As Tuesday's vote looms on the pipeline issue, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has announced it will make its decision this week on whether to approve Bradwood's application for a license to build a liquefied natural gas terminal about 20 miles east of Astoria.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 a.m. (Pacific Time) Thursday.
Two Clatsop County commissioners, Ann Samuelson and Jeff Hazen will be going to Washington, D.C. to represent the county at the meeting.
If FERC approves the application, the developer will still have to meet conditions set by FERC, and obtain permits from state and federal agencies to begin construction.
Cheryl Johnson, an Astoria leader for the LNG opponents Columbia Riverkeeper, said she fully expects FERC to grant the permit for Bradwood.
"We knew all along that we couldn't look to FERC to address our concerns," she said. "FERC has never met an LNG terminal they didn't like."
Johnson said there's still a lot of permitting that needs to be done on the state level. "We look to the governor to protect local citizens," she said.
Meanwhile, Bradwood Landing's public relations company sent out a note Friday saying supporters of its project have delivered 800 postcards to Gov. Ted Kulongoski, bringing the total to 1,460 over the past two months. The release said Bradwood would be the first West Coast LNG receiving terminal. And, although, the most likely source of gas for Bradwood would be Australia or Indonesia, the terminal could accept domestic gas from Alaska, company officials said.
As of Friday, the Clatsop County Elections Office had received 9,366 ballots for Tuesday's referendum, ballot measure 4-131. That's 44.44 percent of 21,077 registered voters. No updated figures were available this morning.
The measure asks whether county ordinances should be changed to allow cable and pipelines in open spaces, parks and recreational areas (OPR).
In March, the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners approved Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project developer NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc.'s request for a conditional use permit to run pipeline through OPR land on its way to the interstate gas hub near Kelso, Wash. Less than one mile of the pipeline is proposed to run through private property zoned OPR. That's what sparked the push to ask county residents to make the decision.
Tuesday, they will decide either to agree with the Board's decision or overturn it.
A "yes" vote agrees with the Board's decision to allow pipelines to be built through OPR-zoned land. A "no" vote restores the previous rule.
The deadline for returning ballots is 5 p.m. Tuesday. Postmarks don't count.
Clatsop County ballot drop sites:
Clatsop County Clerk's Office, 820 Exchange St., Astoria, open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day to receive ballots;
24-hour drive-up drop box outside the office, 820 Exchange St.;
Cannon Beach City Hall, 163 E. Gower St., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day to receive ballots;
Seaside City Hall, 989 Broadway, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day to receive ballots;
Warrenton City Hall, 225 S. Main Ave., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day to receive ballots;
Knappa High School, 41535 Old Highway 30, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day to receive ballots.