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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..


6.00-9.00 PM

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.

more details @;

Land Use Hearings;

8/28 and 9/17;

4:00 pm

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

more info @;

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."

article @;

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."

article @;

calendar details & addresses 15.Aug.2007 16:13

NO CA Pipeline!

Title: Coos Bay, OR; Community Action Against LNG Terminal!

START DATE: Saturday August 25

TIME: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Location Details:
Southwestern Oregon Community College
Hale Performing Arts Center
1988 Newmark St.
Coos Bay, OR

Event Type: Teach-In

What are some issues surrounding a potential liquified natural gas terminal in Coos Bay, OR, with a pipeline until near Klamath Falls, OR (Malin)? What say do people have for expressing concern about the effects of linear clearcuts on the ecosystem (Klamath/Siskiyou), or if the pipeline crosses their landspace near their home? Does eminent domain override community dissent?

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.

see article for details;

Planning for upcoming public hearings;

8/28 and 9/17;

both events @ 4:00 pm

Coquille Community Building
115 N. Birch St.
Coquille, OR

background info on proposed LNG pipeline;

"In Southern Oregon, a new natural gas pipeline project has been proposed. It would travel underground through Coos and Douglas County 223 miles, to the California border south of Klamath Falls.

A corridor a minimum of 100' wide will have to be clearcut the entire 223 miles to accommodate the machinery necessary to bury a 36" natural gas pipeline. 153 miles of the pipeline corridor is planned on private land, going through and near the farms and yards of thousands of people. 70 miles will be on BLM and Forest Service lands. The pipeline will be operated by Williams Pacific Connector Gas Operator LLC.

After construction, the pipeline will be maintained with a permanent cleared land opening of 75' on private land and 50' on public land. The openings are larger on private lands because the pipeline road would be permanent, whereas on public land the road would be rebuilt when needed. This clearcut corridor will completely sever southern Oregon forests and wildlife - there will be no tree bridges allowed to cross the corridor.

Buried underground and under rivers with its 100' wide clearcut corridor, the pipeline will leave Coos Bay and go south east. It will be located north of Coquille, south of Dora and Sitkum, just north of Camas Valley, through Olalla, and south of Dillard. After it crosses the South Umpqua River, it will turn south and cross both forks of Myrtle Creek, travel east of Milo, cross the South Umpqua River again, go over Wildcat Ridge in the Umpqua National Forest, and south to Trail where it will cross the Rogue River. It will eventually make its way over the Pacific Crest Trail south of Lake of the Woods, and on to Klamath Falls to meet up with the California pipeline.

The plan is to ship Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from other countries into Coos Bay on huge tankers. The gas is "liquefied" because more gas can fit on a tanker in that form. A terminal, built on the North Spit of Coos Bay, would re-gasify the natural gas. The LNG terminal would be a closed loop system using natural gas to reaheat the LNG, this means additional CO2 emissions which contribute to the greenhouse gases. Natural gas will then be piped to California via a new pipeline that goes from Coos Bay to Malin, Oregon south of Klamath Falls, where it will join an existing natural gas pipeline that goes into California."

article cont's @;


Eelgrass beds as base of coastal food pyramid 27.Aug.2007 15:55

LNG dredging kills eelgrass & fisheries.

some extra info on eelgrass, alternatives to LNG;

The importance of eelgrass beds in coastal river estuaries cannot be understated, especially for a community like Coos Bay that wishes to maintain their fisheries economy. One of the principles of the food pyramid is that if eelgrass beds remain undisturbed by dredging, then throughout the season they will provide habitat for smaller biota, that are in turn food for larger fishes, crustaceans, etc..

Since the majority of the Pac NW coastline is either rugged rocky cliffs or wave influenced sandy beaches, the muddy flats of river estuaries are the only remaining suitable habitat for eelgrass beds. Excessive dredging as would be required to accomodate the LNG tankers would destroy the eelgrass beds from the Coos River (or any other) estuary, and the decline in fisheries would occur soon thereafter..

"Salt marshes and eelgrass beds are widely recognized as indicators of coastal ecosystem health, contributing to fundamental ecological processes including the production and decomposition of organic matter, cycling of organic and inorganic nutrients, alteration of hydrologic flow patterns, and improvement of estuarine water quality. In addition, emergent tidal marshes and eelgrass beds provide essential habitat for populations of fish and shellfish, and offer resting and forage areas for migratory and resident shorebirds and waterfowl."

article @;


If seafood or the health of the coastal ecosystem isn't of concern to the local Coos city/county councilmembers who appear so eager to welcome the LNG terminal to the bay, maybe the protection provided by eelgrass in the form of stabilizing the mudflats and preventing erosion is a concern..

