Palomar suspends permitting; opponents declare victory on controversial LNG pipeline
Due to the Bradwood Landing bankruptcy and other mounting factors, Palomar Gas Transmission, LLC has placed its gas pipeline permit on indefinite delay. In a filing sent this afternoon to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Palomar claimed to be continuing “to seek additional commercial underpinnings for the project.” However with other competing domestic pipeline proposals and insurmountable impact findings on endangered species, Palomar is clearly suspended.
For weeks now, affected landowners and environmental organizations have predicted Palomar’s demise. Bradwood LNG, one of the terminals on the Columbia, announced bankruptcy six weeks ago and the pipeline proposal seemingly has no gas supply. The US Forest Service recently listed the project “On Hold” a week after NorthernStar announced their bankruptcy. Despite Palomar’s claim, the Forest Service has told environmental groups that it has ceased all specialist support for the ongoing surveys for the Environmental Impact Statement.
“Palomar’s initial schedule had them cutting trees this summer,” says Bark Program Director, Amy Harwood. “Every day the pipeline hasn’t been constructed is another day of victory. There’s just too much stacked up against this project.”
Last week Bark and the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club joined with an impacted landowner to appeal the state leasing decision for the other proposed terminal on the Columbia River, Oregon LNG. The controversial leasing by the State of Oregon to Oregon LNG has left its proposal vulnerable. This poses another hit to Palomar’s ability to stay relevant in gas expansion for the Pacific Northwest.
“We need a cancellation,” says Paul Sansone, one of thousands of landowners impacted by pipeline development. “People’s lives have been put on hold because of these projects. To sit on the proposals for the next five years waiting for a gas supply is unethical.”