& FERC Danger
Riley Law .com
is a danger to our communities. Co-Hosts Tim Riley and Hayden Riley
dedicate their website to warn America about the many LNG safety concerns, and they
want to help protect America from the imminent peril of liquefied natural gas.
As consumer protection advocates, the Rileys firmly believe that
Liquefied Natural Gas poses a serious danger to our American communities. Consumer Protection Attorney Tim Riley
warns about the many LNG safety risks and safety hazards, and that liquefied
natural gas is unsafe and threatening America's coastline. Tim Riley warns
about LNG tankers, LNG spills, LNG fires, LNG explosions, and LNG vulnerability
to accident, earthquake and terrorism. Importing
liquefied natural gas will make America more dependent on more foreign fossil
fuel. Co-Hosts Tim
Riley and Hayden Riley urge us to write letters to local
officials to stop LNG from coming to our American communities. They urge that we
develop renewable energy resources instead of more reliance on the foreign
fossil fuel LNG, and they urge more accountability, penalties, fines and
imprisonment for corporate manipulation of the energy industry and energy
Tim Riley Warns
LNG Opponents Overpower Another Liquefied Natural Gas Energy Project LngDanger.com Tim Riley and Hayden Riley, producers of the documentary film, The Risks and Danger of LNG, are celebrating another victory over a proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in California. The Riley’s and their film have been repeatedly successful at mobilizing opposition to LNG proposals throughout North America and Europe. The filmmakers are now considering options to distribute their film in Australia and the Asia Pacific Region to help mobilize LNG opposition there.
Fall River Hess LNG terminal plan officially terminated, says FERC ... The Herald
Opposition, low demand doom natural gas terminal
Longview Daily News
February 26, 2009 LNG opponents to show documentary on fuel dangers Providence Journal - Providence, RI WARREN - Opponents of a proposal to put a liquefied natural gas offloading facility in the middle of Mount Hope Bay are trying to raise concerns about the project with a showing of the 2004 video "The Risks & Dangers of LNG" Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Kickemuit Middle School, 525 Child St. The 45-minute video is being billed by the Kickemuit River Council and Warren Councilman Joseph DePasquale as "the film Weaver's Cove and Hess [Corporation] don't want you to see," a reference to the two developers of the project. Produced by two consumer protection advocates from Oxnard Shores, California, the video was made to demonstrate LNG's vulnerability to accidental disaster and terrorism. It also tries to show that a tanker breach could produce massive destruction to our coastal communities.
EDITORS NOTE: Other groups who are also interested in hosting Public Screenings of the film must contact the Law Office of Tim Riley at 805-984-2350 to discuss the licensing fees and terms. Public Screening of the film is illegal without proper licensing and prior written authorization from the producers.
Former CIA Official Warns Against LNG Terminal WJZ - Baltimore, MD, USA According to Charles Faddis, the retired head of CIA's Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Unit, security is the safety issue. Faddis warns that an urban LNG operation creates two targets: the LNG plant itself and the enormous LNG tankers bringing in the frozen gas. According to the story, "the explosive power of a liquefied natural gas operation may be too good a target for terrorists to pass up."
Feds oppose gas terminal in Long Island Sound The Associated Press N.Y. (AP) — The U.S. Commerce Department on Monday announced its opposition to a proposed massive floating liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound. Environmentalists hailed the decision as a victory over "the corporate Goliaths of our time." Politicians in New York and Connecticut have campaigned for several years to stop what would have been the world's first floating liquefied natural gas terminal.
Crist voices opposition to Calypso LNG EnergyCurrent - Houston,TX,USA Florida Gov. Charlie is opposed to the proposed Calypso pipeline, which would bring gas from Calypso liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal offshore Florida. Though the project has been proposed for construction by GDF Suez North America in U.S. federal waters, Crist's formal opposition to the project can stop the terminal and pipeline from being built, according to media reports. The applicant was unable to alleviate the reasonable health and safety concerns of coastal residents that may arise from a catastrophic accident or terrorist.
LNG facility off L.A. coast is scrapped Los Angeles Times, CA “It marks the second LNG project off the Los Angeles coast to be killed. In 2007, another project died because of opposition from residents.”
Woodside suspends gas project due to tough market Reuters “Larger rivals have so far failed to convince Californians to accept construction of terminals on or near the mainland, with a similar plan proposed by BHP Billiton Ltd rejected in 2007 after strong public opposition.”
Samsung to Deliver World's Biggest LNG Tanker for Exxon Project Bloomberg Samsung was contracted to make 11 tankers, each of 266,000 cubic-meter capacity...
NOTE: “The energy
content of a single standard LNG tanker
House deals blow to proposed Mass. LNG terminal
Court orders review of Cove Point gas project
Reuters UK, UK
Plans for Long Beach liquid natural gas terminal shelved Los Angeles Times Facing significant opposition, Mitsubishi subsidiary Sound Energy Solutions withdraws its LNG proposal.
Council votes to oppose LNG project Malibu Times - Malibu, CA
Staten Islanders up in arms over proposed floating liquefied ... Staten Island Advance - SILive.com - Staten Island, NY
Wary of Protests, Exxon Plans Natural Gas Terminal in the Atlantic New York Times “We have tried to learn from our past experiences and that of the industry in general,” said Ron P. Billings, Exxon’s vice president for global liquefied natural gas.
ALERT: LNG Investigation - Videos - NBC
Paperwork for First of Two Area LNG Projects Accepted by Feds Malibu Surfside News Neither project sits well with some environmentalists, like Oxnard attorney Tim Riley, who is gearing up to battle an LNG terminal 13 miles west of his Oxnard Shores home. "This is a guinea pig project that is going to be twice as close to Oxnard as the BHP Billiton one," he said. "It will have two LNG tankers at it so it will be at least twice as dangerous, so we all need to team together as with BHP Billiton and work twice as hard." Riley noted that the old oil platform has reached the end of its design life, and was supposed to be removed from its prominent position on the sunset horizon in Ventura County.
Canadian PM to Bush: No LNG Tankers OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper has reiterated in a private meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush that Canada will not let massive tankers carry liquefied natural gas through tricky Head Harbour Passage.
ALERT: Congressional Probe Launched re EPA Reversal re BHPB's LNG Cabrillo Port Letter to EPA Administrator from Chairman of Committee on Oversight
Long Beach LNG project halted Los Angeles Times, CA "This project would have put over 140,000 people who live and work within 3 miles of that LNG terminal at risk," said Harvey Morris, an attorney for the Public Utilities Commission. "The evidence was overwhelming there's all kinds of things that could go wrong if there was a terror attack or earthquake." Acting on that legal advice, the five-member Board of Harbor Commissioners for Long Beach unanimously voted to halt work on the LNG project and issued a statement that says, "Since an agreement between Sound Energy Solutions and the city does not appear to be forthcoming, the Board of Harbor Commissioners disapproves the project and declines to pursue further negotiations."
July 13, 2006
Suffolk Moves to Ban Floating LNG Facilities Northender - Oyster Bay, NY Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and the leaders of the Suffolk County Legislature announced today that they were filing a bill that would prevent the construction of LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) facilities in the waters of the Long Island Sound off Suffolk's north shore. The officials insist that there are several provisions within New York State Law that give the County regulatory authority over the Long Island Sound and its tidal waters within its borders.
July 12, 2006
July 12, 2006
Governor signs law restricting LNG tankers from Narragansett Bay Eyewitness News - East Providence, RI PROVIDENCE, R.I. Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri has signed a law effectively banning liquefied natural gas tankers from Narragansett Bay. Representative Raymond Gallison Junior says the law could hinder plans to build a 250-million dollar L-N-G terminal at Weaver's Cove in Fall River. The proposed site sits along the Taunton River. Rhode Island and Massachusetts officials have called the project dangerous. They say an accident or an attack on an L-N-G tanker moving through coastal waters could cause a massive fire or explosion.
June 21, 2006
June 21, 2006
Control Sought Over LNG Proposal Suffolk Life Newspapers - Riverhead, NY In response to New York State legislation that would put the Long Island Sound under state control, Suffolk County officials have announced their support of the bill, which they believe will aid in preventing a liquefied natural gas terminal from being built in the waters off Long Island.
Council blocks LNG facilities near homes Examiner.com The Baltimore County Council passed a bill Monday banning liquefied natural gas facilities within five miles of homes — essentially blocking the proposed LNG terminal at the Sparrows Point Shipyard — but project supporters are questioning the bill’s authority.
April 19, 2006
Sheriffs call for CHP Back-up at LNG Hearing in Malibu
The Rich, Famous and Typically Laid-Back Malibu Community Was in a Major Uproar Against LNG
CHP and Sheriff's deputies are called to control the angry crowd. Malibu Times by Hans Laetz Catcalls, jeers and hisses greet Australian officials and ship captains who favor a proposal to anchor a liquefied natural gas ship off the shore of Malibu. CHP and Sheriff's deputies are called to control the angry crowd. From fears of the LNG tanks exploding and sending a fireball more than 14 miles wide to transfer pipes leaking and possible danger to wildlife from the use of seawater to cool the ship's generators were expressed at the meeting. Tim Riley, an Oxnard attorney who has fought LNG terminals for three years, noted that "the techniques for transferring this cryogenically frozen LNG from one ship to another has never been demonstrated anywhere on earth, and we will be the guinea pigs for this grand experiment that they assume will work out of the box."
California dreaming draws flak for BHP Sydney Morning Herald , Australia September 10, 2005 Environmentalist heat is blistering plans to export Australian gas to the US West Coast "With billions of export dollars at stake, Macfarlane, Woodside and BHP have suddenly discovered the dangers of underestimating the power of California's environmental lobby." "Tim Riley, a lawyer who lives by the beach in Oxnard Shores and works in Malibu, has helped lead a movement in actively opposing the project in his spare time. While some citizens have organised rallies, Riley has used his multimedia talents to spur opposition."
"Power play ... Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a strong proponent of BHP's plans, is facing sagging approval ratings."
Photo: AP/Joe Raymond
Governor Schwarzenegger Has Legal Authority to Disapprove the LNG Deepwater Ports
Pursuant to 33 USC CHAPTER 29 - DEEPWATER PORTS § 1508 "... The Secretary shall not issue a license without the approval of the Governor of each adjacent coastal State. If the Governor fails to transmit his approval or disapproval to the Secretary not later than 45 days after the last public hearing on applications for a particular application area, such approval shall be conclusively presumed. "
June 23, 2005
Governor prefers Oxnard for LNG terminal
Ventura County Star (subscription)
Gov. Schwarzenegger's comments about LNG and Oxnard
Governor prefers Oxnard for LNG terminal Ventura County Star (subscription) AUDIO: Gov. Schwarzenegger's comments about LNG and Oxnard
Write Governor Schwarzenegger - Emphasize that he must timely disapprove BHP & Crystal Energy's & Woodside's LNG DWP Licenses
Email Schwarzenegger: email@example.com & Advisors: Chrisman firstname.lastname@example.org Tamminen: tt@CalEPA.ca.gov
February 23, 2006
EHRLICH, RUPPERSBERGER FIND FAULT WITH LNG PROPOSAL Dundalk Eagle - Dundalk, MD Two of the state's top elected officials have joined the mounting criticism over a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant being proposed for the former Sparrows Point Shipyard... Across the water, about 150 people showed up at the monthly meeting of the Wells-McComas Community Improvement Association on Feb. 15 to watch the 45-minute film The Risks and Danger of LNG produced in California about the dangers of LNG plants. “They didn't want an [LNG] plant 14 miles off the coast of Oxnard [Calif.],” Well-McComas president Fred Thiess said after watching the film. “And [AES] wants to put one less than 2 miles from homes here on the bay.” After watching the film, an executive from AES Corp. and one from Ecologix, a Baltimore-based firm that is working with communities on the project, fielded questions and were subjected to a barrage of criticism from the standing-room-only crowd.
NOTE: Others who are also interested in obtaining usage rights to the film for public screenings must contact the Law Office of Tim Riley at 805-984-2350 to discuss the fees and terms for such authorization which must be in writing. The licensing fees help us offset the administrative costs in providing vital information worldwide about the risks and danger of LNG.
February 9, 2006
COMMUNITY LEADERS WATCH MOVIE, OBJECT TO GAS PLANT Dundalk Eagle - Dundalk, MD "Some community leaders hope a 45-minute movie will help put the kibosh on a proposed liquefied natural gas plant at the former Sparrows Point Shipyard, according to Carolyn Jones, president of the Greater Dundalk Alliance.... About 60 people showed up at The Poplar restaurant Saturday morning to view the film LNG: Its risks and danger, (The Risks and Danger of LNG) produced by California-based filmmakers Tim and Hayden Riley..."
October 12, 2005
LNG firm seeks quick OK on plan from state: Foes question motive for fast-track effort HULL - The energy company planning a liquefied natural gas terminal on a Boston Harbor island wants state legislators to clear the way for the project by the middle of next month, prompting skeptics and opponents to fire off accusations that the approval process is being rushed. Residents will have the opportunity to watch a film that chronicles fiery, deadly disasters at LNG structures in Cleveland and Algeria, courtesy of Selectman Ronald Davy, who arranged the screening. The tag line is ‘‘the LNG movie the energy industry doesn’t want you to see.’’ ‘‘The Risks and Danger of LNG’’ was produced by Tim and Hayden Riley, a pair of anti-LNG activists from Oxnard Shores, Calif.
Former Vice-President Al Gore embraces those who expand
the public awareness of environmental issues
Photo: Former VP Al Gore with Tim and Hayden Riley,
Filmmakers of The Risks and Danger of LNG at the EMA Awards
Honorable Al Gore delivered the keynote
address at the 15th annual Environmental Media Association Awards .
HOLLYWOOD October 20,
2005 15th annual Environmental Media Assn. Awards, recognizing works
that expand public
awareness of environmental issues. Kudos were presented Wednesday at the Ebell
Club of Los Angeles.
Former Vice-President Al Gore embraces those who expand the public awareness of environmental issues
Photo: Former VP Al Gore with Tim and Hayden Riley, Filmmakers of The Risks and Danger of LNG at the EMA Awards
Honorable Al Gore delivered the keynote
address at the 15th annual Environmental Media Association Awards .
HOLLYWOOD October 20, 2005 15th annual Environmental Media Assn. Awards, recognizing works
that expand public awareness of environmental issues. Kudos were presented Wednesday at the Ebell Club of Los Angeles.
UPSTREAMonline.com November 14, 2003
"Tide Turns as LNG Protests Grow"
topic: the prospect of LNG landing facilities in the vicinity of
metropolitan areas along the US Gulf coast and near Los Angeles (top) have
stirred up a hornets nest as protesters mobilize to block the plans due to
safety concerns. California's new governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose
constituents have experienced major fires up close in recent weeks, will face
tough decisions as the state's massive energy needs are counterbalanced by
protesters' cries that an LNG mishap could lead to even greater
devastation than that caused by the forest fires.” Montage by
Montage by Christian Andvik
"Industry is forced into rethink as opposition grows... " By Dann Rogers Abstracts:
‘The Alabama lawyers are also going to sue the Port Authority to stop the sale of the property on the grounds that it is being undersold,’ says California personal injury lawyer Tim Riley, whose website TimRileyLaw.com is an unofficial US chatroom for anti-LNG campaigners. In California, Riley is promoting a letter-writing campaign to local lawmakers to oppose two offshore LNG plants proposed by BHP and local group Crystal Energy.
At public hearings, he talks of a catastrophic LNG future filled with mass destruction and death as the super-cooled natural gas is ignited by either accident, negligence or a terrorist act.
‘Only the construction of nuclear energy plants on our beaches could be worse for all the communities from Santa Barbara to Malibu,’ says Riley on his website.
‘We can get by without the new LNG terminals if there is better regulation and penalties for the manipulation of the energy trading markets to artificially raise prices as was done a few years ago. I think things will be a lot better off for everybody without them,’ he says.
Citizens say ‘not in my back yard’ for a variety of reasons, including fear of deadly explosions, traffic being halted if a tanker goes under a bridge, destruction of wetlands, disturbance of fishing grounds, devaluation of tourism potential and because many find mega-industrial facilities an eyesore."
*About Upstream http://www.upstreamonline.com/news/frameset.jsp?page=live “Launched in November 1996, Upstream is one of the most respected newspapers in the oil and gas industry. The new 24-hour online service is generated by the very same expert reporters who consistently deliver top-quality stories. The service will provide round-the-clock news, five days a week, published 'real-time' from our offices in Asia, Europe and America.
Foes of LNG development point to the fact that the potential energy content of a
single LNG tanker, which contains natural gas that is supercooled to 260 degrees
Fahrenheit and concentrated to 1/600th of its normal gaseous volume, is
equivalent to 700 tons of TNT or about 55 times the atomic bomb that destroyed
But representatives of the industry and the U.S. Department of Energy insist that LNG has an admirable safety record since large-scale commercial shipment began in the 1960s.
Doug Quillen, an executive with ChevronTexaco Corp. (CVX), writes: "Liquefied natural gas tankers have been run aground, experienced loss of containment, suffered weather damage, been subjected to low temperature embrittlement from cargo spillage, suffered engine room fires, and been involved in serious collisions with other vessels - no cargo explosions reported."
Critics, however, cite an LNG spill in Cleveland in 1944 of 5% of the volume contained in a modern tanker that left 128 people dead and 225 injured. The industry counters that it has since learned much more about how to safely store the supercooled liquid, including the use of double-hulled nickel-alloy tanks, and that storage and unloading facilities are no longer located near residential areas. "LNG tankers are inherently much more robust than typical crude, fuel and chemical tankers," according to Quillen.
Studies Say Tanks Could Be Ruptured
Opponents such as Riley are unconvinced. "Look at the USS Cole – forget double hulls." A study prepared for the Pentagon in 1982 by Amory and L. Hunter Lovins on energy security concluded of LNG tanks that "proneness to brittle fracture implies that relatively small disruptions by sabotage, earthquake, objects flung at the tank by high winds, etc. could well cause immediate, massive failure of an above grade LNG tank." A General Accounting Office study similarly concluded that "tanks afford limited protection even against non-military small arms projectiles."
But the industry's safety arguments point out that even if such an incident cannot be ruled out, LNG is not explosive, as proven by both laboratory tests and years of practical experience. A video statement by chemistry Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Alan Heeger on Shell's website says that "anything capable of piercing a double-hulled carrier or storage tank would almost certainly ignite the escaping gas," thus limiting the fire to the immediate vicinity. Shell is part of Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. (RD).
Indeed, many countries, especially in East Asia and Europe that are far more dependent on LNG imports than the U.S. have never experienced such accidents. LNG is only flammable once it has turned back into gaseous form and only once it has reached a concentration between 5-15% in the air, its so-called "lower flammability limit" or LFL.
But LFL is what makes LNG so dangerous according to Riley. He points out that a local study done in 1977 said a severe 125,000 cubic meter tanker spill could create a vapor cloud that would spread up to 30 miles before ignition.
Energy executives, the DOE and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have cited a study by Oklahoma-based QUEST consultants that analyzes various scenarios involving tank punctures and atmospheric conditions and concludes that any fire would remain relatively close to its source, about 470 feet, and would create "radiant flux levels" harmful to humans within roughly 1,770 feet for a 5 meter puncture. This study was cited when LNG tankers were allowed to reenter Boston Harbor after a brief ban following the Sept. 11 attacks.
QUEST Study Becomes Source Of Controversy
As if the subject were not rancorous enough, now the QUEST study itself is a source of controversy. Prominent scientists, notably Dr. James Fay of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have disputed its findings and have pointed out that it was never subject to peer review or submitted to a scientific journal. The author of the study even expressed surprise in an interview at its widespread use and said that it was done on short notice for what he understood to be internal purposes. For reasons that remain unclear, the DOE at one point denied commissioning the study but later backtracked when QUEST confirmed it was hired by the department.
Rep. James Markey, who represents the district in Massachusetts where one of the four U.S. LNG import facilities is located, demanded clarification in public letters to Energy secretary Spencer Abraham and FERC Chairman Pat Wood on Nov. 7. "It's peculiar given that the author of the study said it was a quick and dirty study and not meant for these purposes," said Jeff Duncan of Markey's office.
Professor Fay, an expert on hazardous material dispersion, says the extent of spills could go well beyond proposed site boundaries for sites being planned. He wrote earlier this month: "For all credible spills, including terrorist attacks on the storage tank and LNG tanker, the danger zone for humans extends nearly two miles from the terminal site," a distance several times greater than the QUEST study suggests.
Whatever the outcome of the safety debate, observers of the industry doubt that development can be halted due to the pressing economic need for such facilities. The only exception would be if there were an accident that put a chill on development the way that the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl events stopped the nuclear industry in its tracks.
Ben Smith, an LNG expert and managing partner of gas industry watcher Enercast.com, thinks that protests may delay development or make it more expensive but won't halt it. "You have to compare it to the alternatives and right now LNG is the best option," he said. Still, he says that concerned citizens such as Riley play an important role. "We need these people out there lobbying so that the right precautions are in place."
By Spencer Jakab, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-4377;
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Should we willingly permit such a dangerous industrial enterprise into our residential communities?
Should we be forced to live with the dangers of LNG and take such devastating risks of losing our homes, lives and families just so the energy
industry can pipe its profits through our residential neighborhoods?
Should we as patriotic Americans stand idly by while energy consortia try to make us more dependant on foreign fuel?
Should we willingly invite major terrorist targets into our peaceful communities?
Should we believe the energy industry when they say LNG is safe?
Should we believe the energy industry has our best interests at heart?
March 12, 2004
proposes offshore LNG plant as
to Tim Riley, an Oxnard-based attorney
who has concerns regarding the dangers posed by LNG terminals, the bottom line
is that “the danger is in the massive quantity of this dangerous gas in one
offshore LNG terminals are potentially more dangerous than onshore terminals.
“In terms of offshore, LNG is far more dangerous in water than on land,” he
is no way to confine an offshore spill and prevailing winds, which is typical in
the vicinity of an ocean, will exacerbate the situation, he said. “As I read
old [U.S.] Bureau of Mines reports and Coast Guard reports, they are mindful
that vapor fumes will drift with the wind. The water source is going to act as a
huge boiling space until it reaches an ignition source” that would most likely
be on land, Riley
Platform Grace would be a safety hazard as it was situated “in unprotected
seas where there could be gale force winds and
tremendous current.” He also pointed out that with a floating platform, both
the platform and ship would be moving with the water as LNG is being unloaded,
thus increasing the chances of a potential accident. “These offshore LNG
terminal projects are untried and unproven. LNG is far too dangerous for trial
and error,” Riley said.
Renewable energy is the way to go, he added.”
March 16, 2004 LA Times Full STORY: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lng16mar16,1,7853845.story?coll=la-headlines-california
Government officials are urged to reject a proposed facility off the Ventura County coast. Abstracts:
Dozens of upset Oxnard residents urged state and federal officials Monday to kill an Australian company's plans for a liquefied natural gas facility 14 miles off the Ventura County coast.
...to most of the more than 200 residents at the afternoon meeting, the plant's purported benefits would pale beside its perceived dangers: terrorism, massive clouds of flame, environmental havoc in the waters off Channel Islands National Park, plunging property values and soaring public expense.
The safety of the LNG plant, the tankers supplying it and the pipelines leading from it were far and away the crowd's biggest concerns. A number of speakers cited an environmental report commissioned by the city of Oxnard when an onshore LNG facility was proposed there in 1977. The study forecast that as many as 70,000 people could die in a cloud of flame if an LNG tanker spilled its contents.
"Lives should trump economics," said Oxnard Mayor Manuel Lopez, who was a city planning commissioner during the previous LNG debate. "With 900 miles of coastline in California, it should be possible to find a place where people won't be put at risk."
Tim Riley, an Oxnard attorney who has rallied LNG opponents through a website devoted to the issue, sounded the same theme. He pointed to the January blast at an Algerian LNG plant that killed 27, and to the 1944 LNG explosion that decimated downtown Cleveland and caused 128 deaths.
"LNG does not harmlessly evaporate into the sky, as I hear ad nauseam in press releases," he said. "It can become an inferno and incinerate communities."
"We're being presented with a guinea-pig project," he said. "What's going to happen 10 years from now? Will they say, 'Oops! We made a mistake!' ?"
Riley also objected to the Coast Guard being given the responsibility for determining the project's safety — especially from terrorism.
"You're between a rock and a hard place," he told Joe Angelo, the Coast Guard's director of standards. "No American military person will ever admit they can't protect America."
March 30, 2004 MSNBC.com http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4629513/
Declaring the issue to be as dangerous to the coastal environment as offshore oil drilling, about three dozen local activists and representatives of statewide environmental groups met Monday in Santa Monica to develop a unified strategy to fight a handful of proposals to establish liquefied natural gas terminals in California.
"This issue is the next offshore oil, and the public is largely uninformed," said Susan Jordan of Santa Barbara, director of the California Coastal Protection Network. "The public just doesn't understand what this issue is ... We have to raise the public profile before we proceed."
The meeting was the first time statewide environmental groups have come together to discuss the issue, in response to individual energy proposals in Oxnard, Long Beach, Eureka and along the Baja California coast. Until now it has been mostly debated on the local level.
Among those attending were representatives of the Sierra Club, the Environment Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
A decision last week by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asserting exclusive federal jurisdiction over the siting of liquefied natural gas terminals added urgency to the meeting, Jordan said.
"We have significant concerns at the federal level," she said. "There are elements in the energy bill that make liquefied natural gas in California a foregone conclusion. It's another 'punish California' move. Not only are they pushing it, but they're taking control."
The group will urge Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration to lobby Congress to examine the cumulative effects of the various California proposals and to fight the FERC ruling that would strip state agencies of the authority to decide where terminals and processing facilities should be situated.
Proponents of LNG say it is essential that the United States develop processing facilities so that it can import natural gas. The process of liquefication, in which gas is cooled to minus 259 degrees, makes it economically feasible to ship natural gas in tankers, since the liquid form occupies only one six-hundredths of the space of the fuel in its gaseous form.
There are four terminals in the United States where liquefied natural gas can be pumped from tankers, returned to gas and then distributed via pipeline to power plants, businesses and homes that use the fuel for generating electricity, powering machinery or heating and cooking. None of the terminals is on the West Coast.
Two of the California proposals envision offshore facilities that would include underwater pipelines that would come ashore underground in Ventura County.
BHP Billiton proposes to establish a floating terminal 14 miles off the county's southern coast. Crystal Energy seeks to convert Platform Grace, an existing offshore oil platform 12.6 miles due west of Oxnard, to an LNG terminal. In each case, the liquid would be converted back to gas at the facility, then shipped through pipelines to a Southern California Gas Co. facility near Ventura.
Supporters say the technology has been safely implemented internationally and is a safe and reliable way for the United States to meet its demand for natural gas now that domestic supplies have become more scarce.
Opponents say the potential for a catastrophic fire -- set off, perhaps, by an earthquake or a terrorist attack -- is too great, and that the billions that would be spent to build terminals would increase domestic reliance on imported energy and divert potential investment in alternative energy sources.
Oxnard attorney Tim Riley, a leading opponent of the local proposals and a critic of the LNG industry nationwide, was at the meeting Monday.
He said most who were there were concerned that the Bush administration "is going to use California as an energy dumping ground."
Riley agreed that it is essential for opponents to educate the public about the nature of the proposed operations and the potential for accidents.
"The more people learn about it, the more the groundswell of opposition grows and grows," he said. "I have to trust in the intelligence of the people. So far, they're only hearing about this issue from the energy industry's side."
The group plans to meet again in a month. Members did make one strategic decision on Monday: They decided to always refer to the substance as "liquefied natural gas" rather than its acronym "LNG."
"We want people to stop using an acronym that conveys nothing," Jordan said.
Copyright 2004, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.
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June 25, 2003 LA Times
“Recent LNG projects in California have had a rough time. A terminal proposed… near Vallejo, Calif., was abandoned in January in the face of significant community opposition and a weak economy.”
September 24, 2003
The Associated Press
The resolution passed overwhelmingly 7-2, and declared opposition to a proposed liquefied natural gas importation terminal and docking facility.
Majority declaring that the LNG importation facility would be "located too close to residential areas in the event of a major accident or terrorist attack."
FALL RIVER -- The concerns were
the same, but new voices were added to the mix on Friday as politicians and
residents slammed a plan to build a liquefied natural gas import terminal in the
city's North End.
More than 100 people packed a small staff lunch room at Bristol Community College, testifying before state legislators who serve on the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committees.
May 4, 2004
speak out against proposed LNG
FALL RIVER -- While representatives from the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission, the agency that will decide whether Weaver’s Cove Energy, LLC can
construct a liquefied natural gas facility in Fall River, are in the city today
to tour the proposed site, during the past seven weeks thousands of people have
signed a petition opposing the project.
The Coalition for the Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities, a local
group that formed to oppose Weaver’s Cove’s plan, last week sent copies of
4,000 signatures to the FERC, Attorney General Thomas Reilly, Gov. Mitt Romney
and the local senatorial and congressional delegation.
May 5, 2004
Demonstration Fortifies Opposition
FOWLER , Herald News Staff Reporter
RIVER -- Though it remains to be seen if it will help persuade the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission not to approve the proposed liquefied natural gas
facility slated for the former Shell Oil site, opponents of the project turned
out at the site en mass Tuesday afternoon to protest the plan.
rally, organized by Mayor Edward M. Lambert Jr. attracted roughly 200 people
including residents of Fall River and surrounding communities, area politicians
like Rep. David B. Sullivan, D-Fall River, city councilors and aides for both
U.S. Reps. Jim McGovern and Barney Frank, D-Mass.
