Home » FERC » Time to Pull the Plug on the Jordan Cove LNG Export Project!

Time to Pull the Plug on the Jordan Cove LNG Export Project!

Jordan Cove’s recent marketing gimmicks and trumped-up press stories will in no way save the poorly conceived and designed fossil fuel LNG export project.  The improperly sited project lacks most of its key local, state and federal permits and continues to lose momentum as the latest reports show the glut of LNG is predicted to persist well into the next decade.  While much bigger LNG players scuttle many other LNG projects (see news stories below), Jordan Cove continues to run around spewing all this propaganda and false information about their project.

Jordan Cove LNG CartoonFERC Order was Final Decision

Nothing has really changed since FERC’s March 11th Order and in some ways the situation for Jordan Cove has gotten worse.  With the Panama Canal expansion project now completed and open, Jordan Cove can no longer use shorter transit time as a reason to try and justify their project, particularly with gulf coast terminals now up and running.  Despite the State of Oregon continuing to process permits, the JORDAN COVE LNG PROJECT REMAINS A DEAD PROJECT.  The Final Order from FERC was not stayed and is a Final Decision.   Press stories without substantive evidence are not enough to change FERC’s mind at this point and currently all Jordan Cove has is a bunch of misleading press stories.  The State of Oregon should not really be processing any more permits for Jordan Cove until after the National Environmental Policy Act process has been completed.  Nothing can be more clear as to why that should be the case than the July 19, 2016 letter submitted on behalf of the Confederated Tribes to the State of Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. (FERC Accession No 20160803-0010)

On July 29, 2016, at Jordan Cove’s request, the Army Corps suspended their review of Jordan Cove’s Removal-Fill permit application.  Should the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission fail to issue its final Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity after the end of a six month period, either Jordan Cove will request a withdrawal of its Dept of Army (DA) application; or the Corps, at its discretion, may deny the Jordan Cove DA application without prejudice.  On July 7, 2016, the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Department also “stayed” Jordan Cove’s Consistency Certification determination.

KBOO Locus FocusEminent Domain a Real Threat

The March 11, 2016 Final Order from FERC stated that the proposed Jordan Cove Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline would impact 157.3 miles of privately owned lands, held by approximately 630 landowners.  (Order page 16)  As clearly indicated in the Final EIS (pages 4-843; 5-27), all these landowners would need to sign off and so far the majority of them have not.  Under the Natural Gas Act, the FERC issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity would subject these private American landowners to the threat of eminent domain proceedings for both the permanent and temporary construction easements that are being proposed by Jordan Cove, a foreign controlled energy company, along with Williams’ Pacific Connector.  Veresen keeps stating that Jordan Cove has contracts for 77 percent of its pipeline capacity when it is Jordan Cove who has signed up to obtain capacity on their own Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline for themselves. There are no gas contracts at this point, only preliminary agreements that Jordan Cove says they have but still have yet to produce.

Landowners Attempt to set the Record Straight

On July 25, 2016, the Landowners United filed a letter and a collection of news stories with the U.S. Department of Energy and the FERC in an attempt to dispel the half-truths and totally false information being spread by Veresen, Williams Pipeline Co., Jordan Cove Boosters and the President of the North America’s Building Trades Unions.

The letter showed that the economy was not as bad in Southern Oregon as Jordan Cove’s Boosters were making it out to be with unemployment ranging from between 5.7% to 5.3% in the four impacted counties. The letter stated that the 145 permanent jobs being promised by Jordan Cove were no match to the thousands of permanent jobs that the project would be putting at risk in our tourism, recreation, fishing (commercial and recreational both in the bay and the multitude of inland waterbodies that are affected), ranching, timber harvesting, and thriving shellfish industries (clamming, crabbing, and oyster farming).

As for the “hundreds of permanent jobs”, Veresen estimated about 145 full time jobs in the FEIS. The exact number is in question because the numbers keep changing. It has been estimated by experts not connected with the Jordan Cove project that the actual number could be about ½ to ¾ of the 145. Even if we accept the highest number, it is tiny compared to the number of jobs that could be generated by almost any industrial project that would cost a mere fraction of Veresen’s $7.5 billion anticipated investment.

You can also review the Landowner letter by going to the following:
http://elibrary.FERC.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20160801-5048

Just think about all the “permanent” jobs in renewables that could be created with this same amount of investment dollars.  Because Jordan Cove is a Greenfield project, we believe their cost figures have been underestimated.  Not only has Jordan Cove underestimated their costs, but they also have underestimated their hazards and the viability of their project to be able to pass environmental regulations and requirements specific to the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Estuary Protection Act, among others.

