"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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|2003 2004 ||
|LNG foes question ethics of 2 public officials
Opponents criticize LNG and the developers they rode in on
Review may put added focus on LNG
|Shock at Calais LNG announcement
Calais takes aim at St. Andrews
Making LNG movies
Plans for Natural Gas Ports Stir Debate About Debate
Maine on right energy course [Op-ed column]
NLNG Reduces Output After Fire (Aug 29)
|Fog Forces Governor To Cancel Trip To Canada
Was it because of our opposition to LNG?
Premier opposes bay LNG terminals
P.M. asked to intervene and stop U.S. LNG plans that would impact N.B. bay
Sea law gives Canada say in LNG projects
Regulators propose new LNG rules: Firms would need to submit plans 6 months in advance
McKenna warns trade rules could be unravelling
Coast Guard won't oppose bridge blocking LNG plans
Former Minister Rejects LNG
Lording It Over Maine (Aug 27)
3rd firm interested in building coastal LNG facility (Aug 26)
Calais City Council Cooking With Proposed LNG Terminal (Aug 26)
MP asked to help in N.B. LNG debate (Aug 26)
High-octane protest building in N.B. to proposed LNG facilities in Maine (Aug 22)
|Canadian premier pans plan for LNG
Lord to raise LNG issue in Maine
NB Premier Opposed to LNG In Passamaquoddy Bay, But Saint John Is Okay
Provincial premier opposes LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay
Canada Will Fight Plans to Build LNG Plant in Maine
Studies: LNG Tanker Transits Would Affect Economy, Hurt Traffic In R.I.
Report: Tankers would harm economies of island and state
LNG Opponents Urge Boaters To Speak Up
@helcbk:LNG: Contentious issue
|Canadian ambassador asked to help out home province of N.B. in U.S. LNG fight
St. Andrews meeting draws LNG opponents
LNG foes gather in force: Marine life threat cited by biologist
Over 1000 People Come To LNG Forum In St. Andrews, NB
La. man describes LNG impacts : Activist to speak tonight in N.B. (Aug 22)
Protest building in New Brunswick to LNG plans in Maine
1,000 at anti-LNG rally
Ottawa concerned over Maine natural gas terminal (Aug 18)
Studies: LNG tanker transits would affect economy, hurt traffic
Navigate LNG dispute with care [Letter to the editor]
Repsol YPF advances Canada LNG project with signing of gas transportaion agreements
Fall River LNG Facility Stumbles (Aug 22)
|Downeast LNG assures safety
Quoddy Bay promises jobs
|Alternative energy focus of Machias [Green Coast] talk
Trans-border controversy looms over LNG
Sunrise Council endorses Downeast LNG (Aug 19)
AG Lynch wants U.S. Secretary of Navy to oppose Fall River LNG (Aug 19)
Perry bus use for LNG talk spurs conflict (Aug 18)
|LNG expert warns of ‘half-mile-wide’ fire
Company questions Navy's filing over Fall River LNG terminal
Cheaper oil... but with a price
Iran to become key exporter of LNG in world
Receiving ports for LNG eyed
Japanese group gets Qatar-US LNG contract (Aug 15)
|Navy: Stop Hess LNG plan
Governor's close ties to gas lobby (Aug 15)
|Don't Throw Away the Crumbs: An Energy Bill Perspective
Alternative Power Demand [Editorial]
Navy weighs in against planned Fall River LNG terminal
Harnessing the tides
|LNG meeting to happen without firms
Program helps teachers with Indian curriculum
Protecting our coastal waters [Opinion]
LNG plan protested in appeal
|LNG companies shun St. Andrews
Mass. city takes on Washington to halt LNG project
Columbia LNGs roll on
Grassroots opponents mobilize to protest
Concerns aren't remote for some near proposed terminal
The Future of the Coast Guard: A View From the Top (Aug 11)
|Public forum on LNG to proceed without companies
Will it always be winter in Washington County? [Op-ed column]
LNG firms to skip St. Andrews forum (Aug 10)
LNG vs. 'dream world' [Letter to the Editor] (Aug 10)
State stops LNG rules process; Monday speaker eyes problems (Aug 10)
LNG tank blast kills 2, injuring 7 in Xinjiang (Aug 10)
LNG explosion kills two in Shaanxi (2004 Mar 30)
Federal official says states will keep LNG authority (Aug 10)
Liquefied Natural Gas: How Safe? (Jan 23)
Portsmouth [RI] Puts Up Money To Fight [Fall River] LNG Terminal (Aug 10)
L.B. has final say in LNG (Aug 10)
|LNG opponents urged to act
Bush Signs Energy Bill Into Law to Mixed Reviews
|Energy bill filled with more of the status quo [Op-ed column]
Robbinston and LNG [Letter to the Editor]
[Russia's] Gazprom moves into LNG with swap deal, Shtokman
Repeal of Utility Law Opens Door for Mergers (Aug 7)
Qatar eyes American natural gas market (Aug 7)
Campobello resident worries about losing ‘treasure’ [Letter to Editor] (Aug 6)
|Healey: State on city’s side|
|LNG firm, residents discuss facility
KeySpan wants LNG decision reconsidered, Fall River appeal likely
New Brunswick Representatives Meet With FERC Official (Aug 4)
FSU Scientist Warns North Atlantic Right Whale Facing Extinction (Aug 4)
Energy bill effects begin as refiner exits MTBE business (Aug 3)
Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale Study Says Population in Crisis (July 26)
North Atlantic right whales headed toward extinction unless quick action is taken, Cornell researcher says (Jul 25)
|Bar LNG ships from Canadian waters: MP
Before Quoddy LNG, there was Quoddy Tidal (August)
|Doubts loom over promised LNG funds
LNG bad deal for Maine [Letter to editor]
Our Arctic sovereignty is on thin ice
AG Lynch vows 'battle' over Fall River LNG
Major Provisions in US Energy Bill
Energy Expert Available for Comment on Energy Bill
Big Government's Friends
Ruling Could Delay Sakhalin Shipments
31 August 2005
Passamaquoddy tribal elders opposed to a proposed $500 million liquefied natural gas terminal came out swinging Tuesday saying that two public officials who have formed a consulting company to promote a facility in Calais may have breached moral and ethical codes as elected officials.
