Pro-LNG HB 2700 Sent to Senate
If it passes the Oregon Senate, HB 2700 would enable FERC to override local decision making process concerning LNG facilities and pipeline right of way without demonstrating a need. Another example of federal authority ruling over local community choices.
Without a single word addressing our arguments and concerns the Senate Business,
Transportation and Economic Development Committee rubber stamped Fast Track Bill -
HB 2700 and sent it on to the full Senate where it will be scheduled for a vote.
(See Martha's recap of the Senate Committee's work session below.)
Even if you have called or emailed any of the Senators about HB 2700 before, please
do so again!
We have just one more chance to stop this bill or slow it down. The block of Senate
email addresses is below.
Thanks to Martha, Cheryl & Laurie for this recap.
I have included Bob Barker's well done note to the Senate Committee further below
for an example of the issues. Unfortunately the -6 and -7 amendments were not even
considered by the Senate Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee
so the full Senate will be voting on the original B-Engrossed House Bill 2700. ( You
can review the bill here: http://www.leg.state.or.us/searchmeas.html )
To listen to yesterdays hearing you can go to the following link:
Click on "2011 Session" under "Audio Archives:" (You will have to scroll down to
find this section)
Click on "Archives of Committee Meetings from the 2011 Session"
Click on "Business, Transportation and Economic Development"
Click on 5/23/2011 - 3 p.m. (You will have to scroll down to find this section)
You will need to have 'Real Player' downloaded to be able to listen. HB 2700 was
the last item on the agenda.
Martha's 5-23-2011 recap of the HB 2700 work session:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
It was not a good day for us in Salem. This afternoon about 20 red-shirted,
NoLNG-buttoned folks attended the hearing on HB2700 before the Senate Business,
Transportation and Economic Development Committee (Senators Lee Beyer, Jason
Atkinson, Chris Edwards, Fred Girod, Bruce Starr and Ginny Burdick). After dealing
with several other unrelated bills, the committee took testimony from several
pro-bill folks, including union reps, the League of Oregon Cities, and Louis
Solliday, the director of the Dept. of State Lands (DSL). (We thought there would
be no testimony taken today, but we were told that these folks were allowed to speak
because they were not able to testify two weeks ago.) They all stressed the
importance of the bills for jobs and the economy. There was not a single word
addressing our arguments, and no acknowledgement of the special situation of LNG
pipelines that involve FERC superceding state and local authority and providing no
assessment of need. In a series of leading questions, Sen. Beyer prompted Solliday
to lay out her argument that the bill would improve the permitting process and that
its provisions would not harm anyone. She said that DSL has a policy of notifying
affected and adjacent neighbors about permit applications. The -6 and -7 amendments
were referred to, but they were never even read, and there was no debate. The bill
was then passed out of committee, with no amendment, with a 4 to 1 vote (Sen. Girod
voting no and Sen. Atkinson having left the room).
Now the bill goes to the full Senate, where it is likely to pass. We have just one
more chance to stop it or slow it down. So please contact your Senators - or all of
them, if you like. Below is a list of all the state Senators and links to their
e-mail addresses. If you're not sure who is your state Senator, you can find out
Sen. Betsy Johnson has been our ally in this fight, so she deserves our strong
thanks and support. email@example.com
Thanks to all of you who have written and called in the last week. Win or lose, we
will keep up the fight, and make sure our legislators know we're keeping score.
[ You can send a note to all the Senators at once by copying and pasting the
following e-mail addresses into your e-mail "To:" box ]
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
Oregon State Senate - in District Order
Jason Atkinson, Committee Vice-Chair
Lee Beyer, Committee Chair
Peter Courtney, President
Diane Rosenbaum, Majority Leader
Laurie Monnes Anderson
Ted Ferrioli, Minority Leader
From: Bob Barker
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2011 12:25 AM
To: ' firstname.lastname@example.org'
Subject: Rationale for Amending HB 2700 to Exclude LNG Send-Out Pipelines (the Dash
Dear Senator Beyer:
At the Committee work session today, please either amend HB 2700 to exclude LNG
send-out pipelines (the Dash 6 Amendment) or reject the bill altogether.
