FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, November 18, 2021
FERC Commission votes to reexamine the Jordan Cove LNG Project approval FERC Commission Chairman raises concern that the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector pipeline permit was wrongfully approved.
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requested a briefing on whether to suspend their conditional approval of Pembina’s proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline in Southern Oregon. FERC Chairman Richard Glick remarked that the Commission made numerous mistakes by approving Jordan Cove LNG, and the briefing request asked Pembina to clarify whether they intend to continue pursuing the project.
On October 28th, the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit gave FERC 90 days to reconsider whether to stay its March 2020 approval of the Jordan Cove LNG project and Pacific Connector Pipeline. The Canadian fossil fuel company Pembina has failed to acquire the necessary state and local permits that were conditional to their federal certification. Pembina announced in May it had decided to pause the development of the Jordan Cove LNG project.
This order was in response to numerous lawsuits (lead case Evans vs. FERC, No. 20-1161) brought by affected landowners, Tribes, community organizations, and the state of Oregon arguing that the FERC authorization should be overturned since FERC failed to consider critical information about the proposed facility, including impacts to private property rights, Tribal resources, the environment, and that it is not in the public interest.
The FERC Commissioners unanimously voted today to request a briefing specifically to review the Jordan Cove LNG project authorization under sections of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) which allows the developer to seize private property under eminent domain. FERC has set a deadline of December 1, 2021, for initial briefs and December 15, 2021, for reply briefs, and has specifically directed Pembina to clarify whether it plans to move forward with Jordan Cove LNG and the Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline. FERC must decide whether to stay the certificate by the end of January.
“The developer of the pipeline and LNG project is reconsidering whether to move forward and has failed to get necessary environmental approvals to proceed,” said FERC Chairman Richard Glick in his opening statements for the November 18 meeting. “This case is yet another example in my opinion where the Commission made numerous mistakes, granting the certificate and approving the LNG facility,” he continued.
Without a suspension or cancellation of this permit, impacted landowners are still threatened with the potential for eminent domain.
“For years, record numbers of South Coast and Southern Oregon communities have been clearly saying that this proposed gas pipeline and export terminal is not in the public interest,” said Deb Evans, an impacted landowner on the proposed pipeline route. “It is past time for this proposal to be canceled for good so that our communities and impacted landowners can move on without the looming threat of eminent domain.”
Pembina has failed to obtain Oregon permits needed to proceed with Jordan Cove LNG, and local land use authorizations have been overturned or expired. There is no viable path forward for the project at this time.