Sen. Wyden: Jordan Cove will bring 'new jobs and new investments'

COOS BAY, Ore. -- The Jordan Cove energy project took another step forward on Monday, as they received approval from the Department of Energy to export liquified natural gas (LNG) to non-free trade countries.

The announcement came earlier than expected for Jordan Cove, but they aren't complaining about it.

Jordan Cove president Elliot Trepper calls the announcement a key development milestone for the project.

He also says it brings them one step closer to making a final investment decision.

Oregon senator Ron Wyden says it is good news for the South Coast. "This decision is exactly what Coos Bay, North Bend and America needs: new jobs and new investments," Wyden said.

Jordan Cove says during peak construction there will be 2,600 workers.

Elise Hamner from the International Port of Coos Bay says that in the end, it will significantly increase maritime traffic in the harbor. "Currently, we're at about 60 ship calls a year," she said. "With Jordan Cove, they add an additional 90 ship calls to our harbor, which is significant job-wise."

The approval allows the liquid natural gas facility to export up to 0.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for 20 years.

But, there are still many more hurdles the project must overcome. "The real decision has yet to come, and the real decision as to whether or not to build the facility out there will result from the national environmental policy act process that FERC is currently conducting," said Ron Sadler, retired Chief of Forestry for the BLM.

Any decision on final regulatory approval isn't expected to come down until the end of the year.