Here's why the State of Oregon should not pass legislation to fast-track LNG:
No Public Benefit and Need
The taking of private property by eminent domain is a very serious matter and should
only be supported or allowed for linear projects that meet public benefit and need
requirements of the citizens of Oregon. The State of Oregon has documented that LNG
is totally unnecessary for Oregon's energy needs. With regard to LNG projects in
Oregon, there is a (well documented) 100 year supply of domestic natural gas, The
Ruby pipeline from the Rocky mountains is currently being built to supply domestic
natural gas to the west coast, the vast majority of the gas is going to California
markets and foreign source LNG is not needed for domestic consumption.
The State of Oregon Has No Say in Siting LNG Projects
Unlike other linear projects, LNG siting is determined by private out of state
companies and the federal government. Multiple and overlapping projects are
approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) without consideration of
the devastating impact on thousands of Oregon landowners. Oregon should not change
existing law to fast track LNG projects over which they have no say.
The Increased Likelihood of Export
The backers of these LNG pipeline projects have finally admitted they are
considering exporting (not importing) LNG. Out-of-state energy speculators are
pushing huge coastal LNT terminals to market low-cost U.S. natural gas around the
world. This will raise prices for the average U.S. homeowner for heating and
cooking and harm our economy. Just this week, a major foreign investor in the
Jordan Cove LNG project, Veresen, indicated that it is exploring the option of
exporting LNG. According to Veresen, "Given current market conditions, Veresen is
exploring alternative used for the proposed Jordan Cove Energy Project and Pacific
Connector Gas Pipeline. A number of natural gas producers have expressed strong
interest in converting Jordan Cove from an import facility into a liquefaction and
LNG export facility."
The Spirit of Measure 39
Oregon Ballot Measure 39, passed in the 2006 General Election, prohibits the
government from condemning property from one private party (by eminent domain) on
behalf of another private party. The use of eminent domain for LNG projects for
export and in the absence of public benefit and need run counter to the spirit of
This is Not a Jobs Bill
In a down economy, we are all conscious of the need to support job creation. For
linear projects that involve the use of eminent domain, job creation should be based
on the need for the end product (natural gas in the case of LNG projects) and not
any temporary jobs created to build an unnecessary infrastructure. As we know from
the current construction of the Ruby pipeline in Southern Oregon, most of the skill
jobs for LNG projects will go to out-of-state workers and that much of the work
performed will be on the private land of Oregon citizens who have had their land
taken by eminent domain or the threat thereof.
Let the Court Rule on the Lawsuit Filed by Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Claiming
that the Existing "landowner signature requirement" is Unconstitutional
The lawsuit against the State of Oregon, which only applies to LNG, should be
decided on its own merits and not rendered moot by the version of HB 2700 passed by
We know all too well from recent events in California and Japan that LNG terminals
and pipelines present significant safety risks. The Oregon coast sits on the
dangerous Cascadia earthquake fault - the West Coast fault zone that mirrors Japan's
fault zone. California, New Jersey, and other coastal states have recently denied
LNG projects for safety reasons.
As a landowners along the proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline route, we know
personally of the devastating impact construction of these unnecessary pipelines
will have on our property and our lives. In our case, one-third of our forest
property will be cleared of all vegetation for both the route and a temporary work
area during completing of a 3000 foot drill under the Rogue River from our property.
My neighbor on one side will be unable to build on his property (due to the size of
his lot and the location of the pipeline) and my neighbor on the other side is
unable to sell his property because no one wants to buy property with a 30 inch
pipeline running through it. Individuals who farm, ranch or manage forests on their
property have serious ongoing economic impacts.
Please amend HB 2700 to exclude LNG send-out pipelines or reject the bill altogether.
Bob and Gail Barker
contribute to this article
add comment to discussion