The demonstration took place just prior to a site tour by FERC representatives so they were there to witness the community’s resistance.
to Robert Arvedlund, one of the four FERC officials on-site Tuesday, the
commission was already aware of the opposition to the project, but the
demonstration "will fortify it."
think it was a healthy turnout," he said. "I will report back to the
commission the opposition."
said the commission would take the community’s concerns into consideration
when deciding whether to approve the project.
have a right to be concerned from a safety standpoint," Arvedlund said.
May 10, 2004
Letter Regarding Fall River LNG Proposal
FROM MASSACHUSETTS STATE REPRESENTATIVE DAVID B. SULLIVAN
related news, Lambert announced Tuesday that the Bristol Town Council, voted to
support Fall River’s opposition to the LNG facility.
March 24, Lambert sent a letter to the Chairman of the Bristol Town Council and
to the Bristol Town Administrator asking the council to take a vote to go on
record in opposition of the proposed LNG facility.
council voted unanimously to oppose the facility late last month.
a more remote area seems to be the appropriate place to consider constructing
such a facility," Council Clerk Diane Mederos said in a letter to Lambert.
said he was pleased with Bristol’s stance.
further demonstrates that opposition to this ill-conceived proposal to site an
LNG terminal in a heavily populated, urban neighborhood is growing,"
hope that other communities in Rhode Island that I have contacted will also
follow up by taking similar votes."
sent letters to Town Council presidents and town administrators in a number of
Rhode Island communities along the proposed LNG tanker route to Fall River.
communities include Bristol, East Providence, Jamestown, Middletown, Newport,
Portsmouth and Tiverton.
need to continue to demonstrate a strong and growing opposition to this proposed
LNG project to all of our state leaders and agencies in both Massachusetts and
Rhode Island and to the federal government," Lambert said.
"The importance of a united front in this battle cannot be overstated."
©The Herald News 2004
June 11, 2004
The Herald News
contacting Hess LNG
DANIEL FOWLER , Herald News Staff Reporter
FALL RIVER -- After months of telling
officials from both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Weaver’s Cove
Energy that the city opposes having a liquefied natural gas facility sited in
Fall River, Mayor Edward M. Lambert Jr. began the process Thursday of informing
Amerada Hess Corp., the newest player in the saga, of the city’s resistance to
Last week, Amerada Hess
purchased a 50 percent stake in the project from Poten & Partners LLC, the
parent company of Weaver’s Cove.
"I have a call in to their
CEO, Mr. John Hess," Lambert said. "I expect he’ll get back to me. I
just want to introduce myself to talk about the community’s opposition and to
express a willingness on my part to meet with him and his people in New York, if
necessary, to make a case for the community’s opposition."
"I want to make sure they
made an informative investment," Lambert said. "I’m going to make it
very clear that we think this is a dangerous project for the city and that their
(participation in it) would create ill will toward the company."
©The Herald News 2004
June 26, 2004, Community Opposition to LNG in Fall River, MA
April 18, 2004
Camden Village Soup
on Penobscot Bay ignites divisive debate
By Jay Davis
SEARSPORT (April 9): A month from now Searsport voters will decide whether to place a 180-day moratorium on development of a liquefied natural gas terminal in the town.
News 8 WMTW
opponents take case to Augusta
-- Opponents of a proposal to bring a liquefied natural gas terminal to Sears
Island spent Monday in Augusta.
calling on the governor's office to tell the unnamed company that's considering
the Searsport site to look elsewhere.
say the state-owned island - and all of Penobscot Bay - is incompatible
with the large tanks and ships that would go along with an LNG terminal.
Voters in Harpswell recently turned down a similar proposal in their community.
Cove officials get an earful from 100 residents
At a public
meeting, Somerset groups and individuals press Weaver's Cove's CEO on why the
location was chosen and how an LNG facility would affect the area.
SOMERSET -- A verbal firing
squad of more than 100 residents was quick to shoot off questions and opinions
on liquefied natural gas last night, at a public meeting.
The points were aimed at Gordon Shearer, chief executive
officer of Weaver's Cove Energy, which has proposed an LNG import facility for
Fall River, just across the Taunton River from Somerset.
January 16, 2004
Full Story: http://www.al.com/news/mobileregister/index.ssf?/base/news/107424841113040.xml
“ExxonMobil officials on Thursday disputed this week's industry reports that the company is reconsidering its decision to build a liquefied natural gas facility on Hollinger's Island, two miles south of Mobile's city limits.
ExxonMobil spokesman Bob Davis said Thursday from Texas that the Oil Daily story was a "mischaracterization" of his company's position, but that a decision about whether to move ahead in Mobile would have to be made quickly.
‘We are still evaluating. Obviously we are looking very closely at community reaction. And we are looking at the economic climate -- locally and in the state in addition to the recent royalty lawsuit that went against us in November,’ said Davis.”
Copyright 2004 al.com. All Rights Reserved
Friday, October 29, 2004
Friday, October 29, 2004
Exxon gives up on LNG facility
Oil giant had faced opposition over potential dangers associated with $600 million terminal proposed for Hollinger's Island
By BEN RAINES Staff Reporter
ExxonMobil Corp. is abandoning its attempt to build a docking terminal on Mobile Bay for supertankers carrying liquefied natural gas, according to a Thursday statement from the company.
The proposed $600 million facility would have unloaded superchilled natural gas, or LNG, from ships arriving from the Middle East.
Officials with the Houston-based company had said the terminal would create 50 permanent jobs and would ensure that natural gas supplies in the area remained competitively priced.
But opponents echoed a number of LNG scientists, who said that a terminal on Mobile Bay could pose significant safety threats, particularly if an LNG tanker was involved in a worst-case accident or a terror attack.
Full Story: http://www.al.com/news/mobileregister/index.ssf?/base/news/109904151668430.xml
March 10, 2004
HARPSWELL (AP) -- The partners in a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Harpswell announced Wednesday they are ending work on the project in light of the outcome of a town referendum.
Harpswell voters Tuesday rejected a proposal to lease a former Navy fuel depot that would be the site of the $350 million Fairwinds project.
Union Sounds off Against Proposed LNG Facility in Ingleside
By Aaron Drawhorn,
A Nashville-based union is taking its opposition to a new LNG plant in Ingleside to the airwaves.
LNG plant is expected to bring hundreds of jobs.
But the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers Union, better known as PACE, is against it.
An ad running on local radio stations is getting a lot of attention.
The PACE International Union believes Liquefied Natural Gas terminals don't make good neighbors.
They want you to be aware of their deep held beliefs.
PACE also took out paid advertisements in the Ingleside Index and
Aransas Pass Progress.
The Press Herald
TESS NACELEWICZ, Portland Press Herald Writer
CUMBERLAND — In a surprise move Monday night, town
councilors called off an advisory referendum on whether they should begin
negotiating with a Canadian company that wants to build a liquefied natural gas
terminal on Hope Island
Island is one of a handful of locations the company said it is considering for
the terminal. Cousins Island in Yarmouth is another.
think this issue is too big for us," Councilor Michael Savasuk said.
"It's too big for any one town."
a very precious place," said Councilor Mark Kuntz.
decision came after councilors listened to several hours of impassioned
arguments against the terminal from a crowd of about 150 people jamming the
40 people spoke, saying that the terminal would threaten lobstermen's
livelihood, be a potential terrorist target and mar Casco Bay.
of them were Chebeague Island residents, but some were from Cumberland's
mainland and others were from Cliff, Long, Great Diamond and Cousins islands.
of those nearby islands said the terminal, with tanks 14 stories high and a pier
for huge tankers, would negatively impact their lives, too. No one at the
meeting spoke in favor of the terminal.
council did not set up any hearings and the town manager, William Shane, said
afterwards, "I'm not very optimistic that either one of those meetings will
© 2004 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
March 17, 2004
Eureka, Humboldt County
Mayor Peter La Vallee and members of the City Council
Eureka City Hall
531 K Street
Eureka, CA 95502
Mayor Peter La Vallee and Members of the City Council,
We regret to inform you that we are with drawing our request for an Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERTN) agreement for the Samoa LNG project and are ceasing all development activities on the project as of today.
It is the policy of Calpine not to build projects in areas where there is insufficient community support. Based on feedback received from the local community and public officials we feel this decision is best for all parties.
We would like to thank the city council for listening to us and considering our project. We would also like to thank the city staff for their fair and diligent efforts in working with us to present the project.
We wish the residents of Humboldt County well in their efforts to find a productive and compatible use for their port facilities.
March 17, 2004
by Leann Whitten
Full Story: http://www.eurekareporter.com/Stories/fp-03170409.htm
Calpine Corp. — a San Jose-based independent power producer — withdrew its request for an exclusive right to negotiate agreement for the Samoa LNG project on Wednesday. The adjourned City Council meeting scheduled for Thursday night has been canceled.
In a letter to the Eureka City Council, Calpine representative Ken Abreu said Calpine “is ceasing all development activities on the project as of (Wednesday).”
The company was considering proposing a facility that would receive exports — via tanker at a Samoa Peninsula location — of liquefied natural gas, heat it back to its gaseous state and distribute it via pipeline to the Central Valley. Energy from the plant would have also powered a power plant that Calpine would have built for the area.
“It is the policy of Calpine not to build projects in areas where there is insufficient community support. Based on feedback received from the local community and public officials we feel this decision is best for all parties,” he wrote.
import hub sunk by public opposition
Subscription Only March 2004
by DANN RODGERS
California power producer Calpine last week withdrew plans to build an LNG
import terminal in Eureka City near San Francisco due to "insufficient
community support" in a move that further energized growing opposition to
the projects on the US Atlantic and Pacific coasts, observers said,
It was the second cancellation attributed to the 'Nimby' (Not in my back yard) factor in a week, following the rejection of a proposal from ConocoPhillips and TransCanada by the residents of Harpswell, Maine. It also marks the sixth cancellation of an LNG import terminal project in the US over the past 18 months.
"Harpswell on the East Coast and Eureka on the West Coast are obvious cases in point proving that anti-LNG sentiment is not localized to any particular region," said public safety advocate Tim Riley who hosts a national anti-LNG website at TimRileyLaw.com.
"Hits on my website are worldwide and constantly increasing and the more
people visit to learn about the risks of LNG, the more they are against it.
"The opposition just keeps growing and we expect the announcement of a California-wide, formidable anti-LNG coalition by the end of the month to oppose the three remaining projects," said Riley.
Mitsubishi is proposing an onshore project in Long Beach and two other developers Australia's BHP and a local group of investors known as Crystal Energy want to build separate terminals off the communities of Malibu and Ventura.
Environmental scoping hearings for the BHP project were held in two coastal communities last week at which participants expressed overwhelming disapproval of the project, according to local media reports.
"These projects are new and we know there is concern, but in the end, third-party experts will do the environmental reviews and tell us if any of these projects are feasible to proceed," said Lisa Palmer, spokeswoman for Crystal Energy.
"We tried to take into account the opposition that Calpine encountered by siting our project offshore in order to minimize the environmental impacts and also to have it away from populated areas," said Palmer.
Calpine would have built two 13-storey tanks at the terminal, where the mammoth 900-foot-long tankers would have unloaded the LNG for regasification.
In a letter to Eureka City Mayor Peter La Vallee, Calpine officials said it is the policy of the company not to build facilities in areas where there is insufficient community support for the project.
March 29, 2005
Portland Press Herald
LNG terminal is rejected by voters in Perry
By SETH HARKNESS
PERRY — Voters rejected a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal for their community Monday, despite its promise of more short-term jobs than there are residents here and a yearly stipend exceeding the town's annual budget. In voting down the LNG project by a margin of 279 to 214, Perry joined other Maine coastal communities that have declined to host such a facility within the past year.
The $400 million Perry project had gained acceptance last year from members of the nearby Pleasant Point Reservation, and would have been located on tribal land along Passamaquoddy Bay. The tribe bought the land from the town19 years ago with the agreement that any commercial development there would require Perry residents' approval.
As Perry voters left the voting booths Monday, many said the economic benefits of the proposed LNG project - including 1,000 construction jobs for three years and an annual payment to the town of $1 million - would have been outweighed by the intrusion of a large industrial installation on their small community of 844 people. Copyright © 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
April 20, 2004
Community Coalition Hold Hands with Raised Fists To Fight
Who: The No LNG in Long Beach Coalition, members of 15 environmental and neighborhood organizations, came together to organize, strategize and strengthen opposition to the danger posed to their city.
What: The newly formed commitment of a broad based coalition to oppose a Liquefied Natural Gas, (LNG) import facility and power plant in the Port of Long Beach. An accident or terrorist attack on a giant LNG tanker or 85-million gallon storage facilities in the port could devastate nearby schools and neighborhoods.
When: Saturday, April 16.
Why: This coalition of groups and individuals are uniting to oppose the LNG facility on the grounds that it is too dangerous near populated areas in a port that is considered a prime national terrorist target. There are presently no Liquefied Natural Gas terminals anywhere on the West coast of the United States and no facilities nationwide that include the propane and ethane refining operations Mitsubishi proposes to locate a mile and a half from schools, neighborhoods and downtown Long Beach.
The Mayor and the city council have not held any open debate concerning this proposal. Diana Mann, chair of ECO~Link, says, "Despite the great consequences of this proposal, local officials have done nothing to inform local citizens. The public is only now becoming aware of the scope of this project and frustrated by a lack of being able to participate in the discussion."
Bruce Monroe, Sierra Club representative says, "LNG is a dirty fossil fuel that pollutes the air and causes global warming. The Sierra Club opposes all offshore and on shore LNG terminals in California. Instead, we advocate clean solar and wind power." Gordon LaBedz, Surfrider Foundation, states, "The Port is all ready full of dangerous material, the Harbor Commission is ignoring the warnings and the community fears of becoming a terrorist target."
In 1979 the State of California rejected Los Angeles harbor as a potential liquefied natural gas site because of nearby dense population and earthquake risk," says Linda Ivers, Citizens Advocating Responsible Development (CARD). Linda asks, "What has changed? We have a much larger population and we still have earthquakes."
Bry Myown, Long Beach Citizens for Utility Reform, adds "Mitsubishi's proposed liquefied natural gas facility poses very serious safety, economic and air quality risks. Neighborhood leaders, consumer advocates and environmentalists all say "No" to LNG in Long Beach, and we hope our elected officials will do the same."
Karen LaMantia Earth Neighborhood 562 951-6790
Bry Myown Long Beach Citizens for Utility Reform 562-433-0233
Bruce Monroe Sierra Club 562-430-8495
Don May California Earth Corps 562- 630-1491
Gordon LaBedz, MD, The Surfrider Foundation 323-881-5520
Diana Mann ECO~Link, Long Beach 562-494-2889
January 24, 2004
Full Story: http://www.al.com/news/mobileregister/index.ssf?/base/news/107493938733370.xml
"Officials with the U.S. Department of Energy said Friday that they have decided to greatly expand a liquefied natural gas safety review that had previously failed to take into account several important studies on the issue.
In early December, amid allegations that federal officials had misused and mischaracterized several LNG studies while pushing to open LNG import terminals in populated areas…
They've gotten the message…"
Copyright 2004 al.com all rights reserved
January 21, 2004
Comment posted by calixte @ 6:34 PM
Full Comment: http://africanoilpolitics.blogspot.com/
“According to the industry association, the American Petroleum Institute, LNG is a ‘clean-burning natural gas’ that is a ‘preferred fuel due to its environmental benefits.’ This view is echoed by companies like Marathon Oil, saying that ‘natural gas is a clean, reliable and efficient source of energy. It is rapidly becoming the fuel of choice throughout the world, particularly for power generation... LNG is safe and efficient to transport from areas where natural gas is abundant to locations where it is scarce.’ The message is this: there's no danger.
I then decided to look for the opposite view. And I found one opponent of this view, in California: Tim Riley. The website of this lawyer became the unofficial voice of the anti-LNG activists and consumers. Their action is tipping the balance: the debate is being re-ignited by the catastrophe in Algeria. The website is full of information and pictures that are worth checking before taking side. It's worth visiting.”
May 7, 2004
officials weigh in on liquid natural gas port
are flat-out against the proposed port that would be located off the coast near
Mark Bassett/Special to The Malibu Times
Now that the
flurry of the City Council election has subsided, several Malibu city officials
weigh in on a proposed deepwater liquid natural gas port off the coast near
Malibu, while others wait for the results of the state's June draft of an
environmental impact review before making public comment.
City of Oxnard has already submitted several letters of opposition against the
proposed deepwater port by BHP Billiton, Inc.
am philosophically opposed to having any structure, including but not limited to
the regasification terminal, off the coast of Malibu," said Councilmember
Pamela Conley Ulich.
sentiment was echoed by Mayor Sharon Barovsky, who said city staff has been
staying on top of the issue. And while she is waiting for all the facts, if she
had an opportunity to vote on the project she would vote against the LNG
giant BHP Billiton has spent $350,000 to sponsor a proposal for a LNG receiving
terminal that would be moored approximately 14 miles northwest off the coast of
Point Dume. The project would consist of a storage tanker three football fields
long by three football fields wide that would receive three LNG tanker shipments
per week from the Pacific Rim, and distribute 1.5 billion cubic feet of LNG via
an ocean floor pipeline to a processing plant in Oxnard.
Ken Kearsley stressed that it was difficult to comment on the project without
the results of the joint environment impact study and EIR being conducted by
state and federal agencies.
A draft EIR/EIS
will be published in June, followed by a second public comment period, and the
final draft of the EIR/EIS will be delivered in September. At that time a
decision will be made by the California State Lands Commission whether the
proposed deepwater port would be approved, denied or approved with provisions.
Oxnard City Council recently submitted letters opposing the BHP Billiton project
to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department
of Transportation Maritime Administration and California State Lands Commission.
Oxnard maintains that the proposed deepwater port and receiving terminal and the
large pipeline, which would have land fall in Oxnard, will present significant
danger to the city's environment, safety and economy. The city rejected a
similar proposal in the '70s after it was determined that an accidental leak of
LNG could be ignited and would cause a firestorm, possibly killing thousands of
One letter states,
"Oxnard residents have questioned the wisdom of building terminals in an
area prone to earthquakes and expressed fear that a plume of gas could escape
from the terminal, reach land and ignite."
In January, an LNG
explosion in Algeria killed 27 people and injured many more. The explosion
occurred days after Australian LNG leaders offered U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer
Abraham reassurances and the services of safety experts to consult on pending
California projects-including BHP's Cabrillo Port and a Mitsubishi receiving
terminal in Long Beach.
from BHP contend that its proposed floating re-gasification terminal is far less
complex than the Algerian plant because it does not include gas purification
"We hope to
have our project completed by 2008," said Kathi Hann, BHP public affairs
consultant. "[And] to supply 18 percent of Southern California's LNG needs
at a moderate cost."
LNG is dispersed
throughout California from diminishing gas fields in the Rocky Mountains. At a
recent Malibu scoping meeting, Sydney Daly, of the Los Angeles Chamber of
Commerce, said that LNG demand is increasing while domestic supplies are
diminishing, and that new sources of LNG will be needed for California to move
into the future.
the past 18 months, two LNG projects, in Maine and Northern California, were
withdrawn because of overwhelming opposing community sentiment.
In Malibu, Kathryn
Yarnell, the 2002 president of the Malibu Association of Realtors, weighed in on
the BHP Billiton project by submitting a letter of opposition to Cy Oggins of
the California State Lands Commission.
pollute the views, the waters, harm the sea life, reduce property values on the
land," Yarnell wrote. "Most importantly it would make us a target for
the Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference rejected the Department of Water
and Power's application for an undersea LNG pipeline. Its reasoning was that LNG
importation requires security zones to protect against the threat of terrorist
attack. These security zones would need to include the area around tankers
delivering LNG, and around the DWP docking facility. The implementation of such
security zones would create a heightened state of anxiety, put undue burden on
the U.S. Coast Guard, and interfere with the shipping industry, recreational
sailing, whale watching, and tourism in the Channel Islands National Park marine
sanctuaries. In addition, these security zones would be costly for taxpayers,
and would diminish the coastal resort industry and quality of life.
May 27, 2004
LNG Facility North of Malibu Is 'Strongly' Opposed
Acts After Critics Challenge Its Silence
Malibu City Council unanimously went on the record this week “strongly
opposing,” the proposed Liquefied Natural Gas deep water ports proposed off
the coast of Malibu.
item was sought by Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich who had the staff prepare a
review of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s report called the
“Consequence Assessment Methods for Incidents Involving Releases from
Liquefied Natural Gas Carriers.”
report, according to the city’s assistant planner Raneika Brooks-McClain, only
provides “rough estimates of the effects of large LNG spills on water because
currently there are no models that reflect the structure of LNG carriers with
barriers between cargo tanks and double hulls which carry LNG [and] there are no
models that take into account wave action, wind and water currents. The report
fails to measure risks to the public.”
said the council’s opposition could be based on reaffirming the city’s
General Plan’s vision statement.
had come under fire by some observers for not participating in a scoping session
on the LNG port that was held by federal authorities in Malibu several months
ago and critics of the LNG proposal had called on council members to take a
County and Oxnard city officials have taken strong stands in opposition to the
proposed floating vessels that would be anchored in deep water. The vessels
would store and then regassify the LNG before it is carried to the mainland via
resident Bruce Hartenbaun told the council that he had worked for years as an
expert for the Air Force in high explosives, blast waves and blast effects and
said studies during the 1970s had found the probabilities of a disaster were
small, but the consequences are terrible.
was done before terrorism. We were told not to worry about terror in Malibu. LNG
is a target for terrorists. The probability of detonation is now very high. How
can anyone propose a plant in a populated area,” he said, urging the council
to oppose the plans.
resident Tim Riley, who has been an outspoken critic of LNG facilities, said the
port* planned 14 miles off Malibu’s coastline would be three football fields
long, 12 stories high and could hold up to 33 million gallons of LNG which is
equal to 20 billion gallons of natural gas. “The energy is the equivalent of
55 Hiroshima bombs,” he said.
prompting from Conley Ulich, Riley noted the liability of the energy companies
in the event of a disaster is limited by federal law to a $350 million ceiling.
Jeff Jennings asked about the future of LNG if the necessary facilities were
turned down. Riley countered that LNG is a fossil fuel and that most of it comes
from other countries.
will be further manipulated by foreign entities,” he added, insisting the
nation should not be spending billions of dollars on LNG facilities, but rather
concentrate on using scarce dollars to develop renewable energy sources.
© Copyright 2004. All Rights Reserved.
* Quote should read: "the tankers docking at the port planned..."
Ventura County Star
August 24, 2003
By Tim Riley
Currently, California imports approximately 95 percent of its natural gas from within the United States. Liquefied natural gas consortia want to overtake our American resource by importing natural gas from Pacific Rim countries -- i.e. Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia -- increasing our dependence on foreign fuel. Thus, LNG is un-American literally and figuratively.
LNG provided only 1 percent of our nation's energy in 2001 and 2 percent in 2002, a mere drop in the bucket and an unsound energy solution.
No LNG importation facility has ever been permitted on our coast. The current proposals are labeled "innovative" by the energy consortia. What they really mean is: We will be guinea pigs! Their "proven technology" has never been applied to an offshore LNG facility anywhere on Earth.
LNG facilities, tankers and pipelines are vulnerable to major industrial accidents, earthquakes and terrorism, and they would pose a realistic danger to our communities. Tankers are approximately 950 feet long -- the length of more than three football fields. They hold 20 billion gallons of natural gas. Release of that enormous volume of gas would provide devastating power for mass destruction.
LNG has tried locating to Oxnard before, so we already know how massive its destruction can be. The environmental impact report for a facility in 1977 calculated a vapor cloud/population risk scenario based upon an LNG tanker breach in the channel passing lane, determining that the gaseous vapor cloud would be carried by the onshore wind for 30 miles before reaching its ignitable dispersion level (5 percent gas to oxygen), placing 70,000 people at risk of fiery devastation. A 30-mile blast would engulf and incinerate communities from Malibu to Santa Barbara, depending on where the breach occurs and wind direction.
LNG proponents prefer avoiding discussions about the first commercial LNG facility built in the United States, one that caused a major industrial accident in Cleveland. In 1944, according to the U.S. Bureau of Mines report, LNG holding tanks failed and released their contents into the streets and sewers. Their vaporous cloud ignited, and fire engulfed the nearby residents and commercial establishments. The fiery blast devastated approximately one square mile, destroying 79 homes, two factories, 217 cars, seven trailers, left 680 homeless, injured 225, and killed 128.
The amount of gas released from one LNG tanker would be almost 20 times greater than the amount released from the largest Cleveland tank.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, all Americans have learned to think defensively. One does not have to be an alarmist to envision the risk of danger from terrorist sabotage to an LNG tanker, offshore platform or pipeline. Our area is designated a hazardous liquefaction zone with faults and geological movement. Running industrial-sized natural gas pipelines through our neighborhoods would be totally irresponsible.
LNG would not provide our community with sufficient jobs. Only a handful of tugboat pilots will moor tankers. After burying the pipelines, which would be completed within months, those few jobs would cease. Unfortunately, however, the local contractor's liability would continue on until a pipeline exploded, and then financial responsibility for the disaster would attach to the local guy. The jobs end, but the risks continue.
The revenue to our community would be imperceptible. Oxnard would receive $1 million in franchise license fees for pipelines. Such small potatoes barely buy a beachfront lot at Oxnard Shores. Energy firms get all the profits while we take the risks.
LNG, tankers, offshore platforms, billions of gallons of natural gas, pipelines, fog, earthquakes, liquefaction, onshore winds, storms, rough seas, tsunami, collisions, lightning, metal fatigue, defects, corrosion, "innovative" technology, human error, Pacific missile range, inadequate emergency budget and terrorists create a recipe for disaster.
Why worry if the energy industry says LNG is safe?
Tim Riley is a consumer protection advocate and personal injury lawyer from Oxnard Shores. His Web site is TimRileyLaw.com.
Copyright 2003, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.
May 8, 2004
corollary: Not in my front yard
proposed off county coastline prompt questions about need, safety
By Chuck Thomas
We're all familiar
with the NIMBY syndrome, where folks reject undesirable neighbors -- like dumps
and prisons -- by saying, "Not in my back yard."
To most folks who
live near the coast in Ventura County, the beach could be considered our front
yard -- a scenic showcase and a favorite playground. So for all of us who enjoy
the county's beaches regularly, there must be a corollary: NIMFY -- Not in my
There seems no end
to the wondrous projects that commercial entrepreneurs want to put along the
county coastline. Housing tracts and shopping centers, golf courses and boat
harbors, movie studios and tanker terminals -- they've all been proposed, at one
time or other, for the beaches that stretch from Point Mugu to Oxnard Shores.
Nobody has proposed
a dump or a prison there -- at least not yet. Still, the Halaco metal recycling
plant at Ormond Beach comes close to qualifying as a dump, with its massive pile
of toxic waste.
proposed for the beaches now is a return to the bad-old days when the coast was
considered prime dumping ground for whomping, smoke-spewing industrial plants
that would have elicited a NIMBY reaction anywhere else. That's how Halaco wound
up where it is.
The current plan is
for two offshore terminals for liquefied natural gas, one on an existing
offshore oil rig that's already visible on the horizon, the other on a new
platform about the size of a football stadium that would be built for the
occasion. Both would serve as terminals for tankers to unload LNG for
reconversion back into natural gas, which would be piped to the power plants at
Ormond Beach and Mandalay Bay.
beaches are the front yard for the largest city in the county, the Oxnard City
Council wrote a letter to all the state and federal agencies involved asking for
a long official look at all the impacts and hazards of the LNG operations. Even
though Oxnard and Port Hueneme would be the cities most directly affected by the
LNG plants, neither city has authority to grant or deny approval.
because the two terminals would be offshore, beyond even the three-mile limit of
state jurisdiction. In a recent decision involving a proposal for an LNG plant
in the Port of Long Beach, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that
the California Public Utilities Commission had no authority whatever over LNG
The FERC is the
same federal agency that has approved oil drilling in some wilderness areas,
which makes its claim of sole jurisdiction over LNG downright scary.
Since the advent of
the two proposals off the county coast, there has been a virtual chorus of
voices citing the necessity for the importation of LNG. In a public forum in
Oxnard, PUC President Michael Peevey said, "We do need a facility."
Many Ventura County
residents will recall being told that we needed such a facility nearly 30 years
ago, when there was a proposal to build an LNG supertanker terminal off Ormond
Beach. That terminal was never built -- at Ormond Beach nor anywhere else in
California -- and the predicted blackouts from energy shortages never occurred.
A more compelling
argument for the need for LNG may be made this time. But given the power
"shortages" in 2001-02 in California -- which we now know were rigged
by energy companies -- you don't have to be a direct descendant of the original
Doubting Thomas to have some skepticism over predictions about supply.
Besides the two LNG
terminals off this county's coast and the one for the Port of Long Beach, there
are four LNG plants in the planning stage off the coast of Baja California.
Since the primary consumer for imported gas would be the Los Angeles
metropolitan area, an LNG facility in that county would put the risks where the
benefits are. That's not true of piping gas through Ventura County for use in
Los Angeles County.
