"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
2 Dec 2004
The contents of the following letter were published in the Bangor Daily News, but are not available online. The letter's authors have provided us with its contents.
LNG & Geography
The BDN's November 27-28 editorial stated, "While many area residents have vociferously complained about the Passamaquoddy proposal, LNG facilities are planned in Canada on the same water bodies. An accident involving a tanker headed to Saint John, New Brunswick, could cause just as much damage as one headed to Pleasant Point."
It's clear that the BDN is unfamiliar with Passamaquoddy Bay and the Bay of Fundy. Gleason Cove is approximately 51 miles (as the crow flies; further by navigation) from the waters at St. John. (For perspective, it's about 64 miles between Gleason Cove and the Cianbro-proposed LNG site in Gouldsboro.)
The Saint John LNG terminal will be adjacent to an existing oil terminal, in an industrial port area. The proposed terminal area at Gleason Cove is pristine, surrounded by valuable and active fishery and tourism operations.
Saint John is not a fishing port or principal fishing ground. In contrast, the eco-economy in the Head Harbour Region is known to exceed $500 million annually. Head Harbour is the center of the herring and aquaculture industries because of the uniquely productive waters, which are vastly more productive than the open Bay of Fundy.
Procedures are in place for ships to avoid right whales, porpoise and other marine mammals. There are no known nursery areas in the shipping Traffic Lane leading to Saint John -- in contrast to Head Harbour which has one endangered species, one listed species, and another that is currently being considered.
More particularly, during the Pittston debate, definitive studies were carried out by highly qualified scientists. The Canadian government's response to Pittston was based on the best available scientific assessments, not an opinion as expressed in the BDN.