"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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|2003 2004 ||
|Judge To Rule On Public Access To Tribal LNG Meetings
Flanagan's Washington County report important [Op-ed column] (Nov 28)
Strong Opposition Voiced To LNG Terminal Plan
Fewer Object to Gas Project
DOE Seeks Comments on Natural Gas Supply and Demand (Nov 29)
USA: BP could have prevented deadly blast (Nov 5)
UK giant BP faces flak over £12m safety fine deal (Oct 1)
USA/UK: UK review as BP could face crime unit probe (Aug 27)
|Suit asks access to meetings on LNG: Tribe disputes papers' argument
LNG proposal needs more time
High court to rule on N.J.-Del. dispute
Cold Winter = Power Problems?
Lawmakers mull relief for gas spike
Energy board calls for review of gas demand (Nov 28)
International Coordination and Outreach Strategy to Enhance Security (Nov 28)
Gazprom Concludes First Swap of Pipeline Gas for LNG (Nov 28)
A terminal case [Editorial] (Nov 28)
LNG means prosperity [Letter to the editor] (Nov 28)
LNG: Two sides of Passamaquoddy Bay [Op-ed column] (Nov 26)
Dominion urges FERC to drop utility claims against Cove Point LNG (Nov 23)
Bear Head LNG project gets green light (Nov 22)
Open Water vs. Broadwater (Nov 20)
|In-Ground LNG Storage Tanks: Providing environmentally friendly in-ground LNG storage tanks renowned for their high-level of safety
Dangerous dependence on natural gas [Opinion]
Pricing of LNG a question not yet even asked [Opinion]
Hazards should scuttle this idea [Opinion]
LNG proponents point to expected shortage of natural gas
Final public hearing set for LNG facility in L.I. Sound (Nov 24)
Shell pays for Sakhalin-2 up front (Nov 24)
French to Swap LNG for Russian Gas (Nov 24)
Indonesia to cut LNG exports by up to 10% (Oct 22)
|Coastline near Lubec suitable for LNG [Op-ed column]
Down East Review [Editorial] (Nov 19)
Suit challenges tribe's lease (Nov 11)
Petition calls for informed vote (Nov 11)
Energy analysts predict a [sic] L-N-G shortage within five years
Shipbuilders Cash In on Special Vessels
Freeport LNG facility steadily taking shape (Nov 20)
Cianbro, Passamaquoddy reach LNG deal (Nov 19)
Qatar-US launch huge LNG refinery project (Nov 19)
Report: LNG would boost Down East (Nov 18)
Centering the LNG Debate [Editorial] (Nov 18)
North Coast sings out against LNG (Nov 18)
|Vt. firm hired to supply LNG impact study
Some New Englanders looks [sic] to Canadian pipelines as answer to natural gas needs
LNG grants announced (Nov 16)
Movies inspire LNG safety
Sides Square Off For LNG Terminal Battle
Ship to shore transfer - a new approach (Oct 27)
Industry Leaders predict growing need for improved natural gas infrastructure (Nov 16)
|Developer: LNG [sic] pipeline requires upgrades
LNG points to ponder [Letter to the editor]
New LNG plan puts focus on Boston Harbor
Calpine LNG zone change request on Warrenton agenda Thursday (Nov 15)
Increase in Seaport Security Funding is Proposed (Nov 15)
Shell Ordered to Stop Wasteful, Poisonous 'Gas Flaring' in Nigeria (Nov 15)
|Devil's Head project needs volunteers
Spain's Repsol eyes capacity lease or stake in US LNG terminal
Our View: Douglas Foy and LNG plan [Opinion]
To LNG or not to LNG in L.B.?
