Commissioners nearing MOU on gas pipeline
Moffat County commissioners say they’re close to signing a memorandum of understanding that would help bring part of a cross-country natural gas pipeline through Moffat County and the Western Slope.
The pipeline would be part of the Jordan Cove Project in Oregon, feeding a new liquid natural gas refining operation there for shipment across the globe, especially to Asian markets.
“We met with a Japanese representative that we’ve met a couple times in the past,” Commissioner Don Cook said of a recent trip he took to Washington D.C.
Commissioners said the parent company behind the project, Pembina Pipeline Corporation, wants to ship liquid natural gas while mostly avoiding the Panama Canal.
Commissioner Ray Beck said the estimated $1.5 billion construction cost may provide a host of economic benefits over the long term, but an environmental impact study for the Moffat County area probably won’t be done until October.
“Hopefully, it will be a great economic impact,” Beck said.
Beck said the pipeline project is already dealing with some 670 landowners.
Most of the natural gas will come from Garfield and Rio Blanco counties, but Cook said Mesa, Garfield, Rio Blanco, and Moffat counties will likely join with other amenable Native American tribes in Utah.
Organizers from Oregon and with EcoFlight organized a rally in Grand Junction in September and have attended public meetings before the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission in opposition to the pipeline, according to reporting from the Grand Junction Sentinel.
According to Jordan Cove’s website, the company “has undertaken extensive cultural, biological, and botanical surveys,” many of which were to study the pipeline’s effects on endangered species.
“These include surveys for threatened and endangered species and their habitat, as well as botanical, mollusk, amphibian, reptile, and fungi surveys along the entire pipeline route and at the LNG Terminal site,” according to the website. “These surveys provide the basis to design the project, in consultation with federal and state agencies, to avoid and/or minimize impacts to these resources.”