Jordan Cove Hazards are Underestimated

Jaipur, India 2009

Jaipur, India 2009

Fire Hazards

On January 14 and February 6, 2015, Jerry Havens, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at University of Arkansas, and James Venart, Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at University of New Brunswick, published two papers with respect to the Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal Draft Environmental Impact Statement under FERC Docket No. CP13-483.  Professor Havens and Professor Venart found significant discrepancies and problems with Jordan Cove’s hazard analysis and determined the hazards had been significantly underestimated.  These concerns have now been confirmed by additional information that was presented to the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) at a May 19, 2016, workshop on liquefied natural gas (LNG) safety.  E&E reporter, Jenny Mandel, covered the issues in an indepth article published on June 7, 2016, titled, “Explosive LNG issues grab PHMSA’s attention.”  A presentation made by Graham Atkinson, a principal scientist in the Major Hazards Unit of the Health and Safety Lab in Buxton, England, confirmed what Professor Havens and Professor Venart had been saying with respect to potential hazards at current proposed LNG export facilities like the Jordan Cove LNG facility

Unconfined vapor cloud explosions involving heavier-than-methane hydrocarbons handled and stored in large quantities in LNG export facilities pose the potential for catastrophic cascading explosion damages that could result in a complete destruction of the facility and fire hazards that extend well beyond the facility boundaries.  The hazard models and/or sub-models that are currently being used by the gas industry have not been subjected to a satisfactory scientific peer-review process necessary to protect the public from their misuse.

Unfortunately, the complex hazard models currently being used by the gas industry are prohibitively expensive to the public and protected as proprietary. There is no reasonable way for the public to have these industry hazard model calculations reviewed and/or vetted by independent scientific parties.  The high volume of various hydrocarbons found at LNG export facilities present far worse hazards than what the industry has been properly analyzing and the addition of vapor fences only compounds the hazard problem.

It is now up to the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to make sure regulations are in place to ensure the public is protected and the hazard modeling has been thoroughly vetted.  We pray they do their jobs and do them well.

Earthquake Hazards 

On August 1, 2012, researchers at Oregon State University completed a 13-year comprehensive analysis of the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Pacific Northwest and confirmed that the Oregon coast may be the most vulnerable based on recurrence frequency.  Researchers determined that there was a 40 percent chance of a major earthquake in the Coos Bay, OR, region during the next 50 years. And that earthquake could approach the intensity of the Tohoku quake that devastated Japan in March of 2011. “The southern margin of Cascadia has a much higher recurrence level for major earthquakes than the northern end and, frankly, it is overdue for a rupture,” said Chris Goldfinger, a professor in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and lead author of the study.

The Oregonian reported on August 9, 2016, in an article by Kale Williams titled, “Risk of major quake on Cascadia Subduction Zone higher than previously thought,” that a team of international researchers, including some from Oregon State University, had determined that a major earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone is more likely than previously thought.   The chances of a quake hitting the central Oregon region in the next 50 years have now been upgraded, going from between 14 and 17 percent to between 15 and 20 percent.  This increased risk was not analyzed in the Jordan Cove FERC Final EIS, nor has it been considered in Jordan Cove’s hazard considerations.

Due to the extreme hazards that a 9.0 Cascadia subduction earthquake and resulting tsunami would impose on the Coos Bay area, as documented by Kathryn Schulz’s Pulitzer Prize winning article featured in The New Yorker, a new review of the Jordan Cove LNG project with respect to these critical seismic and tsunami hazards is necessary.  The Southern Coast of Oregon is no place for an LNG export terminal.

Rescuers search following an earthquake in Amatrice, Italy, Aug. 24, 2016.

Rescuers search following an earthquake in Amatrice, Italy, Aug. 24, 2016.

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http://abcnews.go.com/International/quake-strikes-central-italy-significant-damage-reported/story?id=41606497
Death Toll Climbs to 247 After Earthquake in Central Italy, 368 Injured
By J.J. Gallagher, Emily Shapiro, Morgan Winsor, and David Caplan
Aug 25, 2016

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Wildfires

Currently in Southern Oregon wildfires are burning in areas where the Pacific Connector is proposed to be built.  This is the second year in a row for this to have occured.  Oregon Statewide Planning Goal #7 does not allow hazardous facilities to be built in areas where natural hazards, such as wildfires, occur, particularly if the risk to the public cannot be mitigated.  It remains to be seen if mitigation in this case would even be possible.

