After Years of Community Organizing, Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal and Fracked Gas Pipeline Project is Dead - Waterkeeper

After Years of Community Organizing, Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal and Fracked Gas Pipeline Project is Dead

By: Waterkeeper Alliance

FERC releases DEIS for Jordan Cove LNG export in southern Oregon

Pembina Announces It Has “Decided Not to Move Forward With the Project” and Asks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to Cancel Its Permit

Pembina, the Canadian company that tried to impose a fracked gas pipeline and export terminal on communities across Southern Oregon, today filed a formal request asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to cancel its permit for the project.

The company’s pipeline and export terminal subsidiaries “have decided not to move forward with the Project,” the request says.

They “remain concerned regarding their ability to obtain the necessary state permits in the immediate future in addition to other external obstacles,” the filing adds.

Pembina’s cancellation of this project follows years of opposition from a broad coalition of Oregonians concerned about risks to health and safety, climate change, environmental impacts, landowner rights, impacts on indigenous communities, and the need to shift to clean energy jobs instead of expanding fossil fuel use.

More than 50,000 Oregonians filed comments with state agencies when Pembina was unsuccessfully trying to show that it qualified for state permits. Tens of thousands attended public hearings over the past several years to express their opposition.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality denied Pembina’s application for a Clean Water Act Section 401 permit in 2019 and Pembina withdrew their application for a removal-fill permit from the Oregon Department of State Lands in 2020. In 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce sustained Oregon’s objection to Jordan Cove LNG under the Coastal Zone Management Act and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission determined that Oregon had not waived its authority to deny the Clean Water Act Section 401 certification.

“This is amazing news. We knew the project wasn’t viable because of all the risks that it brought to our communities,” said Chairman Don Gentry of the Klamath Tribes. “I am thankful for the cooperative effort to bring about this victory. This is a significant relief for our communities who have been so concerned about the impacts for our members and the region as a whole”

“This is a great day for landowners along the pipeline route, and a great day for Oregon,” said Deb Evans, an impacted landowner.  “This has been a long time coming, and we are so relieved that the threat of eminent domain is no longer hanging over us.”

 “The defeat of this project shows what communities can accomplish when we insist that public officials put the public interest ahead of the special interests of big corporations,” said Hannah Sohl of Rogue Climate, an organizing group of residents of the South Coast and other Southern Oregonian counties. “Now, we need those same public officials to act with urgency to speed our transition to clean energy jobs and greater energy efficiency.”

“The Jordan Cove Energy Project has occupied our South Coast community and the State of Oregon for over 15 years,” says Mike Graybill, former director of the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. “Today’s long overdue decision provides an opportunity to move on to a discussion of a more sustainable future.”

“Jordan Cove LNG finally recognizing that this ill-advised project will never be built represents a hard-fought victory for Oregon communities who have worked for more than a decade to protect their land and water from dangerous fracked gas infrastructure.” Said Nathan Mathews, senior attorney at the Sierra Club. “The fossil fuel industry would have us believe that their plans for a massive expansion of gas exports are a done deal, but this is proof that that’s far from the case. We will continue to work alongside communities from coast to coast as they fight back against the industry’s destructive expansion plans.”

“Jordan-Cove should have never been considered as a viable project in the first place. I hope those who have spent years fighting the project and were affected by it can finally have some peace,” said Brook Thompson, staff at Save California Salmon and a Yurok Tribal member. “We should celebrate wins as they come along, and it took a community effort to bring it down.”

“For too long, Oregonians have been living under the cloud of a potential dirty fossil fuel project destroying our shores, waterways, wildlife, and livelihoods,” said Susan Jane Brown, Wildlands Program Director for the Western Environmental Law Center, and an attorney representing conservation interests challenging the Jordan Cove Energy Project.  “At long last, Pembina finally recognizes that Oregon is no place for fracked gas infrastructure.  Our coalition has proven that endless pressure endlessly applied will win the day.”

“This victory shows that we can accomplish great things when we collaborate together to fight against the destruction of our rivers and natural environment by the fossil fuel industry,” said Emily Bowes, Conservation Director at Rogue River Keeper.

“Pembina has finally admitted what we knew all along – Oregon communities would never stand aside to see this project built,” says Courtney Johnson, executive director of Crag Law Center. “We could not be more proud to have fought beside community members for more than 15 years to overturn local permits and convince state regulators of the flaws in this project.”

“Today we are celebrating the protection of public health in southern Oregon from this deadly and dangerous gas pipeline and LNG export terminal,” said David De La Torre, Healthy Climate Program Director with Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. “When communities come together to safeguard clean air, drinking water, and a healthy climate, we grow ever closer to a world with justice for all.”

“At long last, the fifteen-year shadow over the proposed pipeline route and Coos Bay is lifted,” said Bethany Cotton, conservation director for Cascadia Wildlands. “Today we celebrate with the communities, Tribes, landowners, organizations, and individuals who diligently fought against long odds to keep their rivers, forests, ocean, airsheds, communities and our climate safe from this reckless proposed fracked gas pipeline and terminal: and won.”

Brian Tripp, an internationally renowned artist and Karuk elder said “Yootwa, thank you for everyone’s hard work. We are in a good place right now, we are going to save the Klamath River.”

“The nation needs to recognize Oregon for standing together and fighting this environmental monstrosity. Protect our Mother Earth as she gives us life and I pray to the creator for blessings for the Rogue Climate Organization as they are modern day warriors. Thank you.” Perry Chocktoot, director of the The Klamath Tribes Culture and Heritage Department.

“We’re in awe of the organizing that went into this victory. the coalition that was built between Indigenous communities, rural land owners, and environmental activists has overcome many challenges, including battling against multinational corporate interests, and politically motivated FBI surveillance. As the effects of climate change become more real with each new fire season, we’re also seeing what’s possible when we work together for change.” Siskiyou Rising Tide.

“We applaud the tireless efforts of our fellow advocates, tribes, and landowners that led to the project owner’s decision to abandon this dangerous export terminal and pipeline project,” said Daniel E. Estrin, General Counsel and Advocacy Director for Waterkeeper Alliance. “While these ‘David vs. Goliath’ battles to protect our environment and climate from the fossil fuel industry often start with what feel like very long odds, we see time and again that when communities stand up and arm themselves with the law and science to fight for what’s right, we often beat those long odds. We especially appreciate the seriousness with which the State of Oregon took its responsibility throughout these proceedings to protect its residents, waterways, and our shared climate from disaster.”

From Lesley Adams, RRK Founder and Current Board Member, “Rogue Riverkeeper was founded in the early days of the Jordan Cove LNG proposal because we knew our rivers and fish and forests were more valuable than fossil fuels.”