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North Coast | Environment & Forest Defense

Exporting LNG Starts By Drilling Somewhere, Then Everywhere
by Tomas DiFiore
Friday Apr 11th, 2014 12:28 PM
Fracking is a runaway industry, running away with our heritage and our future. There are billion dollar loans and international trade agreements, liens on private landowner's properties, and a toxic legacy not well understood. How long will children suffer ill health effects from frac related air pollution and contaminated water? How long does it take for Green Energy Refugees across America to recover financially from selling property and homes at steep intervals below market value to escape with their lives and a hope to recover to good health? How long before ecosystems return to an equilibrium of services and functions that flow from clean natural abundance? How long before the impacts of spills, and toxic ground level ozone, contamination of watersheds and aquifers, and toxic outflows to near shore waters are cleaned? How long to pay back the next bail-out of Wall Street when the Shale Bubble bursts?
800_pge_gas_transmission_lines.jpg original image (1200x733)
Southern Oregon Exports Of LNG From US and Canada

Ban Natural Gas (LNG) Exports Today April 11, 2014 Call your Senator at 202-609-9041
Today by 5pm CALL YOUR SENATOR it's easy! (know your zip code)

Q: How is exporting LNG from Coos Bay, Oregon, in the public interest?
A: The Pacific Connector Pipeline Project is required to develop and submit a complete and comprehensive project application for the proposed pipeline system to its regulator, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The FERC staff will develop an environmental impact statement using the National Environmental Policy Application process; the FERC also evaluates project impacts and benefits and makes a recommendation to the Commissioners. The Commissioners ultimately decide if the project is in the public interest and, if so, issues a conditional Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. The Jordan Cove project will go through the same FERC process, but their project also requires an additional license from the Department of Energy to export LNG to foreign markets. These three federal authorizations, if granted, would demonstrate that both projects are in the public interest. Q&A with the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project (PCPP)

Blah, Blah, Blah

The Pacific Connector project includes interconnects to Williams' majority-owned Northwest Pipeline near Myrtle Creek, Ore., Avista Corporation's distribution system near Shady Cove, Ore., as well as Pacific Gas and Electric Company's gas transmission system, Tuscarora Gas Transmission's system, and Gas Transmission Northwest's system, all located near Malin, Ore.

Northern California Coastal counties residents' concerns include the potential that Humboldt Eel River Basin natural gas would be fed through the PGE 400/401 north-south mainline for export from Jordan Cove, Coos Bay, Oregon.

February 21, 2014
In Coos Bay, Oregon, tensions rise, as a Canadian energy infrastructure company has been approved to export natural gas to its subsidiary, the proposed Jordan Cove Energy Project at Coos Bay. Veresen Inc. announced that Canada’s National Energy Board approved the company for a 25-year long-term natural gas export license to Jordan Cove. After years of trying to convince politicians and the public that we really need to import LNG to fulfill our gas needs, the companies admit the terminal would not fulfill any domestic need, but would function to export Canadian and US resources and raise the price of our domestic gas.

Jordan Cove submitted its enterprise zone application to CCD on Tuesday morning, said Margaret Barber, CCD community development director for Coos and Curry counties. If the application is approved, Jordan Cove would be exempt from property taxes for 15 years. That can only happen if it’s approved by the four enterprise zone sponsors: Coos County, the International Port of Coos Bay and the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend. See this February 19, 2014 article.

Instead of property taxes, Jordan Cove would pay a “community service fee” starting at $12 million every year for four years and increasing every year thereafter, up to $26 million a year in 2034.Among the items in contention: how these funds could be distributed. Half would go to the South Coast Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) private, nonprofit corporation, which has already been created.

What's that old industry slogan? If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em!

Since the 1970s, plans to construct liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in California have been defeated one after another. As a result, multi-national energy interests turned their sights south to Mexico and north to Oregon. In 2008, the Costa Azul LNG terminal in Baja, Mexico, became the first LNG facility to be completed on the West Coast of North America, and until recently, there were three proposals for massive LNG terminals in Oregon. A proposal for LNG in Oregon failed when the company declared bankruptcy in 2010 and two proposals now remain in Oregon: one at the mouth of the Columbia River and the other in Coos Bay.

The Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project is the pipeline portion of the proposal that would run from the coastal terminal (Jordan Cove) at Coos Bay, to the pipeline hub at Malin, Oregon on the California border. Pacific Connector is a joint venture of Williams, PG&E and Veresen (formerly Fort Chicago Energy Partners).

Does Humboldt County need 80 wells to produce gas for local electrical generation or heating needs, even with growth projections? Foothills/INNEX now holds leases on 12,000 acres and plans 80 new horizontal wells, 16 pads, (with 5 wells each) – all to supply a 12 inch line to the Humboldt Bay Power Station which generates 163 MW - just doesn't add up. Heating uses the largest share of natural gas, currently imported from SoCal.

