DENVER, CO – The decision of Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality to deny certification of the Jordan Cove LNG terminal under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act represents a misuse of this federal law to appease a small but vocal group of parties opposed to this project in Oregon, according to the Western States and Tribal Nations (WSTN).
The use of section 401 by an Oregon state regulatory body blocks the Jordan Cove LNG project and impedes the ability of other western states and tribal nations to develop approaches and solutions toward fostering tribal self-determination, promoting rural economic development, and mitigating natural gas flaring, the group said today.
“Opportunities to export natural gas to global markets supports access to clean, affordable supplies of energy while continuing to build robust outcomes for our rural communities," said Laura Nelson, the Utah Governor's energy advisor and executive director of the Governor's Office of Energy Development. "Creating a west coast option for LNG exports can provide a clear pathway to realizing these values.”
“Decisions made on Jordan Cove in Oregon impact rural economies in western Colorado” said Rose Pugliese, Mesa County Commissioner. “For us, this is an issue of job creation and rural economic development.”
The WSTN is a comprehensive and broad group of western stakeholders impacted by this decision. WSTN is a collaboration of county, state and tribal governments formed to ensure the voices and interests of all stakeholders are heard in regulatory and permitting processes impacting energy and resource development in the west. Partners in WSTN include the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development, the Ute Indian Tribe and the western Colorado counties of Garfield, Mesa, Moffat and Rio Blanco Counties.
In a statement releasing a comprehensive report and establishing the mission of Western States and Tribal Nations in April 2019, the Ute Tribal Business Committee stated, “Through the construction of liquefied natural gas pipelines and a west coast export terminal, such as the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal, Ute Energy can gain access to new energy markets that will alleviate the ongoing marketing and sales inefficiencies. This would also increase the Ute Indian Tribe’s income and assist in its ongoing efforts of economic development and providing essential services for its tribal members.”
Western States and Tribal Nations is a unique, trans-national initiative led by sovereign tribal nations, states and counties that advocates for creating rural economic development, advancing tribal self-determination and reducing global emissions through the export of cleaner natural gas from western North American basins to international markets.