Ted Kulongoski

Feds rush toward LNG in Coos Bay

The state of Oregon is fighting federal efforts to push through a liquid natural gas terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon, reports Ted Sickinger of The Oregonian.

The Jordan Cove Energy Project terminal is being developed by Fort Chicago Energy Partners LP and Energy Projects Development LLC to import up to 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day, mostly for customers in Northern California.

That supercooled natural gas, which would also be sold to Pacific Northwest buyers, would travel through a 234-mile long Pacific Connector pipeline to be built over forests and marshlands.

Opponents include the state of Oregon, environmentalists and landowners who  say the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the LNG terminal in Coos Bay without fully studying the environmental effects of building the infrastructure to pump gas from the Coos Bay terminal to California via an interstate gas pipeline near Malin, Oregon.  The feds also gave too much power to the developers to condemn private property, they say.

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Attorney General John Kroger vowed to press the commission to reconsider, and held out the possibility of appealing to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  They've done so already with another commission-approved LNG terminal on the lower Columbia River.

Oregon extends full health care to all children

A bill to be signed today in Portland by Gov. Ted Kulongoski is designed to guarantee medical, dental, vision and mental health care to 80,000 uninsured children in Oregon, reports Bill Graves of The Oregonian. Oregon is one of 12 states to take this step. Under the new law, a 1 percent tax will be placed on hospitals and most insurers to cover the previously uninsured children. The new law led to the creation of the Office of Healthy Kids, and about 100 new workers to handle the influx of new children. The extended coverage is intended for those who can’t afford the additional cost of insuring their children, or who don’t qualify for the Oregon Health Plan.