Reading from a prepared statement, Soctomah said, "BP Consulting LLC and partners, follow the same tactics as Quoddy Bay LLC, with an added twist the inclusion of elected officials. The officials undermine democracy by using political office and influence for personal gain, while professing to advocate for the entire county."
[Tribal Counci Member Hilda] Lewis, also read from a prepared statement. "The BP Consulting LLC plan with Passamaquoddy of Indian Township members, may fracture relationships between the two native communities. The LNG rush does not advocate for a collective economic needs, rather, it represents individualism, personal gain, at its corporate worst."
A federal agency's urging that BP immediately review all of its refinery operations will bring the energy giant's proposed liquefied natural gas plant here [Logan Township], and the industry in general, under increased scrutiny, one state legislator suggested Tuesday.
30 August 2005
"They’ve gone mad over there," said Art MacKay, executive director of the St. Croix Estuary project, who has made over 40 public presentations providing information of the potential dangers as well as the ecological and environmental effects posed by LNG plants. [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
After saying he supported the $500 million project proposed for the land near Devil’s Head and St. Croix Island and across the St. Croix River from the port at Bayside by BP Consulting LLC, Councilor Delmonaco said, "and if you can, I’d like to have those boats come in and up through St. Andrews."
"We’re really responding to the energy needs of this country. I have to submit to you, that’s beyond a small town that really wouldn’t want to look at much of anything but themselves to begin with," Passamaquoddy Maine Legislature Representative Fred Moore said. [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
As the rhetoric continues over three proposed liquified natural gas terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay, Jeff Combs is busy filming those on both sides of the issue for a documentary with the working title "Talk To Me About LNG." [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
The energy law signed by President Bush this month contains an unusual provision: in places where companies want to build terminals to receive large shipments of liquefied natural gas, the government must hold forums to discuss the role of such gas in meeting energy demand.
"Measures to extinguish the fire were not successful and on August 26 the leak increased to an extent that required immediate shut-down of the pipeline. There are no reported injuries or loss of life and the impact on the environment is minimal," NLNG said. It added that the site of the leak, which is tidal and for much of the time below water level, is located in a remote swamp area with difficult access. (Aug 29)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: "Tidal," "underwater," "with difficult access," and "measures to extinguish the fire were not successful." Doesn't that sound a lot like Quoddy Bay LLC's proposed fairy-tale 8-mile-long cryogenic underwater LNG pipeline between Split Rock at Pleasant Point and Robbinston?]
29 August 2005
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: We're wondering if that "fog" wasn't just another example of Baldacci's unwillingness to "face the music" with anti-LNG Canadian legislators. Baldacci would do well to serve his constituents, and actually participate in such opportunities for enlightenment and diplomacy.]
What prompted someone to write "F... You Canad" that’s right, they misspelled "Canada" or ran out of paint in bright orange paint on the retaining wall behind the Downeast Heritage Museum in Calais? [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
[Premier Lord stated,] "Tony (Western Charlotte MLA Tony Huntjens) clearly expressed the position that this site is not a site for an LNG. The natural surroundings do not support an LNG terminal. It was examined 30 years ago, and the conclusion was clear then. The surroundings haven’t changed." [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
[Member of Parliament Greg] Thompson and opponents of the LNG projects in New Brunswick and in Maine want Ottawa to make it clear to U.S. authorities that LNG supertankers will not be allowed to cross Canadian waters and enter the bay.
The FERC's proposed rules would mandate early contact between developers and regulators. Companies would need to submit conceptual designs and engineering features of the projects, and information on potential environmental, safety, and security impacts.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: The US sending an armed boat into New Brunswick's waters, as it did on July 3 during the anti-LNG "Sail-a-Bration," didn't enhance US-Canada relations, either.]
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.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Ironically and unlike the Bangor Daily News' editorial staff by opposing siting any LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay, Premier Lord is looking out for the interests of both New Brunswick and Maine residents.]
