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Special Report: Jordan Cove Project could impact local economy

Officials from the Jordan Cove Project said thousands of jobs would be created as well as millions of dollars in potential tax revenues.

Posted: Apr 24, 2019 6:45 PM
Updated: May 16, 2019 3:43 PM

COOS COUNTY, Ore. -- The debate into the controversial Jordan Cove Project continues, and the community is split over the economic impact it will have. 

The Jordan Cove Project is a proposed 229-mile natural gas pipeline and export facility. 

PART ONE: Proposed Jordan Cove Project sparks debate

Officials from the Jordan Cove Project said over 6,000 family-wage jobs would be created through the four-year construction phase. Once construction is complete, they said 215 long-term jobs at the terminal and along the pipeline would be created with pay averaging $85,000 a year.

“I think in terms of adding jobs to the area, 200 jobs in our community is actually pretty significant,” said Margaret Barber, with the Port of Coos Bay.

RELATED: 111 Workers laid off in Coos Bay Lumber Mill Closure 

Barber said if approved, she hopes the Jordan Cove Project helps bring additional industries to the port.

Additionally, the project could generate millions in tax revenue.

If the project is built, Pembina would not pay additional property taxes during the last two years of construction and the first three years of operation because of its location in an enterprise zone. 

However, in place of those taxes, they have committed to loaning $12 million a year for those five years to a community enhancement fund. That money would go toward libraries, schools and other public needs. 

After three years of operation, officials estimate the company will pay about $50 million a year into the fund, minus the money they loaned the county. 

The pipeline would generate an additional $20 million a year in taxes, which would go toward the counties the pipeline runs through.

Despite the tax benefits, some community members have said it would change the identity of the community and have concerns it would not create sustainable jobs.

“I don’t see any benefit,” said Claire Mohr. “I don’t think that many locals long-term will get hired.”

Federal and state regulators are still evaluating the project.

To get involved, the public comment period for this project is still open and will be until later this summer.

Many in the community have already issued statements opposing or supporting the project.

Among those speaking out against the project was Penny Chocktoot, who expressed concern for the Klamath Tribes.

Other community members have written in support of the project.

To view public comments already submitted, click here.

To review the "substantial comments" that Pembina will need to address, click here.

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