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Oregon LNG Encouraged by Media, Study

Backers of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal last Wednesday cited two voices of support for their effort to develop the first LNG import facility on the U.S. West Coast: a favorable editorial in Oregon's major newspaper and an industry study on LNG's relatively lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) compared with coal when used for power generation.

The Portland Oregonian published an editorial (Feb. 11) in favor of the potential economic benefits from the development of NorthernStar Natural Gas Corp.'s LNG facility along the Columbia River in Oregon and related Palomar natural gas transmission pipeline:

"The Oregon Legislature's $175 million job-creation package is small potatoes compared to a potential economic booster shot that state officials seem hell-bent on rejecting," the Oregonian editorialized, citing the state's reluctance to get behind the Bradwood Landing project and related pipeline. "The two projects would inject more than $1.5 billion of private money into Oregon's economy, some eight times what lawmakers seek to borrow from their stimulus program...too many jobs are at stake here for politically driven foot-dragging."

NorthernStar President Paul Soanes said the Oregonian editorial reinforced what the energy developer has been saying for a long time -- the LNG terminal can both help meet the state's energy and economic needs. "Our project will create hundreds of construction jobs for three years and support the creation of between 5,000 and 20,000 jobs long-term by increasing the region's supply of natural gas."

In addition on Wednesday, Bradwood's backers cited an independent study by PACE Global Energy Services, confirming that on a life cycle basis, existing coal-fired electric generation in the United States produces more than 2.5 times (161%) more GHG than LNG-fueled power generation.

LNG is a better bet for the environment to generate electricity than burning coal, even in advanced technology plants, according to the study commissioned by the Washington, DC-based Center for LNG. The findings contradict research released in 2007 by Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Mellon University.

The editorial support was the second time in eight months that the state's major newspaper has come out for the LNG project that is farthest along in the federal-state approval process. Last July the Oregonian said the "Bradwood project should be allowed to move ahead."

The Bradwood backers continue to reiterate what they contend are persuasive economic multipliers attached to the proposed LNG terminal and the 36.3-mile gas pipeline in Oregon and Washington state both create 450 jobs during a three-year stretch for construction and 65 permanent jobs longer term, along with contributing $7.8 million annually in property tax revenues.

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