Coos Bay, OR; Community Action Against LNG!!
Community action meeting 8/25 to prepare for a public hearing in Coos Bay, OR on 8/28. Speak out to prevent an ecological disaster from entering coastal Oregon's Coos Bay in the form of a supercooled liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal and pipeline with hundreds of miles of linear clearcuts across Oregon's mountains..
LNG COMMUNITY ACTION MEETING August 25, 2007
Hales Performing Arts Center
SW Oregon Community College, Coos Bay, OR
Experts will discuss what we've accomplished , what we are doing and how we can work together to defeat the LNG terminal and pipeline project. Click here for the full meeting announcement.
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Land Use Hearings;
8/28 and 9/17;
Coquille Community Building
115 N. Birch
Since late 2004, multiple energy companies have proposed large, controversial liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments along the Lower Columbia River and in Coos Bay. Currently, five proposals exist in Oregon, each of them generating concern among people who live, work, and recreate in their vicinity. Here is a brief update on each of the five proposals:
1. Bradwood Landing LNG (Northern Star Natural Gas). Bradwood, OR. Northern Star Natural Gas is expected to file its formal application with FERC very soon. FLOW and many other citizen groups, environmental organizations, and concerned citizens will file to be intervenors in the FERC process, reserving the right to appeal FERC decisions, if necessary. FERC continues to accept preliminary comments on Northern Star's proposal, its resource reports (available on the FERC website, http://www.ferc.gov), and the possible impacts of the project.
2. Jordan Cove LNG (Fort Chicago and EPD, LLC). North Spit, Coos Bay, OR. The project, now majority owned by a Canadian energy company, Fort Chicago, is being pushed forward and promoted heavily by the Port of Coos Bay. The Port is proposing to purchase a tract of Weyerhauser land on the North Spit and lease part of the property to the Jordan Cove LNG project. The site occupies the area directly opposite the town of North Bend, and it resides close to the North Bend Airport. The Jordan Cove Energy Project is expected to file with FERC soon, although it will be beginning the pre-filing process, which takes a minimum of 6 months.
3. Skipanon LNG LLC (Calpine Corp.). Warrenton, OR. This proposal on the Skipanon Peninsula at the mouth of the Columbia River is moving forward through local land use proceedings. The City of Warrenton tentatively approved rezoning the Skipanon Peninsula on behalf of Calpine's Skipanon LNG LLC. Their decision, once final, will likely be appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals by local LNG opponents. FLOW filed comments (click here to read) supporting opponents of the Skipanon proposal. Recently, Calpine has filed for bankruptcy. Their Skipanon LNG LLC asset may be sold as part of the bankruptcy proceedings, and FLOW will continue to monitor these developments at the mouth of the Columbia River.
4. Port Westward LNG LLC. St Helens, OR. This proposal may file with FERC once the developer gains full control of the property required in the area. The developer has heavily pressured a local landowner (whose family has owned land in St. Helens for over 100 years), under threat of condemnation by the Port of St. Helens, to sell.
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FLOW's Position on LNG:
All of the current LNG proposals are extremely problematic from a public safety, economic and environmental perspective. Consistent with our mission to promote the health of Oregon's Waters, we are concerned with the environmental impacts implied by the heavy dredging needed to maintain safe passage for LNG tankers, habitat disturbance in sensitive waterways, and loss of public use and enjoyment of these areas. Additionally, in the cases of these large LNG developments, concerns for public safety constitute our paramount reason for opposing the projects. Members of communities targeted for LNG development may be unknowingly or unwillingly subjected to risks associated with a possible accidental or intentional LNG spill and fire. Because the best available information indicates that LNG should be sited remotely from human populations and because all of the sites will bring LNG vessels close to local populations, we oppose the Oregon LNG proposals as being inconsistent with the public interest.