A Maine-based developer in partnership with members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe has become the third entity attempting to build a liquefied natural gas facility along the coast of eastern Washington County. BP Consulting LLC, a local firm formed specifically for the project, along with members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township, introduced the plan at a meeting of the Calais City Council on Thursday night. The plan calls for the $500 million facility to be built on more than 250 acres in Red Beach between Devil's Head Park and St. Croix Island, near Route 1. Red Beach is a village within Calais. (Aug 26)
In a unanimous vote, the council passed a resolution at their regular Thursday night council meeting supporting any potential LNG development within Washington County, and "they welcome and support the potential development of an LNG terminal within the city limits of Calais." Fred Moore III of Pleasant Point and Ian Emery of Cutler, along with other partners who were not publicly identified, are partners in BP Consulting LLC, a local company. (Aug 26)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: It's difficult to recall any other community so bent on self-demise: welcoming Wal-Mart and its destruction of locally-owned businesses; forcing out occupied downtown shops, and demolishing their buildings when the downtown has a plethora of already-empty structures (due in large part to Wal-Mart); and now, welcoming LNG, which if it ever were to come to fruition would lower property values, increase risk, attract more heavy industry, increase pollution, and make Calais an even lesser destination-community, in spite of the new Heritage Center. webmaster]
Although Ottawa says it can't make a decision until it gets a U.S. request, [Member of Parliament Greg] Thompson said it would save a lot of time and trouble if the Canadian passageway was simply closed to big tankers. (Aug 22)
24 August 2005
"Our position is very clear," [Premier Lord] said. "This is not a place for an LNG terminal. We are not opposed to LNG terminals; we are opposed to this one being at this location [Passamaquoddy Bay]."
Giant tankers carrying liquefied natural gas through Narragansett Bay could cause traffic backups, hurt tourism and marine economies and slow emergency response times, according to two studies released Tuesday.
"This just confirms what we all thought was the case," Lynch said. "If a terrorist attack never happens, you still have to live with the attendant circumstances around (tanker trips). This will be an enormous, if not devastating, impact on the quality of life in Rhode Island."
"Don't wait until the application is filed," said Leah Lopez Schmaltz, director of legislative and legal affairs for the environmental advocacy group Save the Sound. "It'll be too late. Once FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) has it, you've got a much more limited voice."
The port is conducting an extensive environmental impact report whose draft will be complete in mid to late September, said Bob Kanter, the port's planning director. The review is expected to outline the range of potential threats the site may pose and recommend ways to reduce those threats.
23 August 2005
Shawn Graham, the leader of the New Brunswick Liberal Party, has fired off a letter to Ambassador Frank McKenna, the former Liberal premier of the province, asking that he become involved in efforts to stop construction of proposed LNG facilities in Passamaquoddy Bay.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Numerous elected officials from Maine who have voiced their support for the proposed LNG projects were also invited to make presentations, but declined. Apparently, they can't defend their position.]
Politicians from all levels of government were in the crowd. Shawn Graham, leader of the Liberal opposition party in New Brunswick, said he's written to Ambassador Frank McKenna and Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew outlining his concerns about the LNG proposals. "This is not a project that's beneficial to the area," Mr. Graham said in an interview.
Rick Doucet, the Liberal MLA for Charlotte, was there with Mr. Graham. Conservative politicians in the crowd included Greg Thompson, the local Conservative Member of Parliament, provincial minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture David Alward and local MLA and cabinet minister Tony Huntjens.
Municipalities along the New Brunswick coast voiced official opposition to LNG in the region over the past winter. They say they have too much too lose and nothing to gain from industrial development on the Maine shore.
A forum on two proposals for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals in Maine on Passamaquoddy Bay brought out the explosive nature of opponents, who blasted plans of both Quoddy Bay LLC of Tulsa, Oklahoma and Downeast LNG of Washington, D.C.
The meeting was a working session of the St. Andrews Town Council. Representatives of Save Passamaquoddy Bay, an anti-LNG group sat on one side, across from a pair of empty seats marked "LNG Developer 1" and "LNG Developer 2." Both developers were conspicuous by their absences.
Charlie Atherton had never been to Maine before the weekend, so he didn't know he was going to a place that represents "the way life should be." Asked to speak to Washington County residents seeking to bring alternative en-ergy sources Down East, Atherton talk-ed about his hometown of Lake Charles, La., and "the way life has become."
Lake Charles is the site of one of four operating liquefied natural gas terminals in the country. The heavy industry that has grown up around the Trunkline LNG facility includes Citgo and Conoco oil refineries, plus 24 more chemical manufacturing plants. Atherton is a retired chemical plant worker with a 40-year history of advocating for a cleaner environment. (Aug 22)
Greg Thompson, the Conservative [Member of Parliament] for southwest New Brunswick, has called on the Canadian government to refuse the supertankers access to the tricky Canadian waters leading into the bay.
The mayor explained that both companies said they wanted to meet with town council and discuss their plans. He said council granted their wishes, and made plans to make sure everyone could hear their proposals. “Our town spent thousands of dollars to accommodate them. Hundreds of hours were spent to organize this meeting. Both companies opted out after the date and the organizational plans were made." [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
OTTAWA - Federal officials plan to meet soon with their Washington, D.C., counterparts to voice concerns over plans to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Maine that would create tanker traffic through a difficult channel in Canadian waters, says a spokesman with the Department of Foreign Affairs. Ottawa has already expressed concerns about a U.S. firm's plan to build an LNG terminal at Pleasant Point, Me., said Rodney Moore, spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs. (Aug 18)
Giant tankers carrying liquefied natural gas through Narragansett Bay could cause traffic backups, hurt tourism and marine economies and slow emergency response times, according to two new studies released Tuesday. The studies focus on the economy and traffic and how they would be affected by LNG tankers heading to the planned Weaver's Cove Energy terminal in Fall River, Mass. They were conducted by two independent companies for the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, a regional group comprised of the cities of Middletown, Newport and Portsmouth. The commission has not taken a position on the LNG proposal.