As one final
migraine to worry about, there's also the threat to our Navy facilities at Point
Mugu and Port Hueneme -- from either accidents or terrorists.
Not too long ago,
the Calpine Corp. proposed an LNG terminal at Humboldt Bay in Northern
California. The citizens who have Humboldt Bay as a front yard protested so
loudly and solidly that Calpine withdrew its proposal, and a Calpine spokesman
said, "It is the policy of Calpine not to build projects in areas where
there is insufficient community support."
Calpine isn't one
of the companies proposing LNG operations off the Ventura County coast, but
those companies should follow Calpine's fine example: If you can't build solid
support in Ventura County, please take your LNG plans elsewhere.
Thomas is a Star columnist whose column appears on the Opinion pages each
Saturday. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
Copyright 2004, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.
The New York Times
Fears Drain Support for Natural Gas Terminals
Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/14/business/14gas.html
By SIMON ROMERO
May 13 - Add natural gas terminals to the list of projects that people do not
want in their backyards.
the supply of natural gas tightened in recent years, energy companies announced
plans to build a host of new terminals where large amounts of gas could be
imported by tanker in liquefied form and then distributed by pipeline to
a growing outcry over the environmental and safety risks associated with the
terminals is blocking those plans in one community after another, eroding hopes
that imports of liquefied gas will provide any relief from high gas prices for
years to come.
Opposition has been most pronounced in California, New England and northwestern Mexico, where environmental and civic groups have focused largely on the danger of catastrophic explosions at terminals, either from accidents or from terrorist attacks.
Those bets have begun to look
shaky in recent months, as several high-profile gas projects have been killed.
Intense local opposition led the Calpine Corporation to withdraw plans in March
for a gas receiving terminal at Eureka in Northern California. ConocoPhillips
canceled a terminal project in Harpswell, Me., for the same reason. Marathon Oil
pulled out of a project near Tijuana, Mexico, that would have supplied gas to
Southern California after the land for it was seized by the state government of
Baja California. Exxon Mobil suspended work on a terminal near Mobile, Ala.
Encouraged by those decisions,
opposition has spread to projects in the Bahamas, Florida, Massachusetts, and
other parts of California and Maine, often from local officials who said that
energy companies had singled out their communities as easy targets: small towns,
on the margins of larger population centers, that were judged to have little
"They might consider us
docile here, but we're going to fight this thing tooth and nail," said
Manuel López, the mayor of Oxnard, Calif., a working-class, predominantly
Latino city 46 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Two companies, BHP Billiton and
Crystal Energy, have proposed offshore gas terminals nearby.
In other communities, officials
who were initially willing to consider terminal projects have changed their
minds after being hit with a storm of opposition. On Monday, the town council of
Cumberland, Me., called off a June referendum on the Hope Island gas terminal
project proposed by TransCanada PipeLines, less than a week after first
scheduling it, when scores of local residents packed a council meeting to speak
against the project, according to The Portland Press-Herald. One council member,
Michael Savasuk, told the paper that the issue was "too big for any one
In all, some 30 terminal
projects in the United States and several more in Mexico and Canada are still
being pursued to import liquefied natural gas. Minor amounts of gas - less than
2 percent of national consumption - now reach the United States by ship through
five existing terminals. The shipments are coming mainly from Algeria or
Trinidad and Tobago; large-scale expansion could add countries like Qatar,
Indonesia, Russia and Peru to the list.
to liquefied natural gas terminals has intensified because of two recent
revelations. One involved an explosion at a gas plant in the Algerian port city
of Skikda in January that killed more than 20 people.
Opposition to liquefied natural gas terminals has intensified because of two recent revelations. One involved an explosion at a gas plant in the Algerian port city of Skikda in January that killed more than 20 people.
On top of concerns over a
Skikda-type accident occurring in the United States, opponents of gas terminals
have seized upon a passage in "Against All Enemies," the recent book
by Richard A. Clarke, the Bush administration's former counterterrorism chief,
in which Mr. Clarke wrote that Al Qaeda operatives may have been traveling to
Boston from Algeria on liquefied gas tankers shortly after the terrorist attacks
of Sept. 11, 2001. "Had one of the giant
tankers blown up," Mr. Clarke wrote, "it would have wiped out downtown
Boston." Copyright 2004
The New York Times Company
On top of concerns over a
Skikda-type accident occurring in the United States, opponents of gas terminals
have seized upon a passage in "Against All Enemies," the recent book
by Richard A. Clarke, the Bush administration's former counterterrorism chief,
in which Mr. Clarke wrote that Al Qaeda operatives may have been traveling to
Boston from Algeria on liquefied gas tankers shortly after the terrorist attacks
of Sept. 11, 2001.
"Had one of the giant
tankers blown up," Mr. Clarke wrote, "it would have wiped out downtown
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
May 23, 2004
By David Gordon
Liquid natural gas
(LNG) import terminals have sparked widespread controversy in nearly all of the
communities where they have been proposed — from California to Maine. At
packed community meetings, parents, fishermen, firefighters and doctors have
raised serious concerns about the terminals' safety, including their
vulnerability to accidents and their attractiveness to terrorists as highly
members fear a repeat of what happened in Algeria last January, when an LNG
facility exploded, killing 26 people and shattering windows up to 7 miles away.
But concerns about
LNG don't stop at these facilities' "burn zones." First, importing LNG
would make the U.S. even more dependent on foreign fossil fuels, a giant step
away from the energy independence most Americans want.
Then there's the
environment. LNG is often touted as a clean source of energy, but when you take
into account the extraction, liquefication and transportation of the gas, it
contributes significantly to global warming. Plus, LNG will come from
controversial gas fields abroad, where energy companies take advantage of lax
environmental laws. For example, Sakhalin Island, Russia, where Shell and
Mitsubishi are drilling, is located in the only feeding ground of the critically
endangered Western gray whale. Shell and Mitsubishi want to import the gas into
proposed terminals in Long Beach and Baja, Mexico, which local communities
The energy industry
cries that LNG is the only way to keep up with growing energy demand. But that's
not necessarily the case. In California, for example, growth in demand can be
met with efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies. Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger wants California to get 20% of its energy from renewable sources
by 2010. Accelerating investments in efficiency and renewable energy not only
will protect our environment and put us on the road to energy independence, but
also can create far more jobs here at home than LNG imports ever will. Importing
LNG would handcuff Californians to fossil fuel dependency for years to come.
It's time we
listened to the communities that are raising the alarm. Imported LNG is
something we would be better off without.
David Gordon is
acting executive director of Pacific Environment, which focuses on environmental
issues along the Pacific Rim.
May 24, 2004
Malibu City Council
Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich's Resolution Opposing The Two Liquefied Natural Gas Deepwater Ports Proposed Off The Coast Of Oxnard, California - Passed Unanimously
RESOLUTION NO. 04-32
A RESOLUTION OF THE MALIBU CITY COUNCIL REAFFIRMING MALIBU GENERAL PLAN’S VISION STATEMENT AND STRONGLY OPPOSING THE TWO LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS DEEPWATER PORTS PROPOSED OFF THE COAST OF OXNARD, CALIFORNIA.
Council of the City of Malibu does hereby find, order and resolve as follows:
SECTION 1. Recitals.
A. Many energy companies have announced plans to build a host of new terminals where large amounts of gas could be imported by tanker in liquefied form and then distributed by pipeline to American customers.
Recently, several high-profile gas projects have been canceled. For example, Intense local opposition led the Calpine
Corporation to withdraw plans in March 2004 for a gas receiving terminal at
Eureka in Northern California. In
addition, ConocoPhillips canceled a terminal project in Harpswell, Me., for the
same reason. Likewise, Marathon Oil
pulled out of a project near Tijuana, Mexico, that would have supplied gas to
Southern California after the land for it was seized by the state government of
Baja California. Finally, Exxon Mobil suspended work on a terminal near Mobile,
There are many inherent risks in liquefied natural gas terminals/ports.
Liquified Natural Gas’s ability to quickly evaporate into the
atmosphere results in vapor that is flammable and detonable when mixed with the
air at certain concentrations.
In "Against All Enemies," the recent book by Richard A. Clarke,
the Bush administration's former counterterrorism chief, Mr. Clarke wrote that
Al Qaeda operatives may have been traveling to Boston from Algeria on liquefied
gas tankers shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; "Had one
of the giant tankers blown up," Mr. Clarke wrote, "it would have wiped
out downtown Boston."
Two companies, BHP Billiton and Crystal Energy, have proposed offshore
gas terminals close to the coast of Malibu.
These proposals envision offshore facilities that would include
underwater pipelines that would come ashore underground in Ventura County.
Specifically, BHP Billiton proposes to establish a floating terminal 14
miles off the county's southern coast. Crystal Energy seeks to convert Platform
Grace, an existing offshore oil platform 12.6 miles due west of Oxnard, to an
LNG terminal. In each case, the liquid would be converted back to gas at the
facility, then shipped through pipelines to a Southern California Gas Co.
facility near Ventura.
F. According to the Vision Statement in the Malibu General Plan adopted in 1995, the people of Malibu are committed to protecting the environment and to preserving Malibu’s unaltered natural resources. The people of Malibu are a responsible custodian of the area’s natural resources for present and future generations. The Vision Statement provides: “Malibu is a unique land and marine environment and residential community whose citizens have historically evidenced a commitment to sacrifice urban and suburban conveniences in order to protect that environment and lifestyle, and to preserve unaltered natural resources and rural characteristics. The people of Malibu are a responsible custodian of the area’s natural resources for present and future generations.” (Emphasis added.)
G. The proposed LNG terminal/ports can take human and marine life, leave our ocean forever altered and destroy properties. Specifically, a large explosion and blast wave -- set off, perhaps, by an earthquake or a terrorist attack would result in the loss of human and marine life and property.
2. The City Council does affirm
the Vision Statement in the General Plan and will act as necessary to protect
the area’s natural resources (i.e. human, marine and ocean life).
Accordingly, the City Council strongly opposes the two Liquefied Natural
Gas Deepwater Ports proposed by BHP Billiton and Crystal Energy off the coast of
3. Be it therefore
resolved, that Staff send a letter to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission and the US Coast Guard strongly opposing above-mentioned proposed
Liquefied Natural Gas Ports by the May 28, 2004 due date and continue to monitor
the development of any proposed Liquefied Natural Gas projects and send any and
all additional letters opposing such terminals and/or ports to appropriate
agencies as necessary.
SECTION 4. The City Clerk
shall certify to the passage and adoption of this resolution and enter it into
book of original resolutions.
PASSED, APPROVED, and ADOPTED on May 24, 2004.
Protests Neighboring LNG Proposals
jurisdiction, the City Council nevertheless goes on record against two planned
gas projects for Santa Barbara Channel.
Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
City Council has passed a resolution opposing two massive liquefied natural gas
projects in the Santa Barbara Channel, echoing similar protests by cities near
other proposed LNG facilities.
Malibu has no jurisdiction over the proposed projects, bitter local opposition
has recently sunk LNG proposals in a number of locations, including Eureka in
Northern California and Harpswell, Maine.
help overcome such protests, Australia's Prime Minister John Howard is to meet
next week with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as part of a U.S. visit.
Billiton, the developer of one of the Santa Barbara Channel projects, is an
Australian company that would ship natural gas via a terminal 14 miles off the
coast north of Malibu.
this project can be won for Australia, it will be an enormous additional export
victory for this country," Howard told his nation's parliament Tuesday.
other project in the Santa Barbara Channel would be an LNG terminal proposed by
the privately held Crystal Energy of Houston for a dormant oil platform 11 miles
which must approve pipelines that come ashore in the city, has signaled its
probable opposition in letters to state and federal regulatory agencies.
unanimous resolution Monday night asserted the possibility of environmental
damage from the projects. It also alleged they would make attractive targets for
a day and age where they can fly planes into the Twin Towers, I see no reason
they couldn't do the same thing with liquid gas and obliterate a couple of
coastal communities," Mayor Sharon Barovsky said in an interview Tuesday.
"It's my understanding that if they explode, Thousand Oaks becomes a beach
by Councilwoman Pamela Conley Ulich, the resolution cited "Against All
Enemies," the recent book by Richard A. Clarke, the Bush administration's
former head of counter-terrorism. In the book, Clarke raised the prospect of
terrorists using LNG tankers as floating bombs.
projects' developers have argued that natural gas in its super-chilled, liquid
form is not nearly as volatile as critics claim. They say recent technology
would minimize the risks, which are being assessed in state and federal
concerns will be addressed during the environmental review and public hearing
process, which is an important part of the licensing procedures," said
Kathi Hann, a local spokeswoman for BHP Billiton.
Energy could not be reached for comment on Malibu's action.
Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times
May 26, 2004
Long Beach Press
hired to stall LNG plan
Group to aid local
opposition, fight FERC ruling.
By Eric Johnson
Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - A
Lakewood environmentalist group has hired legal counsel in an attempt to delay
or block a plan to bring a liquefied natural gas terminal to the Port of Long
California Earth Corps
president Don May said Tuesday that his organization has hired two attorneys
from Bertrand, Fox and Elliott, a San Francisco-based law firm, to represent
local opposition to the project and to fight a Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission decision that the federal agency has ultimate authority over whether
the project is permitted.
Sound Energy Solutions, a Long
Beach subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp., plans to build a $400 million LNG
receiving terminal on Terminal Island. The terminal would be equipped to handle
enough LNG to provide for 10 percent of California's natural gas demand.
LNG is natural gas, or methane,
chilled to minus 260 degrees until it concentrates and turns into a clear,
odorless liquid. Natural gas is easier to store and ship in liquid form.
The terminal, proposed to come
online in 2008, has been met with resistance from a number of Long Beach
residents, who variously claim that the terminal would be prone to terrorist or
earthquake dangers, or that the project furthers the nation's dependence on
energy sources from foreign countries.
FERC, which ruled in March that
it would have final say on any LNG terminal in the country (about 30 have been
proposed nationwide), is scheduled to decide in June whether it will reconsider
The California Public Utilities
Commission filed a motion in April saying that SES must obtain state permits
before proceeding with the project, regardless of FERC's jurisdictional claims
over the proposed Long Beach facility, because all the LNG from the terminal
would be used in-state.
"Regardless of which way
it goes at FERC, it's going to go to court,' May said. "It's gonna be a
long fight and I think it will be fatal to SES if it gets tied up in court.'
May said one attorney has been
hired to represent his group in the FERC/CPUC dispute. California Earth Corps,
an offshoot of San Francisco-based advocacy group Earth Island Institute, filed
as "intervenors' in FERC's decision.
And another lawyer has been
retained to write an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief outlining
California Earth Corps' objections to the project. An amicus brief is filed by
someone who is not party to the litigation, but who believes that a court's
decision may affect its interest.
"That pretty much
guarantees that it will be a couple years before litigation is finished,' May
The objective is simple: stop
the project, which, May says, sits atop several active seismic faults.
Jeffrey Adler, spokesman for
SES, says that the developers are determined to work through any delays.
"Mitsubishi is here to
stay and they're here to see this project through,' Adler said. "A threat
of court action comes as no surprise. It's something you plan for in putting a
project of this scope together. Hiring attorneys for this kind of thing is
Neither Adler nor Sound Energy
Solutions CEO Thomas Giles seemed worried by California Earth Corps' move.
"I assumed they had
already hired attorneys,' Giles said.
Politicians jostle for LNG control
US federal politicians have proposed a Bill in favour of liquefied natural gas imports that will allow them to rule on siting permit applications instead of officials at state or municipal level
By Dann Rogers
The Bill, HR 4413, seeks to re-assert that the Federal Energy & Regulatory Commission will be the lead agency to streamline environmental review and permitting and oversee all onshore regasification terminal applications.
It charges the federal agency to do it as quickly and efficiently as the Coast Guard reviews offshore terminal applications.
Several high-profile LNG permit applications throughout North America have been withdrawn in the past 18 months as a result of local opposition fanned by fears of the import terminal coming under attack from terrorists.
Earlier this week, the Malibu City Council in California passed a resolution with unanimous consent opposing offshore LNG terminal proposals from Australia's BHP and another one from a group of local financiers.
The federal government and the state of California are also in the midst of an onshore jurisdictional dispute over which body gets to decide the fate of the Mitsubishi LNG proposal at Long Beach, a southern municipal neighbour of Los Angeles.
Long Beach politicians were to vote on a similar resolution opposing LNG import terminals, however, the item was dropped from an 18 May meeting and is not yet rescheduled.
Federal politicians claim that jurisdictional conflicts are killing new LNG projects, in part because a far wider-reaching Energy Bill supported by President George W. Bush has been bogged down in the Senate after it got overtaken by the current presidential campaign.
June 4, 2004
Ventura County Star
Governor may have veto over LNG site Obscure law might give state final say
By Timm Herdt, therdt@VenturaCountyStar.com
SACRAMENTO -- A provision of the federal Deepwater Ports Act, a little-used law that regulates offshore oil and gas terminals, suggests that this week's meeting between Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was far more than a courtesy visit.
The law gives the U.S. secretary of transportation the authority to license an offshore facility such as a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal 14 miles off the Ventura County shore. However, it also says that "the secretary shall not issue a license without the approval of the governor" of the state connected by pipeline to the deepwater port.
That likely means Schwarz-enegger would have veto power over the LNG terminal proposed by BHP Billiton, an Australia-based energy firm.
"That's why the Australian prime minister met with the governor," said Oxnard attorney Tim Riley, a leading opponent of the local LNG proposal. "I'm sure their attorneys have read the Deepwater Ports Act."
Steve Meheen, project manager for BHP Billiton's proposed Cabrillo Port project, said the law gives the governor 45 days to act from the time the secretary of transportation issues his decision -- in this case, probably in January or February. The governor can agree, place conditions on his approval, or object.
Since the law has never been been invoked, it is not clear how the secretary would be able to respond to a governor's conditions or objections. "It's never been tried before," Meheen said.
After the governor and prime minister met privately in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Howard alone spoke at a news conference. He told an Australian radio reporter, "The governor ... said very positive things about the BHP Billiton proposal. There is clearly a desire to establish a linkage with an Australian supplier, if other difficulties can be dealt with, and we are confident they can."
BHP Billiton Chairman Don Argus also participated in the meeting and later told the radio reporter, "It would appear that the governor does want to get some solutions to the energy issues here in California, so I would imagine there is some urgency in his mind."
Spokeswoman Ashley Snee said the governor is open to exploring all energy options.
"The governor supports the diversification of California's energy sources, and liquefied natural gas is one avenue toward achieving that goal," Snee said.
Schwarzenegger has not publicly taken a position on the BHP Billiton proposal.
Proponents say the terminals are necessary so that California and other Western states can import natural gas from abroad. In addition to its industrial and household uses, natural gas is the principal fuel used at power plants to generate electricity.
The only way large quantities of natural gas can be transported is to freeze the fuel to liquid, ship it by tanker, and then convert it back to gas for pipeline distribution.
Critics say the process is too dangerous, fraught with the potential for catastrophic accident in the event of a spill that could emit a large, extremely flammable vapor cloud.
BHP Billiton officials cite their project's offshore location as a safety benefit over onshore proposals that have been put forth in Long Beach, Vallejo and Humboldt County. Not only would the facility be distant from population centers, they note, its remote locale would also make it less attractive as a potential target for terrorists.
Groups concerned about LNG safety and environmental effects have urged the Schwarzenegger administration to analyze the various LNG proposals from a comprehensive, statewide perspective.
In a letter last week to Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman and California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Terry Tamminen, the 25 members of a statewide LNG watchdog group urged the state "to clarify its rightful jurisdiction over LNG facilities."
The state Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are engaged in a jurisdictional battle over the siting of potential onshore LNG facilities.
Last week, FERC Commissioner Joseph Kelliher said the largest obstacle to opening LNG terminals in the United States is "the jurisdictional challenge posed by California."
The commission ruled in March that it has exclusive authority to license onshore LNG terminals. The PUC challenged that ruling in April, and the issue is likely headed to court.
On Thursday, PUC President Michael Peavey wrote Kelliher rebuking him for his comments. Peavey wrote that the federal agency's resistance to state involvement will only lead to greater local opposition to LNG proposals.
"There is no logical reason why LNG facilities cannot be sited by state agencies in safe locations with due regard for environmental concerns," Peavey wrote.
Copyright 2004, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.
June 8, 2004
Natural Gas Port Two firms consider land on or near Camp Pendleton for an LNG shipping terminal.
By Deborah Schoch Times Staff Writer
ChevronTexaco has approached the Marine Corps about building a liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast or on land at Camp Pendleton, provoking vehement opposition from the commanding general of one of the nation's best-known Marine bases, Marine officials said.
The Marines also oppose Camp Pendleton being listed as an alternative site for an LNG terminal proposed by the Australian energy company BHP Billiton off the shore of Ventura County.
"As the current commander of this installation, I am unequivocally opposed to the establishment of a commercial LNG facility on or near the coastline of this Marine Corps amphibious training base," Maj. Gen. W.G. Bowdon wrote state officials last month.
Environmentalists reacted with anger Monday to news of a possible LNG facility, calling the Camp Pendleton coastline one of the most pristine in Southern California, home to a wealth of rare plants, animals and birds.
The focus on Camp Pendleton — the last major piece of undeveloped California coastline south of Ventura — highlights the keen interest among energy firms to locate terminals in California and win a share of the lucrative natural gas market.
Companies nationwide are jockeying for position to import LNG from overseas to counter rising natural gas prices and a dwindling domestic supply. But mounting concern about the potential fire hazards of LNG facilities and the mammoth tankers that would serve them is spurring strong protests by residents near some proposed sites, including Long Beach, Ventura County and several New England cities.
The notion of a terminal at Camp Pendleton, however, has received virtually no attention to date. The base is considered one of the nation's most important Marine amphibious training areas, and Marines trained there for such storied battles as Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal.
In addition, the Navy has used an offshore island for bombing practice.
Environmentalists note that the San Onofre nuclear plant is on the coast just north of the base, and they question whether an LNG terminal should be located nearby.
Some of the region's most legendary surfing areas are on or near the base, including a stretch near San Onofre surfers call the Yosemite of surfing.
"I don't know where these oil companies, these multinational corporations, get off using our beaches and coastal resources like some sort of poker game on this LNG thing," said Mark Massara, Sierra Club director of coastal programs. "Apparently there is no beach that is safe from these folks."
Coastal activist Susan Jordan, who has criticized how the state is reviewing prospective LNG facilities, said, "This is just another example of how the site selection process is flawed."
ChevronTexaco spokeswoman Nicole Hodgson said Monday she could not comment on any interest her company has in building a terminal in or near the 200-square-mile base, adding that ChevronTexaco was exploring LNG sites on the East and West coasts.
"We consider conversations that we have about these strategies with various stakeholders as confidential," she said. She added, "We haven't been notified by the Marines of its position on locating an LNG terminal at Camp Pendleton."
In his letter to state officials, Bowdon said, "The Marine Corps remains absolutely opposed to the [ChevronTexaco] idea; and our position on this matter, including reasons we're against it, has been clearly stated on several occasions to ChevronTexaco officials."
After reviewing a copy of Bowdon's letter provided by The Times, Hodgson said Monday, "We haven't been notified by the Marines of its position."
Told that the Marines report otherwise, Hodgson said, "If they say something else, that's their position, and this is our position."
ChevronTexaco is pursuing plans to build an LNG terminal in the Coronado Islands in Mexico, just south of San Diego, which would provide gas primarily for Mexico, although the firm may consider distributing the surplus to California, Hodgson said.
"We believe that more than one LNG terminal will be required to address the energy needs on the West Coast," she added.
An official with BHP Billiton said Monday that the firm was not interested in a Camp Pendleton terminal, although planners mentioned the base as a possible alternative to the Ventura County site during state environmental reviews.
Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times
"...Marines are cautiously open to the idea of a gas
plant off Pendleton's shores. "
June 15, 2004 10:27
brass overrule base leader on energy plant idea
By: ERIN WALSH - Staff Writer
PENDLETON ---- Just weeks after the commanding general at Camp Pendleton said he
would not allow natural gas companies to build an energy plant off the base's
shores, military officials in Washington have overruled that decision and said
they will allow the base to be considered for such a plant.
Bowdon had no
comment, according to a base spokesman.
reports surfaced that Maj. Gen William Bowdon told state land officials in a
letter that he was "unequivocally opposed" to any plans by any company
to build a liquefied natural gas terminal "on or near the coastline"
of Camp Pendleton.
natural gas plant ---- a huge, floating platform that receives liquefied gas and
pumps it to utilities onshore through underwater pipes to heat homes and
generate electricity ---- would interfere with training exercises on the base's
coastline, Bowdon said.
Bowdon's letter was made public in newspaper reports last week, Marine brass in
Washington, D.C., said in a written statement that Bowdon's comments did not
represent the position of the Marine Corps.
Marine Corps does not object to any (liquefied natural gas) industry assessment
to site a facility in the vicinity of Camp Pendleton," Lt. Gen. Richard
Kelly, deputy commandant of Installations and Logistics for the Marine Corps,
wrote in a letter to the North County Times.
Kelly said in
the written statement that the Marines are cautiously open to the idea of a gas
plant off Pendleton's shores.
Marine Corps would be very concerned with any effort that does not thoroughly
assess alternatives, consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and
state laws," he added. "Any final decision to allow siting of a
(liquefied natural gas) facility in the vicinity of Camp Pendleton must be based
upon a thorough assessment and mitigation of potential impacts on readiness
sustainment, safety, security, and compatibility with Marine Corps
nor his spokesman, Maj. Nat Fahy, was available for further comment Tuesday.
Bowdon is set
to retire in July. His retirement ceremony was planned before Washington
officials issued their statement slapping down Bowdon's comments about the
natural gas plant. Invitations to his retirement ceremony were postmarked June
10. Kelly's letter from Marine headquarters in Washington was sent to the paper
writer Erin Walsh at (760) 739-6644 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Darrin Mortenson contributed to this report.
June 8, 2004 - 4:05PM
Californians could scuttle deal
Winning the confidence of
jittery Americans was the biggest hurdle to scoring multi-billion dollar gas
contracts with California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, federal minister Ian
The industry, tourism and
resources minister will meet Schwarzenegger's resources secretary, Mike
Chrisman, in California later this week to promote BHP Billiton's liquefied
natural gas (LNG) project and several other proposals from companies with
lucrative Australian gas assets.
These companies include Santos,
Woodside and global giants ChevronTexaco and Exxon Mobil.
"We'll be talking about
energy opportunities, particularly LNG out of the west coast of Australia,"
The meeting with Chrisman
follows Prime Minister John Howard's "very positive" talks with
Schwarzenegger in Los Angeles last Wednesday to promote BHP Billiton's proposal
to ship LNG to a massive floating terminal the company plans to build 23km off
the California coast.
The gas would then be piped to
the US mainland.
The proposal has stirred up
opposition from at least two Californian councils - Malibu and Oxnard - and
recently 25 US environmental groups sent a letter to Chrisman requesting a
The councils and groups fear
the BHP Billiton project, expected to generate $A15 billion in exports for
Australia if approved, could be an environmental disaster or a terrorist target.
Macfarlane said easing the US
community fears would be the toughest task, although he talked up Australia's
long safety record with LNG.
"The biggest issue is
allaying the safety and environmental concerns local people have," he said.
"Australia has 25 years'
experience with LNG and a perfect safety record.
"I think put that with our
cultural alignment with the US and the fact some of these companies that own
assets in Western Australia are American based, like ChevronTexaco, as well as
global companies like BHP Billiton, we feel we have a good opportunity."
California is in the midst of an
energy crisis and the minister will tell Chrisman Australia can help with its
"Australia is very well placed
on LNG," Macfarlane said.
"We've got about 200 trillion
cubic feet of gas to spare and California's energy demand will rise about .75
trillion cubic feet so we can easily cover that, but realistically, if we got a
half share of that it would be a contract of major proportions."
© 2004 AAP
June 13, 2004, Ventura County Star, Editorial
LNG Proposals Need Review
Curb enthusiasm, governor
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger jumped the gun June 2 when he met privately with Australia's prime minister, who is pitching an Australian company's plan to build a liquefied natural gas terminal 21.5 miles off the Oxnard coast.
BHP Billiton is one of two companies that is working to site an LNG terminal off Ventura County's coastline. BHP Billiton wants to build a permanently moored deepwater LNG regasification facility, called Cabrillo Port. Texas-based Crystal Energy wants to use an abandoned oil platform 11 miles off the Oxnard coast as a docking site for ships importing natural gas.
At this stage, it hardly seems appropriate for California's governor to be expressing keen interest in one proposal or to be sending administration officials to visit Australian gas fields in July.
Given the number of LNG proposals in California, the state Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are battling over what organization has the authority to license LNG terminals. In March, FERC ruled it has exclusive authority, and the PUC challenged that assertion in April, so the issue is likely to be decided in court.
However that is decided, as The Star's state bureau chief Timm Herdt reported, the law gives ultimate decision-making authority to the governor of the state, noting that the U.S. secretary of transportation "shall not issue a license without the approval of the governor" of the state connected by pipeline to the deepwater port.
So, Australian Prime Minister John Howard went straight to the top to make his appeal for the Australian firm BHP Billiton.
At this point, the governor needs to curb his enthusiasm for individual companies until there has been a comprehensive analysis of all the pending LNG proposals in the state.