From aboard the Sea Mist, LNG proposal is an environmental hazard and eyesore (Nov 14)
New direction for natural gas: Northwest
So, What's Going On With Vallejo? [Opinion] (Nov 14)
Environmental Report on Gas Plant Sparks Heated Debate
Gazprom group set monopoly prices on LNG FAS (Nov 13 19 issue)
|Lambert’s list (Nov 13)|
|Downeast LNG hosts jobs seminar on November 17 (Nov 11)
Firm studies pipeline expansion: Open houses set for public plan preview (Nov 11)
Brewster Island LNG Debate Heats Up (Nov 11)
LNG comment period starts Monday
|No closed LNG meetings
LNG terminal bill favors just one firm
CLF Weighs in on Proposed Deepwater LNG Port: CLF Urges Study to Focus on Marine Environment Impacts and Regional LNG Needs
LNG terminal in firing range [Opinion]
|Protecting a homeland [Letter to editor]
Lambert rides LNG opposition to re-election in Fall River
State Paying Thousands To Revamp Possible LNG Terminal
|AP Exclusive: Romney tells Foy to recuse self on LNG project because of stock holding
Van Zandt: Pirate attack - This is not a drill [Commentary]
|Petitioners seek LNG vote delay pending study
LNG plants build jobs [Letter to the editor]
Chevron unit secures pipeline capacity to move LNG to US markets
Montpelier non-profit is fired up over biomass fuels
|6||Afloat In The Sound|
|Split Rock divides LNG sides: Opponents hold smudging ceremony, discuss tribal lawsuit (Nov 4)
LNG Foes Galvanized By Lawsuit Filed Against BIA (Nov 4)
LNG Lawsuit Filed Against Interior Officials (Nov 4)
New England Natural Gas Utilities Have Adequate Supplies to Meet Their Firm Customer Needs This Winter (Nov 4)
Greenspan Says More LNG Needed (Nov 7 edition)
LNG Debate: Cruise ships could be forced to pull out
[U.S. Rep. Barney Frank] blasts Hess LNG letter (Nov 4)
|Passamaquoddy groups sue officials over LNG project
Passamaquoddy Groups Challenge Federal Action In LNG Proposal
LNG meetings planned (Nov 2)
Island movies at festival (Nov 2)
Quoddy Bay eyes Perry site for LNG tanks (Oct 28)
Iroquois protests Broadwater (Nov 2)
Expanding the Maritimes Pipeline - Phase IV
|Tribal group to sue over LNG lease
Passamaquoddy Pleasant Point Group Filing Federal Lawsuit Against BIA And U.S. Dept Of Interior
Passamaquoddy groups challenge federal action on LNG
Floating an idea for energy needs
Wind energy lobby speaks up for Makara proposal (Nov 1)
|EPACT leaves several LNG-related questions unanswered: officials
Chevron unit plans Mississippi LNG terminal
Gazprom, Petro-Canada discuss natural gas supplies to N. America
30 November 2005
Here's the answer. If an LNG plant is sited along Washington County's coast, the state should charge a hefty fee for any pipes or facilities sitting on top of state submerged lands (which are impossible to miss), and use the revenue to support the economic development recommendations of this report. (Nov 28)
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Mr. Unobskey's suggestion should include the requisite that before any submerged land lease is given, there must be an unbiased scientific assessment of the submerged land to assure that unlike the conditions of the St. Croix River and Passamaquoddy Bay no toxic deposits sit beneath the bottom that would be released into the environment when a pier or jetty is constructed.]
Even so, state Public Utilities Commission officials oppose siting a terminal in the densely populated harbor area, warning that a terrorist attack, earthquake or accident could cause catastrophic damage. A nationally known expert hired by the commission recently concluded a fire could kill or burn people within three miles, an area that includes downtown Long Beach and 130,000 residents.
With the last two public hearings on that environmental report scheduled for today and Thursday, the proposal could become a test case that pits the safety concerns of state officials against the Bush administration's desire to fast-track approvals for such terminals. [Bold emphasis added.]
The Department of Energy today announced that it is seeking public and stakeholder comments on the outlook for natural gas supply and demand, as requested by Congress and the recently enacted Energy Policy Act of 2005.
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: The DOE is not asking for but should be sent by the public, through this comment procedure concerns about LNG facilities siting related to public safety and effects on local economy.]
In August, as a result of the explosion and other incidents at BP refineries, CSB issued an unprecedented 'urgent recommendation' calling on BP to establish an independent panel to review a range of safety management and culture issues in its North American operations. The members of the panel were announced last week. It will be headed by former secretary of state James Baker, who ran election campaigns for three Republican presidents and whose law firm and institute have had recent financial links to BP. [Bold emphasis added] (Nov 5)
US steelworkers' union USW welcomed the US$21,361,500 (£12.1m) OSHA penalty but said it was wrong the matter was settled behind closed doors between the company and OSHA before any safety citations were issued. USW president Leo W Gerard said the 'settlement should have happened after a citation, not before,' the more usual procedure which allows workers and the public to scrutinise the alleged safety offences. Where a company contests a citation, workers and their union have a right to participate in the process. In the BP case, the settlement talks took place in private and the union was excluded.
'Penalties are supposed to hurt, and this one represents less than half a day of BP's corporate income. It doesn't even cover what BP saved by not making the safety improvements that would have prevented the March 23 explosion.' [Bold emphasis added.] (Oct 1)
29 November 2005
The Passamaquoddy Tribe is subject to the state's Freedom of Access Law, and tribal council meetings about a proposed liquefied natural gas facility in Washington County should be open to the public, attorneys for two Maine newspapers argued Monday in Cumberland County Superior Court.
Bernard J. Kubetz of Bangor, the BDN's attorney, told the court Monday that in May 2001 the Maine Supreme Judicial Court unanimously ruled that, under the 1980 Indian Claims Settlement Act, the relationship of the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes to the state is akin to that of municipalities except when discussing exclusively tribal matters.
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENT: The Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline has previously stated that Maine will not experience any natural gas shortages this winter.]
