Jordan Cove Opens Downtown Office

This article was in Thursday’s (January 24th, 2019) Herald and News
Written By: Gerry O’Brien, H&N Editor 

Sticking to its promise to open a storefront office in downtown Klamath Falls, Jordan Cove LNG and its parent company, Pembina of Calgary, Canada, cut the ribbon Wednesday with about 50 onlookers crowded into the lobby of the historic Main Street Medical-Dental Building.

Harry Andersen, Pembina’s senior vice president for external affairs and chief legal officer, said three people will staff the office, but it could grow to 10 as the need arises if the pipeline moves forward.

Jordan Cove is hoping to build a 239-mile gas pipeline from Malin to Coos Bay to feed a terminal that will convert the gas to liquid for shipment to overseas markets.

A host of public hearings are being held in 2019 for permits for the $10 billion project. The most recent by the Oregon Department of State Lands was held along the pipeline route and drew more than 300 people at the Klamath Falls hearing and about 2,000 in Medford. Deadline for comments on this permit is Feb. 3.

Safety assurance

Andersen assured the audience at the ribbon-cutting that safety is top-of-the-mind of the company that operates 12,000 miles of gas pipelines in the U.S. and Canada.

“My request of you is that you support us,” Andersen said, noting that “there are less-educated opinions out there” that oppose the pipeline and question its safety.

Most recently the Jackson County board of commissioners sent a letter to State Lands seeking denial of the permit.

The commission cited threats to water quality, landowners being forced to sell under eminent domain laws, and small financial benefits to the county.

“All indications are that the benefits to Jackson County will be extremely minimal, while the costs to our wetlands and water bodies is high,” the letter said. (See related story).

Tax base

Meanwhile, Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot touted the improved tax base to this county with the pipeline.

“The tax revenue alone would pay for half of the yearly deficit we have with our sheriff’s department,” he said. Also, the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce has voted in support of the project.

According to Pembina, the project would create 4,000 to 6,000 jobs during the pipeline’s peak construction and 8,500 related or spin-off jobs; plus 1,000 jobs while the export terminal is being built. More than 200 people would have permanent jobs once construction is done, mainly at the export facility. The project would generate $60 million annually in tax revenue for the Southern Oregon counties.

If approved for construction, Klamath County would see 52 miles of the total 239 for the project. To date, 80 to 85 percent of affected Klamath County landowners have signed easements or right-of-way agreements.

Andersen said that along the route, some 69 percent of the landowners have signed agreements, and he expects that to rise to 80 percent in the coming weeks.

Doing business

“It’s a reflection about how Pembina goes about doing business. We don’t do projects, we do business. What that means is, we work hard at being a good member of the community and understanding what the concerns are,” Andersen said.

“I would invite anyone to do their due diligence and look at our website and the regulatory websites and find out what the project is all about. We are open, we have nothing to hide. If you have a question, please stop by the office (at 901 Main St.) and we’ll try to answer it,” he said. He also said he is available to speak with the Jackson County commissioners at any time to try to allay their fears.

Regarding the concern the pipeline will harm the innumerable bodies of water it plans to cross…“It will not,” he said. “For 65 years we have installed pipelines. Today, we cross some 6,000 bodies of water and have not harmed any of them. We are very good at this.”

The company uses “trenchless technology” to drill under bodies of water, down some 40 to 100 feet depending on the geology. It also has a setback requirement from the water before drilling.

People concerned about leaks need to know that the pipeline carries natural gas, Andersen said.

“Gas is a vapor. If there is a leak, it evaporates. It won’t harm the river,” he said. The company moves 6 billion cubic feet of gas each day and has had 9 million personnel safety hours without one loss to injury.

To read this article and others on the Herald and News website, please refer to the link below: 
Jordan Cove Opens Downtown Office (H&N)

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