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Oregon landowners file in court to have Jordan Cove approval thrown out

A group of Oregonians who oppose the Jordan Cove LNG pipeline being constructed on their lands have filed a motion in a DC court to invalidate the Federal Regulatory Commission's approval.

Posted: Jul 7, 2020 3:49 PM
Updated: Jul 7, 2020 3:58 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hot on the heels of a Trump administration decision to okay natural gas exports for the Jordan Cove LNG project, a group of Oregon landowners has filed in federal court to have the project's federal approval invalidated.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Energy okayed liquid natural gas exports from the proposed Jordan Cove terminal in Coos Bay, just one in a long list of necessary steps for Canadian gas company Pembina to get the project underway.

Perhaps most vital to the project thus far was a vote of approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in March. Still, the project has yet to gain several key permits from Oregon state agencies in order to move forward, a matter previously highlighted by FERC commissioners as a condition for their approval.

Now a group of Oregon landowners who would be impacted by the pipeline's construction has filed a motion asking the DC Circuit Court to invalidate that FERC decision. They have also asked the court for a stay on the project's approval in an effort to halt Pembina from moving forward with eminent domain proceedings on the land while the case is considered.

“Landowner Petitioners have been fighting this project for well over fifteen years," said Megan Gibson, senior staff attorney for the Niskanen Center, which represents the landowners. "They are now under imminent threat of having their land taken, during a global pandemic, for a natural gas pipeline with no discernable public use or benefit, which is unlikely to ever be built."


RELATED: Federal regulators approve Jordan Cove LNG pipeline and terminal facility


The motion cites an earlier, similar case, in which the DC court found that natural gas exports cannot be used toward FERC's "public convenience and necessity" determination, which would underpin eminent domain proceedings.

“The unique facts of this case warrant the Court taking a close look at what FERC ignored in approving a certificate of public convenience and necessity for this project," said Klamath County landowner and lead petitioner Deb Evans. "We are extremely encouraged that the DC Court will weigh the law and these facts against the pipeline to ensure that landowners’ constitutional rights are upheld.”

The landowners have asked that the Court immediately halt Pembina from accessing land through eminent domain until the case is resolved, assuming that the FERC approval is not vacated outright.

Following the U.S. Department of Energy's announcement on Monday that it had authorized export of natural gas from the proposed terminal, Pembina issued a brief statement:

"Pembina is pleased with the issuance order by the DOE, which marks another momentous step forward for Jordan Cove. The Project represents a significant opportunity to bring tremendous economic benefits to the State of Oregon and Western Colorado and make a positive contribution to address global climate change."

The motion filed on Tuesday is one of several legal challenges that the Jordan Cove project faces. In May, a coalition of southern Oregon environmental groups, landowners, and tribes filed multiple lawsuits against FERC for its decision to approve Jordan Cove.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206777

Reported Deaths: 2754
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40354614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18925235
Lane13896164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001582
Umatilla859387
Linn560380
Yamhill477879
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas387982
Malheur361463
Josephine359872
Benton326422
Jefferson236839
Coos216637
Columbia191929
Union149824
Wasco144330
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121933
Morrow115316
Clatsop10559
Baker101115
Curry70811
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3808258

Reported Deaths: 63335
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124761824454
Riverside3016034627
San Bernardino2992894844
San Diego2817493771
Orange2729225112
Santa Clara1201102188
Kern1107821404
Sacramento1076381731
Fresno1029221724
Alameda895921273
Ventura816381031
San Joaquin746861438
Contra Costa70561813
Stanislaus633871069
Tulare49814849
Monterey43831427
San Mateo42646581
San Francisco37256556
Santa Barbara34596455
Solano33707266
Merced32291478
Sonoma30868317
Imperial28813741
Placer23537299
Kings23189247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16632245
Santa Cruz16235208
Marin14200230
Yolo14156212
Butte12659194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10371116
Napa1002580
Sutter9656113
Yuba648551
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573163
Nevada491075
Humboldt446348
Mendocino432150
Tuolumne420771
Amador373947
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239437
Colusa228418
Calaveras220156
Del Norte14568
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1150
Alpine890
Unassigned330
Medford
Clear
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Brookings
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Crater Lake
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Grants Pass
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Klamath Falls
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