"I hesitate to make these short-term (tax) breaks that may be politically expedient but don’t solve anything in the long term," said Sen. Steve Henson, D-Tucker, whose district includes portions of western Gwinnett County.
Officials with a state energy board this week told federal regulators a full assessment of natural gas demand in the region is needed before a liquefied natural gas terminal can be constructed by Excelerate Energy in the fishing grounds known as Block 125. (Nov 28)
The US Department of State ... signed the International Coordination and Outreach Strategy to Enhance Maritime Security ... [providing] a framework to coordinate all maritime security initiatives undertaken with foreign governments and international organizations.... (Nov 28)
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Gazprom has previously announced that it wants to leverage Russian LNG into ownership of the Dominion Cove Point LNG terminal. Gazprom is also a partner with Shell in indigenous rights violations and environmental violations at Sakhalin, Russia. Shell is a primary LNG supplier to Dominion Cove Point LNG terminal. If the Russian monopoly soon owns the Cove Point LNG terminal the same terminal that Downeast LNG holds up as a model for their proposed Mill Cove LNG facility in Robbinston, Maine and if the Downeast LNG facility were built, would the Russian Gazprom monopoly also end up owning the Mill Cove plant, and controlling a large chunk of the LNG/gas supply entering at both ends of New England?]
[T]estimony from an expert hired by the California Public Utilities Commission suggested that a tanker spill could kill or cause second-degree burns up to three miles away. Downtown Long Beach is two miles from the proposed terminal. (Nov 28)
There will be growth in supporting industries as well, and we, the people of Washington County, can regulate just what those industries will be. (Nov 28) [NOTE: As typical 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 means prosperity".]
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: It's ironic and naive that this letter writer believes all industries can be regulated by local people, when we can't even regulate the LNG facilities that would, if successfully completed, bring those other industries here.]
In April, Washington Gas said a significant increase in gas leaks in its Prince George's County, Maryland, distribution system was caused by the deterioration of seals within mechanical couplings that connect sections of distribution mains and service lines. (Nov 23)
In the next window, click on link that matches the following text.
23-Nov-2005 Dominion urges FERC to drop utility claims against Cove Point LNG
“Between Connecticut, New York and the federal government, we've put a half a billion dollars into restoring and protecting Long Island Sound over the last 10 years. We didn't do that to then turn it over to the energy industry.” (Nov 20)
25 November 2005
In-ground LNG storage tanks are only partially visible from the outside of the terminal site making them difficult to be targeted by terrorists. Furthermore, since the LNG is stored below the ground surface, in the unlikely event of a terrorist attack or the concrete roof being destroyed by a projectile, the LNG would not leak onto the ground. Accordingly, the tanks are accredited with the European standard EN1473, making them the safest way to store LNG.
In an earthquake the seismic motion is not amplified for in-ground storage tanks when compared to above-ground structures making them safer in earthquake-prone regions. In order to make the tanks much safer from terrorist attacks, tank roofs can be lined with reinforced concrete or the roof of the tanks can be completely underground.
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Since these in-ground and also underground LNG storage tanks being used in Japan are safer for the public, are safer against terrorist attack, are safer against seismic activity, and are at comparable cost to above-ground storage tanks, why isn't the FERC requiring the use of this technology for US facilities? (Thanks to LNG Community Focus for bringing this issue to our attention.)]
Russian President Vladimir Putin makes no secret of his plan to establish a natural-gas cartel, patterned on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC]. Apart from the political leverage that Russia would gain, there is the matter of gas prices.
Just a few years ago, natural gas was selling for $2 per million British thermal units; earlier this year, the price was $6. Recently, hurricane damage to Gulf Coast production facilities sent the price soaring to $14. And it could go higher, if we have an unusually cold winter.
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: While the author is correct regarding the problems with our dependence on gas, his statement that nuclear power emits no global-warming gases is a red herring. Nuclear power creates "new" heat and emits it into the atmosphere. Renewable sources of power, such as biomass, generate heat, but that heat comes from a net zero short-term heat production process:
1 unit of Heat produced by burning biomass - 1 unit of Heat used to create the biomass (i.e., to grow a tree) 0 units of New Heat
Radioactive material was created with the Earth, so no contemporary heat is consumed to create it; thus like heat from coal, gas, or oil heat produced through nuclear fission is "new" heat, and therefore contributes to global temperature rise.]
State officials from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on down accept as gospel truth contentions from the sponsoring companies that California must have energy from these foreign LNG sources in the near future. No evidentiary hearing has ever been held on the issue, and unless the courts force one soon, it will be time for Californians to stop worrying about whether we get LNG and focus instead on the next question: How much will it cost?
Government officials have used limited studies to make their case for LNG safety. The public must now demand more transparency and new regulations that call for actual, not computer-modeled, tests to establish proven exposure zones to give us peace of mind.