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NOTE: This fire is directly in the path of the proposed Pacific Connector Pipeline Route
http://www.mailtribune.com/article/20160824/NEWS/160829839
Cleveland Ridge fire hits 635 acres
By Ryan Pfeil – The Mail Tribune
August 24, 2016

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In addition to the information presented above, we encourage a review of the following previous blog postings and current news stories that are linked further below.  Investors should carefully be examining all the documentable facts surrounding the poorly conceived Jordan Cove LNG export project before throwing any more dollars at the boondoggle.

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Why Jordan Cove LNG is a bad investment – Part 1

Why Jordan Cove LNG is a bad investment – Part 2

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IN THE NEWS

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http://www.lnglawblog.com/2016/08/study-alaska-lng-project-too-expensive-to-be-competitive/
Study: Alaska LNG Project Too Expensive to be Competitive
By Sutherland LNG
Aug 25, 2016

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NOTE: A new study by C.D. Howe Institute, released on August 24, 2016, says European markets could see a rise in greenhouse gas emissions from higher LNG imports. In those markets, the report says, LNG could actually offset lower GHG sources like wind and solar.

http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/study-casts-doubts-over-environmental-benefits-of-canadian-lng-export-industry?__lsa=1c3f-252c
Study supports tighter local regulations around LNG industry, bolsters criticism over B.C. climate plan
By Jesse Snyder
August 24, 2016

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http://theworldlink.com/news/opinion/mailbag/don-t-bet-on-lng-any-time-soon/article_59d3fa73-7501-5e33-ae3f-1b0cb2a93181.html
Don’t bet on LNG any time soon
By Michael Krumper – North Bend
Aug 23, 2016

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http://www.mailtribune.com/article/20160819/NEWS/160819626
Group pushes for LNG pipeline in ads
FERC still deciding whether to rehear the project
By Hannah Golden  – Mail Tribune
Aug. 19, 2016

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http://www.lnglawblog.com/2016/08/ferc-dismisses-downeast-lng-applications/
FERC Dismisses Downeast LNG Applications
By Sutherland LNG
August 17, 2016

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http://oilpro.com/post/26529/worlds-biggest-lng-importer-to-cut-long-term-contracts
World’s Biggest LNG Importer To Cut Long-Term Contracts
By Jonathan Garris
August 11, 2016

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http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2016/08/risk_of_major_quake_on_cascadi.html
Risk of major quake on Cascadia Subduction Zone higher than previously thought
By Kale Williams | The Oregonian/OregonLive
August 09, 2016

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http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_30225645/pg-e-found-guilty-multiple-charges-san-bruno
PG&E found guilty on six charges connected to fatal San Bruno explosion
By George Avalos
August 9, 2016

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http://theworldlink.com/news/opinion/mailbag/south-coast-strong-no-place-for-lng/article_1fe8d83e-9188-52ac-9ccd-e856c12049d9.html
South Coast Strong no place for LNG
By Janice Williams – North Bend
Aug 6, 2016

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http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/veresen-inc-to-sell-power-division-facing-pushback-on-west-coast-lng-development?__lsa=22ad-dfd4
Veresen Inc to sell power division, faces pushback on West Coast LNG development
By Jesse Snyder
August 4, 2016

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NOTE: The folowing is what you get when you wrongly allow exports of gas that are clearly not in the public interest to countries who will not sign free trade agreements with the U.S..  We end up becoming pawns in the international game of gas and some of the players will obviously end up being losers.

http://www.lnglawblog.com/2016/08/tokyo-gas-looking-to-swap-u-s-lng-supplies-with-europe/
Tokyo Gas Looking to Swap U.S. LNG Supplies with Europe
By Sutherland LNG
Aug 1, 2016

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NOTE: While Shell delays a second LNG project, Jordan Cove ignores the signs and continues on promoting one of the worst sited LNG project proposals in North America.    

http://www.lnglawblog.com/2016/07/shell-delays-fid-for-lake-charles-lng-export-terminal/
Shell Delays FID for Lake Charles LNG Export Terminal
By Sutherland LNG
July 28, 2016

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NOTE: With the Panama Canal expansion project now completed and open, Jordan Cove can no longer use shorter transit time as a reason to try and justify their poorly conceived project. 