In the U.S, the process of permitting and approving LNG terminals is a long, expensive and tedious one with ample opportunity for "all" (U.S. and Canadian individuals, groups and all levels of government) to become involved and have their views heard and considered. Canada clearly has other options to pursue in the U.S. process than leading off with a premature denial of access for a certain type of ship to Canadian waters for reasons that are clearly a localized emotional reaction to the two very early stage LNG terminal proposals.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: This letter writer is apparently unfamiliar with the realities of the FERC review process. While FERC does review and "consider" all positions voiced regarding a project, historically they simply ignore positions even those from other government agencies that oppose project sitings. After all, the FERC is composed of four politial appointees they owe no alliegence to the public. While the writer categorizes local opposition as "emotional," he hasn't taken into account the negative economic impact, or endangerment to at-risk species that would entail from such LNG projects.]
Repsol YPF announced today that it has signed agreements with M&NP for transportation service on a new pipeline system in Canada, as well as for a planned expansion of M&NP’s pipeline system in the United States, which will deliver volumes from the Canaport LNG import terminal to downstream markets.
Nearly two months after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave its final approval to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Fall River, the plan to bring huge tankers of the super-compressed and highly flammable energy into the Southeastern Massachusetts city is facing a new set of challenges. (Aug 22)
21 August 2005
Eastport resident Jon Bragdon expressed serious concerns about the safety of the project, citing past explosions at LNG facilities and the dangers of tanker traffic in a restricted area and the turning radius in Eastport waters as ships traveled from Head Harbour Passage to Mill Cove. Others were concerned about the increased terrorist dangers. (Aug 12) [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story.]
"Why not put the whole thing in one spot in Robbinston?" asked one man. "Well, that is possible," said Brian Smith, "but there are three reasons why we probably wouldn't. One, we are working with the Passamaquoddy Tribe for the Split Rock project. We are standing by our verbal agreement with the tribe. It is a spiritual agreement that we don't want to break. Two, we've learned some things from Gleason Cove. Environmental sanctuaries are important. This was a relatively shallow area, the Split Rock area is better. And, three, the town of St. Andrews influenced our decision by telling us that their resort community would be disrupted. It is a place of pride, and they didn't want it a mile away." (Aug 12) [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story.]
20 August 2005
"I have never seen a pristine environment," said [Charlie] Atherton, a lifelong resident of Louisiana's Calcasieu Parish, where heavy industry is the norm. It's also the site of the country's largest operating liquefied natural gas facility, built in 1981. "I understand that this area is as close to pristine as you can get," Atherton said. "Everywhere else, people are trying to clean up their messes and return to pristine."
These waters are a place that residents permanent and summer, American and Canadian consider their little patch of heaven. Across the bay from St. Andrews, at Mill Cove, in Robbinston, Me., is where two American companies Quoddy Bay LLC from Oklahoma and Downeast LNG from Washington, D.C. plan to build liquefied natural gas, or LNG, import terminals. "I think I could swim to it," said Belinda Breese, a summer resident of St. Andrews with a place overlooking the proposed terminals and the potential pier who, like countless other Canadians, opposes these LNG proposals.
The council’s letter comes in advance of any vote by Robbinston’s residents on whether they want LNG projects within their boundaries. Nor has the town’s planning board agreed to look at the project, pending learning the wishes of the residents. (Aug 19)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Harpswell, Maine, commissioned a thorough economic impact study something that the State of Maine and Sunrise County Economic Council should have done prior to supporting any LNG facility in the state or county which provided solid evidence that they would be an economic loser if they were to welcome LNG there.]
The department of the Navy has a vested interest in protecting its own interests, as well as fulfilling its awesome responsibilities in defending our nation and promoting national security,” Lynch said in a statement. (Aug 19)
17 August 2005
A terrorist attack on a liquefied natural gas shipping tanker could result in a spill that, if ignited, would create a fire a half-mile wide that could burn the skin of people a mile away, Jerry Havens, a chemical engineering professor at the University of Arkansas, said during a visit to Astoria Monday.
Weaver's Cove Energy, the company behind the Fall River plan, says the Navy was notified a long time ago and was actively involved in security planning at the end of last year. "The Navy is a broad term," said David Kerwood, public affairs officer for the undersea warfare center. "The warfare center is one of several Navy labs at Naval Station Newport."
Capt. David L. Scott, the Coast Guard's top commander at Philadelphia not to be misunderstood describes himself as "a pro-LNG person." He spent years as a U.S. Coast Guard inspector of LNG tankers in Japan and Singapore. He gained a national reputation as the Coast Guard's point man on LNG shipping and security before he moved from the Washington, D.C., headquarters to take command of the Philly area port in June. He's known for favoring offshore terminals, remote from population centers.
"We absolutely do need LNG," said Scott, 50, noting the voracious appetite of electrical power plants that run on natural gas. But, he added, "you have to be responsible about where we're siting this stuff."
Iran will turn into one of the world’s largest LNG liquefied natural gas exporters within the next 10 years, noted managing director of Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) Ali Ashraf Afkhami.
