News Release from our State Representatives: Jordan Cove Pipeline
Senator Jeff GoldenState Senator, District 3News ReleaseMarch19, 2020CONTACT: AmyWong, 503-986-1703LEGISLATORS DENOUNCEFERCAPPROVAL OFJORDAN COVE PIPELINEToday Oregon State Senator Jeff Golden (Sen District 3) and Representative Pam Marsh (House District 5) issuedthe following joint statement in response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision to grant federal approval for the construction of the Jordan Cove pipeline, despite the project having failed to receive any of the necessary state permits:We were deeply disappointed to hearthat, in the midst of America’s most serious public health crisis of our lifetimes, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has chosen to give federal approval to the Pembina Corporation’s Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector Pipeline (JC/PCP) project today.
We are struck by the stark contradiction between the approval of this unpopular, deeply divisive project and the crucial daily reminder that Americans must come together as never before to successfully meet the COVID-19 challenge.The timing of this decision—which, in the case of this 15-year-old project proposal, could readily have been made at some future time—strongly suggests that federal authorities deliberately selected a moment when public attention is nearly monopolized by the current crisis.The strategy of the Pembina Corporation, as we recently pointed out, has become obvious.
Their project has repeatedly failed to secure necessary approvals from Oregon state agencies. In the wake of outright denials and objections from the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Land Conservation and Development, Pembina withdrew their application to the Division of State Lands just before it would have been rejected. The fact is that on multiple fronts, the JC/PCP proposal falls dramatically short of the minimum environmental standards that guide Oregon’s decisions on natural resources. As that became unmistakably clear, Pembina decided to ignore Oregon agencies and make their case to FERC, which rejected their application in 2016 (when the U.S. President and FERC Commissioners were markedly less supportive of fossil fuel extraction and export than isnow the case).
We now expect Pembina to pursue a pressure campaign through the White House and unprecedented long-shot court decisions to nullify the very clear approval authority of Oregon state agencies. In that context, we want to note today’s comment from FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee that their decision includes “provisions to file documentation that it has received all applicable authorizations before construction begins on the pipeline.”Without question “applicable authorizations” includes approvals from key Oregon agencies. We choose to believe this assurance, and others included in FERC’s findings, that JC/PCP project will not go forward without formal approval from Oregon state agencies. Pembina’s strategy can only succeed if the federal government proceeds to ignore and override state powers and prerogatives in sweeping and unprecedented ways. We will stand with Oregon state officials in taking every lawful step to prevent that from happening. And we will continue to stand with tens of thousands of Oregonians ready to take every lawful step to ensure that the JC/PCP project is never constructed.State Senator Jeff Golden, District 3State Representative Pam Marsh, District 5