The Associated Press

PORTLAND — Supporters of a proposed natural gas export project on Oregon’s southern coast are claiming they’ve made major headway addressing one of regulators’ biggest concerns as federal regulators take public comments this week.

Pembina Pipeline Corp, the Canadian company that is proposing a liquefied natural gas export terminal in Coos Bay, says it has secured voluntary easement agreements with 82% of the individual landowners along the 229-mile route of the terminal’s proposed feeder pipeline. Opponents dispute those numbers.

The feeder pipeline for the Jordan Cove export terminal would run from an interstate gas hub in Klamath County to Coos Bay.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission officials are holding four public comment sessions in Southern Oregon this week on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The commission is expected to render its decision early next year.

If Pembina’s landowner numbers are correct, as the company insists, it marks significant progress from the small percentage that had signed easement agreements when regulators denied the project a license in 2016.

Pembina says they’ve got the “need” question covered. Officials say they’ve secured nonbinding commitments from potential customers for more than the proposed throughput capacity of the gas terminal. Whether that eventually translates to solid, binding commitments from Asian customers to buy gas remains a question that likely won’t be answered unless and until the company has its regulatory approvals in hand.