The Alaska Gasline Port Authority said it is in discussion with four proposed liquified natural gas receiving terminals to place Alaska gas: near Bradwood, Oregon, near Camp Pendleton, California, near Ventura, California, and near Kitimat, British Columbia.
16 August 2005
The Navy has filed a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently to ask for a rehearing on FERC’s decision to approve the Hess LNG facility, on the grounds that the traffic of liquefied natural gas tankers would disrupt Naval testing in the area.
"We were really struck with this Navy thing coming out today, because one of the main points we were making in our appeal was that FERC had blinders on and wasn’t listening to other federal agencies," said Cynthia Giles, director of the Conservation Law Foundation’s Rhode Island office. "In our filing we mention a couple other instances of federal agencies saying this project can’t be approved and that was ignored by FERC."
Energy companies have yet to sell a drop of imported liquefied natural gas in California. But their quest to ship huge volumes into the state is proving lucrative for firms with close ties to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Aug 15)
15 August 2005
The Bill allows FERC to preempt State governments on siting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) ports to import more natural gas from the very countries from which we ostensibly are trying to wean our oil dependency from. Aside from concerns about the crumbs from petroleum and natural gas proceeds falling into the hands of groups trying to harm our country, the Bill promotes nuclear power right after a recent National Academy of Sciences report affirmed that much of our nuclear waste storage is susceptible to acts of terrorism, aside that much of our uranium would need to be imported as well.
So the politicians gave the American consumer some good crumbs for the short term, and a lot of the usual "pork" to their campaign donors to keep our country at risk for the long term which negatively impacts our energy security, economic security, environmental security, and homeland security.
The Navy joins a host of elected officials -- including Republican Gov. Mitt Romney -- who oppose the project, saying it poses a safety hazard. "We already knew that FERC was ignoring the safety concerns of the people of Fall River," Attorney General Thomas Reilly said. "Now we know that they are not even on the same page with other federal agencies."
13 August 2005
In lieu of the LNG companies making their pitches, presentations will be made by area scientists and biologists who have been studying the Passamaquoddy Bay for years. St. Andrews is home to the federal Huntsman Marine Science Centre. [NOTE: The meeting time listed in the article is incorrect. The correct time for the meeting is 6pm ET / 7pm AT.]
They learned about the Passamaquoddy past, present and future - which may involve liquefied natural gas terminals coming to their reservation and the Passamaquoddy Bay. Many of the teachers felt alarmed for the Passamaquoddy, who themselves are divided over whether LNG is the best way forward for the tribe.
"I had never heard of LNG before this week," said Tammy Pullen of Oakland, a Thomas College student who will be student teaching by spring. "Unless you learn about it firsthand the way we did, you can't have the feelings for how it could interrupt people's lives. "Split Rock is a very special place for the Passamaquoddy."
Are our interests really being protected when developers choose the locations? Without clear rules, we are doomed to watch, over and over, as these acrimonious debates split communities, environmentalists, and other natural constituencies that have historically worked together toward common goals. For those who seriously advocate the expansion of renewable energy, the real threat is that while we fight these individual skirmishes we will lose the real battle, which is how to develop sustainable use of our oceans that serve all of our best interests.
FERC approved Hess LNG's proposal for the terminal July 15, despite the protests of officials and area residents concerned about the danger posed by tankers bringing the highly flammable substance through the Mount Hope Bay and up the Taunton River. Mayor Edward M. Lambert Jr. said his cause has been gaining momentum over the past few months and promised a "death of 1,000 papercuts" for the LNG proposal. "Let the bleeding begin," he said.
12 August 2005
A number of politicians will be present at the meeting, said Mayor Craig, and they have also asked former premier Frank McKenna, who is now the Canadian ambassador to the U.S., to attend. [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
Fall River is the first project approved for a populated area and the fight could the set the pace for other coastal proposals -- from California to Texas -- as Washington promotes LNG as a cheaper, cleaner energy alternative, particularly for generating electricity. Fall River also could take the battle to court and argue the energy regulator abused its authority by approving the terminal without considering the safety problems.
Community groups RiverVision and People For Responsible Prosperity formed within a month of the lease agreement with the Port of Astoria. Columbia County residents formed Save Our Columbia River in response to the Port Westward project, while Wahkiakum Friends of the River is primarily concerned with the Bradwood Landing site.
One of an estimated 82 people living within a mile of the facility's proposed site, the retired truck driver worries about the potential volatility of the liquid gas. "I don't want to live next door to something like that," said Grant, 65, who has lived in a one-story home off Route 130 for 26 years. "Why can't we put this 10 to 12 miles offshore?"
At a recent Heritage Foundation lecture, Admiral Thomas H. Collins, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, gave an overview of how the Coast Guard plans to meet the current and future challenges of the post-9/11 world and the Coast Guard's many maritime domain responsibilities, from homeland security to protecting natural resources. (Aug 11)
11 August 2005
The two companies had requested a public forum to discuss their plans to build liquefied natural gas terminals on Passamaquoddy Bay. [St. Andrews Mayor] Craig also said the town has already spent $5,000 setting up the forum. "This is our future, everyone's future, our children's future," he said. "This is a big deal. They set the timetable…then when we do set it up, they back out. This is the type of people we are dealing with."
To do many of these things requires imaginative leadership, folks who can get about, see how issues here are addressed elsewhere, find formulae for success. Washington County has long had a deficit in this, the main drain being fear of change.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: We agree with the author's observation that imaginative leadership is required and that all kinds of experiences will help to provide a vision for the future, in order not just for Washington County, but also for the international Passamaquoddy Bay region to progress economically.]
