Time to Break out the Champagne — 'Endless Pressure, Endlessly Applied' Defeats LNG Pipeline and Terminal
By Susan Jane Brown
After more than two years of silence, I was surprised to receive an email notification on Tuesday that the Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility proposed for Oregon’s southern coast was back on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) monthly Commission meeting agenda. What was this about? Was FERC going to deny our pending Petition for Rehearing, giving Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector the green light to start building the terminal and pipeline?
And then, the biggest surprise I’ve had in a long time: a press release from FERC stating that the agency “today vacated, without prejudice, an order authorizing Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P. to site, construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Coos County, Oregon, and the related Pacific Connector pipeline from the terminal to a point near the Oregon/California border.”
Did I just read that right? FERC pulled its approval of not only the LNG terminal but also the pipeline? According to FERC’s Order accompanying the press release, it sure did. Time to break out the champagne and celebrate.
FERC’s Order explains that due to “changes in market conditions,” and Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector’s corresponding pronouncements that it intended to change the purpose of the facilities from importing LNG to exporting domestic natural gas to foreign markets, the basic assumptions leading to FERC’s approval of the project were no longer valid. Consequently, Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector needed to go back to the drawing board and start over.
Clearly, this is a major setback for the proponents of the Jordan Cove LNG terminal and Pacific Connector pipeline. Opponents like WELC and our clients, meanwhile, should congratulate themselves on a job well done. Many people have worked for many years in many ways to bring to light the problems with this ill-conceived project—it has truly been a multifaceted group effort, demonstrating that the power of working together can accomplish great things. Despite this significant victory, our fight is far from over.
The Jordan Cove terminal and Pacific Connector pipeline developers have already filed initial paperwork with FERC to commence the environmental and fiscal review of an export facility, and continue to move forward in their efforts to obtain the necessary state and local permits for both facilities. Other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Marine Fisheries Service continue to slowly work through their legal obligations to consider the environmental impacts of the project.
Western Environmental Law Center will continue to fight the Jordan Cove LNG terminal and the Pacific Connector pipeline until the bitter end. We believe that the battle hymn of the conservation visionary Brock Evans, “endless pressure, endlessly applied," will confound and ultimately scuttle misguided boondoggles such as the Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector project.
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WELC attorney Susan Jane Brown has been battling the Jordan Cove LNG proposal for 3 years. We are working with local residents and conservationists who are unwilling to see Oregon communities, habitats and watersheds sacrificed in the unsustainable drive for energy development. For more information on WELC's work battling the LNG facility, click here.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
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