Gazprom has announced the second shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the United States. The fuel will be sold in early December to Shell Western LNG, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell. In response Shell may look to Gazprom's good will on the Sakhalin-2 project. [Search the page for "BIZNES"] (Nov 24)
Indonesia's PT Badak NGL, the world's biggest liquefied natural gas plant, may cut exports by as much as 10 percent next year because of falling gas supplies from fields operated by BP Plc, Eni SpA and Chevron Corp. (Oct 22)
21 November 2005
So the question has to be asked: Why are some people dead set on siting LNG terminals in highly populated areas, accessed only through an ecologically sensitive site, where they will have the maximum negative impact on a great many people on both sides of the border, and the American government is forced to request permission from the Canadian government?
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Although the writer doesn't have all the details correct*, the basic point is right on the money.
* The Lubec site being considered is in North Lubec, which is a considerable distance from the bridge; freighter passage through Head Harbour Passage doesn't typically require advance permission from the Canadian government, other than the normal document requirements at the time of actual passage; however, Canada does have the option to prevent LNG ships from transiting the passage, due to the health and economic hazards they pose to Canada.]
The cumulative sense from the report is that Maine knows how to make the many reforms and financial investments necessary to improve Washington County's economy, but needs the long-term commitment or at least a long-term attention span - to stick with the reforms. (Nov 19)
Bridges is concerned that tribal members did not have the opportunity to read the lease. Bridges, who tried to see the lease, says, "They just brushed me off. (Nov 11) [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story.]
A petition calling for a referendum vote for Robbinston residents on the location of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and any related facilities in the town was presented on November 5 to Robbinston Town Clerk Pam Reynolds. The petition also asks that the vote not be held until an impact study of the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG proposals is completed. (Nov 11) [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story.]
The Texas Gulf Coast could be dotted with LNG terminals in the future, pending individual facilities’ approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Quintana is poised to host the first as construction buzzes along on schedule, said Bill Henry, vice president of Freeport LNG, a limited partnership.
[Cianbro President Peter Vigue], who said he had cut his teeth working with the Dicenzo Corp. Construction Co. in Calais, said he was very supportive of efforts in Washington County. "All we are trying to do is assist efforts and bring some economic development to Washington County and improve the well-being of those people who live in that area, as well as maybe provide some additional alternatives to the energy challenges that we face here." (Nov 19)
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENT: Cianbro, if it actually continues a relationship with Calais LNG, will be contaminating marine species that are eaten by Passamaquoddy Tribal members, along with the general public. They'll also be assisting ethics violations by the two members of Maines Legislature who are partners in Calais LNG. That's not assisting the well-being of anyone! See LNG Developers > Developer #3: Calais LNG.]
Qatar and Washington have launched a joint project to build the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) refinery mostly for export to the US, in a $14 billion strategic alliance between the two countries. (Nov 19)
In his recommendations, Flanagan advises that the state should take steps to fulfill its leadership role on LNG, which has become a point of contention in coastal Washington County communities. (Nov 18)
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENT: In spite of the glowing headline, Flanagan's actual report paints a more conservative picture for siting LNG. He doesn't specify where in Washington County an LNG facility should be located (President Nixon, in the 1970s, thought Machias was an excellent site; perhaps it is better than the proposed locations), and he indicates that the current proposals haven't demonstrated an ability to complete their projects.]
This is where CLF [Conservation Law Foundation] comes in. The group, which has a history of trying to solve problems through compromise, has long advocated for more natural gas to replace dirtier coal and oil, which also carries a political price tag since much of it comes from the Middle East.
Locating an LNG terminal is a local issue, but adoption or rejection of development plans should be proceeded by consideration of broader public interests, such as lower energy bills, a diversified energy source and pollution reduction. That debate is overdue here. (Nov 18)
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENT: The editorial fails to point out that CLF is aggressively opposing siting an LNG terminal offshore, on Outer Brewster Island, in Massachussetts, because the facility would be on recreation land.
The Bangor Daily News editorial staff as it has repeatedly done on this issue also fails to recognize the emminent importance of Passamaquoddy Bay as a nursery to the Bay of Fundy and as a lobster nursery to a great portion of the coast of Maine. (See "The Lobster Coast," by Colin Woodard, Viking Press.)]
Grumblings from the full house at the community center started when Hansen said the company was looking for a site that wouldn’t impact an airport, continued when he talked about looking for a site where visual impacts and required dredging were minimal, and grew to incredulous laughter and dissent when he started talking about acceptable seismic and tsunami zones.
[David Shannon] said that while Calpine says other agencies will ensure the health of the air and waterways, he pointed to the Houston Ship Channel and Los Angeles smog as examples of how the federal government doesn’t protect the environment.