"...[Quoddy Bay LLC] Company officials have said they would not appear before the public later this month because of "security concerns." "I think ... for them to come up with this security thing is ludicrous in the extreme. You can quote me on that. Nobody's ever been fearful about coming over here," St. Andrews LNG opponent Arthur MacKay said. (Aug 10)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: It's interesting that both Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LLC have asked to make presentations to the Town of St. Andrews, but when St. Andrews complied, they both backed out. Apparently, it has finally become apparent to them that St. Andrews is solidly against their projects.]
Those who are proposing these projects are big money profiteers from out of state. They will promise anything in order to be the first to win the LNG jackpot in Maine. (Aug 10) [NOTE: As always with Bangor Daily News letters to the editor, the online page contains no link to take you directly to a particular letter, the text contains inappropriate line endings and line spaces, and most letter's headlines are undistinguishable from the body text. To find the letter using the above link, search the page for "LNG vs 'dream world'".]
Dr. Jerry Havens, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Arkansas who has studied the consequences of LNG releases for three decades, will give a talk at 7 p.m. Monday at the Performing Arts Center ... in Astoria. Conservation Leaders Network is sponsoring the talk, during which Havens will discuss safety issues relating to the LNG facilities proposed along the lower Columbia River. Havens studies the risks associated with an accidental spill of LNG or an attack on a LNG tanker, and his work with models of natural gas vapor clouds was used to set federal LNG siting requirements. (Aug 10)
Eleven liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanks and oxygen cylinders were blown tens of meters into the air when the explosion took place in the factory building facing a petroleum company across a street at about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, witnesses said. The factory building was razed. (Aug 10)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: One LNG tank explosion per year has been reported in China for the past three years. (See following news item from 2004 March 30) While the LNG industry and FERC like to emphasize that LNG can't explode, they fail to mention that liquid gasoline can't burn or explode, either, but the vapors from both LNG and gasoline are used in mini-explosions within an internal combustion engines to propel motor vehicles. Once LNG escapes its tank or pipe, it vaporizes into a combustible gas, and hangs near the ground until it warms up by 100 degrees. If the gas comes into contact with a source of combustion, it can burn or if confined, as in a tank, culvert, ship's hold, or building explode.]
"The explosion of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) tank killed two people and injured another two in a LNG station in this capital city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province Monday morning, local sources said Tuesday." The explosion happened around 9:30 a.m. Monday when many people were changing their LNG tanks in the station. LNG stored in tanks is used in some Chinese localities as an energy source.
FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher is arguing that states will still effectively have veto power over new projects under laws intended to regulate pollution and coastal development. According to Alabama regulators, however, those laws do not allow them to block an LNG project because of safety concerns.
Although state leaders can block proposed developments under the Coastal Zone Management Act, their decisions can be overridden by the head of the U.S. Commerce Department, who is a White House appointee. (Aug 10)
"The fire from such a spill [from a terrorist attack on an LNG tanker] would be very large ... perhaps up to a half-mile in diameter, or larger if more of the containment system failed," says Jerry Havens, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Arkansas. (Jan 23)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Sandia National Laboratories' 2004 report commissioned by the US Department of Energy indicates that such a large LNG fire as described above would cause people a mile away to incur 2nd-degree burns within 30 seconds. If the pool fire were as described a half-mile or more in diameter then people at least 1-1/2 miles away would incur such injury. Many homes of Robbinston and St. Andrews are well within that distance from the proposed Mill Cove LNG terminal site. Also, the following communities are well within that distance from the proposed LNG shipping lane and proposed Split Rock LNG terminal: On Campobello Island: Wilson's Beach, North Road, and Welshpool (including Roosevelt Campobello International Park); in Head Harbour Passage: Casco Bay Island, Indian Island; in Eastport: most of Moose Island, and all of Carlow Island; all of the original Sipayik (Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Reservation); in Perry: residents along Shore Road and Gin Cove Road; on Deer Island: Deer Island Campground, Clam Cove, and Fairhaven.]
The Portsmouth Town Council has voted to allocate up to $25,000 for legal expenses to help fight a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in nearby Fall River, Mass., the third Rhode Island community to promise money to oppose the project. (Aug 10)
The energy bill, which President Bush signed on Monday, contains a provision that grants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authority on "siting, construction, expansion or operation of an LNG terminal." Still, E. Del Smith, whose Washington lobbying firm represents Long Beach, said the city will still have final say over the project, after successfully fighting an earlier proposal that would have granted eminent domain power to the federal government on such terminals. (Aug 10)
9 August 2005
“The LNG terminals proposed for Passamaquoddy Bay are totally inappropriate to the area and will, in fact, substantially interfere with the business activities that are the foundation of this area’s wealth as well as our right to enjoy a healthy environment and safety for our families.
"This bill will allow America to make cleaner and more productive use of our domestic energy resources, including coal, and nuclear power, and oil and natural gas," the President said. "By using these reliable sources to supply more of our energy, we'll reduce our reliance on energy from foreign countries, and that will help this economy grow so people can work." (Bold added for emphasis; see Notable Quotes.)
