Pro- and anti-liquefied natural gas (LNG) export advocates in Oregon reemerged this week with the start of a second FERC environmental review of the proposed 230-mile, 36-inch diameter Pacific Connector pipeline between the interstate pipeline hub in Malin, OR, and the proposed Jordan Cove LNG site at Coos Bay.

Under an earlier LNG import proposal Jordan Cove and the Pacific Connector pipeline gained conditional federal approval; however, with its backers now also seeking approval for construction of facilities to export up to 1.2 Bcf/d, the project must be reprocessed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). It also needs approvals from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for exporting to both free trade and non-free trade agreement nations.

Like other proposed LNG export projects around the nation, Jordan Cove has been subject to its share of critics (see Daily GPI, March 27). However, Project Manager Bob Braddock told NGI Wednesday that Jordan Cove's backers are undeterred in their efforts to build an export terminal that would be fed by the proposed Pacific Connector pipeline.

"We don't expect anything new or different from what we heard before [from several environmental and state legislators]," said Braddock, who added that the application for building a liquefaction facility and the pipeline are on target for submittal to FERC by December and a decision by October or November 2013.

Braddock also expressed confidence that DOE ultimately will grant the export authorizations needed, citing a DOE notice in Wednesday's Federal Register. In that posting, DOE said federal environmental law requires the federal energy agency to "give appropriate consideration" to environmental impacts of its decisions, so it will not make its decision on the export application until environmental assessments are completed.

Braddock said Pacific Connector will only be constructed if the LNG export/import facilities are constructed. While the additional transmission line in southern Oregon would be useful to the gas pipeline network in the Pacific Northwest, it would be uneconomic to build it without the LNG facilities, he said.

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