Wasting Time With LNG

Sometimes I wonder why people work so hard at being uninformed or misinformed.

I remember when LNG came to town. Looking back I’m glad I was part of a 5 member commission who voted to allow a lease to a company who wanted to go through a process of determining if an LNG storage facility could exist on the lower Skipanon Penninsula in NW Oregon.

At the time of the vote, only a handful of people came forward to pronounce the evils of locating such a facility.

At this stage of the game, I was uninformed about the radical anti LNG contingent in California. Looking back, even if I was informed I still would have wrote off this particular segment as being nothing more than radical. I don’t and never have voted because of one extreme or another. My votes have always tried to follow the middle of the road and what (in my mind) would benefit the most people.

The energy sector never ceases to amaze me. More often than not, the lowest man on the totem pole – say a laborer at Northwest Natural Gas knows more about what’s going on than most of these self proclaimed LNG experts both for and against.

What I was misinformed about is the vast natural gas exploration and discovery that is happening in the Columbia River Basin in Central Washington.

There are some who say the Countries largest natural gas reserves are right here in the PNW. The small amount of googling I did on this seems to back this up. There are several major players who have set up shop in the Basin. Included on that list is Encana, Delta Petroleum, and a few other companies.

What convinced me this must be real is the tremendous amount of land that has been leased in the basin for natural gas exploration. Over half a million acres!

The rumor on the street is they know where the gas is. The mother lode.

Will LNG come to the lower Columbia River? I doubt it. Probably not in my lifetime. The economics of bringing gas here are seriously threatened by our own reserves. You can rest assured Northstar and Luecadia knows this. We already have natural gas and we are about to discover a heck of a lot more. Right in our backyard.

I’m sad because our area could certainly use the tax revenue an LNG import plant would bring, not to mention the employment. What I know now is the probability of LNG coming here simply not probable – not because we don’t want it – because it doesn’t pencil.


5 thoughts on “Wasting Time With LNG

  1. If it’s not immediately going to make someone immediately obscenely wealthy, then they won’t opt for the expense. Nobody wants to budget for the future anymore.

  2. “I’m sad because our area could certainly use the tax revenue an LNG import plant would bring, not to mention the employment.”

    Hey, G…

    I have not been in the area to hear many of the LNG pro/con discussions and just want to know your thoughts:

    As far as tax revenues, Wouldn’t LNG receive huge govt. tax relief to place a plant in the NW? If so, how would this benefit locals?

    Also, according to websites I have visited, the anticipated full-time employee count at the NW locale would be 65 once the plant was fully constructed, and of those positions, I would wager that most fall under specialist and management roles. This does not seem like an employment opportunity for many current out-of-work locals.

    I have seen photos of these plants online. As a Hammond native who greatly enjoys our beautiful local waterways and supports the local fishing and tourism industries, I just can’t bear the thought of having a monstronsity like that in our backyard.

  3. I agree with your assessment of the situation, and would only add that the continuous bickering between the two competing proposals to bring LNG into the region is draining resources from both, increasing the likelihood of your suggested outcome.


  4. connie: there are no federal/state/local tax incentives that I am aware of. To my knowledge, neither of the sites are in an enterprise zone. As far as the direct jobs, yes, that is my understanding as well. There would also be benefit indirectly. and of course my bread and butter – the construction related jobs would be huge. as far as aesthetics, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. i personally think it would look cool.

    gonehsiny: good ol competition. regardless, the point of my article is that importing LNG will be proven to be uneconomical and eventually abandon.

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