The Coos Bay City Council voted to approve the latest step towards developing the Jordan Cove liquid natural gas (LNG) pipeline on Tuesday.
The decision, passed four to three by council members, gives approval to dredge a section of Coos Bay for the Jordan Cove Energy Project. Dredging for a navigation channel could ultimately be used for a liquified natural gas export terminal if the full project is approved.
“This just straightens out the shipping lane and then allows them to dredge it to the same depth as the rest of the bay, which is 37 feet,” says Rodger Craddock, Coos Bay city manager.
The meeting drew protesters and community members opposed to the environmental impacts of dredging and the overall pipeline project. A report by the Lane Council of Governments that was commissioned by the city council described parts of the plan not “in the public interest.”
“Our community is disappointed that the mayor decided to break the tie and ignore the neutral recommendations to protect our bay and let Jordan Cove LNG dredge in a sensitive part of our bay” says Ashley Audycki, the Coos County field organizer for Rogue Climate, an activist group opposed to the Jordan Cove pipeline.
According to Craddock, additional approval for the LNG pipeline project is required by state and federal agencies including the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Tuesday’s decision was one local step.
“The vote came down as not unexpected,” Craddock says, “There are a large contingent of people that are for the project and a large contingent that are against it.”