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County can deny LNG pipeline, court says

Clatsop County can deny siting approval of Oregon LNG’s liquefied natural gas pipeline through the county, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

Clatsop County commissioners had voted 4 to 1 in March of last year to deny the pipeline, and Oregon LNG asked the court to nix that decision.

“Oregon LNG attempted to subvert the democratic process by challenging the right of Clatsop County to take a second look at a dangerous pipeline proposal,” says Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper. The court decision “casts serious doubt on the viability of Oregon LNG,” he says.

The rapid expansion of natural gas drilling in the United States, made possible by new technologies including hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” has caused a glut of domestic gas supply and slashed natural gas costs. That’s prompted LNG companies to propose exporting domestic gas on the Oregon Coast, a 360-degree turn from earlier proposals to site import facilities on the coast.