Portland, OR - Plans for a major West Coast liquified natural gas pipeline and export terminal hit a snag Tuesday with federal regulators after a years-long legal battle that has united tribes, environmentalists and a coalition of residents on Oregon's rural southern coast against the proposal. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that energy company Pembina could not move forward with the proposal without a key clean water permit from the state of Oregon. The U.S. regulatory agency gave its tentative approval to the pipeline last March as long as it secured the necessary state permits, but the Canadian pipeline company has been unable to do so.
A Washington state appeals court has ruled against a company that wants to build the largest coal export terminal in the country on the Columbia River. The decision could be a fatal blow for a controversial project that could have increased global greenhouse gas emissions. Western states with coal mining operations have been pushing for an export terminal that would allow them to send their coal by rail to the coast and then ship it to China. A coal terminal was proposed on the banks of the Columbia River in Longview, Washington, but the state opposed it on several grounds.
People living near the docking platform of the Dominion Cove Point terminal were alarmed on Sunday afternoon to see an LNG tanker headed toward the shallows of their beach. The Shell liquefied natural gas carrier Gemmata arrived February 25–three days early–at the vicinity of the docking platform for the Cove Point LNG export terminal, which is in the commissioning process before starting full operations. About 4pm, the 290-meter-long Gemmata left the Chesapeake Bay’s northward shipping channel and entered the cove just before its final destination at the LNG terminal’s offshore platform. Then the tanker pulled back out and anchored off the point. It’s still not clear why the Gemmata’s pilot took this course. He either performed a spectacular three-point parking maneuver–with a ship weighing thousands of tons–or simply took a wrong turn.
By Staff of Beyond Extreme Energy - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is a proven rubber stamp for fracked gas pipelines. In 30 years the FERC Commissioners have only rejected one pipeline project. Right now, FERC is operating without a Quorum – it only has 2 Commissioners, not the needed 3. Until a new FERC Commissioner is approved by the Senate, the agency cannot issue the Certificates needed to approve fracked gas pipelines, compressors or LNG exports subject to its jurisdiction. This means communities are in a rare moment of protection. We need Congress to keep FERC in this power vacuum until steps are taken to replace it with an agency that’s about a just transition off fossil fuels. Any time now, President Trump will nominate new commissioners for Senate consideration and confirmation. Help us call on Congress to stop or delay Trump’s nominations, and to push for what we really need—a new agency dedicated to facilitating a just transition to an exploitation-free energy system based on locally controlled and distributed renewable sources.
By Staff of We Are Cove Point - After being invited by We Are Cove Point, a team from Earthworks traveled to Cove Point in early February, bringing a FLIR camera operator all the way from Colorado. FLIR cameras are designed to pick up heat and gaseous emissions invisible to the naked eye. Click here for more details on Earthworks’ FLIR camera program. FLIR cameras can show that emissions are occurring, but not the volume or type of emissions. In the words of the FLIR operator who came to Cove Point, the resulting footage shows “a noticeable non-heat plume above the point source, and it went quite high into the air. There is a possibility that this emissions plume contains toxic volatile organic compounds, and it definitely contains greenhouse gasses. It is usually understood that between 92 and 97 percent of combusted point sources are actually burned. The rest, particularly methane in the context of gas-fired compressor turbine exhaust, emits without being burned off fully.
By Joel Connelly for Seattle PI - The state of Washington will not allow its aquatic lands along the Columbia River to be used in a major coal export terminal, a decision announced late Tuesday by outgoing State Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark. The decision by Goldmark deals a serious blow to the Millennium Bulk Terminals project, which has already experienced the bankruptcy filing of its parent firm Arch Coal. It is the latest of several blows to the fossil fuel industry in the Northwest. The lands commissioner turned down a request by Northwest Alloys, a subsidiary of Alcoa, to sublease state-owned aquatic lands to Millennium.
By Mark Hand for DC Media Group - Local police conducted a sobriety checkpoint in southern Calvert County, Md., to ensure construction workers at the Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project, owned by Dominion Resources Inc., were not drunk or using drugs as they headed to work. The early morning checkpoint occurred on the same day that Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) employees traveled to Calvert County for a routine inspection of the Cove Point construction project.
By Sarah van Gelder for Yes Magazine - The last few weeks and months have seen major victories for communities resisting oil trains, coal terminals, pipelines, and strip mines. This is big news at a time of an out-of-control climate crisis—this July and August tied as the hottest months ever recorded. Could these stories represent our best shot at taking on the giant corporations and banks that are trying to build new fossil fuel projects at a time when we need to be phasing out carbon-based fuels?
By Erin Baldassari for The Mercury News - OAKLAND -- During a raucous four-hour meeting Monday night, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to ban the storage and handling of coal and petroleum coke in the city. Councilmember Desley Brooks was absent from the meeting. Hundreds of people filled the council chambers, spilling into overflow rooms, and offered several hours of commentary frequently punctuated by cheers, applause and outbursts from audience members on both sides of the issue.
By Eleanor Goldfield for Act Out. This week:--- 'tis better to give than to receive – but who are you giving to and who's really receiving the gift? With the help of non-profit employee and activist, Anna Kaminski, we dive into the non-profit industry and peek behind that shiny charity veneer. Next up, from coast to coast, let's talk the fossil fuel industry – fracking, oil trains, export terminals oh my. Activists are making gains but they need your help in taking this fight up to the next level. But first, you have to lose it – a paradigm lost. @ActOutOnOccupy facebook.com/ActOutOnOccupy occupy.com/actout