Furthermore, the measures necessary to lessen the risk to the public of LNG storage and traffic—particularly closing rivers and bays to non-LNG vessels and securing these areas—constitute an additional burden on residents and visitors. The economic benefits of LNG are minimal and short-term, and locally the impact of LNG may, in fact, be negative on the economies of the Lower Columbia and Coos Bay. Our research indicates that, in these areas, introduction of LNG could create a high-risk, heavily secured area that will be unattractive to residents, tourists, and other business. Regardless of the nation's alleged "need" for natural gas, LNG development is inequitable due to the disparity in costs and benefits for those who live near proposed sites versus the relatively remote end-users of the energy.
Indeed, the impacts of Oregon's flirtation with LNG may extend far beyond our coastline and the Lower Columbia River. As with other types of fossil fuel development, many members of the source communities for LNG may not benefit from exporting this resource to Oregon. Oregonians, by accepting LNG development, will deepen the state's dependence on fossil fuel resources that are often exploitatively extracted to the severe detriment of local people and environments that do not receive adequate protection. The LNG issue transcends NIMBYism (Not in My Back Yard), as these projects not only impact Oregonians negatively, but they also support negative impacts that occur in distant, upstream locations in the LNG supply chain.
(adopted unanimously by FLOW Executive Committee, 12/31/05)
For LNG-related questions, please call Dan Serres at 541-251-3569.
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"Why Does This Concern the Local Coos Bay Area?
On November 22, 2004, a newly formed Colorado based company, Energy Products Development LLC, doing business in Oregon as the "Jordan Cove Energy Project", submitted a Notice of Intent (NOI) to the Oregon Department of Energy to build a LNG facility on the North Spit across from the North Bend Airport. Current plans include Jordan Cove Energy acquiring property from the Port, who is purchasing land from Weyerhaeuser for this project.
In July 2005, Fort Chicago Energy Partners LP, of Canada, acquired a majority stake in the Jordan Cove Energy Project. - http://www.fortchicago.com
The Jordan Cove Energy Project includes two storage tanks, each with the capacity to hold up to 160,000 cubic meters or
42 million gallons each of LNG.
This LNG facility will be across from our local airport and would not likely survive a 9/11 type attack or accident.
A large LNG spill, vapor cloud, & fire caused by accident, earthquake, or terrorist attack would have devastating impacts on our Bay Area.
"For a nominal intentional (LNG) spill the hazard range could extend to 2500 m (1.553 miles). The actual hazard distances will depend on breach and spill size, site specific conditions, and environmental conditions." Sandia National Laboratories Report for the U.S. Government - December 2004
"We have a one to three mile range here that are credible hazard distances based on a tanker spill of one half of one tank or 3 to 4 million gallons of LNG. There are no real disagreements about this. If more is spilled it could be worse, obviously."
Portland OR - August 16, 2005 - Professor Jerry Havens - LNG Expert/Chemical Engineer/Director- Chemical Hazard Research Center at Univ of Arkansas
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Building a LNG terminal along the coast is the same bad idea that was attempted by Calpine in Humboldt Bay! The people of Humboldt came out in great numbers to oppose this project, and Calpine retreated. There are several other reasons that this project is undesirable for the coastal ecosystem..
The dredging required to accomodate the megatankers that transport the LNG to the terminal would destroy beds of eelgrass and the entire ecosystem of species that thrives therein..
"Eelgrass cannot survive in murky water. "Its need for light is its Achilles heel," Shaughnessy said. This is why water quality issues are so important in conserving eelgrass beds."
In other news, the LNG corporations may be heading on a downwards spiral, let's not allow our coastal communities to be dragged under with them!!
"Mr. Lawrence Izzo, who worked at Enron before Calpine, testified that because "Calpine is experiencing financial difficulties," he could not "say definitively that an LNG facility will...be built." He went further to say there is only a 50% chance it will be constructed. This testimony was in an administrative law proceeding before the Federal Trade Commission in March 2003.
Calpine's financial situation has worsened since that time. In October 2003, Moody's Investors Service downgraded its debt rating due to a weak operating cash flow relative to its substantial debt and the belief that its financial performance will continue to be weak. The company carries a debt of $16 billion, while its capitalization is only $1.63 billion."
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