"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
EASTPORT In a brief barrage of emails, Cary Weston of the Bangor PR firm Sutherland Weston falsely accused Save Passamaquoddy Bay webmaster of distributing information without fact.
At noon on July 14, Cary Weston of Sutherland Weston fired the first shot by email at Save Passamaquoddy Bay webmaster Robert Godfrey, accusing him of "distributing information without fact." Weston challenged Godfrey's website comments that claim that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has not yet ruled on Godfrey's request that FERC disallow Quoddy Bay LLC's LNG project pre-filing process. Godfrey's request is posted on the FERC eLibrary under Docket #PF06-11.
The basis for Godfrey's request is the pending lawsuit filed by Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon ("We Protect Our Land") and six Passamaquoddy Tribal members of the Sipayik community against the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Department of the Interior (DOI). The lawsuit claims that the BIA and DOI violated their statutory Indian trust responsibilities in approving a "Ground Lease" between the Sipayik Tribal Government and Quoddy Bay LLC. The suit asks the court, in effect, to void the lease agreement due to the BIA's violation of Indian trust.
On 2005 December 16, Quoddy Bay LLC filed a pre-application request with FERC to begin the permitting process for their proposed LNG terminal at Split Rock in the Sipayik community. On January 11, the FERC accepted the pre-filing. Tamara Young-Allen of the FERC External Affairs Office, when contacted by Bangor Daily News reporter Bill Trotter, incorrectly stated that Godfrey's request had been denied by the FERC Commission when, in fact, no ruling has yet been made.
On January 12, Young-Allen telephoned Godfrey, apologizing for the error, and indicating that she had also contacted BDN reporter Trotter regarding the mistake. The Bangor Daily News published a correction on page A2 in their July 13 Corrections column.
Cary Weston's email:
Subject: Website Error
Date: January 14, 2006 12:01:58 PM EST
You're [sic] comments below in reference to the FERC's acceptance of the pre-filing application for Quoddy Bay LLC is [sic] erronous [sic].
By definition, the FERC has a timeline in which to accept all requests to deny before moving forward with pre-filling [sic] acceptance. You [sic] request was considered and did not have merit according to the guidelines of the process.
Distributing information without fact has become a common excercise for your site.
FERC Approves Quoddy Bay, LLC’s Pre-Filing Request Magic City Morning Star, Millinocket, ME
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: What Smith calls a "thorough review" of their application isn't quite "thorough." The FERC has yet to consider Save Passamaquoddy Bay's request to deny Quoddy Bay LLC's pre-filing. Our request is based on the Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon lawsuit against the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Department of the Interior. The BIA didn't perform its statutory trust obligations when it "approved" the lease agreement between the Sipayik Tribal Government and Quoddy Bay LLC. The lawsuit requests that the BIA perform it's statutory duties, and that the court invalidate the lease.]
Robert Godfrey's response:
Subject: Re: Website Error
Date: January 14, 2006 12:35:40 PM EST
Sorry, but you're the one in error. In fact, Tamara Young-Allen at the FERC called me to apologize for incorrectly telling BDN reporter Bill Trotter that they had denied my request. If you read the January 13 Bangor Daily News correction, page A2, you'd see that FERC also notified the paper that they haven't yet ruled on the request.
Like your client, you were either lying or you haven't checked your own facts before making accusations.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance
PO Box 43, Eastport, ME 04631
[As of 2011 Apr 22, SPB's mailing address is PO Box 222]