Jordan Cove is offering a new financial incentive for landowners in the path of the proposed liquefied natural gas pipeline to give the company right-of-way access to their land.
On Sept. 5, the company sent out a letter to landowners offering $30,000 per deed of land in the path of the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline.
Michael Hinrichs, a spokesman for Jordan Cove, said Pembina, the Canadian parent company of Jordan Cove, felt it could be doing more in terms of compensation for landowners.
When asked if the company is prepared to shell out $6.7 million should each landowner take the incentive, Hinrichs said the cost would be higher, because some of the 225 landowners own multiple tracts.
“Yes, we as a company are prepared. If all 225 wanted to take advantage of this I think that we would be quite happy,” Hinrichs said.
He said landowners who own multiple tracts would be paid $30,000 for each parcel.
Landowners who have already allowed the pipeline to go through their property will automatically get the payment if they contact the company, according to Hinrichs.
He said Pembina isn’t going to publicly release the numbers of landowners who have signed on, because the program just started.
But he said there’s significant interest coming in.
“So far we’re seeing the program as a success even in its early days,” Hinrichs said.
He said even if the project falls through, landowners would keep the money.
“It’s important that we can demonstrate that we’re not trying to force a project upon a community, and that the community does want us around, and that they see the benefit of having us there,” Hinrichs said.
Earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced a timeline for a decision on a final Environmental Impact Statement for the project.
A draft EIS is expected to be complete in February of next year, with a decision on the final EIS expected by November 2019.
Hinrichs said the announcement was good news, because it’s within Jordan Cove’s proposed timeline.
“Mostly because it underpins our previous statements and our ability that we can deliver first cargos in 2024,” Hinrichs said.
Stacey McLaughlin, one of the landowners who received the letter and a vocal opponent of the pipeline, called it “a desperate move.”
“They’re attempting to buy their way into the hearts and minds of the people in the community,” McLaughlin said.
She called the incentive a carrot with a lifetime impact.
“$30,000 is a temporary amount of money. It doesn’t go far and it doesn’t last long when you consider the damage that will result because of this project,” McLaughlin said.