The California Air Resources Board has stated, “According to climate scientists, California and the rest of the developed world will have to cut emissions by 80 percent from today’s levels to stabilize the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and prevent the most severe effects of global climate change.”

Export possibilities? The Strategic Plan Update to the Humboldt General Plan Energy Element, put forth through the Redwood Coast Energy Authority - proposes wind, solar, efficiency, biomass, and renewables.

“The ‘RePower Humboldt’ Plan Pivots on Local Renewable Resources Sep 20, 2012, The joint RePower Humboldt Strategic Plan projects that by 2030, local renewable energy could account for 98 percent of the county’s electricity demand, displace 33 percent of its heating load and supply 13 percent of its transportation needs.”

“By 2030, Humboldt County could reduce its energy related greenhouse gas emissions by 45%, generate $50 million dollars per year in additional economic output, create 300 new jobs and substantially increase the level of energy security for the region, according to the analysis. More than two years in the making, the 58-page Schatz/RCEA framework starts from the premise that energy efficiency should be maximized as the county’s “cheapest option.” The plan estimates that efficiency measures could reduce energy demand by as much as 25%.”

Humboldt generates electricity locally by necessity because it is a “transmission island”. The statewide grid only connects 60-70 MW to Humboldt County, which is about half of the demand. a 12” pipe that comes over from the Central Valley and 10% of that is pulled locally from the Eel River Valley. Total gas production in the county in 2010 was 785 MMCF (million cubic feet). Active gas wells are concentrated in the Tompkins Hill gas field and additional fields are being developed in the Grizzly Bluff area near Alton.

Ban Natural Gas (LNG) Exports Today April 11, 2014 Call your Senator at 202-609-9041
Today CALL YOUR SENATOR it's easy! (know your zip code)

Thanks to Americans Against Fracking for the informative script in just a couple of minutes time anyone can have input to halt Fracked Gas Exports.

Tell Congress: "As a constituent, I want my Senator to oppose S. 2083 and all efforts to export gas abroad. We should put U.S. communities over oil and gas profits."

Jordan Cove LNG terminal is a project of Canadian company, Veresen. The Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline is a project of Williams and California-based PG&E Corporation.” The 235-mile, 36-inch high pressured gas pipeline would originate at the proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal in Coos Bay/North Bend, then cross through Coos, Douglas, Jackson and Klamath Counties, ending at Malin, Oregon.”

“The proposed pipeline would cross 379 bodies of water in the Coos, Coquille, Umpqua, Rogue and Klamath watersheds. These crossings would require extensive riparian cutting that would increase water temperatures in streams that already violate temperature standards for salmon and other cold-water fish.”

“The inadequacy of the energy company’s crossing plans for the Rogue River was recognized by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, but the company ignored them, and FERC approved their plans.”

“Approximately 80 miles of the pipeline would cross public land on the Rogue River/Siskiyou, Umpqua and Winema/Fremont National Forests as well as the Medford and Coos Bay Districts of the BLM. The pipeline would create a linear 90-foot wide clearcut, and in doing so, would degrade and fragment forest habitat for endangered species, increase erosion, cut forests in old-growth reserves and in and riparian reserves and open up a highway for invasive species and then the use of herbicides.”

Visit Rogue Riverkeeper at:

Rogue Riverkeeper got involved in fighting the Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector LNG proposal because of the project’s potential impacts on water quality, salmon and public forests in the Rogue Basin. For more specific information on the impacts to the Rogue Basin, take a look at this PDF.

New Fracking Regulations Will Reshape Any State’s Landscape

California, Colorado, New Mexico, North Carolina, oh just name a State - we all have more in common than most might think - surviving the Orwellian double-speak in any new regulations served to us by pocket change politicians in news stories, industry PR, symposiums, and industry funded Fracademia research papers. Fracking is a runaway industry, running away with our heritage and our future. There are billion dollar loans and international trade agreements, liens on private landowner's properties, and a toxic legacy not well understood. Bottled water and water buffaloes are not solutions to live by.

In July 2012, in the State in which I was born, North Carolina, a Democratic lawmaker pushed the wrong button, and voted to override a State Ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Overriding a veto from then Gov. Beverly Perdue, state lawmakers passed a law last year that tasked the newly constituted N.C. Mining and Energy Commission with creating new rules for oil and gas development.

“The rules would allow horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in the state, however, no permits can be issued until state leaders approve new rules. The commission is targeted to wrap up that rulemaking process next year, and the legislature is expected to review the proposed rules in 2015.”

New Governor Pat McCrory, North Carolina, on December 4, 2013 stated that the current five-year drilling plan, which dictates where oil and gas resources are available for leasing through 2017, does not allow for offshore drilling off the East Coast.

“In fact, one of my goals for energy exploration regarding natural gas exploration inland is we hope to get a permitting process started in 2015,” McCrory said at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center.

Regarding off-shore energy development, McCrory said he’s accepted the role of vice chair of the OuterContinental Shelf Governors Coalition. He said the group is advocating for federal permission for energy exploration off the coast of Virginia and the Carolinas. The coalition also includes Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama.