8 August 2005
President Bush has spent the last four years urging Congress to pass new energy legislation. Just last month he argued, "The energy bill will help us make better use of the energy supplies we now have, and will make our supply of energy more affordable and more secure for the future." Yet the final version that Bush signed will fail on all these counts.
What's in it for Robbinston? A few dollars off our taxes; the likelihood of being a magnet for terrorists; the possibility of being the site of a major disaster; disruption of life beyond our wildest nightmares. [NOTE: As always with Bangor Daily News letters to the editor, the online page contains no link to take you directly to a particular letter, the text contains inappropriate line endings and line spaces, and most letter's headlines are undistinguishable from the body text. To find the letter using the above link, search the page for "Robbinston and LNG".]
[Russia's] Gazprom's British-based marketing and trading arm said it had bought an LNG cargo from BG Group to deliver it to a U.S. receiving terminal at Cove Point, Maryland where Royal Dutch Shell holds regasification capacity. "With this first LNG cargo delivery into the United States, Gazprom has taken the first step toward becoming a leading LNG supply, shipping, and marketing company," a statement said.
"The potential is there for all types of financial transactions, if not shenanigans, that we have not seen for 70 years," said Sue Kelly, chief counsel for the American Public Power Assn., a trade association for more than 2,000 community-owned nonprofit electric utilities. (Aug 7)
"It is really up to the United States to build more terminals because (Qatar is) ready to supply our needs to the extent that we have them," US ambassador to the Persian Gulf nation Chase Untermeyer said. (Aug 7)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: This letter, published Aug 6, is included below in its entirety.]
We live on Campobello Island. I can remember the day that 15 right whales came up into the Head Harbour Passage all around the lighthouse. Many people hurried to the mainland spit that overlooks the lighthouse island to see the whales in action. There were six or eight little boats, outboards mostly, fishing in by the lighthouse, using the same fishing ground as the whales. The whales and fishermen ignored each other for the most part and several times a whale came extremely close to a little boat. One whale came very close to the cliff where we were standing and surfaced in front of us to turn and we were disoriented by the surfacing, it felt as though the whole sea floor was raising up in our faces.
I have seen finbacks, right whales, humpbacks, pilot whales, minke whales of many sizes and one killer whale around Campobello. The big finbacks can be 80 feet. They stay out where it is deepest. The small minkes can come right in up to the cliff edges, and often do, looking for baby pollock. Last summer a big slow moving right whale came way in the passage half way to Eastport, poking around the cliff edges, exploring. Two summers ago a big humpback came all the way in to Friar's Bay and breached, clearing the water by 12 feet. Right now a big finback and her calf are summering near White Horse Island off East Quoddy Lighthouse. Many people have baby whale stories. The mother whale leaves the baby on the surface while she dives deep for food and the curious and naïve young one promptly gets into trouble while she is gone.
Several years ago on a beautiful September day I sat on my porch and watched a hundred excited porpoise come past in a huge convention, jumping and standing on their tails, doing back flips and diving and leaping. I could hardly believe my eyes! I have also watched peacefully from the deck of a sailboat out in the blue, blue Bay of Fundy where New Brunswick is a line on the western horizon and Nova Scotia is a line on the eastern horizon and seen more than fifteen right whales and a pod of a hundred white sided dolphins in the same spot. Meanwhile flocks of shearwaters take by off running on the water to escape the boat. This area is a treasure.
Large ships often have a bulbous extended bow that sticks out like a giant thumb. This extended bow tends to fool whales and causes them to misjudge and get spitted on the bow. Right whales are buoyant and slow moving and ignore ships, which makes the problem worse. Most whales have propeller cuts from getting to close to boats. The shipping lanes which used to run right through right whale concentration territory were actually moved two years ago to try to help the endangered right whale. If the two proposed LNG terminals for the Passamaquoddy Bay area are built, the 1000 ft., 12 story high LNG tankers will come in via the shipping lanes near Nova Scotia and veer off to come in here at an exit point. They will pass right through the right whale concentration zone and continue to pass with their 5000 hp tugs through whale feeding and nursery areas in Head Harbour passage. They will do this every day.
The toll on whales in this area will be major, the toll on the endangered right whale herd will be extinction.
A new article in Science journal co-authored by the New England Aquarium, Woods Hole, Cornell and Florida State Universities, and others, wants emergency measures to save right whales from shipping strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. Eight whales have died in the last 16 months and only a small fraction of the deaths are reported, the article says. Unless measures are taken, the group states, right whales are headed for extinction in a short period of time.
LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay will substantially increase the rate of extinction of the right whale and eventually heavy industry in this bay will kill the bay itself.
Please help us save the right whales and save our bay! Protest LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay.
Joyce Morrell, Campobello Island, N.B.
6 August 2005
Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey said Friday the state has very serious environmental concerns about the degree of dredging that would be required in the Taunton River if Hess LNG succeeds in siting a liquefied natural gas terminal here. State Sen. Joan Menard, D-Fall River, said there has been a lack of planning in the siting process for LNG terminals, and it needs to take place in an organized way.
5 August 2005
Smith said, "The town of St. Andrews [New Brunswick, one mile across the bay from Robbinston] made it very clear that they didn't want a view of an LNG pier and ships. "St. Andrews is seen as a place of pride for Canada," Smith said. "It's a vacation destination. It's important that we pay attention to the visual impact of what we're doing."