"It is very difficult for the public to have confidence in the decisions made by the Warrenton Planning Commission when it appears that the entire process is being conducted, not by the Planning Commission, but the city staff and attorneys, specifically at the behest of the applicant," Sue Skinner read from the letter. (Nov 18)
17 November 2005
Positive or negative, the answers and analyses that emerge from the independent report by a Vermont research firm likely will provide more information than the public has been privy to since LNG proposals first surfaced for coastal Washington County 18 months ago.
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENT: Contrary to what he said regarding planning, Gov. Baldacci is encouraging LNG sites in Passamaquoddy Bay even before anyone knows if they are well-planned and appropriate or not. Since the state won't do an objective study of the comprehensive effects of these LNG proposals, the Whole Bay Study commissioned by Save Passamaquoddy Bay is doing it.]
The Chamber will use its $5,500 to gather local feedback [re physical, economic, and social impacts] on the project and present it to both its members and the environmental assessment team, said manager Debbie Rocha.
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENT: This approach rather than merely relying on the developer's study, as is done in the U.S. allows for more objective community involvement in the impact assessment.]
In the oil and petrochemical industry, similar constraints have led to the adoption of SPM [Single Point Mooring] terminals both for existing and new terminals.... These have proven to be very cost effective as there is no need to develop an extensive port infrastructure, eg channel dredging, breakwaters, and jetties. Also the operation is more efficient and safe as navigation of congested waterways is circumvented, whilst the berthing of tankers at the SPM can take place with minimum tug assistance with vessels of virtually any size.
The use of weathervaning moorings and transfer systems for the LNG carriers at a large distance from the LNG storage and/or re-gasification plant should be given serious consideration for the following reasons:
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Offshore terminal siting makes the most sense, and is preferable, according to the above LNG industry article. The local LNG project proponents at the advice of their own industry need to move their projects out of Passamaquoddy Bay.]
16 November 2005
The Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline expansion will only have capacity to carry gas coming from Canada; it will not be able to accommodate gas from any of the proposed LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay.
* Terminology Note: The pipeline is actually a Natural Gas (NG) pipeline, not an LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) pipeline, although some sources of the natural gas in the pipeline will eventually come from imported LNG. The source of natural gas in the pipeline currently comes entirely from natural gas wells on Sable Island, Nova Scotia.]
Again we have big business from out-of-state telling us what to do. Plus, to add insult to injury, we have two Maine state representatives - Fred Moore and Ian Emery - trying to cash in on this boondoggle and ignoring the desires of their constituents who want no liquefied natural gas. [NOTE: To find the letter using the above link, search the page for "LNG points to ponder".]
"It's a really bad idea for a bill to cynically say it is establishing a fair and open process and by its language sets up a sweetheart deal for one big company with political connections," said Jim Gomes, president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts.
Acknowledging the looming natural gas shortage, Bradley said, "There are numerous ways to do this without the significant safety, environmental and FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] concerns that this particular project has. And, if you get over that, there's (sic) ways of doing that without closing a national park district."
Skipanon Natural Gas, LLC, a subsidiary of Calpine, has requested that 40 acres of East Skipanon Peninsula shorelands be rezoned to Especially Suited Water Development Shoreland with Industrial-2, and 56 acres of adjacent aquatic areas be rezoned to Aquatic Development. (Nov 15)
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the organization representing public ports throughout the Western Hemisphere, lauded Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Patty Murray (D-WA) for introducing a bill in the U.S. Senate that includes revisions and clarifications to the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant program. (Nov 15)
Multinational oil companies were ordered by Nigeria's highest court this week to stop engaging in a decades-old process that indigenous and environmental rights groups say has been poisoning the oil-rich area where Africa's Niger River meets the Atlantic Ocean. (Nov 15)
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENT: Here along with their rights violations toward the people of Sakhalin, Russia is another example of Shell's violation of indigenous rights in another part of the world, not to mention their wasteful, environment-damaging practices. Shell is involved in the LNG industry in the US.]
15 November 2005
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENT: Adjacent to Devil's Head is where St. Croix Consulting proposes to locate an LNG terminal.]
In the next window, click on link that matches the following text.
15-Nov-2005 Spain's Repsol eyes capacity lease or stake in US LNG terminal
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Baldacci's Ethical Quagmire
Unfortunately, ethics is an issue that is lost on Maine Representative Ian Emery, Representative Fred Moore Jr., and Governor John Baldacci. Emery and Moore are both supposedly representing their constituency, and are proposing to develop their own LNG terminal at Red Beach in Calais (which will negatively affect their legislative districts) while also being members of Gov. Baldacci's "Washington County Economic Development Task Force." As members of the task force they will be making recommendations regarding LNG terminal siting perhaps even their own but they don't see anything wrong with being on both sides of the fence, and apparently, neither does Gov. Baldacci!
These two Representatives need to either divest themselves of the LNG project, or as members of Baldacci's committee. If they, themselves, won't do it, then Gov. Baldacci needs to take corrective action to right this ethical quagmire by removing them from his "task force."]
