alternative press serving the lower columbia pacific region

LNG Fast Track Bill HB 2700 Passes

Pipeline graphicOn Tuesday, May 31, 2011 the state Senate passed HB 2700, the bill that allows a company to apply for and receive removal/fill permits on private property without landowner knowledge or consent. The current bill would allow out-of-state profit-making corporations to obtain dredge-and-fill permits on private land without the permission or even knowledge of the landowner. The passage of this bill infringes on private property rights by allowing companies building LNG-related pipelines to begin the state permitting process without landowners having a say about proposed activities on their property.

In the media over the last three years, this has been called the “LNG fast-track bill,” and NO LNG activists have been working hard to fight the passage of this bill. The bill’s backers in the legislature have refused requests to amend it to exclude LNG pipelines.  The bill already passed the House, it now sits on Governor Kitzhaber’s desk awaiting his signature.

The bill passed the Senate 20-9. No votes were: Senators Atkinson, Johnson, Bates, Bonamici, Dingfielder, Ferrioli, Girod, Prozanski, and Whitsett.

If you are a landowner along the pipeline route and you receive notice from LNG companies or the Department of State Lands that they issued a permit for your property, please let us know immediately. If you receive a notice of a pipeline permit on your property, please contact Monica Vaughan at (541) 521-1832; monicaLvaughan@gmail.com, or Dan Serres at (503) 890-2441; dserres@gmail.com.

The passage of HB 2700 does not mean that LNG projects will prevail, but it does make the job of stopping these projects more complicated and difficult. Yes votes on this bill do not represent a yes vote on LNG.

Many legislators believe that this bill is needed for municipalities and believe that it does not impact LNG, that LNG is no longer a threat to Oregon or that the LNG proposals are already dead.

According to River Keeper representative Monica Vaughan, “while it is unfortunate that some of the legislators are misinformed, that does not mean they support the LNG projects.”

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