As 25 members of a statewide LNG watchdog group -- the Statewide LNG Environmental Stakeholder Working Group -- are urging, there needs to be a review of the state's need for imported LNG, the potential environmental and security impacts of the various proposals, and more information on siting choices.
Also, the jurisdictional issue must be addressed. It makes no sense for the FERC to try to cut out the state Public Utilities Commission or local officials from the decision-making process.
Instead of kowtowing to Australia's prime minister, promoting a special interest, Gov. Schwarzenegger should ensure that any decision on liquefied natural gas in California benefits his constituents, above all, and is based on a careful, objective view of the facts.
Copyright 2004, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.
FYI: The Editorial Page included
an Online Reference Insert suggesting, "For more information on
liquefied natural gas, check out these Web sites:" [the LNG proponents web
pages and TimRileyLaw.com/LNG.htm ]
The Providence Journal
June 15, 2004
TV commercial display potential perils of proposed LNG terminal
BY MARK REYNOLDS Journal Staff Writer
FALL RIVER -- The latest assault on a proposed port facility for receiving liquefied natural gas comes in the form of a television commercial narrated by a fifth-grader.
"They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but these pictures could be worth a lot more," 11-year-old Andrea Souza says.
Footage of sailors on Mount Hope Bay segues other scenes including the aftermath of a deadly accident at an Algerian LNG facility earlier this year.
Souza, the daughter of former City Councilwoman Ann O'Neil-Souza, recites an ominous list: "Millions of pollutants dirtying our air and water. Billions of dollars spent on public safety. And possibly, thousands of lives lost.
"LNG not for me," she says, "Or you."
The commercial and two other 30-second ads were unveiled yesterday at City Hall.
Opponents of the terminal proposed for Weaver's Cove hope the ads will generate even greater opposition to the project.
"As more and more people join the effort to fight, it makes the company nervous," said Mayor Edward M. Lambert Jr. "It makes the federal government nervous."
Starting tomorrow, the commercials will air locally on Fox Cable News, ESPN, and other cable channels carried by Comcast Cable. The campaign, sponsored by the Coalition for Responsible Siting of LNG, aims to air the ads 500 times.
They were produced by two Fall River men, Michael Herren and Gerry Landy, who have their own production company, Hope Street Pictures.
The commercials detail a few LNG accidents, but they make no specific mention of terrorism.
Opponents often argue that an LNG facility is a logical target for terrorists who hope to unleash a deadly inferno.
June 16, 2004
LNG plant opposition stepped up
City councilors will take their campaign against tank proposal to Wasington, D.C.
BY RICHARD C. DUJARDIN Journal Staff Writer
EAST PROVIDENCE -- Worried about the impact of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on the city's efforts to redevelop the waterfront, the City Council decided last night to ask the Rhode Island congressional delegation to help get the terminal moved somewhere else.
The council voted to send representatives to Washington, D.C., to meet with lawmakers and endorsed a complaint that City Solicitor William J. Conley Jr. filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The complaint accuses KeySpan LNG, which wants to begin using a dormant 600,000-barrel storage tank on the Providence side of the Providence River, of failing to provide enough information about the route the gas would take once it is connected to a pipeline, and not being clear on whether the tank complies with codes.
Some city officials fear that the gas would end up being pumped across the river and across property crucial to the effort by East Providence to remake the waterfront into an area of hotels, restaurants, apartments and condominiums.
The complaint says KeySpan should be made to supplement its application for use of the storage tank with an analysis of the impact on waterfront development plans.
Regardless of the route that the pipeline takes, Mayor Rolland R. Grant said the LNG facility would pose a danger to East Providence residents.
Experts cannot rule out an explosion, Grant said. And if there is an explosion, he said, East Providence would be threatened because "the air travels east."
ALARMING: A new bill in the U.S. House seeks to remove decision-making power regarding LNG terminals from the states.
Sunday, June 20, 2004
assert control over LNG terminal siting
By BEN RAINES
two-fisted regulatory punch may have important ramifications for Alabama and all
other coastal states when it comes to building liquefied natural gas terminals.
Energy Regulatory Commission has issued official orders stating unequivocally
that the federal government, not the states, has final say over where new LNG
terminals can be built.
Also, a new
bill in the U.S. House seeks to remove decision-making power regarding LNG
terminals from the states.
regulatory moves may limit the impact of the intense local opposition that has
thwarted a number of LNG proposals in the last two years on the Atlantic,
Pacific and Gulf coasts.
terminals proposed in heavily industrialized ports in Texas and Louisiana have
received FERC permits since federal officials announced that LNG imports should
become an important part of the nation's energy supply.
Congress have said the permits issued by FERC over the last year may need to be
reconsidered, because they were granted based on flawed federal safety studies
that have since been discounted.
The new House
bill reads "no State or local government may require a permit, license,
concurrence, approval, certificate or other form of authorization with respect
to the siting, construction, expansion or operation of a liquefied natural gas
The bill was
introduced by Rep. Lee Terry, R-Okla., who sits on the House Energy and Commerce
Committee. Terry was quoted in Gas Daily, an oil industry trade publication, as
saying that "parochial opposition and industry concerns about FERC
regulation have delayed or derailed many" LNG projects.
his bill would speed federal review of LNG terminal proposals and better
reassure LNG companies about the permit process. He told Oil Daily, another
industry publication, that he is "trying to ride the line between giving
more power to FERC without making them dictatorial and having them move without
does not contain any apparent mechanism that state officials could use to stop
construction of an LNG terminal once FERC granted a permit.
its new orders concerning "the State and Federal jurisdictional
conflict" on the agency Web site. The controversy, according to a prepared
statement from FERC, is "ripe for court litigation."
efforts to clarify its position stem from a simmering dispute between the agency
and the California Public Utilities Commission.
has challenged FERC's authority to site LNG terminals in the state, arguing that
under California law, state permission is required to build such a facility.
authority for the siting and construction of liquefied natural gas import
terminals rests exclusively with the federal government," reads an order
issued by FERC in March that rebutted California's jurisdictional claims.
indicates that FERC will exert its siting authority even over the objections of
states where terminals would be built.
that state and local representatives act under delegated federal authority ...
and in a manner compatible with our policies and regulations, there will be no
jurisdictional conflict. To the extent that state and local directives frustrate
federal rights or requirements, federal provisions hold sway," reads a
follow-up order issued by FERC on June 9. The order also says that states cannot
"prohibit or unreasonably delay the construction of facilities approved by
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley employed a little-known provision of state law to block
ExxonMobil Corp.'s proposed LNG terminal on Mobile Bay. He refused to allow
ExxonMobil to use the "submerged lands" beneath Mobile Bay that are
owned by the state until an independent safety study was conducted. The state
claims that the company would need Alabama's permission to build a dock for LNG
tankers on the underwater land.
has yet to submit a permit application to FERC for the proposed terminal. If the
company applies, FERC conceivably could consider Riley's action as an attempt to
"prohibit or unreasonably delay" the project, based on its new orders.
general question about LNG permits in Alabama last week, a FERC official said
the agency never received a permit application for a terminal in Alabama. The
official did not wish to speculate on how the agency would view such an
ExxonMobil announced its LNG project for Mobile Bay last summer, FERC, during
public meetings, emphasized the importance of community involvement in the
permitting process. But FERC's recent orders have led some to question the
significance of the role that the public plays in the permitting process. For a
terminal under consideration in the Long Beach, Calif., port, both the state and
local community groups have been vocal in expressing concerns.
makes me wonder why FERC has stakeholder representation as part of the process
at all. They came here and told us the public had a say," said Casi
Callaway, director of the Mobile Bay Watch environmental group. "I think
this is something that every legislator from city council person to federal
senator should outright oppose, because if the public doesn't have a say in
their own community, what is the purpose of having legislators?"
comment about the California developments and the House bill, U.S. Rep. Jo
Bonner, R-Mobile, responded Friday that LNG safety is an important
consideration, and people need the opportunity to comment and "get their
questions answered regarding the safety issues."
He said in a
statement that the current FERC process "guarantees this opportunity
through numerous required public hearings and public comment periods."
said, some issues of national interest must be, and are, established as uniform
national policies," Bonner said. "I think it is appropriate and
responsible that siting of energy facilities remain in this category."
for Sen. Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, said Thursday that the senator "continues to
believe that community involvement is an essential part of the siting process
for any LNG facility. Communities need to be assured that their citizens and
their interests are protected."
previously expressed concern in letters to several federal agencies that federal
officials were misusing science in an effort to site LNG terminals in places
such as Mobile Bay.
to the ExxonMobil proposal for a terminal just south of Mobile, Cheniere Energy
has proposed a terminal just across the Mobile River from downtown Mobile.
Officials with those companies say the proposals are on the back burner, but
both companies still hold their land options and could apply for FERC permits at
also announced its intention to build an offshore LNG terminal 11 miles south of
offload super-cooled, liquefied natural gas shipped from abroad. The gas is
warmed, converted back to the familiar vaporous form used at power plants and in
home appliances and injected into the nation's natural gas pipeline grid.
Trinidad and in Skikda, Algeria, have experienced accidents in the last few
months. The Algerian accident killed 27 people and destroyed equipment worth
hundreds of millions of dollars.
scientists say the proposals for terminals in populated areas, such as Mobile,
pose a number of safety issues related to transporting tremendous quantities of
highly flammable natural gas aboard ships.
concern to scientists is the possibility that terrorists could turn one of the
tankers into an enormous fireball. In Boston, terror worries have prompted state
officials to suspend all LNG shipments to a terminal in Boston Harbor late next
month during the Democratic National Convention.
December 2003 letter to federal agencies stemmed from Register reports quoting
the author of a government safety study, who said his research was being misused
by FERC and the U.S. Department of Energy.
comments from authors of at least one risk assessment currently in use indicate
that this assessment is being used improperly by several government entities. I
am troubled by this allegation and believe that the improper use of scientific
papers anor documents does not provide the government or the community with a
proper evaluation of the possible risks resulting from an LNG event,"
Shelby concluded in the letter.
to concerns about the misused study, FERC commissioned another study, released a
month ago. The author of that study, conducted by Houston-based ABS Consulting,
has acknowledged that his work contains several key flaws.
already used the ABS study in federal permitting documents for a terminal in
Copyright 2004 al.com. All Rights Reserved.
June 23, 2004
The Malibu Times
opposition reroutes proposed LNG pipeline
forced BHP Billiton to change route of pipeline for proposed liquefied natural
gas terminal off the coast of Oxnard near Malibu. FERC says federal government,
not the states, has regulatory control over LNG terminal approvals.
By Mark Bassett
objection to the proposed landfall of a pipeline that would transport liquefied
natural gas from a deepwater port off the coast of Ventura County, 14 miles
northwest of Malibu's coastline, to Ormond Beach in Oxnard, has resulted in the
rerouting of the proposed pipeline further east.
In addition, the
U.S. Coast Guard has put on hold review of BHP Billiton's proposed Cabrillo Port
project, with a deepwater regasification terminal to be located 14 miles off of
the coast of Point Dume, until the company provides more technical and
The community of
Oxnard, public officials and environmental activists lobbied against the
proposed pipeline, concerned about the dangers of a leak from the pipeline.
pipeline route has changed in response to comments received at the March scoping
meetings," said Kathi Hann, public affairs consultant for BHP Billiton.
"BHP Billiton completed responses to all data requests by the end of May.
The State Lands Commission also has data requests, and these are presently being
Hann explained that
the onshore pipeline was to run along an existing pipeline to Ormand Beach in
the City of Oxnard. After public and official dissent at the March scoping
meetings, BHP Billiton consulted with Southern California Gas Company, and
relocated the proposed pipeline, which will carry LNG from Cabrillo Port to
shore, east of major population areas.
"LNG is an
asphyxiant and cryogenic with the potential for catastrophic complications
resulting in death," said Susan Jordan, director of California Coastal
Protection Network, at a public scoping meeting in Malibu on March 16.
"Concerns revolve around the odorization of the gas, earthquake issues for
the pipelines, the proximity to the shipping channels and the likelihood of
collisions, the proximity to the Pacific Missile Test Range, [and] reliability
of moorings in bad weather."
giant BHP Billiton has spent $350,000 to sponsor a proposal for a LNG receiving
terminal to be moored 14 miles off of the coast near Point Dume. The project
would consist of a port with three storage tanks, three-football fields long by
three football fields wide that would receive three LNG tanker shipments per
week from the Pacific Rim, and distribute 1.5 billion cubic feet of LNG via an
ocean floor pipeline. LNG is cooled, compressed natural gas, and at the proposed
Cabrillo Port, it would be regasified to its natural state and then transported
via the pipeline.
The Malibu City
Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing the LNG deepwater port. The
resolution set forth that the Malibu City Council send a letter to the U.S.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard strongly opposing
the Cabrillo Port project, and to monitor the development of any proposed LNG
projects and send letters of opposition to appropriate agencies as necessary.
Cy Oggins, staff
environmental scientist for the State Lands Commission, said the data requests
that stopped the Cabrillo Port project are a facet of the joint federal and
state environmental review process. Originally scheduled for a June release, the
draft of the joint Environmental Impact Review and Environmental Impact Study
currently being prepared by the U.S. Coast Guard and State Lands Commission will
now be available to the public for review later this summer. Part of the Coast
Guard's appraisal includes the creation of a risk assessment matrix, which
addresses threats of terrorism and catastrophic accidents. When complete, a
public hearing will follow, and comments on the draft document will be
incorporated into the final environmental report.
In the past 18
months, two LNG projects, one submitted by ConocoPhillips and TransCanada for
the coast of Harpswell, Maine, and a Calpine LNG import terminal in Eureka City
near San Francisco, were both withdrawn because of overwhelming opposing
outcry might not stop future plans for LNG terminals. The Mobile Register of
Alabama reported Sunday that the "Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has
issued official orders stating unequivocally that the federal government, not
the states, has final say over where new LNG terminals can be built. And, a new
bill in the U.S. House seeks to remove decision-making power regarding LNG
terminals from the states."
According to the
Mobile Register, "Together, the regulatory moves may limit the impact of
the intense local opposition that has thwarted a number of LNG proposals in the
last two years on the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts."
As reported in the Los Angeles Times, the Cabrillo Port project is estimated to yield $15 billion in earnings for Australia. The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, met with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to promote Australian liquefied natural gas and the project. After the closed-door meeting with Schwarzenegger, Howard told reporters the governor made positive comments about the project. However, a Schwarzenegger spokesman would not comment on the governor's opinion of the project.
June 24, 2004
Ventura County Star
Council may oppose proposed LNG terminal
By Raul Hernandez,
The Oxnard City
Council wants staff members to draft a resolution opposing a proposed liquefied
natural gas terminal that could be located offshore from Ventura County.
The council members
told the staff on Tuesday to draft the resolution so they could review it and
decide whether to go on record opposing the offshore facility. If it passes,
Councilman John Zaragoza said Wednesday, he would like the resolution to go to
federal and state regulatory agencies and to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The governor could
have the final say on the proposed LNG terminal.
Officials said the
law gives the U.S. secretary of transportation the authority to license an
offshore facility such as an LNG terminal. They also said the secretary of
transportation may not issue a license without the OK of the governor.
The council expects
to receive a draft resolution at its July 13 meeting.
natural gas deep-water port facilities are being proposed. Potential sites
include off Oxnard, Malibu, Ventura and Santa Barbara shores.
adopted a resolution opposed to an offshore LNG terminal, citing environmental
and health issues.
Critics also say
the LNG process is too dangerous, fraught with the potential for catastrophic
consequences in the event of a spill, which could emit a large, extremely
flammable vapor cloud.
The company says
the proposed facility would deliver more than 200 billion cubic feet of natural
gas annually to California, enough to provide 25 percent of the state's
residential energy needs. Officials estimated it could save Southern California
$54 billion a year through lower natural gas prices.
representatives say liquefied natural gas has an impeccable safety record,
adding that vessels carrying gas have made more than 21,000 voyages around the
world without any major incidents. There are liquefied natural gas plants in
Massachusetts, Maryland, Georgia and Louisiana.
Copyright 2004, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.
July 14, 2004
July 15, 2004
Oxnard Opposes Offshore LNG Plans
The City Council vote is unanimous. Its
cooperation would be needed for the onshore portions of the projects.
By Steve Chawkins
Times Staff Writer
The Oxnard City Council has unanimously voted to oppose the
construction of two liquefied natural gas facilities in the Santa Barbara
Although the city has no authority over construction offshore, its approval would be needed for the onshore pipelines both projects would require.
The projects are proposed by BHP Billiton, an Australian
minerals company, and Crystal Energy, a Houston-based investment group. Tankers
filled with LNG would dock at each offshore facility, where the chilled liquid
would be converted back to gas and pumped ashore into a network of existing
The resolution approved Tuesday took the proposals to task
for "potential severe negative environmental consequences" as well as
significant possible risks to the safety of residents and the soundness of the
For months, city officials have criticized both plans, citing a failed effort to build an onshore LNG facility in Oxnard in 1977. A study at the time said 70,000 people could die in a cloud of flame if a tanker were to spill its contents.
Developers of the current projects countered that the science behind that scenario was flawed.
They anticipated the city's opposition but were disappointed by it.
"We think it's premature to make this judgment before the
environmental impact report comes out," said Kathi Hann, a BHP spokeswoman.
She added that some local business groups also had urged the city to delay a decision.
The environmental report, which has been commissioned by the Coast Guard and the State Lands Commission, is to be issued this fall.
Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times
September 17, 2004
MALIBU Film Festival to Screen World Premiere of LNG Documentary Film
eMediaWire (press release) - USA
SUMMARY: The documentary film, The Risks and Danger of LNG, highlights the hazards of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), by demonstrating its vulnerability to accidental disaster, terrorism, and how massive its destruction can be to our coastal communities.
eMediaWire) September 17, 2004 The documentary film, The Risks and Danger of LNG, highlighting the hazards of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), is an Official Selection of the Malibu Film Festival and will have its World Premiere screening on September 18, 2004, in Malibu.
Film producers Tim Riley and Hayden Riley, consumer protection advocates from Oxnard Shores, California, say coastal communities throughout America are being targeted by the energy industry for building dozens of large, vulnerable and dangerous LNG facilities. They made the film to alert the public to the imminent perils of LNG by demonstrating its vulnerability to accidental disaster, terrorism, and how massive its destruction can be to our coastal communities.
“We are pleased that our film has been recognized and is an official selection of the Malibu Film Festival,” said co-producer Tim Riley, adding “It is very fitting that our film would find its world premiere in Malibu, because that coastal haven is currently being threatened by two LNG facility proposals.”
The filmmakers say the energy industry uses its tremendous economic resources to promote its LNG agenda through endless press releases, newswires, and commercials which routinely minimize LNG’s hazards.
“We felt we had to make the film to offset the energy industry’s relentless spin and to vividly demonstrate to the public the actual perils of LNG by exposing its true volatility and danger to our American communities. This is the film that LNG proponents don’t want you to see,” says Tim Riley, who also co-wrote the film.
The film provides a historical perspective of the first LNG disaster which incinerated one square mile of Cleveland, Ohio, killing 128 in 1944. It also covers the explosive Algerian LNG disaster of January 2004, which blew out windows and caused fires miles away, adding to the LNG death toll and causing approximately $1 billion of property damage.
“Currently, there are no offshore LNG importation facilities anywhere on Earth. But if energy companies have their way, there will be two untried and untested facilities right off our precious California coastline impacting Santa Monica, Malibu, Oxnard, Ventura, Montecito and Santa Barbara, turning those beautiful coastal communities into LNG guinea-pigs,” co-producer Hayden Riley said.
The film highlights the City of Oxnard’s Environmental Impact Report from 1977 when an LNG facility tried locating in that coastal city. The report determined 70,000 casualties could result from an offshore LNG tanker accident, but none of the risk assessments even considered acts of sabotage or terrorism.
“We are now at war with terrorism, so the likelihood of an LNG disaster would be even greater today,” says Oxnard Mayor Manual Lopez appearing in the documentary.
The Rileys appeared as LNG experts before the Malibu City Council in May of this year at the request of City Councilmember Pamela Conley-Ulich. Their support of her resolution opposing both offshore LNG proposals helped pass it unanimously.
According to documentary co-writer Hayden Riley, “Not only will LNG endanger our residential communities, it will industrialize our pristine coastlines and beaches while making America more vulnerable to terrorist sabotage and more dependent on imported foreign fossil fuel."
Visit www.LngDanger.com to preview a short trailer of the film and acquire a DVD or VHS copy.
Press Release by Producers of the film The Risks and Danger of LNG, Tim Riley and Hayden Riley
Contact Tim Riley at 805-984-2350
Film Website: www.LngDanger.com
September 30, 2004
The Providence Journal
Carcieri Opposes LNG Plan
PROVIDENCE -- Governor Carcieri has joined a broad coalition of officials who are against a developer's proposal to offload large quantities of liquefied natural gas from tanker ships docked in Fall River, a spokesman said last evening.
Carcieri also opposes the same type of LNG port facility that KeySpan has proposed at a waterfront site on Fields Point in Providence, according to the spokesman, Jeff Neal.
"Right now we can't say what the impacts of these two projects would be," Neal said.
Neal's comments marked a change in stance on LNG for the governor, who went to Washington, D.C., in March and supported LNG projects proposed in Fall River and Providence.
Carcieri told the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee that some of the local political opposition to proposed LNG tanks in Fall River and Somerset was "a knee-jerk reaction" to safety fears that the Coast Guard and other authorities can more than adequately address.
The governor also pointed to what he called "false choices" between adequate energy supply and environmental protection. He said both needs can be accommodated in such planned projects such as the conversion of a Fields Point LNG tank in Providence to take supplies from tanker ships.
Since then, opposition to the Fall River project has grown exponentially in Massachusetts, as well as in Rhode Island.
Rhode Islanders, including state Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch, have expressed grave concerns about a shipping route that would take LNG tankers up Narragansett Bay on their way to Fall River.
Project opponents point to scientific research that states that large amounts of LNG, a superchilled form of liquefied natural gas, are capable of fueling catastrophic fires. The placement of large LNG facilities in urban areas, as well as its shipment near waterfront communities, puts too many people at risk, they say.
The developers of the projects say they can manage LNG safely. They say the proposals are necessary to avert an energy crisis.
Neal said Carcieri continues to worry about a worsening shortage of LNG in New England.
However, the governor, he said, will not support any project that endangers the environment or poses a major security threat.
Over the summer, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave a favorable review of Weaver Cove Energy's Fall River proposal in a tentative environmental impact statement.
The report did not examine security and environmental issues to the governor's satisfaction, Neal said.
Carcieri's opposition to the stance follows a similar announcement last week from Governor Romney of Massachusetts.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
The Daily Item, Weekend Edition
Offshore LNG docking proposal has some on edge
Congress seeks regional plan for LNG terminals
By David Liscio
Before the federal government endorses construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facilities, such at those proposed for North Shore waters, a regional strategy must take into consideration public safety, environmental impact and overall energy needs, according to congressional leaders from New England.
At least one energy company wants to build an offshore facility about five miles off the Salem coast that would dock LNG tankers. The liquefied fuel would be converted to gas and delivered to the mainland via a system of pipes on the sea bottom.
U.S. Rep. John F. Tierney, a Salem Democrat, joined other members of Congress from New England on Tuesday in notifying federal agencies with jurisdiction over such projects to create a regional strategy before approving new terminals.
Legislators from Massachusetts and Rhode Island sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation.The letter, addressed to FERC Chairman Patrick Wood and the other agencies, requests the federal government conduct an analysis of how its policies can be improved to create a regional approach to permitting, provide recommendations for improvement, and ultimately result in cooperation.
Currently, many federal agencies act independently, despite overlapping jurisdictions on a similar project or proposal.
Tierney said natural gas is an important source of energy for many homes and businesses, noting that the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration projects LNG will make up almost all of the expected increase in natural gas imports, with imports rising from 15 percent of U.S. natural gas consumption to 23 percent by 2025.
Energy companies are proposing LNG facilities in New England. As projects are proposed, the federal government looks at each individually and makes a determination.According to Tierney, a more comprehensive and strategic approach is needed.
The involvement of multiple agencies complicates the situation.For example, FERC grants approval for siting, construction or expansion of onshore LNG facilities and interstate gas pipelines, based on the Natural Gas Act of 1938.The Coast Guard and the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration are responsible for offshore LNG facilities, under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.
Meanwhile, the Department of Energy has authority to disapprove the siting, construction or operation of these facilities.
The bureaucratic soup thickens as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, the Minerals Management Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers play roles in the permitting processes for LNG facilities.
"Coordination is critical," said Tierney.Unfortunately, that is not happening.
Instead, FERC and the Coast Guard, the lead agencies, each pursue their own permitting processes independently without any coordination, the congressman said.
The New England legislators assert is makes little sense to have onshore LNG proposals assessed by one agency, and offshore LNG projects by another, especially when the two agencies don't coordinate their permitting activities.
Government regulatory agencies operating in isolation are not in the country's best interest, Tierney said, adding that a regional approach to LNG should be undertaken, perhaps shadowing the region's approach to electricity.
New LNG facilities should only be built if they meet a defined regional need, rather than be permitted as part of a response to increased natural demand for the fuel, Tierney said.
Besides, New England is expected to receive natural gas via a pipeline from Canada, which could reduce the need for an offshore LNG docking facility.
The New England legislators note that increased demand should not be accepted as a forgone conclusion.After all, recent increases in gasoline and natural gas prices underscore the importance of reducing national dependence on fossil fuels and particularly foreign fossil fuel imports. The legislators agree that weaning the nation from a dependence on fossil fuels would likely spur increased investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, such a wind power, hybrid cars and building construction technology that maximizes use of solar and other passive energy sources.
In addition to Tierney, the letter to FERC and the other agencies was signed by U.S. Reps. Barney Frank, John Olver, Patrick J. Kennedy, James McGovern, James Langevin, Edward Markey, Richard Neal, Martin Meehan, William Delahunt, Michael E. Capuano, and Stephen Lynch.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Bangor Daily News
Down East opposition to LNG terminal grows
By Diana Graettinger, Of the NEWS Staff
WHITING - Developers may have the green light from Passamaquoddy tribal officials to build a liquefied natural gas terminal at Pleasant Point, but Canadians who plan to stop the project are looking for a red light. And they are garnering support from Americans.
The group, "Save Passamaquoddy Bay - Canada," met Wednesday with members of the Cobscook Bay Area Chamber.
Joyce Morrell and Jan Meiners of Campobello Island and Canadian marine biologist Art MacKay of St. Stephen, New Brunswick, outlined their opposition to the proposed plan.
Morrell described her group as one that is three nations strong and includes people from the United States, Canada and the Passamaquoddy.
A Tulsa, Okla., energy partnership and the Passamaquoddy Tribe have been considering a $300 million LNG facility near Eastport. LNG is transported in large tankers from foreign ports to terminals where it is unloaded, processed and shipped by pipeline to users in Massachusetts.
Recently the town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, issued a proclamation in opposition to the terminal, and on Thursday the Quoddy Regional Land Trust in Whiting took a stand. "The massive scale of this proposed complex in such close proximity to a residential area, the disruption posed by construction of the facility, and the presence of immense tankers laden with potentially hazardous cargo in our coastal waters compel us to vigorously oppose this project," the trust said in a prepared statement.
Morrell talked about the danger and the communities in the Maine and New Brunswick that would be affected if there were an explosion. Communities from Calais to Lubec would be in the direct path, and in Canada, Campobello, Deer Island and Grand Manan would feel the effects.
And explosions are possible.
Morrell said that in January a leak at an LNG facility in Algeria left 30 dead and 74 injured.
"The Algerian terminal had a gas leak that went unnoticed," she said.
A mishap at a plant in Belgium in July left 13 dead and 200 injured.
"Too much independent information tells us this is an industry plagued by risk and uncertainty," she said.
In August, a plant in Moss Bluff, Texas, also exploded. No one was hurt.
Putting an LNG terminal at Pleasant Point would make the area vulnerable to terrorism, she said.
"If we get a terminal here we would automatically become a place terrorists are aware of. We have no security and no emergency preparation here for something like this," Morrell said.
While Morrell addressed the global picture, Meiners recounted the hush-hush negotiations between the tribe and the company.
"In the spring of this year, a small handful of leaders from the Passamaquoddy Reservation negotiated in secrecy to propose a $350 million LNG terminal on a 42-acre site of their tribal land at Gleason Cove at Pleasant Point near Eastport, Maine," she said.
In August, voters gave tribal leaders authority to go ahead with negotiations 193-132. "Should the vote of 193 have the right to determine the future of the thousands and thousands of people who live on Passamaquoddy Bay?" Morrell asked.
The developers have not yet discussed their plan with surrounding communities. Meiners said her group plans to ask the Canadian government to deny access to supertankers through Canadian waters. The Canadian government instituted a similar prohibition in 1982 when developers wanted to build an oil refinery in Eastport. Canada limited the size of ships that could enter Canadian waters, in effect scuttling the plan.
MacKay, who is a marine biologist, said he was concerned about the ship's passage through critical and sensitive ecological areas. He said the ocean was home to a thriving sea life that included harbor porpoises, whales, seals, scallops, groundfish and lobsters. It is also home to seabirds and an array of plant life.
"We did a review of all the different plants and animals that live in the area," he said. "And we discovered that there are approximately 1,245 marine animals and plants that we know occur here."
