Oregon AG blasts LNG proposals

Chris Rizo Jan. 14, 2009, 3:39am

John Kroger (D)

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon Attorney General John Kroger on Tuesday made clear his opposition to proposed liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) terminals and pipelines.

Speaking at a state Capitol rally, the Democratic attorney general said the projects would harm the environment and make for bad public policy.

"For the last 50 years, this country has had no energy policy," Kroger told rally attendees. "Do you want LNG from Iran and Russia or do you want energy independence?"

Although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves or denies LNG projects, states issue the necessary permits, including those for water rights and state land leases that allow projects to go forward.

Presently, there are proposals by out-of-state developers for three LNG terminals in Oregon: one in Coos Bay and the other two on the lower Columbia River. LNG terminals offload superchilled natural gas from supertankers, rewarm it and distribute it as a gas via pipelines.

Critics, among other things, say dredging for the terminals disturbs aquatic species while pipelines associated with the projects harm surrounding ecosystems.

Kroger, who campaigned vowing to protect the Beaver State's environment, said he would support pending legislation that would make it more difficult for companies to gain regulatory approval of LNG terminals and pipelines in Oregon.

Brent Foster, former executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper and a staunch opponent of liquefied natural gas terminals in Oregon, serves as the attorney general's chief of environmental enforcement.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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