Proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Project (LNG)
This proposal threatens our rivers, forests, fish, wildlife, communities and private property rights.
Gas companies have been working for years on a massive fossil fuel infrastructure plan called Jordan Cove to export fracked gas from Canada and the Rockies through southern Oregon and onto ships bound for Asia from Coos Bay. This plan would involve construction of a new 230-mile Pacific Connector pipeline and permanent 95-foot wide clearcut through southwest Oregon’s forests, farms and salmon filled rivers.
Want to get involved?
Rogue Riverkeeper and a diverse coalition are working hard to build support for the protection of our rivers, private property, forests, gas rates, communities and our home. Southern Oregon has become the hotspot for opposition to this project and the momentum is growing! But we need your help to show our decision makers that this project would be a backwards step for our natural resources, our climate and for Oregon. Click here to volunteer and get involved with the No LNG Campaign.
Watch the Video
Click here to watch Rogue Riverkeeper's 6-minute video about this project and the impacts it would have on our environment, local landowners and our pocket books. This new video by award-winning filmmaker Trip Jennings features some of the affected landowners, fish advocates and ratepayer advocates; paired with stunning scenery and aerial photography.
Since the 1970s, plans to construct liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in California have been defeated one after another. As a result, multi-national energy interests turned their sights south to Mexico and north to Oregon. In 2008, the Costa Azul LNG terminal in Baja, Mexico, became the first LNG facility to be completed on the West Coast of North America, and until recently, there were three proposals for massive LNG terminals in Oregon. One proposal for LNG in Oregon failed when the company declared bankruptcy in 2010 and two proposals now remain in Oregon: one at the mouth of the Columbia River and the other in Coos Bay. Either project would be the first LNG import facility constructed on the West Coast of the continental United States, furthering our nation’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.
Jordan Cove is a proposal to export up to one billion cubic feet of fracked gas per day from Coos Bay. This would require extensive construction of a new 420 megawatt power plant used solely to liquefy the gas for transport on tankers, an extensive network of gas storage tanks, and a massive shipping terminal within the tsunami zone on the north spit of Coos Bay. The Pacific Connector pipeline that Jordan Cove wants to build to supply this terminal with would transport 1.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day from Klamath Falls to Coos Bay, using gas supplied from the interior west and Canada. This new pipeline would cross 230 miles of public and private land, creating a 95-foot permanent clearcut and crossing 400 streams and rivers including the Klamath, Rogue, Umpqua, Coquille and Coos Rivers.
Who is behind this project proposal?
Jordan Cove LNG terminal is a project Canadian company, Veresen. The Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline is a project of Williams and California-based PG&E Corporation.
Where would the pipeline run?
The 230-mile, 36-inch high pressured gas pipeline would originate at the proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal in Coos Bay/North Bend, then cross through Coos, Douglas, Jackson and Klamath Counties, ending at Malin, Oregon.
How are water resources and salmon impacted?
One of the principal threats presented by these proposed facilities is to wild salmon, an integral part of the Pacific Northwest’s cultural, ecological and economic fabric and a regional icon. "Think of the Northwest," Carl Safina wrote in his essay The Soul Who Swims, "and salmon soon come to mind." Wild salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest are already at historically low, even crisis, levels, largely because of dam construction, water withdrawals, habitat loss due to development, poor water quality and habitat degradation due to logging.
The proposed pipeline would cross 400 bodies of water in the Coos,
Coquille, Umpqua, Rogue and Klamath watersheds. These crossings would
require extensive riparian cutting that would increase water
temperatures in streams that already violate temperature standards for
salmon and other cold-water fish. Yet, FERC’s evaluation did not
include site-specific impacts analysis or crossing plans for any of the
sub-watersheds that will be affected. The inadequacy of the energy
company’s crossing plans for the Rogue River was recognized by the
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, but the company ignored them,
and FERC approved their plans without requiring additional analyses.
How are endangered species impacted?
The project would impact twenty-nine federally endangered or threatened species, including Coho salmon, marbled murrelet, northern spotted owl, six species of whale and four species sea turtle. Extensive dredging for terminal construction in the Coos Bay estuary would have an enormous impact on sensitive estuarine habitats and marine species: the amount of material that would be dredged out of the estuary would fill the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena nearly 14 times.
How are public lands impacted?
Approximately 80 miles of the pipeline would cross public land on the Rogue River/Siskiyou, Umpqua and Winema/Fremont National Forests as well as the Medford and Coos Bay Districts of the BLM. The pipeline would create a linear 95-foot wide clearcut, and in doing so, would degrade and fragment forest habitat for endangered species, increase erosion, cut forests in old-growth reserves and in and riparian reserves and open up a highway for invasive species and ORV use.
The Forest Plans for all three National Forests and the BLM currently do not allow such harm to our public resources for pipeline construction. As a result, the Forest Service and BLM have begun a process to amend their Forest Plans to allow for pipeline development. We are engaged in the process for Forest Service and BLM plan amendments.
How are private landowners impacted?
Approximately 150 miles of the 230-mile pipeline would be on private property. Over 700 landowners on or adjacent to the pipeline route will be impacted and potentially threatened with the use of eminent domain for the pipeline right-of-way. Landowners would likely receive a small one-time payment for the pipeline running across their property, while they would lose access and endure limitations on that right-of-way such as: an inability to plant crops with deep roots, lack of access with heavy equipment, and a clearing of all brush and trees. A majority of impacted landowners are opposed to the project.
Who authorizes this project?
This is a complicated question because there are a lot of permits the companies have to acquire at federal, state, and county levels. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has already given Jordan Cove LNG a certificate, however that is being challenged by a coalition of groups and individuals, including the state of Oregon. The state of Oregon will process applications for use of state lands, impacts to waterbodies, and the dredging proposal at Coos Bay. The U.S. Forest Service, BLM, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries all have a role to play in granting, or denying, permits.
How does this project fit into our national energy policy?
Why is Rogue Riverkeeper involved?
Rogue Riverkeeper got involved in fighting the Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector LNG proposal because of the project’s potential impacts on water quality, salmon and public forests in the Rogue Basin. Home to old-growth cathedral forests, rushing whitewater rivers and those iconic salmon, southwest Oregon is one of the last truly wild places left on the West Coast. The Rogue Basin has the second largest wild salmon runs in Oregon only after the Columbia River, and its temperate forests are among the most biologically diverse in the world. Rogue Riverkeeper is working with individuals and organizations throughout the project area and western Oregon to protect our public resources from this ill-conceived project and help steer our national energy policy in a better direction.
For more specific information on the impacts to the Rogue Basin, take a look at this PDF.
Using our power to stop LNG
In January 2010, Rogue Riverkeeper and allies, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, filed a petition against FERC’s decision, as did the state of Oregon and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Rogue Riverkeeper is prepared to file litigation when and if our request is rejected. We are also involved in various state and federal permitting processes. Meanwhile, the voracious energy companies, empowered by FERC’s rubber-stamp approval, continue to pursue this project, ignoring and masking its serious impacts. Rogue Riverkeeper is determined to take that rubber stamp out of the federal regulators’ hands, and continue the fight to safeguard our rivers and our salmon and to realize a more rational and secure energy future for our nation.