Just when I thought it was safe to unplug for the day. Some news from Astoria:
Congressman David Wu says on Sept. 15 he will introduce the Local Control for Energy and Environment Act, which will give state governments—not federal agencies—final say in the siting of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is sponsoring the companion bill in the Senate.
“I’ve heard time and time again from small business owners, farmers, fishermen, and parents that they are confused and frustrated by the multiple LNG projects and timelines, and more importantly, that they do not feel like their voices are being heard,” said Wu. “The time has come to put the people of Oregon back in the driver’s seat when it comes to deciding whether or not LNG is welcome here.”
Wu is running for re-election this year against Republican Rob Cornilles.
State governments used to have final authority on decisions regarding LNG facilities. But the 2005 Energy Policy Act changed that and put the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the driver’s seat on permitting the construction, expansion, or operation of any facility that exports, imports, or processes LNG. The state of Oregon, in fact, has sued FERC over the federal approval of the Bradwood Landing LNG facility 20 miles east of Astoria on the Columbia River.
To return LNG siting power to state governments, the Local Control for Energy and Environment Act would nullify Section 311 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
I think Wyden tried (and failed to move) this type of legislation before with support from then-senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Wonder if this bill will have a different fate.