Oregon has granted the Port of Coos Bay the dredging permit it needs to build a new marine terminal on the North Spit that could be used by ships carrying liquefied natural gas.
The permit granted Wednesday by the Department of State Lands is one of many needed before the controversial Jordan Cove LNG project and a related pipeline can go forward.
Opponents of the proposed pipeline have argued that the department should deny the permit. They cited the state attorney general's efforts to deny federal approval for an LNG export terminal based on arguments that shipping gas overseas would raise prices in Oregon.
In approving the permit, the department said improving Coos Bay shipping facilities is a top economic priority, even if the LNG terminal is never built.