After the meeting, longtime environmentalist Nancy Nielsen of Lubec said she was concerned because historically large corporations walk away with the profits and leave behind the problems.
"It is us that pay the costs, and they take the profits. That is what happens in all third world developments, we are just a third world country when it comes to dealing with the large corporations," Nielsen said.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Safety concerns may scuttle liquefied gas terminal near Quebec City
James Stevenson And Les Perreaux Canadian Press
(CP) - Fears of an explosion and concerns about public safety may lead to the scrapping of a planned natural gas importing terminal near Quebec City despite future fuel supply needs.
Strong opposition from nearby communities has thrown the $700-million Rabaska liquefied natural gas project into doubt, despite backing from Quebec's leading gas distributor, Gaz Metro (TSX:GZM.UN), Calgary-based pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) and Gaz de France.
Yves St-Laurent, who lives in a 300-year-old house on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, has rallied residents against Rabaska for fear that the terminal and tankers loaded with frozen liquefied gas would cause significant safety risks.
"We've had to worry about this for six months," said St-Laurent. "It's time for them to publicly withdraw their project so people can move on."
A spokesman for the project said a decision on the terminal should be coming in a matter of weeks.
"The promoters of Rabaska are thinking about what's going to happen with the project," said spokesman Simon Poitras.
"They're still thinking about it and many options are on the table, from going on to stopping."
The city council of Levis came out against the project in a vote earlier this month. And Quebec's municipal affairs minister, Jean-Marc Fournier, said recently that the province will not "force economic development against the will of the people."
Nearby in Beaumont, where a referendum on Rabaska will be held in early December, residents recently elected a new mayor who opposes the project.
Waning supplies of conventional natural gas in North America coupled with ever-increasing demand has led the energy industry to believe that importing LNG from countries like Russia, Algeria or Trinidad will be vital to keep prices from spiralling in the future.
"I don't know what we're going to do to balance natural gas supply and demand in North America if we can't get LNG into North America somehow," says Canadian Gas Association president Michael Cleland.
Proposals for LNG terminals have sprung up along the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines from Canada to Mexico. In Canada, they include Rabaska and another Quebec facility called Cacouna Energy, 15 kilometres northeast of Riviere-du-Loup.
Plans are also underway for terminals near St. John harbour in New Brunswick and in the Strait of Canso in Nova Scotia, as well as in Kitimat and Prince Rupert on the northern coast of British Columbia.
Supporters argue that the safety record of LNG is better than regular gas because it can't ignite unless mixed with sufficient amounts of oxygen.
When natural gas is chilled to -160 C, it turns into a liquid and its volume shrinks 600-fold, making it possible to be economically shipped around the world aboard supertankers.
But to keep the gas cold, the tankers are insulated with vast quantities of flammable polystyrene insulation.
Published scientific reports suggest that if terrorists attacked a tanker, the heat from the ensuing fire would likely destroy the insulation and compromise the liquid gas.
Scientists have estimated this could lead to a massive explosion causing severe burns to people as far as three kilometres away.
Still, not all Canadian LNG proposals have run into the same troubles as the Rabaska project.
The projects in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have received regulatory clearance and the companies involved anticipate they will be up and running by 2007.
The $660-million Cacouna project on the St. Lawrence was recently put forward by Petro-Canada (TSX:PCA) and pipeline giant TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP).
"We're very optimistic at this point and we are seeing strong community support," said Petro-Canada spokeswoman Laurie Stretch.
© The Canadian Press 2004
Commission: No LNG
Daniel Fowler , Staff Reporter
FALL RIVER -- The Conservation Commission Wednesday voted not to give Hess LNG local approval to proceed with its plan to build a liquefied natural gas facility in the city, but a lawyer for the project said the company would likely appeal the ruling. "It was a very emotional issue to begin with, but we couldn’t vote on emotion," Conservation Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Assad said. "We had to vote on facts -- what was there and what wasn’t there. I hope the citizens of Fall River understand how and why we made (the decision)." ©The Herald News 2004
Full Story: http://www.heraldnews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=13240247&BRD=1710&PAG=461&dept_id=99784&rfi=6
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Gloucester County Times
LNG project worries utilities
Full Story: http://www.nj.com/news/gloucester/index.ssf?/base/news-2/109912412340160.xml
By Erin L. Boyle
LOGAN TWP. -- Two East Coast utility corporations, one with nuclear facilities in Salem County, have raised questions regarding Crown Landing's proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility here.
New Jersey-based Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., the parent company of PSEG Nuclear and the PSE&G utility company, along with New York-based KeySpan Delivery Company, filed comments last week with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Both companies requested more information about the quality of gas at the proposed facility.
Additionally, PSEG requested information regarding safety issues for its nearby nuclear plants should the LNG facility be constructed. Several miles south of the site along the Delaware River in Lower Alloways Creek Township, PSEG Nuclear operates the Salem and Hope Creek generating stations -- the second-largest nuclear complex in the country. According to the filing, PSEG has safety concerns about shipping routes to the proposed LNG terminal.
KeySpan, with four corporations including Boston Gas Company and Colonial Gas Company, stated in its filing that officials are concerned that Crown Landing's LNG might jeopardize the quality of the company's own gas supply. While KeySpan said the additional LNG in the gas pipe line will help "ensure that sufficient supplies of gas remain available to consumers at reasonable prices," it wants to ensure that those supplies do not interfere with the quality of the existing product.
Some residents in the Logan Township area continue to voice their opposition to the project. LNG Community Focus is a group of residents fighting the facility. Logan Township resident Tony Spadaccini, a group member, said he has dedicated months to an educational Web site opposing the LNG facility.
Spadaccini was heartened by PSEG and KeySpan's filings. The action brings more attention to the proposed project, he said, and shows that other large energy conglomerates are holding Crown Landing accountable.
Copyright 2004 NJ.com. All Rights Reserved.
November 5, 2004
Ventura County Star
Environmental report says danger from proposed natural gas port low
Full Story: http://www.venturacountystar.com/vcs/ox/article/0,1375,VCS_238_3307247,00.html
By Sylvia Moore
The chances of a major accident at a proposed liquefied natural gas port off Oxnard's coast are very low, according to an environmental report released this week by three state and federal agencies.
The energy companies say their facilities would provide California and the United States with a much-needed supply of natural gas in the face of higher energy prices. Critics, including many Oxnard community activists, fear the facilities pose too many potential safety hazards and should not be built near populated areas.
Oxnard Mayor Manuel Lopez, who has publicly opposed the projects, said he and other city officials will soon examine the environmental report. Oxnard does not have veto power over the project but can let the state know what the city thinks.
"We'll have our staff go over it," Lopez said. "It is very critical to us in the coastal area. We're really going to have to scrutinize it."
Oxnard lawyer Tim Riley, an outspoken critic of the proposals, said Thursday that the BHP project should be shelved.
The report "provides no surprises on its way to fast-track approval of the ultra-hazardous, guinea-pig LNG project," Riley said in a statement. "We all must impress upon Gov. Schwarzenegger to timely veto both the BHP and Crystal LNG projects, which he has the legal authority to do.
"He can protect us and our multibillion dollar tourism industry, or he can permit the industrialization of our precious coastline and beaches as billions of American dollars get exported to Australia. The governor must decide what he wants his legacy to be."
Copyright 2004, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.
November 6, 2004
LNG Port Isn't Peril to Land, Report Says
By Steve Chawkins Times Staff Writer
Despite fears in coastal communities, a liquefied natural gas terminal proposed in the Santa Barbara Channel would do no harm on shore if it were destroyed in an accident or an act of terrorism, according to an environmental report released Friday.
The 1,200-page draft environmental impact report should reassure local residents, said a spokeswoman for BHP Billiton, the Australian minerals company proposing the massive project.
However, a number of environmental activists suggested the report was tailored to ensure the project's ultimate approval by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. While reserving judgment on safety issues, an attorney for the Environmental Defense Center criticized the $1.5-million effort for failing to thoroughly investigate whether imported LNG is needed in the first place.
The proposed terminal would be at sea 14 miles from the border of Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Tankers from Australia would unload the super-chilled liquid fuel at the terminal, where it would be reconverted into a vapor and pumped through an undersea pipeline into a web of natural-gas lines that already crisscross the state.
Known as Cabrillo Port, the BHP project is one of two liquefied natural gas projects in the Santa Barbara Channel vying for state and federal approval. The other, developed by Crystal Energy of Houston, would turn a dormant oil platform 11 miles offshore into an LNG terminal.
Supporters argue that the projects are safe, technologically advanced methods of bringing a much-needed resource to California. The environmental report only confirms that point of view, said BHP spokeswoman Kathi Hann.
The report concluded that even in the worst circumstances, an ignited vapor cloud would span an area of 1.6 miles around the terminal, less than company scientists had assumed, Hann said. The chance of that occurring would be less than one in 1 million, the report said.
The project's critics, however, point to a 1977 Oxnard study that forecast an LNG accident producing a 30-mile-wide blanket of flame.
"I don't know what's happened in the interim to change that," said Oxnard Mayor Manuel Lopez. "The laws of physics haven't changed."
Skeptical about the environmental report, Lopez described it as "a whitewash." The city councils in Oxnard and Malibu have voted to oppose both offshore projects. The agencies with direct authority over them are the Coast Guard and the State Lands Commission, which hired the San Francisco consulting firm Ecology and Environment Inc. to prepare the report.
The proposals are to reach Schwarzenegger's desk next spring.
Spokesmen for environmental groups said the report failed to address some crucial issues.
"We're very disappointed," said Linda Krop, chief counsel for the Santa Barbara-based Environmental Defense Center, arguing that the report did not consider the possibilities of increased conservation and additional reliance on renewable energy sources.
She recalled the urgency expressed by developers who wanted to build a California LNG facility in the wake of the gas shortages of the 1970s.
"By the time the studies were done, it was determined we didn't need one," Krop said. "This feels like déjà vu."
In addition to weighing the risks of an accident, the report evaluated the project's potential effects on fishing, recreation and shipping. It said BHP's collaboration with the Navy reduced the risk of errant missiles from the testing range at nearby Point Mugu.
While seismic faults lace the region, sophisticated engineering techniques should keep the terminal and its pipelines safe, the report concluded.
Noise from the terminal would be "noticeable" more than three miles away, but it could be muted with advanced equipment, the report said. It also recommended that construction be timed to not disturb migrating whales.
Several public meetings have been set to allow public comment on the draft environmental report, which can be read at http://www.cabrilloport.ene.com .
They are at Santa Clarita City Hall on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.; at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center on Nov. 30 at 1 and 6:30 p.m.; and at Malibu's Webster Elementary School on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.
Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times
December 22, 2004
Editorial: Cashing in Insider navigates governor into a swamp
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't seem troubled that his main political strategist, Mike Murphy, is increasingly trading on his tight relationship with the governor. He should be. Murphy, founder of the Navigators consulting firm, is pulling one of the oldest tricks in Sacramento, serving as both counselor to the governor and "go-to guy" for business interests.
According to DCNavigators.com, Murphy's corporate clients include Indian tribes that own casinos; power companies such as PG&E and Calpine; retail powerhouses such as Wal-Mart and insurance companies. Murphy is not a registered lobbyist in Sacramento, and he claims he never lobbies the governor on behalf of his business clients. We believe him as much as we did Garry South, who claimed the same thing as adviser to Gov. Gray Davis. Murphy and Schwarzenegger are extremely close. They regularly lunch together. Murphy helped get the governor elected, then helped him pass the referendum authorizing $15 billion in borrowing. This is a symbiotic relationship that threatens to become parasitic.
In February, according to the San Jose Mercury News, Murphy arranged a meeting between Schwarzenegger and members of the American Insurance Association so they could lobby for an overhaul of California's workers' compensation system. The AIA is a Murphy client.
More recently, Murphy devised a $1 million campaign for a business alliance wanting to build more liquefied natural gas terminals in California and counter opposition.
Schwarzenegger's photo and the Navigators logo appeared on every page of the document, first obtained by the L.A. Weekly and the Los Angeles Times.
In the document, Murphy outlines a strategy to put "cross pressure on liberal and environmental groups" that have raised concerns about liquefied natural gas. He also proposes to recruit "surrogates" who would act as a grass-roots, bipartisan coalition that supports the industry.
Liquefied natural gas is an important energy option for the state's future, but Murphy's consulting work now taints the governor's dealings in this area. The governor can help educate Californians about the real risks and benefits of liquefied natural gas, but not with kind of sleazy campaign tactics that Murphy proposes.
Murphy is not as brazen as Richie Ross - who openly lobbies his Democratic Party clients on behalf of the special interests who hire him - but he is clearly trying to capitalize on his insider status. He has larger-than-life images of Schwarzenegger at his Sacramento office, directly across the street from the Capitol. The message is obvious to anyone who walks in the door.
Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman says the governor's outside consultants are free to work for others. "They have not taken a vow to be paupers," he told the Times. Stutzman also questions why the media are making hay about Murphy when Garry South had the same sort of relationship with Gray Davis and various corporate clients.
We shouldn't have to answer that. Californians recalled Davis and elected Schwarzenegger because he promised clean government and an end to sleaze-as-usual. If the governor is serious about that promise, he should tell Murphy to cool it. Or find a new navigator.
Governor Schwarzenegger’s Legal Authority to Disapprove the LNG Deepwater Ports
TITLE 33 > CHAPTER 29 > § 1508
§ 1508. Adjacent coastal States Release date: 2003-05-29 (a) Designation; direct pipeline connections; mileage; risk of damage to coastal environment, time for designation (1) The Secretary, in issuing notice of application pursuant to section 1504 (c) of this title, shall designate as an “adjacent coastal State” any coastal State which (A) would be directly connected by pipeline to a deepwater port as proposed in an application, or (B) would be located within 15 miles of any such proposed deepwater port. (2) The Secretary shall, upon request of a State, and after having received the recommendations of the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, designate such State as an “adjacent coastal State” if he determines that there is a risk of damage to the coastal environment of such State equal to or greater than the risk posed to a State directly connected by pipeline to the proposed deepwater port. This paragraph shall apply only with respect to requests made by a State not later than the 14th day after the date of publication of notice of an application for a proposed deepwater port in the Federal Register in accordance with section 1504 (c) of this title. The Secretary shall make the designation required by this paragraph not later than the 45th day after the date he receives such a request from a State.
(b) Applications; submittal to Governors for approval or disapproval; consistency of Federal licenses and State programs; views of other interested States (1) Not later than 10 days after the designation of adjacent coastal States pursuant to this chapter, the Secretary shall transmit a complete copy of the application to the Governor of each adjacent coastal State. The Secretary shall not issue a license without the approval of the Governor of each adjacent coastal State. If the Governor fails to transmit his approval or disapproval to the Secretary not later than 45 days after the last public hearing on applications for a particular application area, such approval shall be conclusively presumed. If the Governor notifies the Secretary that an application, which would otherwise be approved pursuant to this paragraph, is inconsistent with State programs relating to environmental protection, land and water use, and coastal zone management, the Secretary shall condition the license granted so as to make it consistent with such State programs. (2) Any other interested State shall have the opportunity to make its views known to, and shall be given full consideration by, the Secretary regarding the location, construction, and operation of a deepwater port.
Governor Schwarzenegger Must Decide What He Wants His Legacy to Be
The report "provides no surprises on its way to fast-track approval of the ultra-hazardous, guinea-pig LNG project," Riley said in a statement.
"We all must impress upon Gov. Schwarzenegger to timely veto both the BHP and Crystal LNG projects, which he has the legal authority to do.
"He can protect us and our multibillion dollar tourism industry, or he can permit the industrialization of our precious coastline and beaches as billions of American dollars get exported to Australia. The governor must decide what he wants his legacy to be."
Tell the Governor he must timely disapprove BHP and Crystal Energy's LNG Deep Water Port Licenses
Email Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: email@example.com
Email the Governor's Resources and EPA Chiefs:
Mike Chrisman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Tamminen: tt@CalEPA.ca.gov
May 20, 2005
Blanco, Gov. of Louisiana will use veto power for LNG terminals
due to fish-killing regasification
Petroleum News - USA
Blanco sent a letter on May 17 to federal officials in charge of offshore LNG terminals, saying she’ll oppose terminals that use an open-loop system to regasify the minus-260-degree LNG that arrives in huge tankers.
Veto power: Blanco has some muscle besides a bully pulpit. Under federal law, governors can veto facilities in federal waters off the coast of their states.
November 10, 2004
New gas port risk study doesn't appease residents
By Susan Reines/Special to The Malibu Times
A new environmental study says an explosion on a proposed floating natural gas port off the coast would not reach land, but residents question why the results are so different from an older study that concluded a 30-mile cloud of flame could reach the coast.
By Susan Reines/Special to The Malibu Times
A draft environmental impact study released Friday said an explosion on a proposed liquefied natural gas port off the coast would not affect Malibu, contrasting a 25-year-old study that said a gas explosion could cover the coast in a stretch of flames longer than Malibu's shoreline.
Representatives of the California State Lands Commission say the risk analyses are different because the 1977 study was conducted for an on-land gas plant, while the new environmental impact statement/report concerns a port, proposed by BHP Billiton of Australia, that would float 14 miles off the coast at the Los Angeles-Ventura County line, which is about 15 miles up the coast from Malibu.
"What we did was we evaluated an absolute worst case scenario, which would be the loss of all three LNG [liquefied natural gas] tanks on the port," Cy Oggins of the California State Lands Commission said. "We calculated 1.6 miles as the maximum radius for public safety impacts ... I think people who cite the 30-mile wall of fire claim that physics haven't changed, and of course we claim the same thing-physics haven't changed-we're just using a methodology specific to this project."
However, residents said the risk is unclear, and they are still uncomfortable with the proposed Cabrillo Port receiving chilled natural gas so close to home.
Mayor Pro Tem Andy Stern said the new study did not temper his resistance to the two proposed natural gas ports in nearby waters, the Cabrillo Port and the Crystal Energy Plant, for which an EIR has not yet been conducted. "That EIR does zero for me," Stern said of the new Cabrillo Port study. "I feel no better about it. What would do something for me would be not to build it."
Stern said the only real way to mitigate disaster would be to stop the project altogether. "I think it's outrageous that they're trying this new technology that, to my knowledge, has never been proven," he said. "And I understand this EIR comes out and says well, it's not a problem, but if it blows up, the people who wrote the EIR are going to be long gone. I don't understand why they would take that risk, except for profit."
The City Council approved a resolution strongly opposing both the Cabrillo Port and the Crystal Energy Plant in May 2004, and Stern said he didn't know why the city wouldn't consider joining with other cities to file a lawsuit or lobby the state government.
City Attorney Christi Hogin said the city has no authority as a government body to stop the project, though it could lobby against it like any concerned individual or group.
"I think the city's role is primarily like any interested party, giving its input," she said. "We don't have any authority."
Oggins said the draft report was written by independent third party consultants, but some in Malibu question whether business interests might have had influence.
"I think it appears to show an inclination to approve it," local activist Anne Hoffman said. "I mean, if developers got this kind of green flag to just say that there would be a very low chance of a major accident, that just conflicts with the expert and the public testimony."
Hoffman noted, though, that she had not had time to study the lengthy report in depth.
" I'm still processing it," she said. "It's a 1,200 page report, so I'm not giving you the final word."
The Cabrillo Port would receive natural gas from Australian tankers that carry the fuel in compressed liquid form. The gas would be vaporized and pumped through a network of pipes.
While the report does say new technology would be used to mitigate spills and explosions, it classifies the "potential release of LNG due to high energy marine collision or intentional attack" as Class I -the most severe -even after mitigation.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has expressed support for LNG projects, saying natural gas could feed California's energy needs and help wean the state from oil and coal. Environmental groups have split, some emphasizing that natural gas is cleaner burning than coal and oil, but others saying the risks of spills and explosions are too severe.
Craig Shuman, staff scientist at local environmental nonprofit Heal the Bay, said the organization had not yet taken a stand on the new study because he had not finished reviewing it.
"If, when I review it, I see something that they need to be doing differently, we'll submit comments on the draft EIR," Shuman said, noting that project proponents have a legal obligation to respond to comments in the final EIR.
"When it comes to projects, that's where Heal the Bay is very effective, in that we'll write very strong comment letters and then the promoters of the project will have to go back and change their project," Shuman said.
Published On Line, November 24, 2004
Local group opposes LNG proposal
A new local political organization has formed to oppose a liquefied natural gas facility proposed to be built off the coast of California near Malibu. Called Citizens Against Crystal Energy, or CASE, the group says it is trying to inform people about Crystal Energy's recent signing of a long-term lease for a local oil platform and its plan to retrofit it into an LNG facility.
"I understand we need to find a way to meet the growing need for energy in our country, but the proposal is just dead wrong," said CASE member Anne Hoffman, who usually devotes her political activity to property rights.
CASE says that the facility is old, highly unstable and prone to possible terrorism.
Another company, BHP Billiton, early proposed building an LNG facility off the coast of Oxnard. That sparked outrage throughout the area, with many saying such a facility presented enormous health risks. The Malibu City Council issued a resolution against the proposal.
Hoffman said she did not decide to become active in that LNG fight because there was already so much opposition. But in this scenario, she said there is not as much opposition because there is not as much knowledge.
"This one is moving along at a much faster pace and we need to galvanize the people who might not be aware of it," Hoffman said.
Mayor Pro Tem Andy Stern has also vocally opposed Crystal Energy's proposed facility.
November 27, 2004
Times-Review Newspapers, NY
How safe is LNG terminal?
Opponents of gas facilities sound an alert
RIVERHEAD— We are not alone.
The liquid natural gas facility proposed off the coast of Riverhead Town is one of about 40 LNG projects proposed nationally and one of at least 10 under consideration in the Northeast, although the local proposal is one of only about four projects that would be located offshore.
And with the recent onslaught of liquid natural gas (LNG) proposals have come critics.
A group called Broadwater Energy, a joint venture of Shell and TransCanada, recently proposed located a 1,200-foot floating terminal moored in Long Island Sound nine miles off Wading River. The terminal would accept LNG from giant tankers, and the LNG would be degasified on the terminal and connected into the Iroquois company's natural gas pipeline, which stretches under the Sound from Connecticut to Northport. A new 25-mile pipeline would be built stretching from the floating terminal to the Iroquois line. The project isn't expected to be done until 2010 and must first undergo a federal regulatory process.
"There are no offshore facilities anywhere," said Tim Riley, a California attorney who's been leading the
charge against LNG plants in his state and nationally.
"Yours and ours are the guinea pigs," he said, referring to the Broadwater proposals and a proposal to put a floating LNG terminal 14 miles offshore in the Santa Barbara channel in California.
Mr. Riley has a website (www.timrileylaw.com) devoted to the fight against LNG plants and has even produced a documentary called "The Risks and Dangers of LNG."
Mr. Riley believes that part of the strategy of promoters of offshore LNG terminals is to avoid local government control "and take advantage of the federal rubberstamping."
Broadwater says safety is one of the reasons it proposes to locate the facility at sea.
But Mr. Riley said, "The hazards we foresee are the same as there would be if it were three or 30 miles out. We've got tankers carrying the equivalent of 55 Hiroshima bombs right off our beaches."
As an example of the potential perils at sea, he cited a Sept. 20, 2004, news report from Norway saying that a fully loaded LNG tanker was adrift on the west coast of Norway after the ship's ... ( the continuation page is currently not showing-up on the newspaper's server).
© 2004 Times-Review Newspapers
November 28, 2004
Ventura County Star
Plenty of reason to doubt EIR
By Tim Riley
Some will recall that Oxnard was targeted for the siting of a liquefied natural gas facility in 1977 and that an environmental impact report was conducted at that time.
As a matter of public record, according to the California Energy Commission report of July 2003, "The Oxnard City Council, however, did its own study, which considered safety risks under worst-case scenarios. Oxnard's citizens opposed the project after the city's study showed up to 70,000 casualties from an LNG accident there. None of the risk assessments considered acts of sabotage."
The particular risk scenario just referenced was based upon an offshore LNG tanker collision approximately seven miles off our coast. Yet, the 1977 environmental impact report determined that a massive LNG spill on the water would create an ignitable vapor cloud that would drift onshore extending 30 miles, risking 70,000 lives.
Those who drafted the 2004 BHP environmental impact report apparently must believe that in 1977, the scientists, the U.S. Coast Guard and the federal Bureau of Mines were a bunch of idiots, because the 2004 theoretical calculators claim that a worst-case scenario spill would produce an ignitable vapor cloud that would extend only 1.6 miles.
The key word here is "theoretical" because no actual large LNG spill has ever been conducted.
Even though our skin is in the game, we, the public, are relegated to the bleachers. We are mere spectators watching the private-public energy industry players spin their way through revolving doors. We are asked to accept their "word" at face value.
In the current BHP draft environmental impact report, at Section 4.2 "Public safety: Hazards and risk analysis," Page 27, under the subheading, "Risk Evaluation -- LNG carriers," the document appears to allay our concerns about LNG being released by collisions with an LNG carrier. It states:
"In 2002, the LNG ship Norman Lady collided with a U.S. Navy submarine, the USS Oklahoma City, east of the Strait of Gibraltar. (No LNG was released in this event.) This provides a general understanding that while collisions with LNG carriers are possible, they have been relatively rare and have not resulted in the release of LNG."
This risk evaluation might cause an unknowing person to conclude, "Wow, LNG carriers can take a big hit, even from a submarine, and not release any LNG. LNG supertankers have Superman-like invulnerability."
The fact is the LNG cargo had already been unloaded before the event.
According to the CNN report on Nov. 15, 2002, "The company said the vessel, which had just unloaded a cargo of explosive natural gas in Barcelona, Spain, struck a submerged object."
Those who drafted the current environmental impact report should have known the LNG cargo had already been unloaded at the time of the incident, yet, they emphasized that no LNG was released in the event.
Well, of course no LNG was released. It had already been unloaded!
CNN reported the submarine "collision" was only a "rising to periscope depth" contact.
"In describing the known damage to the sub, officials in Washington said the radar mast on the sail section would not raise, one of the periscopes would not lower and some doors to the sail were jammed."
According to the Portland Press Herald, "Damage to both vessels was minor."
The draft EIR's report of the incident is flawed and misleading; thus, the report's "risk evaluation" is equally flawed and misleading.
The current study appears to be an attempt to minimize the scope of LNG carrier hazards and is a poor attempt to discredit the 1977 environmental impact report carrier collision risk scenario.
Was the mischaracterization of the incident intentional or incompetence? In either case, the credibility of this current draft environmental impact report is highly suspect. In either case, this is very troubling and should make everyone suspicious and gravely concerned.
Appear at the public hearings and send an SOS distress e-mail to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at email@example.com. He can approve or disapprove the BHP and Crystal Energy offshore LNG guinea pig projects.
-- Tim Riley is a consumer protection attorney from Oxnard Shores who produced the LNG documentary film "The Risks and Danger of LNG," which was an "Official Selection" of the Malibu Film Festival, 2004. He also hosts http://www.LngDanger.com.
Copyright 2004, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.
Los Angeles Times
December 1, 2004
Full Story http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lng1dec01,1,456382.story?coll=la-headlines-california
LNG Plan Jeered, Cheered in Oxnard
Residents speaking at two public hearings see either a disaster waiting to happen or a welcome source of energy. Report is due in several months.
By Steve Chawkins Times Staff Writer
A proposed liquefied natural gas project off the Ventura County coast was blasted Tuesday as a looming danger and lauded as a safe way out of the energy crisis by dozens of speakers at public hearings in Oxnard.
The two meetings drew hundreds of residents concerned about plans for the LNG terminal, known as Cabrillo Port, 14 miles offshore. The project was proposed by minerals company BHP Billiton, Australia's largest corporation.
Many of the public comments are to be addressed in a final environmental report, which is due in several months. The report will then be evaluated by state and federal officials, who could then submit it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for consideration.
A draft environmental report released last month was generally positive. It concluded that a catastrophic accident at the proposed site in the Santa Barbara Channel would do no harm onshore.
However, a number of Oxnard residents on Tuesday questioned that conclusion.
Irma Lopez, the wife of longtime Oxnard politician Manuel Lopez, decried the location of the terminal off the coast of the blue-collar city as a breach of "environmental justice."
"Accidents do happen," she said. "Terrorism does happen.
"With any data open to interpretation, I hope you err on the side of caution," she told a panel that included representatives from the Coast Guard and the California State Lands Commission, key agencies in determining whether the project moves forward.
However, skeptics said that the proposed terminal has garnered support not because of its merits but because of an intensive public-relations effort.
"We've been inundated with propaganda," Irma Lopez said. "There have been informational meetings at luxurious locations."
In a statement read by an aide, U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara), echoed the feelings of several environmental groups.
"Our first step should always be to see if we can reduce demand, and I am not convinced we have done that," she said.
Capps asked for a two-month extension of the Dec. 20 deadline for public comment on the 1,200-page report.
Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times
December 06, 2004
Local residents defeat Rabaska natural gas project at site near Quebec City
Les Perreaux Canadian Press
QUEBEC (CP) - Partners in the Rabaska natural gas terminal project say they will not give up on the Quebec City region despite a major setback eliminating one potential site.
Residents of Beaumont, Que., voted down the $700-million project by 72 per cent Sunday night amid fears of explosion and a spoiled view. Project partners Gaz Metro (TSX:GZM.UN), Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) and Gaz de France have dropped Beaumont and will pursue three sites in nearby Levis, where city councillors have previously passed a resolution against the project.