http://www.lnglawblog.com/2016/07/analysts-u-s-lng-supplies-not-expected-in-asian-markets-anytime-soon/
Analysts: U.S. LNG Supplies Not Expected in Asian Markets Anytime Soon
By Sutherland LNG
July 15, 2016

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/shell-backed-lng-canada-delays-plans-for-terminal-on-bc-coast/article30867006/
Shell-backed LNG Canada delays plans for terminal on B.C. coast
By Brent Jang — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, July 11, 2016 / Last updated Tuesday, Jul. 12, 2016

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http://registerguard.com/rg/opinion/34523329-78/state-leaders-should-ensure-denial-of-gas-pipeline-permit.html.csp?utm_source=Sightline%20Institute&utm_medium=web-email&utm_campaign=Sightline%20News%20Selections
GUEST VIEWPOINT
State leaders should ensure denial of gas pipeline permit
By Bill Bradbury – For The Register-Guard
July 2, 2016

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http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/business/dealbook/half-of-williamss-board-resigns-after-vote-to-oust-ceo-falls-short.html?smid=fb-share&_r=1
Half of Williams’s Board Resigns After Vote to Oust C.E.O. Falls Short
By Leslie Picker
June 30, 2016

About half of the directors at the Williams Companies resigned on Thursday over disagreements about the future of the pipeline operator, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said. The moves followed the dismantling of its $38 billion merger with Energy Transfer Equity earlier in the week over a tax issue….

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http://www.lnglawblog.com/2016/06/uncertainty-of-alaska-lng-project-discussed-at-state-legislature-hearing/
Uncertainty of Alaska LNG Project Discussed at State Legislature Hearing
By Sutherland LNG
June 30, 2016

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NOTE: The latest IEA Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2016 also did not foresee the oversupply in traded gas markets improving meaningfully before the end of the decade.

http://www.lnglawblog.com/2016/06/iea-report-new-lng-supplies-will-need-to-find-new-markets/
IEA Report: New LNG Supplies Will Need to Find New Markets
By Sutherland LNG
June 9, 2016

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NOTE: The following video concerns U.S. LNG projects already under construction or in operation.

http://bcove.me/oxve6mcw
U.S. to export LNG into glutted market (BNN Video)

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E&E Publishing
http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060038378
image_asset_11739
Explosive LNG issues grab PHMSA’s attention
By Jenny Mandel
June 7, 2016

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http://www.lnglawblog.com/2016/05/article-casts-doubt-on-viability-of-proposed-western-canadian-lng-export-terminals/
Article Casts Doubt on Viability of Proposed Western Canadian LNG Export Terminals
By Sutherland LNG on
May 5, 2016

…The author of the article asserts that the “collapse in global LNG prices is the main culprit for why so many Canadian LNG export projects are in limbo or no longer make economic sense.”… (Emphasis added)

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http://www.dailyastorian.com/Free/20160415/oregon-lng-withdraws-warrenton-project
Oregon LNG withdraws Warrenton project
By Derrick DePledge and Erick Bengel – The Daily Astorian
Published on April 15, 2016

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NOTE: The article below shows that the glut of LNG in the international market has cause even Australia, who is far closer to Asian markets than Jordan Cove, to end proposed LNG export projects.  This was not done lightly.  Australian producers cite `extremely challenging’ market conditions:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-22/woodside-scraps-browse-lng-project-after-oil-market-downturn
Woodside Scraps $40 Billion LNG Project After Price Collapse
By James Paton
March 22, 2016

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CNBC on the LNG Market:
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/08/lng-oversupply-likely-to-persist-for-rest-of-the-decade-analyst.html
LNG oversupply likely to persist for rest of the decade: Analyst
By Huileng Tan
Tuesday, 8 Mar 2016

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http://www.lnglawblog.com/2016/03/repsols-canaport-lng-terminal-conversion-to-exports-put-on-hold/
Repsol’s Canaport LNG Terminal Conversion to Exports Put on Hold
By Sutherland LNG
Mar 17, 2016

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http://www.lnglawblog.com/2016/03/downeast-lng-requests-ferc-continue-to-hold-application-in-abeyance/
Downeast LNG Requests FERC Continue to Hold Application in Abeyance
By Sutherland LNG
Mar 1, 2016

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http://www.lnglawblog.com/2016/02/douglas-channel-lng-project-postponed/
Douglas Channel LNG Project Postponed
By Sutherland LNG
Feb 25, 2016

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