Federal Regulators Reject Pipeline Plan in Oregon

Recently, we posted an article about a lawsuit which was filed against FERC by the Delaware Riverkeeper and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network which alleged, among other things, that FERC has not rejected any pipeline plans submitted to it for review. However, more recently, on March 11, 2016, FERC issued an Order denying the application for a Certificate in connection with the Jordan Cove Energy Project in Coos County, Oregon. The project had proposed to site, construct and operate a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export terminal and associated facilities. In the decision letter, FERC indicated that the project developer had failed to demonstrate a need for the pipeline as the developers had not signed any formal contracts to sell the gas it intended to move to the Asian markets. Further, the developers had failed to negotiate easements with 95% of the property owners along the 232 mile pipeline.

This rejection of the pipeline in Oregon is a positive sign for residents of Pennsylvania who are fighting against pipeline companies. In light of this decision, it will be interesting to further monitor FERC and whether its long history of approving pipeline projects may be changing. Regardless, this decision demonstrates that there remains hope that pipelines can be successfully challenged.

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