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More Bad News For The Jordan Cove Energy Project

Jordan Cove artist's rendering of the southwest view of the proposed processing facility, marine slip and corridor
Jordan Cove artist's rendering of the southwest view of the proposed processing facility, marine slip and corridor

The proposed Jordan Cove Energy Project in southwest Oregon was dealt another setback this week when a pair of local permits was overturned by the state land use board.

On Tuesday, the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals reversed a pair of key permits, one issued by Coos County, the other by the Town of Coos Bay. Between them, the permits cleared the way for expanded dredging and other site preparation in the Coos Bay estuary.

That work is required for the planned liquified natural gas export terminal proposed by the Canadian energy firm Pembina.

The permits were challenged by conservation groups and tribes, who claimed the permits were illegally issued. The appeals board agreed, and – in an unusual move -- reversed both permits outright, rather than send them back to the city and the county for reconsideration.

This is the latest in a string of failures by Pembina to get key permits and authorizations at the state, and now, the local level, for the controversial project.

This also comes less than two weeks after Pembina said in a federal appeals court filing in Washington D.C. that it was “pausing” the LNG project and the associated 229-mile-long pipeline.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a permit to Jordan Cove in March of last year. Conservation groups, tribes and landowners along the pipeline route appealed that decision.

As part of a filing in that appeal, the company said it had "decided to pause the development of the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas Project while [we] assess the impact of recent regulatory decisions involving denial of permits or authorizations necessary for the Project to move forward."

Contacted for comment, Pembina representatives said in a statement that, while the company "continue(s) to believe in the strategic rationale of Jordan Cove," it has "paused" the project "in light of current regulatory and political uncertainty ..."

JPR's Erik Neumann contributed reporting to this story.

Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for three decades. He served two stints as JPR News Director and retired full-time from JPR at the end of 2021. Liam now edits and curates the news on JPR's website and digital platforms.