RBC reps advocate for Jordan Cove

RBC | Rio Blanco County Commissioner Jeff Rector and Rio Blanco County Economic Development Coordinator were among a delegation of 16 members from the Western States and Tribal Nations and Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), attending a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hearing in Medford, Oregon, last week to give comments in support of the Jordan Cove Natural Gas Project.

According to a press release from the CEA, “the hearing is part of FERC’s process to take comments from the public on its Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the project, which includes a proposed 229-mile connector pipeline from near Malin, Oregon, to a planned natural gas liquefaction plant in Coos Bay, Oregon.”

The delegation testified that exporting natural gas produced in basins spanning Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and the Ute Tribal Nation, including the Piceance, Uintah and Green River basins, to Asian markets that now use dirtier fuel sources to meet their energy needs would provide environmental benefits worldwide as well as economic benefits to their communities.

Bart Haslem, County Commissioner, Uintah County, Utah, said:

“We can argue about global warming and climate change, but the facts are pollution is real. There is no arguing that. It knows no boundaries and doesn’t stop at state, county or country lines. It becomes a world problem. We have natural gas that is stranded and not used so it is being flared or vented to no benefit. We could be shipping this gas to other countries to replace other dirtier sources of energy and receive the benefits to our economies and environment.”

Rose Pugliese, County Commissioner for Mesa County, Colorado, said:

“The Jordan Cove project is a great economic driver for our northwest Colorado communities and will help stabilize our economies from fluctuations in the oil and gas market for over 20 years. It also helps us to then continue to diversify our economies and make our counties fiscally stronger.”

Bryan Hassler, Executive Director of the Wyoming Pipeline Authority, said:

“Minerals are a tremendous resource in the State of Wyoming and continue to help create jobs. This project helps Wyoming move its resources to the markets that can generate the greatest benefit for the most people, through tax revenues and the export of cleaner-burning natural gas to countries that need it to lower their carbon emissions.”

Eric Carlson, Executive Director of the Western Slope West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association, said: “This is a critical opportunity of the future of natural gas in the Piceance Basin, because it capitalizes on existing infrastructure that is underutilized.”

Jim Gleason of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Western District, said:

“Approval of this project would not only create jobs as carpenters and millwrights for people transitioning out of the coal industry, but training opportunities for tribal youth and other residents of rural Colorado and Utah. This would create hundreds of jobs in the state of Oregon, including 211 permanent jobs, not to mention ongoing maintenance and service on the pipeline and the plant. This is a winning project for the West.”

The Ute Tribal Business Committee, which did not attend the event, said:

“The Ute Indian Tribe supports Jordan Cove in its application before the FERC. The Tribe encourages support and collaboration to make the Jordan Cove LNG project a reality, because it will promote responsible environmental stewardship by producing cleaner-burning natural gas to be sold to countries across Asia that now use much dirtier fuels. At home, the project will advance tribal self-determination and boost economic development not only for our tribe, but for every community involved in the project,” the Ute Tribal Business Committee said in a statement.

The full list of attendees who gave comments:

Doug Hammond, Mayor, Vernal City, Utah    

Cheryl Meier, Executive Director, Uintah Transportation Special Service District (UT)

Bryan Hassler, Executive Director, Wyoming Pipeline Authority

Tom Jankovsky, County Commissioner, Garfield County (CO)   

John Justman, County Commissioner, Mesa County, (CO)   

Rose Pugliese, County Commissioner, Mesa County, (CO)   

Bart Haslem, County Commissioner, Uintah County (UT)   

Jeff Rector, County Commissioner, Rio Blanco County (CO)

Greg Todd, Commissioner, Duchesne County (UT)    

Makala Barton, Economic Development Coordinator, Rio Blanco County (CO)

Jordan Clark, Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development   

Jim Gleason, Carpenters Union (CO)     

Sylvia Wilkins, Economic Development Director, Uintah County (UT) 

Eric Carlson, Executive Director, West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association (CO)

Andrew Browning, Western States and Tribal Nations

Bryson Hull, VP of Communications and Media, Consumer Energy Alliance

Special to the Herald Times