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Colorado governor supports LNG project

COOS BAY — Colorado's governor wants the Jordan Cove Energy Project and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline to move forward.

Gov. John Hickenlooper penned a letter Wednesday to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chair Cheryl LaFleur expressing his support.

FERC is the head agency when it comes to giving LNG terminals the go-ahead. FERC is expected to release Jordan Cove's final environmental impact statement Sept. 30, with a final decision by Dec. 29.

Specifically, Hickenlooper said he supports liquefied natural gas exports to non-Free Trade Agreement countries. In March 2014, Jordan Cove received the Department of Energy's approval to export to non-FTA countries.

"Jordan Cove is of specific interest to Colorado," Hickenlooper wrote. "The project terminal is the only LNG facility on the west coast that would directly link Colorado to new energy markets via the Ruby Pipeline which originates in northwest Colorado and carries natural gas from that region to states further west of Colorado."

The Ruby Pipeline travels from western Wyoming through Utah and Nevada to Oregon. Other pipelines connect western Colorado natural gas to Ruby's Opal Hub in Wyoming.

Ruby would connect to the proposed Pacific Connector at the Malin Hub in Malin. There, Pacific Connector would transport natural gas to Jordan Cove on Coos Bay's North Spit, traveling through rural parts of Jackson and other counties.

Hickenlooper made a plea for his economically distressed communities.

"The reduction of natural gas production in western Colorado has resulted in loss of jobs in our rural communities and less revenue generated at the state and local level negatively impacting the economic condition of the region," he wrote.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued a letter of support for Jordan Cove in October 2013.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has not publicly taken a stance on Jordan Cove; neither has Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.