I guess Oregon LNG didn’t call “no take-backs” before three new Clatsop County commissioners were sworn in this week. The new gang is already showing a less favorable leaning on liquefied natural gas than the commissioners they replaced (as promised in the May 2010 elections).
On Wednesday, the new board voted 4-1 to withdraw and reconsider the previous board’s November approval of the Oregon LNG liquefied natural gas project pipeline. That’s a 117-mile pipe that would connect the LNG import terminal in Warrenton with a natural gas hub in Molalla. The LNG import terminal, as proposed, is worthless without it.
The decision to reconsider the November approval was made as soon as the new commissioners took office and just shy of a Friday filing deadline with the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.
As with every other Clatsop County LNG land-use approval, LNG opponent group Columbia Riverkeeper appealed the Oregon LNG pipeline approval to LUBA. After Wednesday’s withdrawal, the county has 90 days to reconsider Oregon LNG’s pipeline application. I was going to say maybe by March there won’t need to be a LUBA challenge, but Oregon LNG could always appeal if the board winds up going the other way next time around.
When I was reporting on Clatsop County’s land-use approvals for the Bradwood Landing LNG project (whose website is gone, by the way), most county leaders were operating under the assumption that the board’s decision would be appealed no matter what. Does that make you wonder who’s really making the decision in the long run?