acquire at the federal, state and county levels. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead federal agency to evaluate the proposal. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Department of State Lands will process applications for the use of state lands, impacts to water bodies and the dredging proposal at Coos Bay. The Oregon Department of Energy, Oregon Water Resources Department, Forest Service, BLM, US Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries, US Department of Energy, and US Army Corps of Engineers all have roles to play in evaluating, granting, or denying the necessary permits for the project. (Jordan Cove Energy and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project 2014 DEIS, pg’s 1-2, 1-12, 1-17, 1-18).
How safe is this project?
We are seeing more and more that fossil fuel exports are not safe. Over the last year alone, the Williams Company has had four gas infrastructure explosions in the US, injuring workers and evacuating towns. Much of the Pacific Connector pipeline is proposed to travel through rural areas using much lower safety standards for the pipeline than in more populated areas. Senator Ron Wyden has even addressed safety concerns about the project and that they need to be thoroughly addressed. (http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2015/02/wyden_asks_regulators_for_more.html) (http://grist.org/news/this-companys-gas-plants-just-keep-on-exploding/)