Glenn Kelly, project director for the Rabaska consortium, said he hopes to have a detailed proposal by the end of the month to win over skeptical city councillors and residents.
The approval process forced Rabaska to unveil preliminary plans and put the project at a disadvantage, Kelly said.
"We were forced to come out with a project that was not very detailed, and the void was filled by opponents saying things about the project, notably on safety, that were untrue," he said in an interview.
Despite backing from the Quebec government and Gaz Metro, the province's main gas distributor, residents rallied to keep the terminal out of their picturesque location on the St. Lawrence River.
"It really is a great victory, a massive victory," said Yves St-Laurent, one of the Beaumont residents who lives along the river.
"We will continue to fight until this project is dead in the water. We're confident we will win."
Opponents of the project point to scientific studies that say the mix of chilled gas and vast quantities of flammable polystyrene insulation on the tankers leave them vulnerable to terrorist attack and massive explosions.
But supporters say the safety record of liquefied natural gas is better than regular gas because it only ignites when combined with the right amount of oxygen.
Kelly said terminals like the Rabaska project have been safe for 40 years.
"We've had no loss of cargo on the ships, and on the sites we've had no major accidents," Kelly said.
Quebec Natural Resources Minister Sam Hamad said the government still supports the project. Rabaska has adequately answered concerns about safety and the environment, he said.
"It's mostly perception and it's really difficult to manage perception," Hamad said.
"Rabaska should continue working on it and try to convince people the project is a good one. We need this project."
© The Canadian Press 2004
Copyright © 2004 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest Global Communications Corp. All rights reserved.
December 8, 2004
Opponents rally against LNG facility
The three tanker Cabrillo Port would receive natural gas from Australia tankers that carry the fuel in compressed liquid form. Those in favor of the Cabrillo Port liquefied natural gas facility's installation say it will bring a better source of energy and jobs to the area. Opponents say the facility is dangerous.
By Jonathan Friedman/Assistant Editor
More than 100 people crowded into Webster Elementary School Dec. 1 to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the liquefied natural gas facility proposed to be constructed off the coast of Oxnard, near Malibu.
Although some of the people in attendance favored the facility as a way to bring a more efficient energy source to the area, most were opposed to a facility they called dangerous and prone to terrorist attacks.
Australian-based BHP Billiton has proposed building an LNG facility called the Cabrillo Port about 14 miles off the coast of the Ventura/Los Angeles County line, about 15 miles north of Malibu. The Cabrillo Port would receive natural gas from Australian tankers that carry the fuel in compressed liquid form. The gas would be vaporized and pumped through a network of pipes. Opponents of Cabrillo's installation say that if a disaster were to occur at the port, it would threaten the lives of everybody in the area, although the draft EIR says it would not affect people living in Malibu.
The Dec. 1 meeting was the second hearing heard on the draft EIR. Another one took place in Oxnard on Nov. 30, with 400 people attending. Included among them were 150 protestors who came to the hearing early to rally. They wore anti-LNG buttons and held up signs with messages of dissent.
Those speaking at the Dec. 1 hearing against Cabrillo included Malibu Mayor Pro Tem Andy Stern. He said in a telephone interview after the meeting that his major reason for opposing the port is safety concerns. Stern said he does not accept the draft EIR's conclusion that an LNG explosion would not affect Malibu residents. "To my knowledge they are gambling with our safety with new technology," Stern said. "If they want to build this facility, they can do it where there aren't any people."
Those speaking in favor of the facility said it would help to bring down California's high energy costs. They said LNG was a safe, clean and reliable source of energy that would mitigate many of the energy problems in California. A representative from the Australian government also attended the meeting. He said the port would bring new jobs to this area and to Australia. "I couldn't care less about the jobs it will bring," Stern said in response. "I only care about the safety issues."
Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Maritime Administration and the California State Lands Commission conducted the Oxnard and Malibu hearings. Comments from the hearings were collected for the drafting of the final EIR. Written comments are also being accepted until Dec. 20. Next year, the final EIR will be released. Then another series of hearings will be conducted prior to a final decision by the federal government on whether to approve the facility.
There is currently a dispute about who has the authority to give final approval for LNG facilities, the states or the federal government. Recently, officials from several states were infuriated because hidden in the year-end federal spending bill expected to clear Congress this week was a statement that federal regulators should decide where liquefied natural gas terminals are built. But since the Cabrillo Port is proposed to be in federal-controlled waters, there is no dispute on who has the authority. Houston-based Crystal Energy has proposed the development of another LNG facility near the Malibu coast. But unlike the Cabrillo Port, this one would not be built from scratch. Instead, it would be transformed from an already existing oil platform called Grace. The announcement of the proposal has inspired the creation of an opposition group called Citizens Against Crystal Energy.
The Malibu City Council passed a resolution earlier this year in opposition to all offshore LNG facilities because of the alleged dangers they present to the residents.
December 8, 2004
Yale Daily News .com.
Pols criticize L. I. Sound plan
Supporters say energy terminal and gas pipeline will solve natural gas shortage
BY SAM KAHN Staff Reporter
Prominent Connecticut politicians held a press conference at New Haven's Omni Hotel Monday to voice their opposition to the Broadwater Project, the proposed construction of an energy terminal and natural gas pipeline in the Long Island Sound.
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal LAW '73, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr., state Representative Pat Widlitz and environment activists decried the terminal, envisioned as an enormous offshore facility resembling a ship roughly the size of the Queen Mary II. They argued the project could be an environmental disaster for the sound and a possible safety hazard for shoreline residents.
"All the evidence is that this has the makings of an environmental monstrosity," Blumenthal said. "Imagine gazing out on the Sound on a clear summer's day and seeing a project this size, which will not offer any benefit until 2010."
Blumenthal vowed to fight the Broadwater proposal in all applicable agencies and regulatory commissions.
"We're prepared to fight if necessary in state agencies, the Army Corps of Engineers and all appropriate bodies," Blumenthal said. "Conveniently for the proposal, no Connecticut state agency will have jurisdiction, but we have an interest in protecting Connecticut citizens."
DeStefano said the Broadwater Project should be seen as the latest failure of the energy industry to consider local needs when proposing intrusive initiatives.
"This is the latest installment of a Russian roulette energy policy in the Sound," DeStefano said.
Last month, Shell and Trans Canada jointly announced their plans for the project, a proposal designed to solve the natural gas shortage in the Northeast by mooring a liquefied natural gas import terminal in the middle of the Long Island Sound.
According to plans, the facility could receive and store imported liquefied natural gas while sending out approximately one billion cubic feet of natural gas a day, thus potentially providing the Northeast with a secure source of energy for 30 years or more.
Broadwater regional project manager John Hritcko said the project would serve to benefit both Connecticut and New York residents without causing undue pollution or noise in the sound.
"We discount the notion that this project is leading to the further industrialization of the sound," Hritcko said. "From day one, part of the benefit of the sound has been commercial."
Before beginning physical work on the proposed facility, however, Broadwater would need a permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and from 14 other local and national organizations. Though stressing the need for further analysis, company representatives said preliminary findings indicated that the facility's effect on sightlines, as well as noise and pollution levels, would be minimal.
"Environment has been a part of this project from day one," Broadwater spokeswoman Amy Kelley said. "Along with our own assessments, there are other companies working with Broadwater to ensure that environment is at the front of our minds and to make sure that any possible environmental impact is mitigated."
Broadwater is currently engaged in a public relations tour, fostering dialogue with shoreline communities. On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Broadwater held open information sessions in a ballroom of the Omni Hotel on Temple Street.
Since the announcement of the Broadwater plan, local residents and Connecticut politicians have strongly objected to the proposal, fearing environmental damage even though the facility will technically be located in New York waters.
The Connecticut Fund for the Environment has organized an information tour in Connecticut shoreline towns shadowing Broadwater's own campaign. The group scheduled Monday's press conference in the lobby of the Omni Hotel to run simultaneous to a Broadwater information session held in the mezzanine.
The press conference speakers called for compromise and discourse with Broadwater but criticized the project as the newest attempt to industrialize the sound.
"While I'm broad-minded about Broadwater, this project gives grounds for deep, profound concerns," Kiki Kennedy, a member of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment's board of directors, said.
Widlitz warned the project could serve as a dangerous precedent, giving energy industry demands precedence over environmental concerns.
"The momentum is going in the wrong direction," Widlitz said. "We need to take a stand and work with New York to make balanced, reasonable decisions."
Copyright © 1995-2004 Yale Daily News Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
December 13, 2004
Groups Fueling Ad Blitz for LNG
A coalition hires a consultant with ties to Gov. Schwarzenegger to bolster public support for liquefied natural gas.
By Marc Lifsher Times Staff Writer
SACRAMENTO — An influential business coalition has hired Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's favorite political consultant to mount a $1-million public relations blitz touting the benefits of liquefied natural gas.
The pro-LNG offensive being planned by consultant Mike Murphy has the earmarks of a campaign for public office, relying on advertising, polling, focus groups and other tools of the political trade. Murphy's new bosses, which include energy companies and some of the state's richest and most savvy special interest lobbying groups, want him to redefine the debate over LNG, a controversial form of natural gas.
"We're going to need more natural gas in the state in the coming decade to fuel our economy," said Joseph Lyons, an energy lobbyist with the California Manufacturers and Technology Assn., one of the leaders of the Californians for Clean Affordable and Safe Energy coalition. "We're not going to be able to conserve our way out of a gas crisis."
Developers are vying for financing and permits to build as many as half a dozen coastal terminals in California and northern Mexico to unload the LNG. The gas, produced in such distant countries as Australia, Indonesia and Russia, is supercooled until it turns to liquid so it can be shipped across the ocean in special tankers.
Industry and government officials contend that importing large volumes of LNG would diversify California's sources of natural gas, which is burned to generate most of the state's electricity.
Without a steady flow of LNG, the state could be whipsawed by the kind of volatile prices that boosted electricity and natural gas bills during the energy crisis of 2000 and 2001, LNG advocates say.
But LNG projects have ignited considerable opposition.
LNG critics — mainly environmentalists, alternative energy advocates and coastal residents — say the state should work to become less dependent on fossil fuels. They worry about accidents or terrorist attacks, and those fears have generated headlines and stirred up environmental activists and homeowners along the Pacific coast.
Now, industry is getting ready to fight back, led by the California manufacturers and technology coalition and the California Chamber of Commerce.
What's needed to win the LNG war is an industry-sponsored campaign that "will provide political air cover to elected officials of both parties who might be willing to support LNG but fear fallout [from voters] in their districts," according to Murphy's winning sales pitch, which was presented to the state manufacturers group in August.
The pro-LNG coalition includes the California League of Food Processors, California Retailers Assn., California Building Industry Assn., Western States Petroleum Assn., Agricultural Council of California, Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group and the American Electronics Assn. It also has the backing of energy companies vying for a foothold in the potentially lucrative California LNG market: Sempra Energy, Royal Dutch/Shell Group, ChevronTexaco Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., BHP Billiton and Woodside Petroleum Ltd.
The trade groups and energy corporations have contributed tens of millions of dollars to the political campaigns of Schwarzenegger and lawmakers in recent years.
Industry leaders said they picked Murphy and his firm, Navigators, because of the thoroughness of their plan to unleash an "air and ground war" in the media, the statehouse and community forums up and down the state. The campaign's goal is to convince people that LNG is "important to the economy … safe … and good for the environment."
Energy lobbyist Lyons of the state manufacturers association said his group was particularly impressed with Murphy's record of helping Schwarzenegger oust then-Gov. Gray Davis in the 2003 recall election.
Navigators further burnished its reputation by running Schwarzenegger's subsequent ballot efforts to refinance the state debt with $15 billion in bonds and to defeat initiatives by Indian tribes and race tracks to expand casino gambling.
In between Schwarzenegger's campaigns, Navigators, which opened a Sacramento office in the shadow of the state Capitol late last year, has nurtured a private-sector practice. Last summer, it managed a drive by Calpine Corp. and other non-utility electricity generators to kill a bill backed by Southern California Edison Co.
The proposal, AB 2006 by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles), would have partially re-regulated California's power market. It passed the Democratic-controlled Legislature but was vetoed in September by Schwarzenegger.
"We interviewed a lot of firms and chose the team that could do the best job," Lyons said. "We knew they could hit the ground running on this energy stuff."
Lyons, however, stressed that Murphy's close relationship with Schwarzenegger was "not a factor" in his hiring. Todd Harris, the head of Navigators' Sacramento office, said he makes it clear to prospective clients that "if you're looking for someone to lobby the administration, you should look for someone else."
Harris and Joe Desmond, the governor's top energy advisor, said they maintain an arms-length relationship to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Nevertheless, Navigators wasn't shy about plastering Schwarzenegger's picture on all 27 pages of its LNG PowerPoint sales pitch.
The presentation started out by noting that Schwarzenegger "is generally supportive of LNG" and quoted a statement in his campaign platform promising to "explore building facilities for safely importing liquefied natural gas."
The campaign, which is still being organized, is designed to use advertising on television and in print media in addition to speakers and public events to "put cross pressure on liberal and environmental groups as well as other groups in opposition by organizing targeted local coalitions in favor of LNG," according to Navigators' pitch.
Advertising needs to "change the face of LNG for the public," Navigators' presentation said. People need to be convinced that LNG is not just about big energy companies but, rather, "local, state and national labor leaders, minority activists, environmentalists, small business owners."
Part of the $1-million war chest also could be spent on polling and focus groups, conducting campaign-style "opposition research," holding educational symposiums and paying academics to do studies on the benefits of LNG, Navigators said.
Environmentalists, who operate with volunteers on tiny budgets, said they considered it a compliment to their organizing skills that industry felt it needed to run a million-dollar campaign against them.
"Clearly, they are responding to citizen opposition. They're trying to counter how most Californians feel about clean energy," said Rory Cox of environmental protection group Pacific Environment in San Francisco.
Clean-air activists said they weren't about to support importing LNG until they saw evidence that demand for more energy couldn't be met by greater energy efficiency and use of renewable sources like wind and solar power. They noted that the California Energy Commission was projecting growth in demand for LNG at only 1% a year over the next decade.
LNG skeptics have asked the California Public Utilities Commission to hold hearings on whether the state needs LNG.
Meanwhile, industry is trying to create phony pro-LNG public support, said Michael Shames, director of the San Diego-based Utility Consumers' Action Network. Shames thinks the Schwarzenegger administration is along for the ride, despite official denials.
"They want to provide the governor cover for what he's already privately indicated he's going to do," Shames said. "They're building a factual case out of thin air."
Oil firms are proceeding with plans for liquefied natural gas facilities off the Ventura coast, in the Port of Long Beach and in Baja California, from which natural gas may be piped to the United States. No location has been announced for a sixth project, planned by ChevronTexaco.
1. Off Oxnard
Company: Crystal Energy/Small Ventures
Average capacity: 800 million cubic feet per day
Type of facility: Existing platform, Grace, with new subsea pipeline, to receive and regasify LNG for Southland use
2. Off Malibu
Company: BHP Billiton
Average capacity: 700 million cubic feet per day
Type of facility: Permanently moored facility with new subsea pipeline to receive and regasify LNG for Southland use
3. Port of Long Beach
Company: Sound Energy Solutions/Mitsubishi
Average capacity: 700 million cubic feet per day
Type of facility: Berth, new 2.3-mile pipeline and facility to store and regasify LNG and load trucks for Southland use.
4. Puerto Coronado (off Tijuana)
Average capacity: 700 million cubic feet per day
Type of facility: Offshore import facility would regasify LNG and send it through a new pipeline to Baja California and U.S.
5. Energia Costa Azul
Company: Sempra Energy/Shell
Average capacity: 1 billion cubic feet per day
Type of facility: Port infrastructure and receiving facility to regasify LNG for use in Baja California and U.S.
Sources: California Energy Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Graphics reporting by Cheryl Brownstein-Santiago
Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times
December 29, 2004
City opposes LNG proposal
Malibu Environmental and Community Development Director Vic Peterson sent a letter Dec. 17 to the California State Lands Commission in opposition to the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the liquefied natural gas deepwater port proposed to be constructed off the coast of Oxnard.
"The city of Malibu believes [the DEIR] is inadequate in its assessment of the potential environmental impacts and risks to public health and safety by failing to accurately assess catastrophic events that might result from accidental release of LNG or potential terrorist attacks on the proposed project."
Hearings took place on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 to receive public comment on Australian-based BHP Billiton's proposal to build the facility 14 miles off the coast of the Ventura/Los Angeles County line, about 15 miles north of Malibu. Most of the speakers at the hearings, which took place in Oxnard and Malibu, were opposed to the proposal. Prior to the Oxnard hearing, more than 150 protesters chanted against the LNG port and held up signs with slogans of dissent. Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Maritime Administration and the California State Lands Commission conducted the hearings. Comments from the hearings were collected for the drafting of the final EIR. Next year, that document will be released. Then another series of hearings will be conducted prior to a final decision by the federal government on whether to approve the project.
January 5, 2005
SITE GAS BARGE ON LI SOUND?
Only if it’s safe, environmentally benign
TransCanada Corp. and Shell US Gas & Power Co., partners in a proposed project to place a liquefied natural gas storage and processing facility in the middle of Long Island Sound, are already running into trouble.
The firms are working hard to sell a plan that would increase the region's supply of much-needed natural gas. They want to bring natural gas, in liquefied form, to a modified barge moored nine miles off the coast of Riverhead, where it would be dumped by tankers, warmed back to a gaseous state and shipped again, via a new 25-mile-long underground cable, to an existing supply pipeline.
So far - and despite help from some prominent local people - the proposal has been met with a quick and resounding "no" from the Rocky Point and Wading River civic associations, and some environmental groups, one of which complained that the facility would turn Long Island Sound into an industrial park. The problem is that the firms have yet to make a convincing public case that their proposed Broadwater project meets the twin tests of being safe - no small matter in these times of threats and terrorists seeking targets - and environmentally benign.
Officials acknowledge that will be their primary focus in upcoming months. They have hired a team, now without former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, from the Giuliani Group as experts on safety issues. And they promise that environmental concerns, from water quality to aesthetics, will get ample airing during the years-long approval process.
The region needs new supplies of natural gas to keep up with ever-increasing demands. The Broadwater proposal is one way to get supplies to the region. But is it the best, or the only, way? The questions demand answers. And it will be up to TransCanada and Shell to answer them. Copyright © 2005, Newsday, Inc.
January 6, 2005
Ventura County Star
Coast Guard puts LNG review on hold
By Sylvia Moore
After weeks of pressure from public officials and community groups, U.S. Coast Guard officials said they want to spend more time scrutinizing a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas port 21 miles off the Oxnard coast.
The Coast Guard has temporarily suspended the environmental review process for Cabrillo Port, the floating LNG receiving facility that Australian energy resources company BHP Billiton wants to build.
The Coast Guard wants BHP to provide more detail about the port’s construction, and impacts to public safety, air and water quality, and animal life, among other things.
Copyright 2005, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.
READ FORMAL USCG DOCUMENT of "SUSPENSION OF CABRILLO PORT DWP APPLICATION PROCESS" http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf91/311116_web.pdf
January 7, 2005
Ventura County Star
Coast Guard suspends LNG review process
By Sylvia Moore
After pressure from public officials and community groups, U.S. Coast Guard officials have decided to spend more time scrutinizing a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas port 21 miles off the Oxnard coast.
The Coast Guard this week temporarily suspended the environmental review process for Cabrillo Port, a floating gas-importing facility that Australian energy resources company BHP Billiton wants to build. The Coast Guard wants to "stop the clock" so BHP can provide more detail about the port's proposed construction and potential effects on public safety, air and water quality, and animal life, among other things.
"I think that's wonderful," Shirley Godwin, co-chairwoman of the Oxnard community group Saviers Road Design Team, said Thursday. "There are so many issues that need to be looked at."
The group has been leading community opposition to the proposed facility. Several hundred Oxnard residents attended public hearings in November, many expressing fears that it would be unsafe. Company representatives, however, say vessels have delivered liquefied natural gas shipments thousands of times worldwide without any major incidents.
BHP spokeswoman Kathi Hann said Thursday that it could take a few weeks to gather all the information the Coast Guard wants. "We think the request is reasonable. We're fully cooperating with the Coast Guard," said Hann. "We prefer to have a 'stop clock,' so a thorough analysis is made."
The Coast Guard and California State Lands Commission were originally supposed to make a final decision on the project by May, but federal law allows the timeline to be suspended if more information is needed.
It's unclear how long the suspension will last, or whether the public will get more time to comment on the project's draft environmental report. The comment period for that document was closed in December.
"I applaud the Coast Guard for 'stopping the clock' on the Cabrillo Port LNG project," Rep. Lois Capps, the Santa Barbara Democrat whose district includes Oxnard, said in a statement. "There is still so much that we don't know about the potential adverse impacts on our environment and community. It's time to investigate all of the possible problems and make that information available."
Copyright 2005, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.
READ FORMAL USCG DOCUMENT of "SUSPENSION OF CABRILLO PORT DWP APPLICATION PROCESS" http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf91/311116_web.pdf
January 11, 2005
News Release from Congressman Barney Frank
LAWMAKERS FILE BRIEF OPPOSING LNG PREEMPTION LANGUAGE
To view a PDF version of the brief, click here: http://www.house.gov/frank/LNGAmicus2005.pdf
A coalition of 18 Members of Congress from coastal areas today filed a legal brief stating that a provision accompanying the recently passed omnibus appropriations bill should not be interpreted as giving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sole power to approve the location of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities. FERC has made that claim in a case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California involving a proposed LNG plant in Long Beach.
The Members of Congress, all of whom have concerns about potentially inappropriate LNG siting, signed a friend of the court brief, prepared by attorneys working with Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), making it clear that the provision, which was inserted into the bill’s explanatory report with no advance notice or opportunity for review, is not binding because it is not part of the actual bill. The brief argues that the provision should have no bearing on the California LNG case, and that existing laws governing natural gas facilities should be interpreted to allow states to share with FERC the authority over LNG plant siting decisions, as well as giving preference to siting LNG plants in remote areas.
The Members of Congress who signed the brief are Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA), Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Rep. James McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME), Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Rep. James Langevin (D-RI), Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Timothy Bishop (D-NY), Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).
“We must ensure that our communities are protected, particularly in a time of terrorist threats and other dangers,” Sen. Kennedy said. “The best way to address public safety concerns is for federal officials to work jointly with state and local public safety officials on the needs of our communities. We must ensure that impacted communities have a voice in the siting of these facilities.”
“Most Federal judges will understand that a provision that is simply slipped into a report on a bill in this way should have no legal bearing in a lawsuit, and is nothing more than the opinion of a few Members who were involved in drafting the report,” Rep. Frank said. “On the other hand, there is always a possibility that the provision could be given some weight as part of an overall ruling. If that were to happen in the California case, it could make it harder to ensure that local and regional safety concerns about other LNG proposals are fully taken into account. This includes the ill-advised plan to establish an LNG plant in Fall River, Massachusetts, which many of my Congressional colleagues from the state join me in opposing. The brief we have submitted today will help prevent the appropriations language from being misused in California, Massachusetts and anywhere else that an LNG plant is under consideration.”
"When it comes to the siting of new LNG facilities, the Bush Administration favors weak federal rules and the preemption of any stronger state LNG siting safety requirements,” Rep. Markey said. “They can't have it both ways. While my 1979 LNG siting bill clearly envisioned a federal role in the siting of new LNG facilities, it also directed that such facilities be remotely located. Unfortunately, the Transportation Department and FERC have failed to follow that directive. At the same time, my bill never preempted State public safety and emergency response authorities, reflecting Congress' view that State Governments needed to be able to take action to protect their populations from hazards represented by proposals to site new LNG facilities in densely populated urban areas. The amicus brief that we've filed reflects Congressional support for retention of such authorities by the States."
“The LNG language was tacked on to a huge bill, without any hearing, debate or vote,” Rep. McGovern said. “That language should not be construed as congressional intent. Many of us in Congress continue to have serious concerns about the LNG siting process, and we will continue to fight to ensure that local officials and residents have a say in where these facilities are located. I want to thank my colleague Barney Frank for taking the lead on this amicus brief.”
"After September 11th, we simply cannot afford to ignore the risks from attack scenarios involving LNG tankers or facilities that previously might have seemed unrealistic,” said Rep. Lynch. “To that end, we must be far more cautious and deliberate before constructing any new LNG terminals in the United States. In Everett, Massachusetts, we have an onshore LNG facility that poses a potential risk to thousands of families because of its proximity to the City of Boston. In the future, I believe that our energy and security needs would be best served by building offshore terminals to keep tankers and infrastructure farther away from population centers."
To view a PDF version of the brief, click here: http://www.house.gov/frank/LNGAmicus2005.pdf
January 12, 2005
Rhode Island Gas Terminal Would Be Threat to City of Providence
(Bloomberg) -- A terrorist attack or an accident on a liquefied natural gas tanker may start a fire that destroys or damages a large part of Providence, Rhode Island's capital, if a proposed docking terminal is built, said the state's Assistant Attorney General Paul J. Roberti.
Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch has hired Richard A. Clarke, former U.S. anti-terrorism chief and University of Arkansas Professor Jerry Havens to investigate the dangers posed by the terminal and compile a report, Roberti told officials from four federal agencies at a public hearing late yesterday in Providence.
Roberti held up aerial photos showing how a fire would encompass a large part of southern Providence including other tanks holding gasoline, liquid propane and fuel oil, if KeySpan Corp. and its partner BG Group PLC were allowed to build a dock where 274-meter (900-foot) LNG tankers could unload their cargo. The damage could encompass an area that has two interstate highways, seven schools, two colleges and three hospitals.
``Since you represent the same federal government that could not prevent an attack on its own military headquarters (on Sept. 11, 2001) we do not believe you can prevent one here,'' Roberti told representatives from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
January 13, 2005
AG, lawmakers vow to stop L.I. Sound LNG plant
By ANN DEMATTEO and CALLI PLANAKIS , Journal Register News Service
State legislators and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal Wednesday vowed to do everything in their power to stop a huge liquefied natural gas plant from being built in Long Island Sound, while former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has been hired to do a security assessment of the plant. State officials made their vows at two informational sessions sponsored by Save the Sound, an environmental group that’s leading the fight against the plan by Broadwater Energy. The plant, larger than the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship, would be in New York state waters, 11 miles south of Branford Harbor.
In Milford, the attorney general said, "If this project goes through, then
the Long Island Sound will become a no-fly, no-fish, no-sail, no-ship zone. This
is not acceptable and, as a result, we will not accept what Broadwater is
proposing to us today."
State Sen. George "Doc" Gunther, R-Stratford, urged the Milford attendees to become involved.
"You will have no control over what happens in the sound if FERC pre-empts the state of Connecticut," he said. "This is what is happening here. We need to stay on the stick before they stick it to us." More: http://www.middletownpress.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=13740720&BRD=1645&PAG=461&dept_id=10856&rfi=6
January 13, 2005
Ventura County Star
Capps files brief in lawsuit about siting of LNG plans
U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, said Wednesday her office has submitted a "friend of the court brief" over the location of a liquefied natural gas port being proposed for 21 miles off the Oxnard coast.
Capps' brief supports a lawsuit filed by the California Public Utilities Commission against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The lawsuit questions FERC's jurisdiction over the siting of the LNG plant.
"The issue before the court is whether California should have the right to protect its citizens on issues like the siting of an LNG facility and the potential cost to taxpayers," said Capps in a news release. "FERC will not and cannot legally provide those protections."
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and 16 other representatives and senators have joined the friends of the court brief.
Capps said she is leading an effort to protect the California coast and ensure sufficient environmental, economic and national security studies are done before an LNG terminal is located off the state's shore.
Capps said the Bush administration has opposed California having a say in the potential development of 36 oil and gas facilities off the California shore.
Copyright 2005, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.
January 13, 2005
The Providence Journal
Opponents sound off on LNG proposal
"You can only be wrong once with an LNG tanker ship," says a Jamestown clergyman, but proponents counter that threats can be managed.
BY MARK REYNOLDS Journal Staff Writer
MIDDLETOWN -- Federal regulators wrapped up a second hearing last night in an effort to collect public comments on a Providence port proposal that has raised concerns about terrorism.
For months now, top Rhode Island officials, including Governor Carcieri, have been worried about KeySpan's proposal for receiving liquefied natural gas from tanker ships that would navigate the East Passage of Narragansett Bay and dock at Fields Point, in Providence.
They fear that at some point along the way, terrorists might launch an attack that would start a catastrophic fire fueled by LNG vapors.
January 18, 2005
Activists to oppose gas terminal in LI Sound
BY TOM INCANTALUPO STAFF WRITER
Environmental and civic activists are planning this morning to use the shuttered Shoreham nuclear power plant in Wading River as a symbolic backdrop to announce a coalition formed to oppose a floating liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound.
"This is the most irresponsible proposal since the Shoreham plant," a coalition founder, Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said in a statement announcing an 11 a.m. news conference and rally.
The nuclear plant, proposed in the 1960s and constructed in the 1970s by the now-defunct Long Island Lighting Co., was abandoned in the late 1980s after some lower power testing, amid fierce opposition by Long Island environmental and civic groups.
