Tell the State Not to Give Sweetheart Deals to LNG Companies

November 30, 2009

Oregon_seal_what'shapThe State of Oregon is leasing 92 acres of waterfront industrial state-owned land for a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal for just $38,400 per year.  This is 3000% less than comparable leases:

Site Acres (uplands) Annual Lease Price per acre
Coos Bay LNG 147 $1,920,000 $13,061
North Tongue Point (Astoria) 30 $350,000 $11,666
Skipanon, Oregon LNG 92 $38,400 $418

Call or Write the Governor
and the State Land Board

Why did the Oregon Department of State Lands give the LNG company such a sweetheart deal for public land?

The Oregonian ran a story on November 7 about the Columbia River Business Alliance’s request for an investigation.  The group sent a letter to Gov. Ted Kulongoski containing calculations indicating that at this low lease rate the State of Oregon would lose $62.5 million dollars over the 65-year life of the lease.

After the initial 5-year lease expired, the Department of State Lands granted a two-year extension.  Now Oregon LNG wants the State to enter into a 30-year lease that gives Oregon LNG an option for an additional 30 years after that.  At the very least, say opponents, the Department of State Lands must get fair market value for the lease – estimated by them at $1,000,000 per year instead of $38,400.

In addition, opponents claim that the original lease was fraudulent because then-Port Director Peter Gearin obtained a job from the LNG company for his mistress, who happened to be working for the Port of Astoria and the LNG company at the same time.

Call or write Governor Kulongoski, the State Land Board, and Louise Solliday, Director of the Department of State Lands. Tell them:

1. The State should revoke the lease for this sweetheart deal.  The lease represents embarrassing mismanagement of State land and money.

2. The State should not enter into a 30-year lease for an LNG terminal on our State land.  LNG is bad for Oregon.  It is outrageous to use State land and tax dollars to site an LNG facility that will most likely be used to export rather than import LNG – a fossil fuel that we should not be relying upon anyway.

3   Governor Kulongoski, who vowed to protect Oregonians in the LNG process, should investigate this mismanagement.

Contact Information

Governor Kulongoski: Phone: 503.378.4582, click to email: http://www.oregon.gov/Gov/contact_us.shtml; 160 State Capitol, 900 Court Street, Salem, Oregon 97301-4047.

Oregon State Land Board (which oversees the Department of State Lands and makes decisions on important leases) is comprised of:

•    Governor Kulongoski
•    Secretary of State Kate Brown, oregon.sos@state.or.us, 503.986.1523
•    Treasurer Ben Westlund, Oregon.Treasurer@state.or.us, 503.378.4329

While the State Land Board did not make the original lease decision, they should be aware of our concerns.
Michael Carrier, Natural Resources Policy Director, 503.986.6525, Michael.Carrier@state.or.us, 255 Capitol Street NE, Suite 126, Salem, OR  97301.

Louise Solliday, Department of State Lands Director, louise.c.solliday@state.or.us, 503.986.5224, 775 Summer St. NE, Suite 100, Salem, OR 97301. Φ

Marion County 0911

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