"Across the broad tide flats, eelgrass meadows provide sheltered habitat and act as a nursery for a variety of fish, crabs, and other creatures. Its rhizomes are buried in the mud and so stabilize sediments and prevent erosion. Eelgrass grows rapidly in sunlight, fixes nutrients from mud and water, and generates detritus which releases nutrients to the food web as it decays. Eelgrass growth is adversely affected by turbidity."

article @;

What is gained by the community if an entire fisheries ecosystem collapses? A few imported jobs at a highly unstable LNG terminal? Sounds like another ENRON scam of future energy shares without regards to the long term viability of the coastal communities effected. Plenty of other failed corporate energy projects resulted in rusting shells of abandoned superfund sites with no clean-up in sight. Don't even get me started on the ecological disasters we'll face from an LNG pipeline that crosses several mountain ranges towards CA borderlands (Malin, OR)..

"Running through the mudflats are the open channels that always contain water, even at low tides (photograph above). In some areas, this water supports the growth of eelgrass (Zostera marina) and a variety of organisms that inhabit its blades or the soil held by its roots. Despite its appearance and name, eelgrass is not a true grass, but, like grasses, it is a flowering plant. Eelgrass distributes its pollen and seeds in the currents; however, its most effective method of reproduction is through its rhizomes. The principal human threat to eelgrass beds is the dredging activity intended to keep deeper channels open. Eelgrass is largely indigestible, so the primary means through which its nutrients are passed through the food web is by decomposition. Animals that consume decomposing bits of eelgrass actually derive most of their nutrients by digesting the fungi and bacteria living on the dead plant material. The eelgrass is largely returned to the ecosystem, where bacteria and fungi again colonize and further decompose the plant material (summary by Schultz, 1990:163-165). Thus, the high productivity of the estuary is driven by the critical ecological process of decomposition of organic materials (as in the temperate rain forest), along with the regular inputs and mixing of nutrients by saline tidal flows and freshwater streams."

article @;

Decomposition of eelgrass is itself a source of energy for the estuary ecosystem. What could humans learn from eelgrass? How about each community harness their own natural gas (ie., methane) by collecting any offgassing from decomposing biomass, compost, manure, etc..

Simply contain the decomposing biomatter, supply anaerobic microbes and collect the emmissions of methane, divert CO2 into a greenhouse. Why doesn't this occur yet? Like solar, no multinational energy corporation has devised a sure way to gain profits from this method, it would be a decentralized and community operated facility..

"Unlike composting AD is carried out in an oxygen-free environment (known as anaerobic conditions) to allow the presence of bacteria adjusted to these conditions which then multiply and grow, and by so doing achieve the process aims of:

* sanitisation of the feed material and of any liquid discharged;

* a net positive surplus generation of energy as a biofuel to allow power production from methane gas (biogas) produced by the organisms."


What it comes down to is the community taking their energy production into their own hands, not depending on energy corporations to import an expensive and unstable fuel in the form of LNG. The community retains a functional estuary and fisheries ecosystem and uses our biomass waste products for our own electricity consumption. Basically, everyone wins except the CEO of the energy corporation, one of the main reasons this seems more like fantasy than reality. It will take a community grassroots effort to make this become reality..

"By-products of anaerobic digestion

There are three principal by-products of anaerobic digestion.

· Biogas, a gaseous mixture comprising mostly of methane and carbon dioxide, but also containing a small amount hydrogen and occasionally trace levels of hydrogen sulphide. Biogas can be burned to produce electricity, usually with a reciprocating engine or microturbine. The gas is often used in a cogeneration arrangement, to generate electricity and use waste heat to warm the digesters or to heat buildings. Excess electricity can be sold to electricity suppliers. Electricity produced by anaerobic digesters is considered to be green energy and may attract subsidies such as Renewables Obligation Certificates.

Since the gas is not released directly into the atmosphere and the carbon dioxide comes from an organic source with a short carbon cycle biogas does not contribute to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations; because of this, it is considered to be an environmentally friendly energy source. The production of biogas is not a steady stream; it is highest during the middle of the reaction. In the early stages of the reaction, little gas is produced because the number of bacteria is still small in size. Toward the end of the reaction, only the hardest to digest materials remain, leading to a decrease in the amount of biogas produced."

article @;

The same country where Fort Chicago energy is from has innovated the biogas methane harnessing system;

"Intro: When electricity rates skyrocketed in Alberta, rural residents started looking for alternative power sources. One of the most successful experiments so far has been a biogas operation established at the Iron Creek Hutterite Colony near Viking, east of Edmonton.

The system runs off methane produced by the stockpiles of hog manure on the colony. In a short period of time, The colony's nightmare has turned into a dream come true. Gone is the $250,000 power bill and the $100,000 it cost to truck the manure for landspreading. Now the Colony makes money selling its electricity onto the grid. And soon it will recycle purified water and even make protein supplements as by-products of the operation."

other info @;

PS - Am NOT advocating factory farming, though for the farms that already exist (many subsidized by taxpayers), the least they could do is recycle their animal's manure into energy for the community instead of allowing the runoff to enter the watershed!!