TYPE: Natural Gas
OPPOSITION: Oregon and Washington state governments; Columbia Riverkeeper; the Nez Perce Tribe; Columbia River Business Alliance; Oregon Sierra Club; local residents
BACKGROUND: Bradwood Landing was a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the Columbia River in Bradwood, Oregon, and a complementary gas transmission pipeline that would run from the site to Cowlitz County, Oregon. It was announced in 2005, and was indefinitely suspended in May 2010. The project would have a send-out capacity of 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Bradwood Landing was projected in 2008 to cost $580 million to construct, with estimates reaching $650 million in May 2010 when the project was suspended.
Opposition to the project, through public pressure campaigns, administrative permit challenges and lawsuits, was especially fierce. In mid-2010, Houston-based Northern Star Natural Gas filed for bankruptcy and officially suspended its Bradwood Landing LNG project, also to be located on the Columbia River. At the time, CEO Paul Soames stated that “[e]xtended delays in the processing of state and federal permits for Bradwood Landing and the difficult investment environment have forced us to suspend development.” Environmental groups lauded their efforts to challenge permits and stall the project, which after 6 years and $100 million bled the project dry of its financing and caused investors to walk away.
When Northern Star Natural Gas declared bankruptcy, Olivia Schmidt, anti-LNG organizer for the Oregon Sierra Club, told the Daily Emerald that the anti-Bradwood Landing grassroots movement was largely responsible for the company's bankruptcy. “The reality is this company, without this opposition, would have constructed this thing in 2007,” Schmidt said. “Because of our opposition, they weren't able to keep their timeline and eventually ran out of money.”
On November 4, 2010, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled against the county’s prior approval of the project, putting perhaps the final nail in the coffin for the already-suspended project.
SOURCES: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (http://www.deq.state.or.us/nwr/LNG/BradwoodLanding/bradwood.htm);
Oregon Department of Energy (http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/SITING/LNGTerminals.shtml; http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/SITING/BLLNG.shtml); Daily Emerald (http://www.dailyemerald.com/news/company-suspends-plan-to-build-oregon-lng-pipeline-1.1480057);
OregonLive.com (http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/05/ideology_prevails_over_facts_f.html; http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2010/05/backers_pull_plug_on_bradwood.html; http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2010/05/lng_post.html);
OPB News (http://news.opb.org/article/17585-bradwood-landing-decision-may-affect-other-lng-projects/);
Clatstop County (http://www.co.clatsop.or.us/default.asp?pageid=406&deptid=5);
Oregon Business (http://www.oregonbusiness.com/articles/20/266)
Last Updated: November 30, 2010