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: So, instead, Quoddy Bay LLC wants to put their pier and ships at Split Rock, in view of St. Andrews, and in Robbinston wants to install storage tanks that stand far above the trees, visually at St. Andrews' front door.]
"Of special interest to me was the session on siting LNG terminals," said Allaby. "One of the four presenters at this session was Richard Hoffman, Director, Division of Gas-Environment and Engineering, in the office of energy projects, for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)." (Aug 4)
While there have been efforts to minimize the risk of ship strikes -- mandatory ship location reporting, extensive aerial survey efforts and mariner education -- the scientists say that the initiatives don't lead to a reduction in ship strike mortalities without required changes in the operation of ships within right whale habitats and migratory corridors. (Aug 4)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: For those unfamiliar with the Passamaquoddy Bay area, northern right whales and their calves spend the summer feeding here, within the waters around the proposed LNG projects and their shipping lanes.]
The bill ... directs Energy Sec. Samuel W. Bodman to convene at least three forums in areas where LNG terminals are being considered to discuss LNG's role in meeting near-term gas demand growth, the federal siting and permitting process, safety and environmental requirements, and prevention, mitigation and response strategies for LNG hazards. (Aug 3)
According to the recent study led by Scott Kraus of the New England Aquarium, 50 right whales have been reported dead since 1986, at least half of them from human activities. (July 26) [See NOTE above regarding northern right whales.]
"There is a collective effort to engage the shipping industry, which in some cases has agreed to change shipping lanes," said Clark. "But when economics get involved, it's more difficult for the industry to make changes just because of a large, black animal that's getting in the way." (July 25) [See NOTE above regarding northern right whales.]
3 August 2005
Theoretically, at least, the Eastport region could become home to duplicate terminals, the nation’s first underwater LNG pipeline and two rival tank farms located within one mile of one another. It’s not the first time an energy project of national significance has been proposed on the shores of Maine’s easternmost embayments. (August)
1 August 2005
The contract does not specify that the terminal must be built at Gleason Cove, only that "Quoddy Bay is developing an LNG terminal on certain Passamaquoddy tribal land." "Now they're offering $1 million a year to Robbinston. If it's been all baloney for Perry, why should it be better for Robbinston?" said Perry resident Gary Guisinger.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: This letter is included below in its entirety. As always with Bangor Daily News letters to the editor, the online page contains no link to take you directly to a particular letter, the text contains inappropriate line endings and spaces, and most letter's headlines are undistinguishable from the body text. To find the letter using the above link, search the page for "LNG bad deal for Maine".]
In the 27 July article by Diana Graettinger, titled "Canada town against LNG," there is an implication that only the idle rich would oppose the building of liquefied natural gas import terminals on Passamaquoddy Bay. It is doubtful that the royalty who frequent St. Andrews would become activists in opposition to LNG. Instead, they would point their yachts elsewhere.
Fortunately, one needn't be listed in "Who's Who" to recognize a bad deal. The economic, environmental, and social costs associated with the construction and operation of such massive, hazardous facilities would put Washington County's existing coastal economy at risk. And for what? How many examples of economic development promise less that one job per acre? And how many of those few jobs would be going to the locals who need them?
LNG has no relevance to the economy of coastal Maine. Less than 2 percent of Maine's population has access to natural gas, and LNG imports will not change this. When a careful analysis is done, as in the case of the Harpswell LNG proposal, the net economic loss is revealed and voters, rich and poor, spoke with clarity.
In a recent report released by the New England Governors' Conference titled "Meeting New England's Future Natural Gas Demands: Nine Scenarios and Their Impacts," increased reliance on LNG was revealed as the most expensive energy alternative examined.
While the out-of-state profiteers tell us otherwise, anyone who checks out the facts can see that LNG import terminals are a bad deal for all Maine citizens, royalty or not.
In 1970, through the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, the Trudeau government imposed strict safety and environmental requirements on shipping. The act is consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which allows coastal states to impose stringent laws against maritime pollution when virtually year-round ice creates exceptional navigational hazards.
The bill will enable the federal government to trump states, local governments and communities that have stood in the way of the development of needed electric transmission lines and LNG terminals...and will lead to a wave of utility mergers and acquisitions unseen since the 1920s and 1930s.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Eliminating states' rights and a waver of utility mergers seems to us to be counter to the best interests of the public.]
Funny, Republicans in Congress are the first to rail against faceless federal bureaucracies. So why did they pass a bill that will only encourage big government to turn a deaf ear to the concerns of ordinary people? It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that big companies who make big donations to campaigns want such facilities, would it?
The project is endangering the environment in a bay where one-quarter of the salmon caught on Sakhalin Island live, the ecologists said. It is too early to say whether the ruling could delay construction of the LNG plant, Chernyakhovsky said. He declined to comment on the court ruling, saying the company had not received written notification yet.
President Vladimir Putin criticized environmental groups for using ecological issues to "attack" projects important for Russia's economy, according to a transcription of a July 20 meeting with civil society groups posted on the Kremlin's web site. "Ecological impact reviews shouldn't hinder the development of the country and the economy," Putin said.
The construction of the jetty is already harming the local fishing industry as contractors dump 2 million cubic meters of dredging waste in the middle of Aniva Bay, Pacific Environment said in the statement. That is enough silt to fill at least 800 Olympic swimming pools. In addition to salmon, the bay also is home to crab, scallops and sole.
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