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Southern Oregon Natural Gas Project Gets Federal Environmental Approval

Federal energy regulators have signed off on a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline in Southern Oregon. A final review published Wednesday says the Jordan Cove project won’t have significant negative effects on the environment.

The LNG export terminal proposed for Coos Bay would be the first on the West Coast. The 230-mile pipeline would connect the terminal to Rocky Mountain and Canadian gas supplies.

In the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gives Canadian energy firm Veresen, Oklahoma energy company Williams and other partners in the Pacific Connector Pipeline LP a list of measures they must take to minimize seismic danger and effects on streams, wetlands and wildlife.

Williams spokesman George Angerbauer told Jefferson Public Radio this is an important approval, but it’s not the only one.

“We still have a long way to go for a lot of permitting. There’s not an eminent breaking of ground. There’s still a lot of work to be done,” he said.

Opponents of the project, who range from climate activists to property-rights advocates, said they will try to convince state regulators to deny the project.

“Governor Brown has complete control over whether Oregon complies and goes along with their idea of what’s safe for Oregon,” said Deb Evans, a landowner in Klamath County along the pipeline route.

Evans says she turned down a $2,000 offer from Pacific Connector to run the natural gas pipeline through their property. Now she faces the possibility of having the land taken through eminent domain.

Opponents rallied Wednesday afternoon at Pacific Connector pipeline offices in Medford.

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<p>"Hike the Pipe" supporters on Rogue River show opposition to the Jordan Cover liquefied natural gas project.</p>

Jes Burns, OPB/EarthFix


"Hike the Pipe" supporters on Rogue River show opposition to the Jordan Cover liquefied natural gas project.

Jes Burns is a reporter for OPB's Science & Environment unit. Jes has a degree in English literature from Duke University and a master's degree from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communications.