The Ten-Year-Long Fight against Oregon LNG Is Over

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMLeucadia National Corp has decided it will no longer fund the proposed $6 billion LNG terminal in Warrenton, at the mouth of the Columbia River. A determined coalition of local residents, fishermen and environmentalists blocking their way. Now the ten-year-long fight against Oregon LNG is over.

The Ten-Year-Long Fight against Oregon LNG Is Over

the Youngs Bay Bridge crossing over to Warrenton, and the Clatsop Spit that marks where the mouth of the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean by Raellyn & Melissa via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)
the Youngs Bay Bridge crossing over to Warrenton, and the Clatsop Spit that marks where the mouth of the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean by Raellyn & Melissa via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

“They wanted to build a fossil fuel export terminal in the heart of the most precious salmon habitat in the entire region. They could not have picked a worse place to propose a massive LNG terminal. They have informed the local government, and the agencies, that they are withdrawing all applications for the project. The project also would have involved over 200 miles of new gas pipeline from the US-Canada border, through Washington, under the Columbia River,” said  Lauren Goldberg, staff attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper.

She added, “The Oregon LNG victory is a real testament to the democratic process and the incredible work of concerned citizens who took time out of their busy lives to attend public hearings and provide compelling testimony and were ultimately able to stay at it for ten years.”

“Local officials and members of the Clatsop County community raised valid concerns about this project from the very beginning. I shared the concerns that the Oregon LNG project would have had negative environmental and economic impacts, and I am relieved that local voices prevailed”. said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden told the Oregon Patch.

Tesoro Savage

There are still other large fossil fuel projects proposed for the Columbia River.

Governor, Jay Inslee, has yet to decide the fate of the proposed Tesoro Savage project at Vancouver, Washington.

Columbia River from Interstate Bridge by brx0 via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)
Columbia River from Interstate Bridge by brx0 via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

This could become the largest oil-by-rail terminal in the nation, with up to 36 trains arriving every week. According to  the Draft environmental Impact statement, approximately 22,364 metric tons of CO2 would be created during transport and “the estimated average number of years that would elapse between derailments (not necessarily resulting in a spill) is 2 years.” Though the odds of a catastrophic accident were extremely low, derailments leading to “spills of any size” were expected every 12.1 years.

“The city of Vancouver is opposed to the project. Columbia River Treaty tribes, which have treaty rights to use and fish in the Columbia River, are opposed. Clark county, the City of Portland, the list (of communities opposing the project) gives on and on. We need to convince the state regulatory body EFSEC (the Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council) to recommend that Governor Inslee deny that project,” said Goldberg.

Millenium Bulk Terminal

One of the two largest coal terminals is proposed for Longview, Washington. The controversial Millennium bulk terminal could handle 44 million tons of coal per year.  As a result, government agencies were swamped with 215,000 public comments during the scoping phase of this project.

“The draft environmental impact statement is coming out at the end of the month. We need to convince state and Federal decision makers that toxic coal dust is the wrong move for the Columbia River and communities that would be impacted,” said Goldberg.

Photo Credit: Warrington by John McTarnaghan via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

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