New report shows Jordan Cove emissions will be worse than coal

January 15, 2018

Jordan Cove

Aerial view of of the North Spit (Coos Bay OR), the proposed site for the Jordan Cove Project. [Photo credit: Alex Derr/OSCC via The World]

A new report from Oil Change International, says the Jordan Cove Project would produce more than 15 times the emissions of the Boardman coal plant, Oregon’s last remaining coal plant set to close in 2020. The volume of emissions would equal the emissions of nearly 8 million passenger vehicles. In total, the report says the pipeline will produce 36.8 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

The report:  Jordan Cove LNG and Pacific Connector Pipeline Greenhouse Gas Emissions Briefing

What is the Jordan Cove Project?

The Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project is a proposal by Calgary-based energy company Pembina to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal within the International Port of Coos Bay, Oregon. The fracked natural gas would be transported to the terminal by a 229-mile pipeline, which would have the capacity to push 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily across Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties to a plant in Coos Bay where the gas would be turned into liquid form and be transported to Asian markets.

This project would trample the rights of Oregon landowners through use of eminent domain, disturb tribal territories and burial grounds, threaten 400 waterways, put existing jobs in fishing, tourism, and other sectors at risk, drive up energy prices, and create a major new source of climate pollution.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has denied the project once in March 2016, and again in December 2016, saying that backers have failed to show an overwhelming public need for this project.

Refusing to take “no” for an answer, Jordan Cove backers announced in December 2016, that they planned to resurrect their pipe dream. Veresen, the project’s company of origin, merged with Pembina last year. Betting on support from the Trump Administration, Republican Congress, and two newly appointed FERC commissioners, Pembina filed an official application with the FERC in September 2017.

But there’s a hitch. To date, Pembina has not signed any long-term contracts with Asian LNG distributors, or any other distributors along the Pacific Rim, which was the main reason for the FERC’s denial two years ago.

What is the Colorado connection to Jordan Cove?

The pipeline would connect to existing pipelines to transport natural gas from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and the Montney Basin in British Columbia. West Slope natural gas would connect with the Pacific Connector Pipeline via the Ruby Pipeline and Opal Hub in southern Wyoming.

Source: LNG World News

Colorado has its own Jordan Cove propaganda machine. The West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association (WSCOGA), Governor John Hickenlooper, Senators Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R), along with other politicians, are promoting the Jordan Cove Project as the answer to West Slope natural gas producers’ woes — mainly the lack of market for cheap gas and virtually no market for LNG. Promoters use the phantom LNG processing plant and pipeline to attract and keep investors which props up the natural gas industry.

Last week the Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector Pipeline Project suffered another hit with the new report from Oil Change International, an advocacy organization focused on “exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy,” according to the website. Click here for a list of financial supporters.

Here’s the full press release —

PRESS RELEASE

New Report Provides First Comprehensive Analysis of Climate Impact of Jordan Cove LNG Terminal & Pacific Connector Pipeline

Annual climate emissions would be equivalent to more than 15 Boardman coal plants

SALEM, OREGON — A new report released by Oil Change International details, for the first time, the full accounting of greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the proposed Jordan Cove LNG Export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas Pipeline project in Oregon.

The new report finds that the project would result in over 36.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year, some 15.4 times the emissions from Oregon’s last remaining coal-fired power plant, the Boardman Coal plant, which is set to be retired by the end of 2020 due to climate and air pollution concerns. When only considering the in-state emissions alone, the projects would still be the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 2020.

The report:  Jordan Cove LNG and Pacific Connector Pipeline Greenhouse Gas Emissions Briefing

The report also finds that exported fracked gas (or LNG) will not replace dirtier fossil fuel sources like coal in Asia. In addition, it concludes that even with conservative estimates for methane leakage, exported liquified natural gas does not result in lower emissions than coal plants on a full lifecycle basis. Thus, the report argues, the full 36.8 million metric tons of CO2e must be viewed as additional pollution.

“The facts show that Jordan Cove will increase global emissions as it will increase the flow of fracked gas to world markets and undermine the clean energy transition,” said Lorne Stockman, Senior Research Analyst with Oil Change International and the lead report author. “The emissions associated with this project would dig a substantial hole, undermining Oregon’s efforts to lead on climate action.”

The report’s analysis finds that construction of the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector pipeline would make it impossible to achieve Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s goal to have Oregon’s climate reductions line-up with the targets of the Paris Accords, as well as the emission reduction goals enshrined by the Oregon legislature in 2007 and the goals being considered within the context of the proposed “Clean Energy Jobs Bill.” The project’s in-state emissions would constitute an increasingly large percentage of the overall emissions in the state while providing no actual energy supply for the state and contributing to unsustainable global emissions, undermining climate action in other regions.

As the report was released last week, at least a hundred people rallied in Salem under the auspices of the No LNG Exports coalition, a collection of organizations and community groups opposed to the project. The project, previously rejected by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), has encountered massive opposition along the pipeline route and terminal location in Coos Bay.

Protestors against Jordan Cove Project gather on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem on January 11, 2018 [Photo credit: Molly J. Smith/Statesmen Journal]

“Communities across Oregon and northern California have been fighting this fracked gas project for over a decade. It’s time that Governor Brown stands with our communities and stops Jordan Cove for good by utilizing her role on the Oregon State Lands Board or by directing state agencies to deny vital permits for the project,” said Hannah Sohl, Director of Rogue Climate.

Concerns about its climate impacts recently resulted in Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley reversing his previous support for the project and announcing his opposition in an op-ed in the Medford Mail-Tribune. His arguments against the project mirror the conclusions outlined in the new Oil Change International report.

Merkley wrote: “… I cannot turn away from the knowledge that, like other large-scale fossil fuel projects, Jordan Cove will contribute massively to pollution that is profoundly damaging our state and our world. Generations from now, our grandchildren will wonder why we continued to burn fossil fuels when the catastrophic consequences were so evident …”

Deb Evans is a Klamath County landowner who’s small-scale timber property would face eminent domain if the proposed pipeline is approved. “Whether it’s snowless winters, more extreme wildfire seasons, or invasive pine beetles, rural communities are already seeing the first impacts of climate change,” Evans said. “Industries that once thrived in rural Oregon are facing severe setbacks as the climate changes. This project would exacerbate climate change adding to an overwhelmingly devastating and costly impact to livelihoods while also threatening private property rights. We can’t have that in Oregon, or anywhere else today if we want a sustainable economy and healthy climate for future generations.”

Sohl added: “While the Trump administration’s regulators may be full steam ahead on fossil fuel projects, the state of Oregon has a critical opportunity to stand up for our communities and the climate, by doing whatever it can to stop Jordan Cove LNG. This report shows that to take action on climate, Oregon’s leadership has no choice but to reject this dangerous project and instead focus on creating good-paying jobs in rural Oregon in the expanding clean energy industry.”

For more information:

Daily SentinelReport cites climate costs of gas project

The Oregonian/OregonLiveStudy: Coos Bay LNG terminal would boost greenhouse gases

Medford Mail TribuneReport warns of Jordan Cove emissions

Guest OpinionWe can create infrastructure jobs without jeopardizing our future by Senator Jeff Merkley

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