UPDATED: Friday, April 12, 10:00 a.m. -- President Donald Trump has signed a pair of executive orders meant to ease the development of gas and oil pipeline projects. The orders could have implications for a controversial gas pipeline proposal in Southern Oregon.
Currently, the Clean Water Act require energy infrastructure projects that pose the risk of water pollution to get state, as well as federal, approval. One of Trump’s orders calls for the Environmental Protection Agency to review that provision.
Activists opposing the Jordan Cove pipeline project have been pressuring Oregon Governor Kate Brown to block the proposal. Allie Rosenbluth with the environmental group Rogue Climate says Trump’s latest move raises those stakes.
"This is really the time for Governor Kate Brown to step up to the plate to challenge the Trump administration’s power grab right here," Rosenbluth says. "She needs to do everything she can to protect the power that the state has to protect our communities’ clean water and public safety."
As of Friday morning, the governor's office had no response to the presidential executive orders.
The Jordan Cove project would build a natural gas pipeline from Klamath County more than 200 miles to a new liquid natural gas export facility in Coos Bay on the Oregon coast .
Jordan Cove officials say they’re studying the new orders, but that they remain “deeply invested” in pending state permit processes.
In a related development, the Oregon Department of State Lands has formally asked Jordan Cove to provide more information on a list of "substantive comments" that arose during the project's application for a state permit to dredge about 400 waterways and wetlands along the pipeline route. The issues range from questions about the project's compliance with land use laws to the alleged lack of demonstrated consideration of alternatives.
Jordan Cove official Paul Vogel told JPR Friday morning that this is just part of the normal permit process and that the company will provide the state will all the information needed to issue the removal-fill permit this fall.