Feds greenlight Jordan Cove pipeline supported by Garfield County commissioners

Post Independent oil and gas graphic

Federal regulators approved the Jordan Cove pipeline project in Oregon on Wednesday, a project supported by Garfield County commissioners.

The Jordan Cove project in Coos Bay, Ore., is the first liquefied natural gas export terminal the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved on the west coast.

In multiple letters to the federal board, Garfield County commissioners said the proposed export terminal, which would be capable of exporting 1.04 billion cubic of natural gas per day, would help northwestern Colorado avoid the booms and busts of the natural gas industry.

“Garfield County believes that being able to market its abundant natural gas supply to markets beyond the United States … will result in a stabilized local and regional production program over longer periods of time significantly reducing the sharp up / down-swings in gas price volatility and development activity,” according to a July letter signed by the commissioners.

Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.), who has pushed for the project for years, also applauded the federal boards’ decision.

“Approving Jordan Cove in a time of great economic uncertainty restores some faith for many energy workers living in Western Colorado. Providing a cleaner and abundant energy source for our allies in the Pacific will no doubt be an economic driver in our communities for years to come,” Tipton said.

The Jordan Cove project has raised concerns about environmental and local impacts.

According to the federal Environmental Impact Statement for the project, the pipeline and LNG facility would affect more than 350,000 acres of streams and watersheds, but would not “significantly affect” surface water or wetlands.

The federal approval is only one hurdle for the project, which needs approval from several Oregon state and local agencies before construction could begin.

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