Guv exhorts feds to revisit Jordan Cove
Sen. Ray Scott takes the credit for Hickenlooper writing letter
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider its rejection of the Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector Pipeline Project sought by Western Slope energy companies.
Hickenlooper wrote to the commission on Monday, the deadline to seek a reconsideration, citing the agreements between the project and two customers in Japan, which would buy natural gas from northwest Colorado’s Piceance Basin.
The commission last month turned down the project, saying it hadn’t demonstrated interest from purchasers.
Jordan Cove and its associated pipeline are “the only (liquefied natural gas) facility on the West Coast that would directly link Colorado to new energy markets,” Hickenlooper wrote to regulatory commission Chairman Norman C. Bay.
“It is important for shippers and domestic natural gas producers to continue to access markets for natural gas, including the Asian Pacific countries which comprise the fastest growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) market in the world,” Hickenlooper wrote.
Veresen Inc., the company seeking the project, says it now has preliminary agreements for at least half of its planned initial capacity.
Veresen said last week that it had reached a preliminary agreement with ITOCHU Corp., which is based in Japan and does business in 65 countries.
JERA Co., established by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co., in March tentatively agreed to buy at least 1.5 million metric tons of LNG a year from Jordan Cove for 20 years.
The West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association praised Hickenlooper’s “decisive leadership” in writing to the regulatory commission and in representing the state in Asia.
Hickenlooper carried a message that “Colorado is open and unlocked for business and that Jordan Cove is a critical storefront,” the organization said.
The $7 billion Jordan Cove terminal on Coos Bay by Veresen Inc. is expected to unite western Colorado and Oregon with one of the U.S.’ most important allies in Asia while meeting environmental objectives, West Slope association said.
State Sen. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, who criticized Hickenlooper earlier this month for not seeking to gain the support of his fellow Democrat, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, took credit for Hickenlooper’s letter.
“Hmm, so how about those critics?” Scott said. “Works every time.”
Brown didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry as to her position on the project. She previously has taken none.
The oil and gas association noted the Jordan Cove effort has been bipartisan, pointing out that it is supported by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, both Republicans, as well as “a diverse coalition of Colorado’s regional elected officials.”
Scott said he plans to seek a vote in the Legislature on a resolution of support for the Jordan Cove project.