The new Long Island Sound proposal, by Broadwater Energy Corp. of Houston, is for a 1,200-foot-long terminal moored in New York waters about halfway across the Sound between Wading River and Connecticut. The facility would be operating by 2010, off-loading liquefied natural gas from ships and heating it to return it to a gaseous state. The gas would then be shipped west in a 25 mile-long pipeline on the Sound floor, connecting with an existing gas pipeline that runs across the Sound from Connecticut to Northport.
The company is seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is expected early this year to hold public hearings on the proposal.
Organizers say the new Anti Broadwater Coalition includes dozens of groups concerned about fires or leaks from the facility and contend also that it would be an inviting target for terrorists.
Broadwater spokesman Amy Kelley said company officials would appear at the news conference and rally to answer questions. She cited a U.S. Department of Energy study released last month on the safety of such facilities that, according to Broadwater, concluded that there would be no danger from a gas release beyond about one mile from the terminal. Copyright © 2005, Newsday, Inc.
Opposition, Early And Strong, To Broadwater Proposal
By Nathan Fisher
It's hard to find an issue that unifies Connecticut's politicians and residents as consistently as the numerous attempts by multinational energy companies to use Long Island Sound as an industrial corridor.
The Broadwater proposal is no exception. Broadwater is a joint venture of TransCanada and Shell US Gas and Power that would place a liquefied natural gas (LNG) downloading facility in the middle of the Sound. While sidestepping the nastier environmental concerns that accompany the Islander East pipeline proposal-the destruction of oyster beds, increased silt, and the construction of a gas-bearing pipeline through Branford, North Branford, and North Haven-- the Broadwater facility raises a whole new set of environmental, safety, and regulatory concerns.
State figures from across the political spectrum gathered in Branford's community room last Wednesday morning to discuss the proposal at an event sponsored by Save the Sound, a state environmental group concerned with Long Island Sound.
They included Connecticut House members Pat Widlitz, Peter Panaroni, and Steve Fontana, State Senators Ed Meyer, Len Fasano, and Andrea Stillman, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, and Branford First Selectman John Opie.
"The representation shows something important," said Blumenthal. "It's totally bipartisan. It's not about Democrat or Republican. This project is irresponsible and unacceptable. I will fight it in its present form. This proposal affects the entire state, all of New England, and the entire country."
"We've got enough legislators in this room to pass a bill stopping this monstrosity," said Meyer, who is the co-chair of the Senate's Environment Committee with Stillman. "I'm very happy to be a member of the Environment Committee, where we can have an effect on this."
While the opposition in Connecticut is intense, the state politicians may have to call in some political favors from across the Sound to mount an effective campaign. The proposed site is 10.5 miles from the shores of East Haven, but lies over the border of Connecticut regulated waters, on the New York side of the Sound.
"[The platform] will be difficult to see on all but the clearest days," according to a press release from Broadwater, "and then will resemble ships that already transit the Sound."
Under the current schedule pending approval, the venture hopes to construct the facility in 2008 and 2009, with the first shipment of liquefied natural gas arriving in 2010.
"What we really need to do is bond with the State of New York," said Widlitz. "We need to pull together with legislators and environmental groups in New York."
Whose Sound Is It?
One of the main points of opposition to the project is not visual, but concerns the use of the sound by industry. In order to provide security to a floating facility, the Coast Guard may institute a "no sail zone" around the barge, effectively barring a portion of the sound from commercial fishermen and recreational boaters.
"It's an industrial monopoly on public land," said Leah Lopez Schmalz of Save the Sound. "It's precedent setting."
Such an area made suddenly off-limits will stick in the craw of many communities with long histories of seafaring.
It certainly disturbs Branford First Selectman John Opie, who grew up on the waters of Stony Creek. "I don't know if you can have roots in the water, but I do," he said.
Closing Down Industrialization
As far as precedents go, Broadwater maintains that "there is no basis for viewing this project as a harbinger of future development in the Sound. The substantial new supplies of natural gas provided by this project will be adequate to prevent future shortages."
In an e-mail, Broadwater spokesperson John Hritcko objected to the idea that the regulatory path Broadwater is hoping to travel will be imitated and followed by other industrial projects.
"We see no basis for tying this project to any further development," wrote Hritcko
Broadwater asserts that its proposal will solve Long Island's natural gas needs in the future, but did not provide supporting data in time for press.
Rep. Steve Fontana of North Haven believes that applications for projects like the Cross-Sound Cable and the Islander East pipeline will continue.
"We're not going to see an end to these projects until we come up with some long term policy to address Long Island's energy needs," he said. "People in Long Island have an interest in not having their beaches spoiled, not breathing a vapor cloud."
(subhead) Safety and Security, Coast Guard Style
Captain Peter Boynton lives in Madison, and is the captain of port for the United States Coast Guard's operations on Long Island Sound.
"We are the building inspectors on the water," said Boynton.
Boynton made his position on the project clear, saying that while the Coast Guard will oversee plans for safety and security, the agency will take no position for or against the project.
"The lead federal agency for the approval project is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [FERC]," said Boynton. "The Coast Guard does have a role in the process that I will be coordinating."
The Coast Guard will prepare two assessments that FERC will review during the approval process, one on safety and one on security. The Coast Guard will also have authority over a constructed facility, and will even have the power to shut the facility down should safety and security concerns become unmanageable.
Boynton hopes to begin work on a Waterways Safety Assessment and an Area Maritime Security Committee report this spring, with public meetings held over the summer.
"We want to listen to peoples' concerns," said Boynton. "We work very hard to get good representation of waterway users."
While the regulatory process is still in very early stages, there is already some confusion as to who will be responsible for actually providing security to a completed project.
With the Homeland Security department (of which the Coast Guard is now a division) increasing focus on protecting industrial ports from terrorist attack, such security is a growing concern.
Hritcko declined to discuss any methods that may be used to provide the facility with security, including a possible "no-sail zone" and the enforcement of such a zone.
"We will not know the answers to these questions until [the Coast Guard's] assessment is complete," wrote Hritcko.
"The law very specifically does not say that the Coast Guard is responsible for all security," said Boynton. "There will be layers of protection. Commercial vessels provide a security plan. The Coast Guard may modify that plan before approval."
According to Boynton, that plan may include privately operated and funded security.
Boynton also stated that the security planning process has yet to begin, so any talk of a "no sail zone" is preliminary.
January 25, 2005
The News Journal, Delawareonline.com
Public opposes BP's terminal plan DNREC secretary gets more than 200 negative comments
By JEFF MONTGOMERY
Hundreds of citizens and civic groups have urged state regulators to bar a proposed liquefied natural gas delivery dock from the Delaware River near Claymont, with some saying approval could gut one of the state's premier conservation laws.
Does Gov. Schwarzenegger Want to Inflame Malibu With LNG?
January 25, 2005
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
TV PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT
Schwarzenegger may hold key to BHP's US$600 million gas deal
Reporter: Jill Colgan
KERRY O'BRIEN: Whoever thought we'd see the day we might have to rely on Arnie Schwarzenegger to help deliver big dollars to Australia in exports? But that's what it may come to in southern California, where Australia's resource giant, BHP Billiton, has come up against the wealthy residents of Malibu in its drive to sell tens of billions of dollars of liquefied natural gas. Two years ago, Woodside Petroleum secured a $25 billion deal to ship liquefied natural gas from Western Australia to China - the biggest export deal in Australian history. Now, Woodside and BHP are pursuing contracts with California and Mexico that could be worth twice as much as the huge China deal. But Californian residents have vowed to block BHP's plan for a US$600 million floating gas platform off the coast of Malibu, and California Governor and celluloid hero Arnold Schwarzenegger could be the final arbiter. Washington correspondent Jill Colgan reports from the Californian coast.
JILL COLGAN: California has more than 35 million people, and only the wealthiest can afford to live here, on the coast. It's home to movie stars and billionaires, and if BHP Billiton is successful, these waters will also be home to a huge floating natural gas platform called Cabrillo Port.
KATHI HANN (PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONSULTANT, BHP BILLITON): I think that once people understand the facts about Cabrillo Port, they'll understand and realise that we are building it to the highest public safety and environmental standards and that it will provide a clean, safe, reliable source of energy for California.
JILL COLGAN: At its closest point, Cabrillo Port would sit 22 kilometres off the coast. But distance hasn't made the hearts of locals fonder.
ANDY STERN (MALIBU MAYOR ELECT): People are utterly and completely opposed to the project. They're horrified about it.
JILL COLGAN: The gas platform will be just a blip on the horizon; barely visible, if at all, from here on shore. But the residents of this stretch of coast want to keep it free of any threat of damage, no matter how small the risk, and they have the resources to back them up. Malibu's incoming mayor, Andy Stern, says BHP has done little to ease the concerns of locals, who fear accidents, natural disasters, even terrorism could turn the platform into a floating danger.
ANDY STERN: I'm concerned it's gonna blow up. I'm concerned there will be a tsunami. I'm concerned there will be an earthquake. We're in earthquake country. I have fallen out of my bed because of earthquakes. Why in the world would someone build something in the ocean like that - a highly dangerous thing?
JILL COLGAN: The council doesn't always see eye to eye with environmental groups, but on this, they're sitting on the same side of the fence.
MARK MASSARA (DIRECTOR, SIERRA CLUB CALIFORNIA): Well, the potential for accidents, spills and disasters is there with the operation, and that's a fact of life and it's a fact of natural gas terminals, and we're unwilling to put up with that risk, given the value of our coastal resources and the fact that conservation measures and existing pipelines can more than satisfy our natural gas needs.
SUSAN JORDAN (CALIFORNIAN COASTAL PROTECTION NETWORK): My impression of the project was that it's a technology that's never been done before. This is what we consider to be a guinea pig project, and frankly, we're unwilling to allow the first one to be built off the California coast.
VIDEO: In order to help alleviate the predicted energy shortfall in the US, BHP Billiton is proposing to build Cabrillo Port to supply clean natural gas to California.
JILL COLGAN: Cabrillo Port is an ambitious project that would cost BHP up to US$6 billion by the time it's finished. It involves building a permanently moored floating storage and regasification terminal to receive tankers carrying LNG - liquid natural gas - from Western Australia.
VIDEO: The tugs firmly press the LNG carrier against the fenders of the FSRU. The LNG carrier's manifold is now aligned with the FSRU's loading arms. During this process of securing and aligning the two vessels, the tugs keep the carrier firmly alongside the FSRU.
JILL COLGAN: The LNG would be regasified on the terminal and pumped via two pipelines along the seabed to shore. So far, BHP has played down the amount of opposition the plan faces.
KATHI HANN: The opposition is pretty much local, as far as we can tell.
VIDEO: The total loading operation takes about 16 to 20 hours.
JILL COLGAN: But opponents have delayed Cabrillo Port already. Earlier this month, the US Coastguard suspended its review process of the project, wanting answers from BHP to environmental and safety questions. For all the money it's spending on the project, BHP has not convinced locals of its safety, with assurances that have rung hollow.
KATHI HANN: Well, I suppose that's always a concern, but look, I live here in Ventura County. I've raised my family here; my kids went to school here. I live in Oxnard. Frankly, I'm not going to work for a company that's going to do some harm to the community.
JILL COLGAN: BHP is now fighting an environmental network with deep roots.
NEWS FILE: In 1969, a spill covered the beaches of Santa Barbara with crude oil.
JILL COLGAN: It was on this coast that the modern environmental movement was forged in America, after a devastating oil spill in 1969, sparking a militant resistance.
MARK MASSARA: Sierra Club and the public in California are unwilling to allow further industrialisation of our coastal resources, especially for the sole purpose of furthering our dependence upon natural gas, which is a finite polluting fossil fuel.
JILL COLGAN: But now they're fighting a surge of would-be developers who see California as rich pickings. The State's energy needs are growing. California can meet only 15 per cent of its LNG demands, with predictions of a shortage crisis by 2007. Importing more LNG appears inevitable, and the big energy companies are vying for a slice of the action.
SUSAN JORDAN: The companies are driving the process. It's like they're using the California coastline as a dartboard - you know, Chevron Texaco wants to put their project here; BHP Billiton wants to put their project there; Crystal Energy wants to put theirs on a platform. I mean, this is an incomprehensible process. It doesn't follow any logic. We want to be in the driver's seat. If we decide we need LNG, we in California should be making the decision about where on the coast it should be located.
JOHN OLSEN (CONSUL-GENERAL TO LOS ANGELES): You can respect those views, but at end of the day, one's got to have balance and objectivity in making a policy determination, and I see the process taking that step, that process forward, and I think at the end of the day, that will mean a green light for this project.
JILL COLGAN: Australia's Consul-General in LA is former South Australian Premier John Olsen. He's invested enormous time and energy into promoting the project, speaking at public meetings on behalf of BHP.
JOHN OLSEN: Australia can demonstrate 1,600 shipments throughout the world always delivered on time and never with incident. That is Australia's record, and that is what we're offering Californians in answer to a crisis that's about two or three years away from them.
JILL COLGAN: But he has not endeared himself to residents.
ANDY STERN: The Consul-General was astonishing to all of us. We found him to be arrogant. We found him to be totally and completely uncaring about us, and his attitude was clearly, "We want this. We want jobs for Australia, and we're just gonna go ahead and do it." He didn't say that, but that was the attitude we perceived from him.
JOHN OLSEN: Perhaps we should ask also the other 30 million-odd Californians who will need energy to power their industry, to preserve and increase jobs for Californians in the future, energy required to sustain the Californian economy, energy required to turn the lights on in your home.
JILL COLGAN: Australia has backed the project at the highest level, with the Prime Minister personally pitching it to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Joining in Australia's G'day LA celebrations this past week, Federal Resources Minister Ian MacFarlane followed up the Prime Minister's meeting with members of the Governor's office and met with opponents of the project.
IAN MacFARLANE (RESOURCES MINISTER): I met yesterday with Susan Jordan, who represents some of the environmentalist groups, and I certainly acknowledge her concerns, but the reality is there is now an acknowledgment by the administration that California needs more natural gas, and Australia will stand ready and willing to export that gas to whichever option the Californian people decide is their best option.
JILL COLGAN: BHP and the Federal Government are banking on getting through the review process and landing the project in the office of Governor Schwarzenegger, whom they hope will give it the green light. But that may not end the process, according to local reporter Jonathan Friedman, who attended a hostile public meeting on the project in Malibu.
JONATHAN FRIEDMAN (REPORTER, 'MALIBU TIMES'): Well, there are some developers in Malibu who have tried to build for 20 years, and there are a couple of projects in certain areas that have been going on endlessly. Because of the wealth in this city, they can bring together lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit. They've driven companies out of the city by suing them so much that the company either runs out of money or the company just gets fed up and leaves.
JILL COLGAN: What avenues of recourse do you now have open to you?
ANDY STERN: That's sort of like asking the coach of a football team on the other side. We're certainly studying our options and we're certainly speaking with various attorneys and other governmental jurisdictions concerning what our options are.
JILL COLGAN: Let me put it this way: in the past, has the council here chosen a litigious route?
ANDY STERN: If you asked that of Malibu citizens, they'd bust out laughing. I'd be happy to show you the list of our lawsuits. We're involved in 10 or 11 just against the California Coastal Commission, and probably two or three dozen more with other people.
JILL COLGAN: If the county sues, BHP could find itself in a long and costly legal war while other companies exploit the competitive advantage. Ultimately, it may be Californian courts that decide whose interests matter most and what is a fair price to pay for life-sustaining energy.
KERRY O'BRIEN: It seems not all Australian exports are as welcome in Malibu as Mel Gibson. Jill Colgan reporting.
February 16, 2005
New war on the Sound
It wasn't the weather that drew 75 environmental and civic activists to a North Shore beach last month to launch their campaign against a $700 million proposal to place a natural gas terminal in the middle of Long Island Sound.
The temperature was 5 degrees and the northwest wind whipped off the water at 20 miles per hour, but what mattered to the freezing activists was the backdrop their protest signs presented for news photographers and television cameras: the shuttered $6 billion Shoreham nuclear power plant.
"We wanted to send a message to the people of Long Island that this has the magnitude of the threat that Shoreham had," said Richard Amper, executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society.
Amper is a key organizer of a new coalition of civic and environmental groups - 33 have signed on so far - mobilizing to fight a terminal that at 1,200 feet would be slightly longer than the world's largest ocean liner, the Queen Mary II. It would be located about nine miles north of the Shoreham-Wading River area, almost halfway between New York and Connecticut.
But the environmentalists were sending another message, too, and it was aimed at scaring off Broadwater Energy, the partnership of TransCanada Corp. and Shell that is touting the project as a way to trim the region's sky-high energy costs.
The message: Two decades ago, a similar grassroots opposition movement managed to overcome the federal government and the energy industry, preventing a completed and fully licensed nuclear plant from operating for the only time in U.S. history.
"Long Island environmental and civic groups have an unequaled track record," Amper said. "We don't lose these fights."
February 25, 2005
State lawmakers contest Long Island Sound gas terminal
By NOREEN GILLESPIE Associated Press Writer
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut lawmakers are mobilizing to oppose a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound, even though the facility will not fall under state jurisdiction.
The floating terminal is planned for New York's side of the water, but Connecticut lawmakers say it will be an eyesore for shoreline residents, harm the environment and could be a target for terrorists.
They want to create a task force to make sure Connecticut's interests are represented as the project goes through the approval and permit process.
"What the company who proposed it has done has basically tried to avoid or thwart our ability to oversee what they're doing, and how it is they are doing it," Rep. Steve Fontana, D-North Haven, who leads the General Assembly's Energy and Technology Committee.
The terminal would be located about 11 miles from Connecticut's coast. It would stretch about four football fields long and rise between 75 to 100 feet above the water.
It would receive and store natural gas from barges, then pump the fuel through a new 25-mile pipeline into the existing Iroquois gas pipeline under the Sound. It is estimated to cost up to $1 billion.
While proponents say it will provide economic benefits and a cleaner source of power, environmentalists are worried. They say it will endanger shellfish and the Sound's environment and create a risk for explosions.
The project also would limit recreation because of a buffer zone around the station, said Sen. John McKinney, R-Fairfield.
"That means no one from New York or Connecticut or anywhere else will be able to use Long Island Sound for boating, sailing, fishing or other recreational purposes for about a mile circumference," he said.
Officials at Broadwater Energy, the joint venture of TransCanada Corp. and Shell U.S. Gas & Power Co. that is proposing the project, said company has gone to great lengths to protect the environment. Broadwater expects to have a final application for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October.
John Hritcko Jr., senior vice president of Broadwater, was traveling and unavailable for an interview Friday, the company said. In a written statement, he said that Broadwater has "actively pursued open and transparent communication with Connecticut stakeholders," and would continue to do so as the approval process continues.
Legislation that would create Connecticut's task force awaits is currently making its way through the General Assembly. Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said it would include the heads of the state health, environment and agriculture agencies. Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal have voiced support for the plan.
Connecticut lawmakers also plan to meet with New York state and local elected officials in the coming weeks to discuss the floating terminal.
"The two states really, when it comes to preserving and protecting the Sound, have to lock hands and be on the same page," said New York state Sen. Kenneth LaValle, a Long Island lawmaker who opposes the plan. "It's very important to build allies with Connecticut in opposing this project."
Copyright © 2005, The Associated Press
March 21, 2005
Long Island joins LNG terminal fight
Connecticut residents are no longer alone in their resentment of the liquefied natural gas terminal proposed for the middle of the Long Island Sound. Now, many Long Island residents and politicians have joined the crusade against the terminal. The floating terminal has been proposed by Broadwater Energy, a joint venture of TransCanada Corp. and Shell U.S. Gas & Power Co. and would be located in New York waters about nine miles from Wildwood State Park on Long Island and 11 miles from Branford in Connecticut.
But a public hearing in the Long Island community of Wading River gathered about 200 people, many of them environmentalists, who were there to share their reasons for opposing the terminal. Representatives of Connecticut groups attended the hearing as well.
And there are plenty of reasons.
Full Story: http://www.connpost.com/opinion/ci_2615946
April 4, 2005
The Nassau Guardian
Miller walks out on risk and danger film, igniting verbal fire-fight
By Raymond Kongwa, Guardian Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
Cat Cay - Seated on the counter of Bu's Bar -this island's marina-side watering hole - Scott Mecredy, a visitor from Atlanta Georgia, on Saturday night strummed on his guitar and sang Bob Marley's song, Real Situation -Total Destruction.
As he refrained, "Seems like total destruction the only solution: It ain't no use - nobody can stop them now," others joined in. Like Scott, they too were oblivious to the irony in this song being played out here on this night.
Only hours earlier, Trade and Industry Minister Leslie Miller had locked horns with Cat Cay Club President Manuel Diaz and several other participants in a meeting on the construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas regassification facility and Pipeline at nearby Ocean Cay. Bahamian and non-Bahamian islanders and others left the meeting convinced that Government was determined to approve the facility and subsequently "totally destroy" the community's way of life.
After Mr Diaz made an introductory statement voicing his misgivings about the implementation of the LNG plant, Mr Miller affirmed the government's right to make any decisions it saw fit for The Bahamas. He said the proposed AES LNG regassification facility posed no danger to the environment.
But it was during the next item on the agenda that an air of acrimony and contention overtook the meeting . Mr Tim Riley, an American attorney and anti-LNG lobbyist, gave a speech and presented a movie on the Risk and Danger of LNG.
The 20-minute film chronicled ghastly accidents that have occurred in the history of LNG industry, inherent dangers of the industry, and the measures some communities have taken to block the construction of LNG plants. He said he and his wife Hayden had made the film "to offset the multi-billion industry that endlessly perpetuates the myth of the safety of LNG."
But Mr Miller walked out of the meeting room five minutes into the film, during a segment outlining the risk involved with the LNG tankers, more specifically a bit comparing the contents of a full tanker to the energy equivalent of 55 atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima during the Second World War . Mr Miller proceeded to stroll around the nearby beach and marina with his son. He returned 10 minutes later, only to leave again. After the presentation had ended, he finally returned.
"I appreciate your opening remarks that you were here to listen to people, but I think your actions speak louder than your words," Mr Riley told Mr Miller. "Having left the room for probably sixty to seventy-five percent of the film, I think speaks greatly for your mindset."
"Let me say to you sir: around this table I represent the government of The Bahamas and the people of The Bahamas," said Mr Miller. "I don't have time to waste coming to Cat Cay and ask other executives that work for the government of The Bahamas to come and look at a film that you indicated from the beginning is biased and everything else." He said he had not anticipated the Riley presentation and was of the view that the government-facilitated BEST Commission presentation would be the only one made.
Mr Miller claimed he could not in good conscience watch a film that had a clear and biased agenda "when I know what objectivity is about. I am a busy man... If anybody in The Bahamas can tell you: I don't play games, I don't have time for games." Mr Miller said he had only come to the meeting at the request of the Prime Minister.
As the Minister reaffirmed his representation of the people and Government, Patrick Rolle, the assistant dockmaster of the Cat Cay Club marina and a resident of the island, expressed embarrassment over Mr Miller's actions. "With all due respect, I am embarrassed and ashamed with your attitude this morning," he said, touching off the following verbal duel with the Minister.
Rolle: " I am very much embarrassed, sir."
Miller: "Chief, believe me, listen: you work here. I don't work here ma brother. I say I don't work here.
Rolle: "I'm not saying that because of my job my job, I'm saying that because I'm Bahamian."
Miller: "I'm glad you're Bahamian because I don't work here."
Rolle: "And I support the PLP too."
Miller: "Fine, that's not a problem ... I said what I had to say."
Rolle: "And I'm saying what I had to say too ... I'm embarrassed, very much embarrassed."
Miller: "Too bad, nothing I could do about that."
Meanwhile, Mr Riley asked Mr Miller to explain how leaving the room during the film had saved time, when he (Mr Miller) was scheduled to be on the island for a fixed time. The two then became embroiled in another argument.
At that point Mr Diaz sought to regain order: "Shut up! Shut up!" he implored. He then asked Miller to desist with his argumentative and abrasive attitude.
But Miller countered, "Listen: I'm not an employee here, you know. Let me make that clear to you now."
"Shut up! Don't point your finger at me," Diaz told the Minister.
Miller then accused Diaz of having pointed first and the two went back and forth. He reminded Mr Miller that his job as Minister was to serve the people of The Bahamas and that he had so far done a "terrible job."
Mr Miller claimed he was acting objectively, but Mr Diaz said the Minister did not understand such a concept and that he had acted like an "idiot" and a child. He reminded Mr Miller that Cat Cay is a private island where he was being accommodated as a guest.
"Don't call me an idiot, I'm a grown man just like you. Don't insult me by calling me no idiot," Mr Miller responded, while reminding Mr Diaz that Cat Cay is not independent of The Bahamas.
Mr Diaz then explained that he called Mr Miller an idiot because he had acted as such.
Ambassador for the Environment Koed Smith then intervened and calmly asked Mr Diaz to allow for Mr Riley to stop his presentation so other parts of the agenda such as a presentation by the Bahamas Environmental Science and Technology Committee could proceed.
"We do not want to have that confrontation," he said. Mr Diaz complied and advanced the agenda to the BEST Commission presentation on LNG, given by Undersecretary in the Ministry of Health and the Environment Dr Donald Cooper. He explained that the BEST Commission had given the AES proposal a positive assessment.
After the BEST Commission's presentation, participants, including environmentalists, scientists, media personnel and a representative of Bimini, joined residents in directing questions, mostly to the Minister and his team.
The consensus among residents of Cat Cay, after seeing presentations by Mr Riley and the BEST Commission, was that construction of the LNG would place the island in peril.
Said Mr Diaz, the Cuban born American citizen who is a Permanent Resident of The Bahamas: " We are a very small island, approximately 182 acres of land with 150 members plus our native population. Nevertheless, we shall strongly defend and protect our interests until this critical mater is satisfactorily resolved." He said LNG was "diametrically opposed and totally incompatible" with The Bahamas tourism industry and challenged Prime Minister Christie to uphold his pledge to protect the Bahamas' environment."
Eighty Bahamins who live and work on the cay have signed a petition against the LNG project.
Mr Diaz is represented by attorney Kendal Nottage, a former PLP Cabinet Minister.
© 2005 The Nassau Guardian
April 5, 2005
The Nassau Guardian
Miller: PI would be hit first
Minister disagrees that LNG tanker would be terrorist target
By Raymond Kongwa,Guardian Staff Reporter email@example.com
Cat Cay- Trade and Industry Minister Leslie Miller on Saturday sought to calm fears of Cat Cay residents and anti-LNG lobbyist by suggesting that a terrorist looking to strike in The Bahamas would more likely target a hotel on Paradise Island than a tanker transporting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Miller, who has been a staunch proponent of bringing a LNG regassification plant to The Bahamas, was speaking during a question and answer period of a meeting between a government delegation, Cat Cay and Bimini residents, local media, environmentalists and anti-LNG lobbyists. Prime Minister Perry Christie had requested that a Miller -led delegation attend the meeting in order to acquaint residents with Government's position on the viability of AES energy corporation's construction of an LNG plant at nearby Ocean Cay.
"If a terrorist wanted to make a statement in The Bahamas, would it not it be easier for a terrorist to blow up one of the hotels on Paradise Island that are totally visible, than blowing up an LNG ship?" said Mr Miller.
Tim Riley, a California-based attorney and anti-LNG lobbyist had asked the Minister to explain how Government planned to protect the massive tankers from terrorist threats and accidents once a LNG plant was approved and the tankers began coming regularly to Ocean Cay. He explained that American cities spent as much as $80,000 to setup floating exclusionary zones around the tankers each time they came to port.
The zones around Boston, he pointed out, included one mile in the front of the tanker, two miles to the stern, and a 1/2 mile on either side. He added that other boats would be shot if they- either by accident or intentionally- penetrated one of these "exclusionary bubbles."
He continued: "My question is to you is: how big is your exclusionary bubble going to be, how are you going to pay for it and how is it going to affect your economy... and is your protection going to be secure enough that a tanker will no be commandeered here and taken in 50 miles into the coast of the United States?"
In addition to suggesting that Paradise Island would be a better target, Mr Miller pointed out that the complexities and security risks at Boston were greater. "It's some problems," he conceded, adding, "The Government would put in place the proper apparatus to see to it that the safety of Bahamians as well as our visitors is at all time adhered to..."
Further, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Health and Environment Dr Donald Cooper explained that the Bahamian Port Authority would be charged with mandating security. "Once the protocol for the handling of the ships is worked out by the Port Authority, then those are the requirements that they would mandate in order for BEST (Bahamas Environment Science and Technology Commission) to sign off on the project.
"It's a similar thing for policing, for Immigration, Customs, for the Defence Force and so on. Those are not the areas that fall within the specific mandate given to us (BEST)."
Cat Cay Club President Manuel Diaz expressed skepticism about Cooper's explanation and asked what prevented AES form negotiating new safety conditions in the event of a new administration winning the government in two years. Noted oceanographer, geologist and professor Dr Ray Macalister added that a company like AES, which planned to spend as much as $1 billion dollars to lay pipeline from Ocean Cay to Dania, Florida, was able to find ways to change conditions of any security agreements.
"Why can't they come along and say Dr Cooper had no right to say that, and go ahead with something different?" Dr McAllister asked.
Mr Miller then guaranteed that BEST Commission's recommendation is "being fully incorporated into the Heads of Agreement as well as the management agreement between the government of The Bahamas and the AES corporation."
However, Mr Miller denied the request to see the contract prior to Government's approval of the project. He said it would only be made public after being tabled in the House of Assembly.
