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Oregon Energy Dept. Suspends LNG Review in Wake of Federal Energy Act

In the wake of the 2005 federal Energy Policy Act becoming law Monday, the Oregon Department of Energy suspended its rulemaking process that would have assessed the potential economic impact of proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminals in the state.

Among several proposals in the early stages, Calpine Corp. is examining the feasibility of pursuing the Skipanon LNG terminal along the Columbia River, near Astoria, OR. A total of at least four LNG import terminals are being proposed along the Oregon coastline or on the Columbia River, including Port Westward LNG in St. Helens, Northern Star in Bradwood and Jordan Cove in Coos Bay.

"The [Oregon] rulemaking is on hold as we further evaluate our role and authority following the signing of the new national energy bill," said Oregon Energy Department project manager Cathy Van Horn.

The state department was in the process this month of obtaining feedback from Oregon residents on what the proposed LNG rules should include, and comments had been scheduled to be submitted by Thursday. Van Horn said the deadline is no longer in effect while her department examines the role Oregon will take in the LNG siting process.

Meanwhile, officials at the nation's largest municipal utility, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), indicated Wednesday that they are supportive of the LNG provisions in the new energy act. The city-run utility, which recently acquired some of its own natural gas reserves in Wyoming, wants to see the process accelerated for siting a terminal along or off the California coast.

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