“This is what the offshore coalition is going to work on – to put pressure on the government to let us explore what’s there,” he said. “The sad news is, the oil companies are just moving elsewhere in the world, and they’re moving their equipment elsewhere and they’re moving their jobs elsewhere,” he said.

Well, they may be moving, but that's not why. Are you curious of events on our eastern shores? Offshore drilling surrounds the US (almost), visit Lee County Says No To Fracking:

The previous Governor Bev Perdue had said that, although she supported fracking, the 2012 legislation moved too quickly. In 2011, Governor Perdue had again vetoed a bill to Fast-Track Fracking saying it was unconstitutional.

In 2012, environmental advocates pushed Perdue to veto SB 820. They said safeguards should be put in place before fracking is legalized, not the other way around. The bill, Senate Bill 820, was backed by Republican leaders in the House and Senate, who said it would give state regulators up to two years to implement rules.

Governor Perdue had said: "This bill does not do enough to ensure that adequate protections for our drinking water, landowners, county and municipal governments, and the health and safety of our families will be in place before fracking begins."

Four vetoes by Perdue in Three consecutive days, and Monday morning's frac hot hustle became hurried.

A $60 million dollar tax break to the film industry garnered a needed Democrat's vote to override the veto. Other particulars are covered in this great piece:

The previous day's events were covered in every newspaper! But no more than two hours after the governor vetoed the fracking bill, Americans for Prosperity launched a robo-call campaign urging people to call legislators and tell them to vote for an override.

Then it happened, accidently. The North Carolina GOP-led Legislature voted to lift that state's ban on hydraulic fracturing. Republicans achieved the narrow victory after a Democratic lawmaker pushed the wrong button and voted to override the veto.

Historic Fracking Vote, Indeed

“The new law will reshape the state’s energy landscape by clearing creating an Energy and Mining Commission that will conduct studies and create new regulations to govern natural gas production through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The commission would complete its work by October 2014. The legislature would then have to take a separate vote at that time to approve the Energy and Mining Commission’s work before drilling rigs and derricks could be permitted.”

But like the legislation itself, the vote to override was controversial. Rep. Becky Carney, a Democrat from Mecklenburg County who opposes fracking, pushed the wrong button and accidentally voted with Republicans to override the veto. A Republican maneuver prevented her from changing her vote, giving the GOP a historic one-vote margin of victory.

“The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the shale gas entrapped in the Deep River basin, a 150-mile long area under central North Carolina that extends to South Carolina, could supply the state's natural gas demands for more than five years.”

And that's how they sell it to us. America's Resources For America.

But how long do children suffer ill health impacted by fracking air pollution and contaminated water? How long does it take for Green Energy Refugees across America to recover financially from selling property and homes at steep intervals below market value to escape with their lives and a hope to recover to good health? How long before ecosystems return to an equilibrium of services and functions that flow from clean natural abundance? How long before the impacts of spills, and toxic ground level ozone, contamination of watersheds and aquifers, and toxic outflows to near shore waters are cleaned up? How long to pay back the next bail-out of Wall Street when the Shale Bubble bursts?

Familiar Argument, Different State, Another Governor

What is SB 4, but a rubber stamp of approval, studies are on the way, by next year.

1. the deadline for DOGGR to adopt its rules and regulations governing fracking wells, disclosure, and operations is January 1, 2015
2. the statewide EIR must be completed and certified July 15, 2015,

DOGGR will issues rules and regulations before a statewide EIR. Therefore, the new rules and regulations may be issued before fully assessing and accounting for the suite of potential significant environmental (impacts) and the effects posed by fracking.

Effects include mitigation measures, including site remediation and may include changing the surface flora and fauna and subsequent sustainable water cycle replenishment and usage.

In addition, DOGGR should prepare a separate EIR under CEQA for the development of its new regulations, just as CARB had to comply with CEQA in issuing the AB 32 Scoping Plan and Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

More California Counties are finding ways to ban fracking!

Congratulations to Butte County!
“WOW! Butte Co. Board of Supervisors votes to BAN Fracking! The BOS voted to have staff prepare an ordinance to ban fracking! First county in California - and they couldn't be prouder! The work is NOT DONE YET, however, as a vote indicating the will of the people will add validity to this strong stance by Butte elected officials. Thanks to Butte County Supes Steve Lambert, Maureen Kirk, Doug Teeter and Bill Connelly!”

“There are no reports of fracking yet in Butte County, which has only 26 active gas wells, some 200 abandoned wells, and hasn't received a new permit application for well drilling in 25 years. But county staffers said that preemptive action could prevent problems that might arise as drilling technology continues to evolve, and the debate Tuesday in Oroville, the county seat, reflects how quickly antipathy toward fracking has grown in California communities.”

Really more of this great article here, with slideshow:

Ban Fracking In California
Tomas DiFiore