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Has the State of California or the City of Longbeach put forward an objective and comprehensive study of the impacts to the community from the proposed LNG terminal as Harpswell, Maine, did, and as Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance is doing with its Whole Bay Study or is it simply relying on the LNG proponents' propaganda and FERC?]
Although the terminal could satisfy the energy needs of an estimated four million homes, DeLauro said that other alternatives should be sought out instead of "jeopardizing resources like the Long Island Sound and small businesses like Midtown Fisheries with proposals like Broadwater." (Nov 14)
Taking a big step backwards and looking at the many problems that plague or city, the best solution I can come up with is strong leadership. But there is a leadership vacuum in town. This became most evident during the LNG debacle. Our representatives, starting at the top and working down through city staff, nobody seemed to notice the obvious problems with the project. In ten minutes of research on a computer, an average citizen could figure out that an LNG terminal could be a serious problem for our city. But we have to have study after study, hire experts be wishy washy up until the answer is so obvious that there is no denying it. (Nov 14)
A commission of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) said at a meeting last Tuesday that there were violations on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, FAS said in a release. FAS said the dominant players on the market - Gazprom, AK Sibur, OAO Gazenergoset and ZAO Siburgazservice - set a high monopoly price for LNG it sold. The FAS said the parties acting for Gazprom were in violation of the law on competition. (Nov 13 19 issue)
14 November 2005
"We have to kill it in order to make progress in all other areas," [Mayor Edward M. Lambert, Jr.] said. "Stopping that project is vital to the community’s future. It was never part of our planning process. It picked us, but we have to stop it." (Nov 13)
12 November 2005
Girdis stressed that the jobs seminar is an informational program and not a jobs fair where people can actually fill out applications for positions. He said construction of the proposed facility probably won’t begin for another two years given the extensive permitting process, but that area residents have encouraged him to keep the project moving forward.
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENT: Girdis knows that his project has almost no chance of coming to fruition. There is no construction project, there are no Girdis-project LNG jobs, there is no application with FERC, there are no permits, community opposition is mounting, the need for an additional natural gas supplier to New England is diminishing, and Canada is likely to prevent LNG tankers from entering the bay. Girdis is improperly attempting to use tax-funded Washington County Community College as a propaganda tool for his unlikely project.]
Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC, which ships natural gas through Maine to Massachusetts, is hoping to triple its capacity and is holding regional open house events all next week to allow residents to preview their plans. (Nov 11)
The exclusionary language has garnered considerable attention lately, particularly in light of the recent recusal of Douglas Foy, secretary of the Office of Commonwealth Development, because of financial ties to AES through his individual retirement account. (Nov 11)
The public can comment on a draft environmental and safety report on the liquefied natural gas terminal proposed for the Port of Long Beach beginning next week. The first of four public hearings will take place at 6 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers. Opponents of the controversial project said they plan to protest outside.
10 November 2005
Town council will meet the president of Downeast LNG to discuss his company’s plans for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Passamaquoddy Bay, but the meeting will not take place in the council chambers, says Mayor John Craig.
He said at Monday night’s meeting that Dean Girdis has approached council about a public meeting, and he is willing to grant that, but it will have to be in a place that can accommodate all those interested in attending. [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
A bill that would allow a liquefied natural gas terminal to be built on Outer Brewster Island excludes every company that has proposed building a facility in Massachusetts except the company that first floated the idea: AES Corp. of Arlington, Va.
Environmental groups raised concerns about the bill's exclusionary language about a week after Douglas Foy, secretary of the state Office of Commonwealth Development, recused himself from the issue because of his financial ties to the company, after discussions with Governor Mitt Romney's legal counsel. Foy, the state's top development official, acknowledged to the Globe in September that part of his individual retirement account stock was invested with AES.
[WEBMASTER'S COMMENT: An ironic twist: Foy is a former executive-director and former president of the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), which has taken a position opposing the use of Outer Brewster Island for an LNG terminal.]
CLF filed scoping comments on Excelerate Energy’s “Northeast Gateway Energy Bridge” proposal, urging the U.S. Coast Guard to examine closely the marine environmental impacts of the port and to conduct a regional LNG needs assessment in the required Environmental Impact Study. [Not yet available online.]
BHP Billiton plans to place a floating liquefied natural gas regasification terminal in the area of this missile testing sea range. This is tantamount to proposing to place the largest bomb imaginable in front of a firing range. And the opinions of the firing range people have not been requested.
9 November 2005
It would be convenient to point an accusing finger at Quoddy Bay of Oklahoma City as the sole bad guys in this scenario, but many people walk the halls in Maine's statehouse who have turned a deaf ear to pleas for fairness and justice. In the 18 months we have engaged in this struggle, not a single state politico has stepped forward to ensure a fair and honorable process. It is unconscionable that the very agency that was created to protect Native Americans has put itself in a position where they have to be sued to force them to do the right thing.
