Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. led a rally on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, Ore., on May 26, 2015, against Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports in the state. There are currently two proposed LNG export terminals, one for Coos Bay and the other at the mouth of the Columbia River in Warrenton. Call Oregon Governor Brown at 503-378-4582 and ask her to take a stand against LNG today!
Columbia Riverkeeper · Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility · Northwest Property Right Coalition · Northwest Guides & Anglers Association · Association of Northwest Steelheaders · Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition · Food & Water Watch · Columbia Pacific Common Sense · Sierra Club · Wahkiakum Friends of the River · Northwest Environmental Defense Center · Center for Biological Diversity · Save Our Wild Salmon · Landowners & Citizens for a Safe Community · Oregon Citizens Against the Pipeline · Forest Grove Oregon Citizens Against Pipelines · Willapa Hills Audubon Society · Waterkeeper Alliance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PUBLIC HEALTH, FISHING, AND CONSERVATION GROUPS BLAST FERC’S DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW FOR PROPOSED COLUMBIA RIVER LNG TERMINAL, CALL ON GOVERNOR BROWN TO DENY STATE PERMITS
August 5, 2015 (Portland, OR) – A coalition including fishing, public health, property rights, and conservation groups criticized a draft environmental review issued today by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Oregon LNG terminal and pipeline. FERC has a history of approving liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments, including the Bradwood LNG project on the Columbia River, which filed for bankruptcy in 2010. The groups called on Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown to deny key state permits for the project in light of FERC’s failure to consider the best available science on LNG’s impacts to public health and safety, endangered salmon, and the economy.
Cheryl Johnson, a Clatsop County resident and retired school librarian, stated, “Our community has spoken loud and clear in opposition to LNG. We are looking to Governor Brown to stand up for the best interests of Oregonians and deny state permits for this misguided project. FERC’s rubberstamp approach to LNG development demands bold leadership to protect what we value: safe communities, strong salmon runs, and clean water.”
Oregon LNG proposes building an LNG terminal on the East Skipanon Peninsula near Warrenton, Oregon, to export North American natural gas overseas. In the draft environmental impact statement, FERC concludes that the project would cause adverse impacts to the environment, which the company can reduce through mitigation and engineering. FERC’s conclusions contrast starkly with those reached by Clatsop County, Oregon, which denied key permits for Oregon LNG’s pipeline based on significant threats to public safety and local rivers.
FERC’s draft environmental review also ignores the outcome of a significant court ruling issued last week in Oregon LNG’s lawsuit against another federal agency: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). According to the court’s ruling, the Corps has a valid legal right to use the proposed terminal property to deposit dredge spoils. Unless the Corps is willing to forfeit the right, Oregon LNG cannot build the proposed terminal. “The Corps vigorously defended this lawsuit to protect a valuable public property right and the court got it right,” stated Miles Johnson, Clean Water Attorney for Columbia Riverkeeper. “The court’s ruling could spell the end to Oregon LNG’s ten-year effort to site one of the most destructive, dangerous projects we’ve ever seen proposed on the Columbia River.”
In addition to last week’s court ruling, FERC’s draft environmental review ignores detailed comments to the Corps from state, federal, and tribal agencies that highlight the project’s significant risks and inadequate mitigation. The Corps must decide whether Oregon LNG can build a new industrial dock for LNG tankers and dredge an area the size of 102 football fields in the Columbia River estuary. Oregon LNG cannot build the terminal and gas pipeline without permits from Corps.
“Putting a massive LNG terminal in the heart of the lower Columbia’s most popular commercial and recreational fishery undermines decades of work to protect fishing opportunities in the lower Columbia River,” said Dan Marvin, a longtime Columbia River commercial fisherman. “On top of this, our region has invested billions of dollars in restoring salmon habitat. FERC has its head in the sand when it concludes this project won’t have a significant impact on our livelihoods.”
Oregon LNG’s dredging alone would destroy critical habitat for twelve stocks of endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead. The project also requires taking private property using eminent domain to build the gas pipeline from the U.S.-Canada border to Warrenton.
“This project flies in the face of good science and good public policy,” said Columbia Riverkeeper Conservation Director, Dan Serres. “From the stand point of destroying salmon habitat, Oregon LNG’s project is at a scale unlike any other private project in the Columbia River estuary. So it is not surprising that biologists and other scientists looking at this project are raising red flags. And FERC—with its history of approving LNG—is ignoring and downplaying those valid objections.”
Currently, there are two LNG facilities proposed in Oregon: the Jordan Cover project on the Oregon Coast and the Oregon LNG project on the Columbia River. Both projects require hundreds of miles of new gas pipelines through Oregon and Washington. Oregon LNG has faced a rocky path over the last ten years since first leasing the property, including: Oregon LNG was the subject of a criminal investigation into its illegal action to obtain the lease; Oregon LNG sued the Port of Astoria when the Port wanted to get out of the questionable lease; and Oregon LNG sued Clatsop County after the County rejected the LNG pipeline application.
What can you do?
- Call Oregon Governor Brown at 503-378-4582 and ask her to take a stand against LNG today!
- Share this video with friends: Tell Governor Brown to have our back & say 'No to LNG!' bit.ly/noLNGrally2015 #noLNGexports