DeFazio, Wu and Hooley React to FERC LNG Response
April 2, 2008
Washington D.C. – This week, Democratic members of the Oregon House delegation received a response to a letter sent last month to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The letter, spearheaded by Representative DeFazio (D-Springfield), and signed by Representatives Wu (D-Portland), Blumenauer (D-Portland), and Hooley (D-Salem), was sent to support Gov. Kulongoski’s request for an improved licensing procedure for liquid natural gas (LNG) facilities. FERC’s response said they intend to let the market decide whether any of the five pending LNG projects in the state go forward. The Representatives responses to the letter are below:
“FERC basically blew off the concerns expressed in our letter. Now, the state of Oregon is going to waste a huge amount of time investigating several plans, at great cost to state taxpayers, most of which will not even come to fruition,” DeFazio said. “I don’t believe Oregonians should have their concerns railroaded by a deregulated market, unchallenged by an ideological laissez-faire FERC.” “I am not satisfied with FERC’s assessment of Oregon’s ability to participate in the LNG siting process,” said Wu. “I will continue to fight for increased state and local authority, and meaningful input from the affected communities. FERC’s narrow focus ignores the larger compounding impact of these facilities on the local community, industry, and public services.” “Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the state of Oregon signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate review of wave energy projects in state waters off the coast of Oregon. Clearly FERC, when it wants to, has the ability and interest in working with the State - which makes their dismissal of our request on LNG all that more disappointing,” Hooley said. “Essentially they are saying they will approve as many projects as they see fit and Oregon will have to deal with the consequences as they arise.”
Below, is the letter sent to FERC:
Joseph T. Kelliher
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
88 First St, NE
Washington DC 20426
Dear Chairman Kelliher:
We are writing in general support of Governor Kulongoski’s February 14th letter to you regarding the licensing of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Oregon. Like the Governor, we too have not taken an absolute position on LNG facilities in Oregon, but we are concerned about the inadequacy of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing process.
We believe the Governor has raised some very important concerns that the FERC should not ignore. Our constituents deserve clear answers to the questions the Governor has raised and we implore FERC to provide those answers.
As you know, the proposed LNG facilities in Oregon do pose some significant environmental and safety challenges, while the question of need is being left to the market to answer. We would appreciate FERC’s insight and expertise into the question of need, before our constituents are asked to grapple with the safety and environmental obstacles.
And finally, we encourage FERC to work collaboratively with the State of Oregon because we believe that there are several state agencies that can offer significant resources regarding the question of siting an LNG facility in Oregon. To not engage these readily available resources that can help you work though the unique challenges posed by Oregon’s coastline, mountains and endangered species would be a missed opportunity.
We urge FERC to engage the State of Oregon in resolving their concerns as quickly as possible.
Peter A. DeFazio David Wu
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Darlene Hooley Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress Member of Congress