That transfer would require a vote of two-thirds of both the House and the Senate, something AES initially hoped to achieve by the end of the legislative session next week. While Dempsey has introduced the bill in the House, it has yet to be introduced in the Senate.
8 November 2005
In his interview with the AP, Foy said conflicts are inevitable for him, since he has worked for and against virtually all of the LNG players during his prior tenure as president of the Conservation Law Foundation [CLF].
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: The CLF keeps popping up on this issue. Although officers (including President Phil Warburg) of the CLF has and in person insisted to Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance that they don't get involved with LNG siting until after an application with FERC has been submitted, the CLF has already taken an official position (See "Southern New England LNG Proposals", "Boston Harbor LNG Proposal Critically Flawed", "LNG Proposal on Boston Harbor Islands Inappropriate") opposing siting a the AES Battery Rock LNG terminal on Outer Brewster Island, even though no application to FERC has been made. In fact, no application can be made with FERC until the LNG developer has control of the property it wants to use.) The CLF is exhibiting a serious inconsistency in their so-called official policy, bringing into question their credibility and intent.]
About one-third of the 400-plus cases of "recorded" pirate attacks in a recent year happened in the waters around Indonesia, while incidents off the coast of Somalia have increased 800 percent in the last year.
One of the many concerns is that some of the pirates who climb aboard a hijacked ship in order to learn how to drive it, may someday seize control of a large tanker laden with chemicals, explosives, fuel oil, or liquefied natural gas.
One only has to think back 20 years to remember when the cruise ship Achille Lauro was boarded by terrorists off the coast of Egypt and American Leon Klinghoffer murdered. Yet, our memory of this incident and the threat it portends, seems to have been left behind in our collective social wake. (Nov 7)
7 November 2005
On Saturday, opponent Richard Berry of Robbinston presented Robbinston Town Clerk Pam Reynolds a petition asking for a delay of the vote. More than 70 people signed the petition. The group Save Passamaquoddy Bay is behind the effort.
Whether voters were for or against a proposed LNG project, the study will offer insight into the economic and environmental impact a terminal would have on the area, opponent Suzanne Crawford of Robbinston said Saturday.
"This is the kind of study that economically should have been done by the state for the bay," she said. "None was done. ... If we're going to live and be stewards of this land as the [Passamaquoddy tribes (sic)] have been for years, then we have to look at it as a whole."
I, for one, would like to see our children not have to leave their hometowns in order to make a decent living. If all three proposed LNG plants are opened they will provide 150 to 200 jobs. [NOTE: As typical 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 plants build jobs".]
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Of course, this letter writer minimizes and ignores the potential negative consequences that LNG terminals may bring. That's why the "Quoddy Region Whole Bay Study" is being commissioned by Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance: to find out the actual comprehensive economic and social impacts of such facilities.]
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7-Nov-2005 Chevron unit secures pipeline capacity to move LNG to US markets
Green Coast Related
Montpelier non-profit is fired up over biomass fuels Times Argus, Montpelier, VT
With biomass, "we can switch our rural communities off fossil fuels and onto local resources," Maker said. "That's money that could be kept in the local regional economy instead of shipping it to energy companies in other parts of the country, or suppliers in other countries."
Biomass makes sense when the system is close to a source of wood. There's no size limit for the systems. All of downtown St. Paul, Minn., is heated and cooled with a 25-megawatt heat and power wood boiler, said Maker, who has an engineering degree. About 500,000 square feet of office space in Montpelier is heated by a central steam plant that gets half its heat from a wood boiler.
6 November 2005
5 November 2005
The action is against the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its parent agency, the Department of the Interior. Those agencies' roles in the BIA's approval last summer of the tribe's secretive land-lease agreement with Quoddy Bay LLC, the developer, are in question
Before tribal members could read through the Tribal Council's 86-page land-lease agreement last spring, the deal with the developer was signed on May 19. By request of the Tribal Council, the BIA expedited its approval of the agreement and signed off on the arrangement on June 1.
Tribal member David Moses Bridges said, "this whole lawsuit is a response to the process that we've been exposed to here in the last few years - manipulated information, closed meetings, and basically an un-democratic process, and we'll fight against that to protect this homeland."
