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Local Colorado Oil/Gas Towns Give FERC an Earful on Jordan Cove LNG

Echoing earlier pleas from Japanese buyers thirsty for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG), local government representatives throughout northwest Colorado this month have written FERC, urging federal regulators to reactivate the Jordan Cove LNG export project proposed for the south-central coast of Oregon.

"Northwest Colorado is speaking out in hopes that the FERC [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] will speak up about why Japan and their 130 million people don't count as customers," said David Ludlam, executive director of the West Slope chapter of the Colorado Oil/Gas Association (WSCOGA). "If a letter from Japan isn't enough to convince the FERC that JERA and ITOCHU are worthy customers for Jordan Cove LNG, then what proof would be good enough?"

Last month, JERA's president wrote to urge federal regulators to grant a rehearing on the project and allow the plans for the LNG facility and 232-mile connecting gas transmission pipeline, Pacific Connector, to move forward (see Daily GPI, Oct. 6).

Ludlam this week was seeking to call attention to efforts by the western Colorado producers and local communities in joining Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper asking what he described as a "fair questions" that deserve "prompt answers from FERC."

Letters were sent Monday from the cities of Grand Junction, Craig, Parachute and Rifle, along with six counties (Delta, Garfield, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt) and business/economic associations, such as the Grand Junction Chamber, Grand Junction Economic Partnership, and the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado. And seven other cities and chambers are waiting board approvals to do the same, Ludlam said.

The cities said their support for the LNG facility at Coos Bay, OR, and a connecting 232-mile transmission pipeline is "unwavering," and they urged FERC to now recognize that there are defined markets for West Slope gas supplies that could flow to the export terminal as demonstrated by the interest of JERA, a joint venture of TEPCO Fuel & Power Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., and Chubu Electric Power Co. Inc.

A week after FERC rejected Jordan Cove for lack of apparent market interest in the project, sponsor Canadian-based Veresen Inc., signed a long-term capacity agreement with the Tokyo-based electric utility joint venture JERA Co. Inc. (see Daily GPI, March 22).

In a letter to FERC Chairman Norman Bay, the city of Parachute, CO, Board of Trustees reiterated "their interest and commitment to be a leading customer of the Jordan Cove project...and our continued support for both [the terminal and pipeline] projects." Parachute Mayor Roy McClung urged FERC "to grant the request for a rehearing" that Jordan Cove's Veresen backers have requested.

Moffat County's three commissioners said Jordan Cove's proposed LNG supplies would benefit Colorado by creating long-term demand for the county's natural gas production, and the project is a "critical element of Japan's energy mix" where the North American West Coast "has the potential to play an important role in global energy security."

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