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Western Group Urges 'Outright Termination' of Jordan Cove

Citing reports that Jordan Cove LNG is considering changing its project to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility, the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) has called on FERC to conduct a supplemental environmental review of the project or else terminate it.

"It is clear that such a significant change in the fundamental purpose of the project warrants at least supplemental NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] analysis if not outright termination of [the] Jordan Cove" terminal project and associated pipeline Pacific Connector's certificate, wrote Susan Jane M. Brown, staff attorney for WELC, in a letter Monday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [CP07-441, CP07-444]. Failure to do a supplemental NEPA analysis would be "arbitrary, capricious and not in accordance with NEPA," she said.

By taking this action, "project proponents would then have the opportunity to reapply for a certificate as an export facility, and citizens would have the requisite notice and opportunity to comment on the export proposal," Brown said. "This significant new information [change to export facility] calls into question the continued validity of the Jordan Cove LNG terminal and...Pacific Connector pipeline's declared purpose."

Last month Veresen Inc., a Canadian firm with a controlling interest in the Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector project, announced plans to explore "alternative uses" for the project, namely utilizing the facilities as an export pipeline and terminal, Brown said.

Backers of the Jordan Cove LNG facility and connecting transmission pipeline at Coos Bay, OR, have been encouraged by players in the western natural gas market to change the project to an LNG export facility in the same way that backers of the Kitimat LNG proposal in British Columbia transformed that project (see Daily GPI, March 22).

Geared for a 1 Bcf/d terminal capacity connected to the proposed 1.2 Bcf/d Pacific Connector transmission pipeline, Jordan Cove is a limited partnership of an affiliate of Alberta-based Fort Chicago Energy Partners LP and Energy Projects Development LLC, proposing to build the terminal at Coos Bay's international port. Fort Chicago and units of PG&E Corp. and The Williams Companies are partnering on the Pacific Connector project.

Jordan Cove has conditional approval from FERC for its terminal as does the affiliated Pacific Connector pipeline (see Daily GPI, Dec. 18, 2009), which would be needed for any LNG export project. The backers would have to go back to FERC to get the go-ahead for an export facility.

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