At its annual statewide meeting last Friday, the Oregon AFL-CIO voted to endorse the proposed NorthernStar Natural Gas Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal along the Oregon side of the Columbia River near Astoria. The project’s backers called the endorsement an “overwhelming” show of support for their project, which is one of several now active in the state.
Oregon’s largest labor organizations stressed the need for additional natural gas supplies in the region to support industries that translate into “hundreds of thousands” of future jobs in the Pacific Northwest, NorthernStar said.
A senior executive with the Bradwood Landing project said last August that NorthernStar could start construction in the first of half of next year, following what one of the company’s senior officers called a “positive recommendation” from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff in the project’s draft environmental review (see Daily GPI, Aug. 21). “With proper mitigation, the project is environmentally acceptable,” said Joseph Desmond, the former chief energy adviser to California’s governor who is now a senior vice president with NorthernStar.
Citing the added jobs created for the three-year construction of the proposed LNG terminal, the Oregon AFL-CIO said that the plant construction will bring about $112 million into the local economy and another $18 million annually once the facility is operating. It cited $8 million in local property taxes that Bradwood Landing will pay annually.
“NorthernStar’s commitment to the building trades and union labor in general has been impressive,” said John Mohlis, executive secretary of the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council. Jose Esmonde, business representative of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48, lauded NorthernStar for “proactively” reaching out to organized labor. “This project will provide apprenticeship training opportunities for young men and women in the trades to help build the work force of the future.”
Mohlis also commended the LNG project proponents for “not seeking any tax breaks” for their Bradwood Landing facility and for proposing “an environmental plan that not only respects, but will enhance the health of the Columbia River.” He said the unions considered NorthernStar a partner in the LNG project.
The proposed terminal would be located on a 40-acre site at the former townsite of Bradwood in Clatsop County, OR, about 38 miles up the Columbia River from the Pacific Ocean — the main economic artery for the Pacific Northwest. The $600 million project, which would provide up to 1.3 Bcf of natural gas to the region, has become a politically charged issue in Oregon and Washington, with state legislators and landowners opposing it (see Daily GPI, July 2).
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