Oil Change International

Exposing the true costs of fossil fuels

Report: First Comprehensive Analysis of Climate Impact of Jordan Cove LNG Terminal & Pacific Connector Pipeline


January 11, 2018

Lorne Stockman, lorne [at] priceofoil.org
David Turnbull, david [at] priceofoil.org
Hannah Sohl, hannah [at] rogueclimate.org

New Report Provides First Comprehensive Analysis of Climate Impact of Jordan Cove LNG Terminal & Pacific Connector Pipeline
Annual climate emissions would be equivalent to more than 15 Boardman coal plants

SALEM, OREGON — A new report released by Oil Change International details, for the first time, the full accounting of greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the proposed Jordan Cove LNG Export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas Pipeline project in Oregon.

The new report finds that the project would result in over 36.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year, some 15.4 times the emissions from Oregon’s last remaining coal-fired power plant, the Boardman Coal plant, which is set to be retired by the end of 2020 due to climate and air pollution concerns. When only considering the in-state emissions alone, the projects would still be the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 2020.

The report also finds that exported fracked gas (or LNG) will not replace dirtier fossil fuel sources like coal in Asia. In addition, it concludes that even with conservative estimates for methane leakage, exported liquified natural gas does not result in lower emissions than coal plants on a full lifecycle basis. Thus, the report argues, the full 36.8 million metric tons of CO2e must be viewed as additional pollution.

“The facts show that Jordan Cove will increase global emissions as it will increase the flow of fracked gas to world markets and undermine the clean energy transition,” said Lorne Stockman, Senior Research Analyst with Oil Change International and the lead report author. “The emissions associated with this project would dig a substantial hole, undermining Oregon’s efforts to lead on climate action.”

The report’s analysis finds that construction of the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector pipeline would make it impossible to achieve Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s goal to have Oregon’s climate reductions line-up with the targets of the Paris Accords, as well as the emission reduction goals enshrined by the Oregon legislature in 2007 and the goals being considered within the context of the proposed “Clean Energy Jobs Bill.” The project’s in-state emissions would constitute an increasingly large percentage of the overall emissions in the state while providing no actual energy supply for the state and contributing to unsustainable global emissions, undermining climate action in other regions.

The report is being released as hundreds rally in Salem under the auspices of the No LNG Exports coalition, a collection of organizations and community groups opposed to the project. The project, previously rejected by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), has encountered massive opposition along the pipeline route and terminal location in Coos Bay.

“Communities across Oregon and northern California have been fighting this fracked gas project for over a decade. It’s time that Governor Brown stands with our communities and stops Jordan Cove for good by utilizing her role on the Oregon State Lands Board or by directing state agencies to deny vital permits for the project,” said Hannah Sohl, Director of Rogue Climate.

Concerns about its climate impacts recently resulted in Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley reversing his previous support for the project and announcing his opposition in an op-ed in the Medford Mail-Tribune. His arguments against the project mirror the conclusions outlined in the new Oil Change International report.

“Whether it’s snowless winters, more extreme wildfire seasons, or invasive pine beetles, rural communities are already seeing the first impacts of climate change,” said Deb Evans, a Klamath County landowner who’s small-scale timber property would face eminent domain if the proposed pipeline is approved. “Industries that once thrived in rural Oregon are facing severe setbacks as the climate changes. This project would exacerbate climate change adding to an overwhelmingly devastating and costly impact to livelihoods while also threatening private property rights. We can’t have that in Oregon, or anywhere else today if we want a sustainable economy and healthy climate for future generations.”

“While the Trump administration’s regulators may be full steam ahead on fossil fuel projects, the state of Oregon has a critical opportunity to stand up for our communities and the climate, by doing whatever it can to stop Jordan Cove LNG. This report shows that to take action on climate, Oregon’s leadership has no choice but to reject this dangerous project and instead focus on creating good-paying jobs in rural Oregon in the expanding clean energy industry,” Sohl added.

The report can be found here: http://priceofoil.org/2018/01/11/jordan-cove-lng-and-pacific-connector-pipeline-greenhouse-gas-emissions/



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