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: 313161

Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
Fresno1358611888
Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1650
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 84°
Brookings
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 74°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
87° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 84°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
87° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 84°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 79°
Cooler temperatures and thin haze return on the first day of fall
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events