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Oregon LNG Appeal Struck Down By Oregon Supreme Court

The state’s highest court ruled Thursday it would not review a case brought forward by developers seeking to create a liquefied natural gas terminal in Warrenton.

The Oregon Pipeline Company, also known as Oregon LNG, filed an appeal Dec. 12 asking the Oregon Supreme Court to review the Clatsop County Commission initial denial of a land use application in March 2011.

“This is a resounding victory for the citizens of Clatsop County,” stated Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of the conservation group Columbia Riverkeeper. “Oregon LNG attempted to subvert the democratic process by challenging the right of Clatsop County to review a dangerous pipeline proposal. (The) decision casts serious doubt on the viability of Oregon LNG.”

Cheryl Johnson, an estuary coordinator with the group and Clatsop County resident, said that the LNG developer had no future in the county.

“Oregon LNG has no future in our county, where people value local jobs, a healthy river, and the safety of our community much more than empty promises from Oregon LNG,” Johnson said.

The case began in Clatsop County Circuit Court with Judge Philip Nelson ruling in favor of the commissioners’ decision. In October, the Oregon Court of Appeals also upheld the board’s vote to deny the developer’s application.

Thursday’s decision upholds the October ruling made by the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The permit would have allowed Oregon Pipeline to build a 41-mile pipeline through the county with a terminal in Warrenton.

The legal matter began with the commissioner’s decision to reverse a decision made by the previous board in November 2010. The prior board was made up of three different members and had initially granted approval for the pipeline application.

“The bottom line is the project does not meet the public safety and salmon protections in Clatsop County,” VandenHeuvel said in the group’s press release.

The Supreme Court decision Thursday now clears the way for Clatsop County commissioners to make a final decision on the developer’s application.

In a press release sent out by the county, County Manager Scott Somers said the board could act on the land use application within a month.

This story originally appeared in Daily Astorian.

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