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Friday, September 23, 2011

LNG Export Could Move to Oregon

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Okay, so this post is about Coos Bay. But it's still important.

When people think of liquefied natural gas and fracking - tapping natural gas reserves in shale rock, a technique that has made headlines for its water-polluting methods — most minds are drawn to the Northeast. The Northwest has its own dirty energy and water pollution issues to tackle. Right?

From the looks of it, not for long. On Wednesday, Coos Bay company Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas announced it is the process of submitting an application to the U.S. Department of Energy to export cooled natural gas liquid out of the bay. This follows the March announcement by Jordan Cove executive Bob Braddock that LNG exports were a "stupid idea". In addition to submitting this application, a Jordan Cove CEO is presenting at a LNG export conference this fall. Looks like a 180 to me.

LNG is not a new idea to Oregon, though. The state is home to a handful of LNG developers, however none of them had considered exporting until now.

One of the overarching draws towards LNG development is independence from foreign oil. While cultivating domestic gas sources sounds appealing, the environmental and economical effects don't go down as smoothly. For now. I expect a slew of drawn out debate of this first step in LNG export in Oregon.

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