Oregon AG threatens lawsuit over proposed LNG terminal

Chris Rizo Jan. 19, 2010, 5:50pm

John Kroger (D)

SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline)-The Oregon attorney general has filed an administrative challenge to the U.S. government's approval of a liquefied natural gas terminal along the Beaver State's coast.

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger said Tuesday that he wants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider its December approval of the proposed Jordan Cove LNG facility in Coos Bay and the 234-mile Pacific Connector pipeline that would transport the gas from Coos Bay to Malin, Ore., near the California border.

The attorney general said that FERC's conditional license allows the project to move forward without regard for its potentially harmful effects to the environment.

"FERC has failed to do its job and conduct the kind of environmental analysis that is required under multiple federal statutes," Kroger said. "The United States should be striving for energy independence instead of relying on fossil fuels imported from countries like Russia and Iran. This takes us in the wrong direction."

Kroger filed the challenge along with fellow Democrat Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

"FERC continues to ignore Oregon's very real concerns about the unknown environmental impact of the pipeline associated with the proposed LNG facility," Kulongoski said. "FERC's decision to issue a conditional license for a project with such profound potential impacts on the lives of Oregonians was based on woefully inadequate information that demands reconsideration."

Kroger and Kulongoski said if federal regulators decline to reconsider their decision, Oregon will appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Eugene, Ore.-based Western Environmental Law Center has also asked FERC to reconsider the application. The federal agency has 30 days to respond to the request or ask for additional time.

The Jordan Cove project is sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric, Williams Pipeline and Fort Chicago.

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

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