The long-running saga of the proposed $10 billion Jordan Cove pipeline and liquified natural gas export terminal near Coos Bay took another twist today as Pembina, the Canadian energy company behind the project, withdrew its application for a key permit.
Pembina sought a removal-fill permit from the state, which would have permitted the company to construct its pipeline across state-regulated rivers and wetlands and dredge Coos Bay harbor to allow the passage of the massive ships expected to transport liquified natural gas to foreign markets.
Although trade unions and some business interests supported construction of the 229-mile pipeline for the jobs and economic development it could bring to the depressed southern coast, environmentalists and many affected land owners opposed the project. The public comment period on the permit yielded nearly 50,000 responses, which is part of the reason the process has been so lengthy.
Earlier this week, as WW first reported, Oregon State Lands Director Vicki Walker rejected Pembina's Jan. 14 request for an extension on its permit, which the company first filed in November 2017.
In her four-page letter, Walker cited a number of areas in which Pembina's application was deficient, making it seem unlikely the company could provide all the required information by the end of this month. Walker declined to give Pembina extra time.
"The Department does not agree to an extension and is therefore denying your request," Walker wrote to Pembina on Jan. 21. "Please be aware the Department has not yet received requested critical information."
"Jordan Cove Energy Project L.P. and Pacific Connector Pipeline L.P. are hereby withdrawing our removal fill application," wrote Pembina's Natalie Eades in a letter to Walker. "We understand that by withdrawing our application we are forfeiting the application fee."