FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Ashley Audycki, 541-816-0758, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jordan Cove LNG Forfeits Permits Required for Export Terminal & Pipeline
Community members celebrate as Pembina misses the deadline to reapply for three permits, adding to the long list of setbacks for the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector pipeline.
[Coos County, OR] Pembina is now missing three additional permits needed to construct the failing Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and fracked gas pipeline. As of this week, Pembina missed deadlines to reapply for four crucial land use permits that were remanded by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) earlier this year. The company is also missing other critical state and local permits that it cannot move forward without.
The four land use permits, which have been long opposed by local fishermen, marine biologists, impacted landowners, and other South Coast community members, were approved in 2019 by Coos County and the City of North Bend to allow the development of the LNG export terminal along the North Spit and hydraulic drilling in the bay to place four miles of the associated pipeline.
Plaintiffs Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, represented by the nonprofit Crag Law Center, and Citizens for Renewables, represented by Southern Oregon-based attorney Tonia Moro, challenged the approval of these permits and many more in appeals to LUBA. In the last year, LUBA has remanded four permits and reversed a handful of permits. For the remanded permits, the company was required to request rehearings from the local planning commissions by 180 days from the LUBA order date. Because the company has missed these deadlines, the permits are revoked.
“LUBA confirmed our challenges that these wrongly “rubber-stamped” land use approvals by Coos County and North Bend were not in line with land use codes for protecting the Coos Estuary. The proposed Jordan Cove LNG project would have negatively impacted our bay, the fishing, crabbing, clamming, oyster, and recreation industries, along with our communities’ safety,” said Jody McCaffree, Executive Director for Citizens for Renewables, a community organization in North Bend. “For Pembina to outright miss these deadlines after not showing their faces in town for months means that they have finally seen the light that we are dedicated to appealing their inappropriately sited proposed Jordan Cove LNG project.”
For over a decade, hundreds of Coos County community members have attended meetings, written comments, spoke at public hearings, and hosted rallies and educational events to oppose local land use permits for the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and pipeline.
If Pembina chooses to move the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and pipeline forward, it would need to restart the entire land use permitting process, which takes years. Additionally, to reapply for these permits Pembina would need to address concerns that LUBA raised about how the 300-yard long tankers would impact the fishing industry’s access in the bay, impacts of large-scale dredging to the estuary, and the public safety concerns of building an explosive terminal near a population of over 30,000 people.
“The fact that Pembina didn’t try to challenge the rejection of these permits demonstrates that they should never have been granted in the first place,” said Phillip Johnson, executive director of Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition. “The Jordan Cove LNG project is inappropriate for many reasons, but one is the devastating impact it would have on the Coos Bay estuary, its resources, and the community that depends on them. Our land-use laws worked the way they should to prevent this misbegotten development.”
Jordan Cove LNG also lacks the necessary state permits to move forward. Additionally, community and environmental organizations are challenging the project’s approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in DC Circuit Court. The project currently has no viable path forward.
“Because our community continues to come together to protect our bay, Pembina’s plans to export fracked gas from the North Spit are dying,” said Ashley Audycki, Coos County Field Organizer with Rogue Climate. “ While Jordan Cove LNG remains in limbo, our community is focusing on supporting our local fishing industry and creating good jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency.”