According to the website LNGdanger.com, which was created by Mr Riley and his wife Hayden, typical LNG tankers are larger than the size of three football fields and carry more than twenty times the natural gas it took to burn one-square mile of Cleveland Ohio in a LNG-related accident in 1941. The tankers reportedly require five miles to halt.
Mr Diaz has warned that members of his Cat Cay Club, who are worth between 30 and $40 billion, would liquidate the more than 300 million dollars they have invested in their homes, accompanying infrastructure and other assets at Cat Cay and pull out once Government approved the AES LNG project.
Cat Cay comprises more than182 acres of land and is 7.8 miles away from Ocean Cay and 19 miles from Bimini.
© 2005 The Nassau Guardian
April 5, 2005
The Bahama Journal
“Fire Leslie Miller”
Free National Movement Leader Tommy Turnquest said yesterday that Prime Minister Perry Christie should immediately fire Trade and Industry Minister Leslie Miller for “embarrassing” the government and the country in Cat Cay on Saturday.
Minister Miller got into an ugly row with second homeowners opposing the AES Liquefied Natural Gas project on nearby Ocean Cay.
“I found the events that took place in Cat Cay to be astonishing,” Mr. Turnquest told the Bahama Journal. “We are reviewing that situation. I don’t condone anyone speaking to officials in a derogatory or defamatory manner, but I also expect Ministers of the Government to behave in a certain way as well.”
Montagu Member of Parliament Brent Symonette also condemned the Minister’s actions in Cat Cay.
During that meeting, the Minister locked horns with Cat Cay Club President Manuel Diaz, who called him an idiot during the spat.
The Minister soon threatened to physically attack Mr. Diaz for his remarks.
Mr. Symonette said he doubts that Prime Minister Perry Christie will scold the Minister for his actions.
“I think it is disturbing that a Minister who specifically goes to a meeting on an island where it is clear that the issue of LNG would be discussed would cause himself to act in such a way,” he said.
Minister Miller had walked out of the meeting when opponents of the LNG project showed a film on the risks and dangers of LNG. He said he did not come to Cat Cay to see a film and felt like a schoolboy because of the way he had been treated.
The Minister then got into a fiery exchange with Mr. Diaz and Tim Riley, the co-producer of the film.
Mr. Symonette feels the Minister’s actions were totally unacceptable.
“It is not the first time Mr. Miller’s actions have been controversial and unbecoming of a Cabinet Minister and I would call on Mr. Christie to react appropriately,” he said. “However, I fully accept that Mr. Christie’s inability to act would result in no decision being made yet again and the country would be forced to accept mediocrity by his inaction.”
Some Progressive Liberal Party insiders also expressed their embarrassment and shock that Minister Miller would go as far as threatening to get into a physical confrontation with the investor, although some of them said the Minister had been provoked.
Mr. Turnquest said Minister Miller’s latest actions were only the most recent in a series of actions inappropriate for a Cabinet Minister.
“He should have been fired months ago,” the FNM leader said. “I don’t know all of the details of Cat Cay, but I know Minister Miller’s actions since May of 2002 have been a total embarrassment to the Bahamian people and because he has not resigned, I think he ought to be fired.”
Minister Miller warned Mr. Riley during the meeting that he was a no-nonsense man who does not play games.
He said he was not willing to sit back and let anyone disrespect him.
His actions had tongues wagging across New Providence and Grand Bahama on Monday, especially after an airing of a part of the row on Radio Love 97 gave listeners a better appreciation of what transpired.
The Minister expects to make a report to Cabinet today on what happened in Cat Cay, although Prime Minister Christie was informed shortly after the meeting what transpired.
The Free National Movement has promised to release a statement on the matter.
Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Raynard Rigby said based on the account of the story he had received, the Minister was merely defending himself.
April 6, 2005
The Nassau Guardian
Mr. Miller's Behaviour
No matter what explanation Trade and Industry Minister Leslie Miller gives for his behaviour at a meeting with residents in Cat Cay last Saturday, Prime Minister Perry Christie should not hesitate to let him know that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable for a member of his cabinet.
What The Guardian reported was disgraceful conduct on the part of the minister, even if, as he claims, he was reacting to being called an "idiot" by Cat Cay Club President Manuel Diaz. The sequence of events as outlined in The Guardian's story painted a picture of an arrogant and haughty individual who seemingly has forgotten that he is employed by the Bahamian people, and whatever he does in public reflects on the citizens of this country.
Mr. Miller took exception to a 20-minute film that chronicled ghastly accidents that have occurred in the history of the LNG industry, inherent dangers of the industry, and measures some communities have taken to block the construction of LNG plants.
Five minutes into the film, Mr. Miller walked out of the meeting room and "proceeded to stroll around the nearby beach and marina with his son."
He returned while the film was still showing and left again, returning after the presentation had finally ended. This was an unmistakable insult to the hosts.
That is not how a Minister of the Government is expected to behave and the presenter of the film, Tim Riley, took him to task and questioned Mr. Miller's sincerity for being at the meeting.
Mr. Miller immediately became incensed, telling Mr. Riley he represented the government, and the Bahamian people and that he had no time to waste in Cat Cay viewing a film that the presenter had indicated "was biased." The shouting match and finger pointing started when Mr Diaz asked Mr Miller to "desist with his argumentative and abrasive attitude."
If Mr Miller had determined that his time was being wasted, he should have left the island. End of story.
His behaviour prompted Patrick Rolle, a Bahamian who is the assistant dockmaster of the Cat Cay Club marina and who claims to be a supporter of the PLP, to publicly inform Mr. Miller that he was "embarrassed and ashamed" of his actions.
Prime Minister Christie should not hesitate to let Mr. Miller know that he shares the opinion expressed by Mr. Rolle and invite him to immediately tender his resignation from the Cabinet.
Trinidad & Tobago
The anti-LNG lobby in the north By The Trinidad Express
The anti LNG lobby has been building up the pressure against establishment of new terminals, particularly in densely populated coastal communities.
The W.W.W. has become a primary medium for the advocacy campaign against LNG. Popular websites include nolng.com, nolng.org., lngwatch.com, lngdanger.com, and LNG community focus (gscnet.org).
One of the most vocal opponents of LNG is attorney Tim Riley, (timrileylaw.com). Riley and his wife have produced an anti-LNG film which they claim the industry does not want people to see. The film purports to expose the "danger that is LNG". The lobbyist's case against LNG is built on three pillars. The first is that LNG is unsafe and more volatile than the people in the LNG business want us to know.
April 20, 2005
The wrong road for our nation's energy future
Ventura County Star (subscription) - Ventura county,CA,USA
... I am also deeply concerned about two provisions especially harmful to coastal communities, both having to do with liquefied natural gas facilities. ...
Bill would require study of gas units
Santa Barbara News-Press (subscription) - Santa Barbara,CA,USA
Plans by several energy companies to build liquefied natural gas terminals off the coast of Southern California have prompted environmentalists to call for a ...
Legislature crafts bill to block Fall River LNG plant
SouthCoastToday.com - New Bedford,MA,USA
... Rep. David B. Sullivan, D-Fall River, has proposed barring LNG facilities within 5,000 feet of a home, school or hospital. If Rep. ...
Mayor, residents support legislation to block LNG terminal
Providence Journal (subscription) - Providence,RI,USA
... David Sullivan would require the center of an LNG terminal to be set at least 5,000 feet from the nearest residential homes, elderly housing complexes, schools ...
Long Beach council urged to act on LNG
Long Beach Press-Telegram - Long Beach,CA,USA
... Beach. "This is not about whether you favor LNG in the harbor or not," City Attorney Bob Shannon said. "It's about local control.". ...
Group Protests LNG Info Sessions
Suffolk Life Newspapers - Riverhead,NY,USA
The protest was conducted as Broadwater held the second of two information sessions offering residents a chance to learn about LNG and the proposed terminal at ...
April 25, 2005
The Bahama Journal
AES Defends “Safe” LNG Project
The local environmental group reEarth has launched a national campaign against liquefied natural gas projects in The Bahamas, but an official from the company has insisted that the plant and pipeline would be safe.
"AES from the very beginning has been fully committed to making sure that the facility is going to both meet all environmental [requirements] as well as being a very safe operation," said Robin Pence, vice president of communications for AES.
"We feel that we have met all conditions for both of those qualifications."
But reEarth officials continue to insist that LNG is dangerous.
"Liquefied natural gas is not flammable as long as it is contained," the group notes on its website. "If the containment facility is breached LNG reverts to natural gas and becomes a flammable vapour cloud when mixed with air. This cloud of plume can drift for miles until it reaches an ignition source – a cigarette could ignite it."
In early January, Prime Minister Perry Christie had said on a local talk show that the AES project would have been approved by the end of that month.
But he later indicated that the vehement objection from Cat Cay residents resulted in the government delaying approval.
It is now unclear when – and if – the controversial AES project will get the governmental green light, although company officials remain hopeful that it will.
Full Story: http://www.jonesbahamas.com/?c=45&a=3241&sid=5550161abb0b54d1ff28b1e5865a776b
April 29, 2005
Council adds $25,000 to anti-LNG campaign
Providence Journal (subscription) - Providence, RI, USA
BRISTOL -- The Town Council unanimously voted to contribute $25,000 to Attorney General Patrick Lynch's effort to hire a Washington legal team to fight a proposed terminal in Fall River the proposed expansion of the Fields Point LNG facility in Providence.
"We felt the need to put our money where our mouth was," Town Council chairman Richard Ruggiero said.
Bristol is the first municipality to contribute to Lynch's appeal. Fall River has contributed $650,000.
Lynch sent letters earlier this month to 14 Rhode Island communities requesting any amount of financial support. In his letter, Lynch said that while he is attempting to obtain funding from the state's General Assembly, he is also contacting communities most directly affected by the LNG proposals.
THE BAHAMAS LNG CHALLENGE
The day this Ad appeared in the Bahamas, Trade and Industry Minister Leslie Miller
Cancelled the LNG Town Meeting a THIRD TIME, and Postponed it INDEFINITELY
Tim and Hayden Riley flew to the Bahamas for the LNG Town Meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 3, 2005, which was cancelled after their arrival. The Riley's held press conferences and TV and radio interviews while remaining in the Bahamas for the rescheduled meeting for Thursday, May 5, 2005. Then Minister Miller postponed that meeting as well, and announced his challenge the same day that he rescheduled the meeting for the following Thursday. The Riley's adjusted their busy schedule and remained in the Bahamas for the rescheduled meeting, and they announced their acceptance of Miller's Challenge on Tuesday, May 10, 2005, in the Tribune Ad shown above. The same day the Ad appeared accepting Miller's LNG challenge, Miller postponed the LNG Town Meeting INDEFINITELY.
May 10, 2005
Miller: Opponents won't be allowed to 'hog up' meeting
Nassau Guardian - Nassau, Bahamas
No concrete date set for town meeting on LNG
Came to protest
Attorney Tim Riley and his wife Hayden were among the interested foreign observers who traveled to New Providence last week to attend Thursday's aborted town meeting. The couple strongly oppose the construction of LNG pipelines and re-gasification facilities anywhere.
Two questions only, please
For his part, Mr Miller said that when the town meeting does take place, it will not be dominated by environmentalists and others opposed to the idea. Each individual will be given the opportunity to ask a maximum of two questions, he said.
"We will not let them dominate and hog up the meeting. They will have two minutes to ask up to two questions and that will be it," he advised. "We will be giving all Bahamians the opportunity to express their views and we will have no one dominating, so they [opponents] will be grossly disappointed when they find out that they cannot come and run the meeting. It will not happen and it will just not be allowed."
Many environmentalists have voiced their suspicion that the government may be intentionally postponing the town meeting to throw them off guard. Last week, Sam Duncombe, president of the environmental organisation re-Earth, said that during previous town meetings, numerous questions were posed to members of the BEST Commission and questions were also submitted in letters, but they have yet to receive a response.
"We have no idea how our concerns would be integrated into a final document," Mrs Duncombe said. "There are probably some 300 more questions that I want answered before we proceed with this project, so quite frankly, this [LNG] meeting will be a farce." She said that the consultants and the public should have been given at least two-weeks' notice that a meeting would be held.
Copyright © 2005 The Nassau Guardian. All rights reserved.
May 15, 2005
Protesters criticize LNG proposals
Ventura County Star (subscription) - Ventura county,CA,USA
Oxnard demonstrators say natural gas platforms would be dangerous
Concerned citizens stood with city officials and community activists in Oxnard Saturday morning, holding hands to protest the proposed location of liquefied natural gas platforms off Ventura County's coast.
Nearly 300 people were on hand at the Sierra Club's Hands Along the Pipeline protest...
Liquefied gas projects energize opposition
OregonLive.com - Portland, OR, USA
The Columbia River has become the hot spot in the competition to bring a liquefied natural gas terminal to Oregon's coast, with four proposals now in the works over a roughly 50-mile stretch along the river.
It's also become a hotbed of opposition, with letter-writing campaigns to local and state officials, lawn signs, window decals and buttons all testifying against the idea -- which critics consider dangerous and economically risky.
"We feel besieged," said Sally Smith of Hammond, one of the critics.
May 17, 2005
The Gloves Come Off
LongIslandPress.com - NY, USA
Suffolk Legislature Delivers One-Two Punch To Proposed Broadwater LNG Facility
It’s going to be a long, uphill battle, but local political opponents to Broadwater Energy’s plans have come out swinging.
On May 17, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Legislator Jon Cooper (D-Huntington) officially opposing Broadwater Energy’s proposal for a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to be moored in the Long Island Sound.
“Big move in the right direction,” says Richard Amper, executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society. “Politically, the opportunity to kill Broadwater has never been higher.”
In addition to adopting the nonbinding resolution, the legislature unexpectedly backed it up with an enforceable measure: Suffolk will hire a lawyer to represent county residents during the regulatory review process.
May 23, 2005
Will take LNG meeting and message to the street
Re-Earth to protest Will take LNG meeting and message to the street
Re: Earth environmentalists will take to Rawson Square on Wednesday to demonstrate their disapproval of the Government's seeming disinterest in addressing the issue of the LNG industry. Sam Duncombe, president of Re: Earth said in a press conference in Rawson Square Sunday that, the demonstration is "in direct response to several postponed meetings which the Minister of Trade and Industry promised to have regarding the LNG issue." Some governments just focus on being re-elected repeatedly. "We want them in power because we want them to do the things we feel is in the best interest of the country. They don't get into that room and decide across the board that we don't have a say anymore and that's how they are acting. And that is not acceptable," she said pointing in the direction of the House of Assembly. Over 2,000 signatures As regards the petition for signatures lobbying against LNG, Mrs Duncombe said they have over 2,000 people on board. "I am hoping that the more people learn about it, they'll come out sign the petition and basically get our Government to listen to what we're saying. Mrs Duncombe said the issues are "way beyond just approving AES." The message is directed at AES right now, but the view is the same on LNG across the board.
May 30, 2005
LNG Decision Held Up
The Bahama Journal, The Government of The Bahamas has decided to put on hold any immediate decisions as it relates to the liquefied natural gas projects being proposed for The Bahamas, The Bahama Journal has learnt.
Government sources recently indicated that the ongoing controversy surrounding the proposals could mean that a decision on the matter could take many more months, even though The Bahamas Environment Science and Technology Commission has already approved the AES project being proposed for Ocean Cay, near Bimini.
Earlier this year, the government appeared poised to approve the AES project with Prime Minister Perry Christie even going as far as saying on a local radio talk show that the Virginia-based AES Corporation was highly likely to receive final approval from the government by the end of January.
But four months later, company officials are still waiting for the green light, as the local environmental group, ReEarth, intensifies its opposition to such projects.
In March, Prime Minister Perry Christie told reporters that the government delayed a decision on LNG because it wanted to hear the concerns being raised by residents of Cat Cay, near Ocean Cay...
...One government official involved in negotiations with AES on its proposal, said that the company appeared a long way off from convincing the government to grant it final approval and some government officials do not want to risk the political fallout that could come with giving the controversial project the go-ahead...
June 13, 2005
Bill seeks to block LNG plans in bays
The proposed law would create wide safety zones around the tanker ships and marine terminals.
In the latest move to block plans for liquefied natural gas facilities in the region, legislation has been put forward in the General Assembly that would require broad safety zones to be maintained around LNG tanker ships and marine terminals.
The bill submitted in the House by state Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr. calls for maintaining a zone of 5,000 feet around an LNG storage tank and a much larger zone of 1.5 miles around a tanker ship traveling through Rhode Island waters.
Under the proposed bill, the zones must be free of homes, schools, hospitals, businesses or elderly housing developments.
The legislation is aimed at sinking plans for LNG offloading facilities in Providence and Fall River. To reach either terminal, in some places, 1,000-foot tankers would pass within several hundred feet of densely populated coastal areas in Narragansett and Mount Hope Bays...
July 19, 2005
LNG - What is it and what does it mean for the East Bay?
Bristol Phoenix - Bristol, RI, USA
* Massachusetts: Coalition for Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities
Members include: Coalition for Social Justice; Stop Weaver's Cove; North-End Neighborhood Association; Sandy Beach Association; Bank Street Neighborhood Association; Corky Row Association; Coalition Against Poverty; Niagara Neighborhood Association; Flint Village West neighborhood Association; Mass. Public Interest Research Group; Toxics Actions Center; Public Citizen Energy Program.
* Rhode Island: Rhode Island for Safe Energy
Endorsing organizations include: Brown Environmental Action Network; Brown University Democrats; Friends of India Point Park; Green Party at Brown University; Rhode Island Shoreline Coalition; Roger Williams University; Roger Williams University Democrats; Save Bristol Harbor.
* Public officials against the proposed terminals in Providence and/or Fall River
Governor Donald Carcieri RI Attorney General Patrick Lynch State Rep. Raymond Gallison Senator Jack Reed Rep. Patrick Kennedy Rep. James Langevin Providence Mayor David Cicilline Roger Williams University President Roy J. Nirschel, Ph.D Town councils of Barrington, Bristol, Jamestown, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth Tiverton Senator Edward F. Kennedy Senator John Kerry Governor Mitt Romney MA Attorney General Tom Reilly Congressman Barney Frank Congressman James McGovern Massachusetts Senate & House of Representatives Fall River Mayor Edward Lambert Fall River City Council and Chamber of Commerce The Boards of Selectmen for Freetown, Somerset and Swansea
June 27, 2005
Smith stands against LNG
Best chairman gives 'personal' decision on proposed pipelines
Finally removing his hat as Ambassador for the Environment and Chairman of the BEST Commission, Mt Moriah MP Keod Smith, outlined his personal views on liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipelines in The Bahamas on Sunday, and rejected all the proposals related to it.
"We are not yet ready to entertain such proposals and because of the concerns of the people I have no other alternative but to recommend to the honourable Prime Minister and his Cabinet, that all of the [LNG] proposals which have been put forward for building re-gasification facilities, be put aside and denied," Mr Smith told The Guardian in an exclusive interview.
August 23, 2005
LNG foes gather in force
Canada East - Canada ... in their backyard. "It's our livelihood against two LNG proponents," said Art MacKay, a marine biologist from St. Andrews who gave ...
August 22, 2005
Protest building in New Brunswick to LNG plans in Maine
Boston Globe - United States ST. ANDREWS, New Brunswick --Growing opposition to proposals for liquified natural gas projects in Maine could fuel a fight between Canada and the United States over access to the pristine waters off southern New Brunswick.
August 29, 2005
Former Minister Rejects LNG
The Bahama Journal - Nassau,Bahamas Former PLP Cabinet Minister George Smith said he is totally opposed to other countries using The Bahamas as a “gas station” and he indicated that it would be unwise for the government to approve any of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects it is now considering. "I am concerned about using The Bahamas as a gas station for some other country. I have listened to the arguments from those who are opposed to it and I am greatly impressed by those arguments [from] the environmentalists." Mr. Smith said the government must not allow The Bahamas to be used as a dumping ground for any country.
August 30, 2005
Oxnard lawyer challenges big industry on dangers Ventura County Star
Tim Riley is a marked man. Operators of a liquefied natural gas plant in Everett, Mass., not only know of the Oxnard lawyer leading the charge against LNG but have watched his video that shows a plane flying into a tanker in a manipulated image of terrorism. Industry representatives in Louisiana, Texas, California and anywhere else there's LNG know he argues that a vapor fire could extend at least 30 miles and, in areas like Ventura County, could kill 70,000 people. Riley's supporters, including former Oxnard Mayor Manny Lopez, credit him with challenging big industry by hammering home the contention that no one knows what could happen if a tanker or terminal spilled millions of gallons of cryogenic liquefied gas.
September 2, 2005
LNG explosion prompts new opposition to plant
The Tribune By PAUL G TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter
FOLLOWING an explosion at a Nigerian liquefied natural gas pipeline, environmentalists and anti-LNG activists are exerting renewed pressure on the Bahamas to reject all proposals for LNG re-gasification facilities. The explosion that occurred over the weekend in Kalakama (Nigeria), resulted in a wild inferno which engulfed an estimated 27 square kilometers. Eleven persons are missing and aquatic life in the area was completely destroyed when the 28-inch underground pipeline exploded. The LNG debate spawned numerous town meetings in New Providence, Bimini, and Cat Cay with experts on both sides arguing their points on the matter. LNG is the liquid state of natural gas that has been super-cooled to -260 degrees Fahrenheit, shrinking it to 600 times smaller than its original volume. This makes the liquefied form more economical to ship. There is currently a proposal before Cabinet for the installation of a re-gasification facility at Ocean Cay, a man-made island nine miles away from Cat Cay, the very exclusive private island in the Bimini chain of islands. The project is being proposed by AES Ocean LNG Limited to construct, own and operate the facility, which would pump natural gas through a pipeline buried in the ocean bed to South Florida. According to Associated Press, the Nigeria blast was so huge that the impact was felt in Okrika Island and the Borikiri area of Port Harcourt, where residents were forced into a stampede to safety. Earlier this year, American environmentalists Tim and Hayden Riley came to Nassau to protest against an LNG facility being established in the Bahamas. They were due to speak at a town meeting that was postponed and never rescheduled.
Risks In an interview with The Tribune yesterday, Tim Riley said: “The Bahamian people should no longer consider taking the risks of an LNG disaster for the benefit of Florida. The energy industry referring to the Nigerian disaster as a mere “supply hiccup” is a clear example of complete disregard for human life, safety and the environment. “The recent Nigerian LNG pipeline explosion and fire engulfing 27 square kilometers is another horrifying example of why the Bahamas should reject all LNG proposals,” Mr Riley said. “They see disaster and human suffering as a mere cost of doing business which gets in the way of making more profits,” he said. However, experts in support of the LNG industry maintain that LNG is the safest viable energy source currently available. According to previous statements, they stated that the few accidents in the past involving LNG happened only after the super cooled liquid was allowed to revert to gas “without proper controls”. A quantity of LNG weighs less than half what an equal volume of water does. It is odourless, colourless, non-corrosive, and non-toxic. When vaporised, it burns only in concentrations of between five to 15 per cent when mixed with air, and according to ballistics experts, neither LNG nor its vapour can explode in an open environment. The LNG debate in the Bahamas subsided in June when Florida Power and Light, the intended customer of the AES project, announced that it would not be seeking new LNG sources in the immediate future.
September 10, 2005
California dreaming draws flak for BHP
Sydney Morning Herald (subscription) - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Environmentalist heat is blistering plans to export Australian gas to the US West Coast, reports Jamie Freed.
With billions of export dollars at stake, Macfarlane, Woodside and BHP have suddenly discovered the dangers of underestimating the power of California's environmental lobby.
Tim Riley, a lawyer who lives by the beach in Oxnard Shores and works in Malibu, has helped lead a movement in actively opposing the project in his spare time. While some citizens have organised rallies, Riley has used his multimedia talents to spur opposition.
With his wife, Hayden, Riley made an anti-LNG film and set up a website, www.lngdanger.com, to warn others against the perceived hazards of LNG.
The website features digitally altered photos showing the coastline - including his home - in flames as a result of a potential leak and explosion at Cabrillo Port.
"I don't think offshore is out of sight, out of mind," he says of the BHP project.
Schwarzenegger has been a strong proponent of BHP's plans but is facing sagging approval ratings, which reached an all-time low of 36 per cent this week. It is questionable how much political capital the Governor is now willing to spend on supporting LNG projects
September 12, 2005
Foes seek to delay LNG with lawsuit until plans are moot
Ventura County Star (subscription) - Ventura county, CA, USA
September 13, 2005
Group in Tiverton will collect money to fight LNG terminal
Newport Daily News - Newport,RI,USA
September 14, 2005
LNG Terminal Proposed For Sound Opposed By Selectmen
TheDay (subscription) - New London,CT,USA The Board of Selectmen formally opposed a plan Tuesday to erect a floating liquefied natural gas terminal in the middle of Long Island Sound.
August 15, 2005
Lobbyists join natural gas rush Governor's advisers hired to push ...
June 23, 2005
AUDIO: Gov. Schwarzenegger's comments about LNG and Oxnard
Governor prefers Oxnard for LNG terminal
October 6, 2005
State Files Suit Against Feds Over Policy TheDay (subscription) - New London, CT, USA East Haven - With energy interests threatening to expand into local territory, the state announced last week that it would challenge the federal policy that cleared the road into Connecticut for Broadwater and Islander East. The suit will challenge the constitutionality of the Federal Energy Policy of 2005, under which Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the Islander East project, which has twice been denied by the state. The federal policy gives developers the right to appeal directly to the federal government when state officials deny or delay permits, giving the FERC final say on all potential projects. “The Energy Policy Act of 2005 is a blank check to the federal government's energy industry friends—and Islander East is trying to cash it,” said state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. “I will fight Islander East's arrogant attempt to sidestep long established state laws, violating constitutional guarantees.” ”This illegal and unconstitutional energy act provision allows private companies to subvert state and federal environmental appeal procedures,” said Blumenthal. “This illegally straightjackets states—and forces approval of unacceptable and unreasonable projects that threaten the environment and benefit the big energy companies' bottom line profits.” This lawsuit comes on the heels of Blumenthal's announcement that he would challenge Broadwater, a proposed liquefied natural gas facility to be built in Long Island Sound.
October 12, 2005
Jamestown challenges LNG project Newport Daily News, RI The Jamestown Town Council voted Tuesday night to send its own legal brief to Washington, D.C., asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider its approval of a liquefied natural gas terminal in Fall River, Mass. After several resolutions opposing the Weaver's Cove facility, this is the first direct move by the council to challenge the project. The strongly worded brief lays out the health, economic and lifestyle risks of LNG tankers traveling close to the island's coastline, especially the densely populated village area. "The consequences which would be suffered by this community in the event of an accident or terrorist attack are cataclysmic," Town Solicitor A. Lauriston Parks wrote in the brief. "Much of the population would be burned and many buildings ignited."
December 8, 2005
Public Speaks Out Against Broadwater Again Shore Publishing - Madison, CT ... Speakers hailed from New London down to Branford. They included state senators and representatives, first selectmen, college professors, middle school students, activists, residents, two men singing a protest song, and the Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.... More than 30 towns in New York and Connecticut have registered their opposition to Broadwater, including New Haven, Branford, Clinton, Old Saybrook, and Guilford. “We will fight against this project. We will fight not only in our state agencies, but also in New York and most important in the federal courts and federal agencies and we will fight this battle as long and hard as is necessary to win,” said Attorney General Dick Blumenthal.
December 16, 2005
Oxnard School District Resolution Against BHP LNG Proposal Board of Trustees of the Oxnard School District RESOLUTION OPPOSED TO THE PROPOSED CABRILLO PORT LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS DEEPWATER PORT
May 5, 2006
Louisiana Gov. Blanco Denies Offshore LNG
Bayou Buzz - Metairie, LA BATON ROUGE, LA—In a written
statement, on Friday, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco has announced her
decision to deny the Freeport McMoran application for new liquefied natural gas
facilities off the coast of Louisiana...and acting under
authority of the Deepwater Port Act, and particularly 33 United States Code
Sections 1503(c)8 and 1508(b)(1), and for the reasons expressed above and in
Secretary Landreneau´s letter, as Governor of the state of Louisiana, I hereby
disapprove the application...
May 5, 2006
Louisiana Gov. Blanco Denies Offshore LNG Application Bayou Buzz - Metairie, LA BATON ROUGE, LA—In a written statement, on Friday, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco has announced her decision to deny the Freeport McMoran application for new liquefied natural gas facilities off the coast of Louisiana...and acting under authority of the Deepwater Port Act, and particularly 33 United States Code Sections 1503(c)8 and 1508(b)(1), and for the reasons expressed above and in Secretary Landreneau´s letter, as Governor of the state of Louisiana, I hereby disapprove the application...
May 6, 2006
Riley says he supports Blanco veto of proposed LNG project WTVM, GA
November 20, 2006
Pipeline protesters pull in a steady flow of support ic Wales - United Kingdom
Pipe protest enters second week BBC News - UK
By Continuing A Strong Letter Writing Campaign
A sound, safe American energy plan requires solutions that
Make America stronger not weaker
Make America more self-sufficient not more dependent
Make America safer not more vulnerable
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Those who believe the LNG proposals are absurd and will just go away must nevertheless appear at public hearings to voice their outrage and must write letters to local, state and federal representatives otherwise, your silence will be spun into approval.
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