Reading from a prepared statement, Jane Cook speaking for the Perry Citizens for Responsible Development said, "it would be convenient to point an accusing finger at Quoddy Bay of Oklahoma City as the sole bad guys in this scenario. But we have many people walking the halls in our state house in Augusta today who have turned a deaf ear to pleas for fairness and justice. In the 18-months we have engaged in this struggle, not a single state politico has stepped forward to ensure a fair and honorable process." (Nov 4)
Two groups of members from the Passamaquoddy Tribe on Nov. 2 filed a federal lawsuit against officials of the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the DOI’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), claiming that the BIA failed to represent their views in its review of the proposed $400 million LNG terminal to be sited at Split Rock, located in Pleasant Point, Maine. (Nov 4)
New England does draw natural gas from the Gulf Coast area and some of the region's winter supplies were impacted by the storms. However, much of the Gulf Coast gas continues to flow to the region today and more is expected back in the coming weeks. While some gas supplies will not be back onto the national system in time for the winter, NGA is pleased to note that the local gas companies serving the region have taken steps to confirm supply arrangements to make up for potential lost supplies from the Gulf area. (Nov 4)
Testifying before the Joint Economic Committee on Nov. 3, outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress that the US must remove the restraints that hinder the construction of LNG receiving terminals. The chairman said that the gas industry was “operating at close to capacity” and was currently unable to import “large quantities of far cheaper” LNG. (Nov 7 edition)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Interestingly, the price of LNG has risen dramatically, and there has already been one attempt to form an OPEC-like LNG cartel. "Far cheaper LNG" may be a Greenspan pipe dream.]
Coast Guard Lt. Alford Danzy said it has not been decided how to handle cruise ships visiting when a tanker is making a delivery. Options run from making the ship pull anchor and move out of the security zone to having armed Coast Guard personnel aboard the ship until the tanker passes, he said.
"Things are only ‘constitutionally flawed’ if they conflict with some provision of the Constitution," [Frank] said. "Hess’ failure to cite any such provision is of course an implicit admission by them that they know this is simply nonsense." (Nov 4)
3 November 2005
The suit claims the BIA failed to conduct an environmental assessment on the impacts of siting a major industrial facility at Split Rock, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, and violated the National Historic Preservation Act by failing to consider the historic significance of the Split Rock site.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Girdis seems to think that Canada needs his or FERC's permission to decide the issue of internal waters. Girdis is the one who is in for a big, disappointing surprise.]
Talk to Me About LNG (2005) is a 30-minute documentary about the liquefied natural gas (LNG) proposals in Washington County, Maine and their potential impact on Charlotte County. Fishing, transportation, tourism and environmental concerns are explored as Jeff Combs, local pastor and filmmaker, tries to understand how these proposals would have an effect on his community on Deer Island. (Nov 2) [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
Quoddy Bay LLC has released an initial layout of the potential Perry LNG storage facility, which calls for three full containment LNG storage tanks, compressors, regasifiers and gas send-out facilities. The proposed facility would be located in between the Old Eastport Road and the Cannon Hill Road in southern Perry. The facility would be used to back up the supply of gas from the Split Rock import facility, approximately one and a half miles away. (Oct 28)
[Iroquois Pipeline Operating Co.], which oversees the natural gas undersea pipeline designated to carry gas from the LNG depot, has raised new concerns over the controversial proposal. Officials say the pipeline is at full capacity right now, and they need answers from Broadwater Energy, the company proposing the gas depot, before this proposal proceeds much farther. (Nov 2)
This expansion proposal is referred to as the Maritimes Phase IV Project. Currently in the U.S., Maritimes is proposing to construct and operate various segments of pipeline loop totaling approximately 146 miles, generally located adjacent to its existing pipeline in Maine. In addition, Maritimes is proposing to construct and operate five new compressor stations in Eliot, Westbrook, Searsmont, Brewer and Woodchopping Ridge in Maine and one new compressor station in Methuen, Massachusetts. Additional compression is proposed for the existing compressor stations in Baileyville and Richmond, Maine. Modifications will be required at existing meter stations in Maine and Massachusetts.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: The Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline website indicates that they're planning to re-pipe the Baileyville line. This would be a good opportunity for Gov. Baldacci to arrange for a pipeline spur from the main pipeline to the Domtar paper mill, to fulfill his desire for Domtar to have a cogeneration station, to reduce costs and pollution. Will Baldacci take advantage of this opportunity?]
2 November 2005
The lawsuit is focused on the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Department of Interior's June 1, 2005, approval of a "ground lease" to the Quoddy Bay LLC to allow construction of an LNG terminal at Split Rock on the Pleasant Point reservation.
Nulankeyutomen Nkihtahkomikumon (We Protect Our Land), the Passamaquoddy Pleasant Point affiliate of the anti-LNG group Save Passamaquoddy Bay will announce the filing of a federal lawsuit against the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior on Wednesday at U.S. District Court in Bangor.
A lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by a group called "We Protect Our Land," an affiliate of Save Passamaquoddy Bay Three-Nation Alliance, and six members of the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy community.
Green Coast Related
Wind energy lobby speaks up for Makara proposal Stuff.com.nz, New Zealand
The scheme is for a 210 megawatt (MW) project on the Makara hills west of Wellington a site opposed by residents which Meridian has said could be one of the most productive windfarms in the world. (Nov 1)
1 November 2005
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1-Nov-2005 EPACT leaves several LNG-related questions unanswered: officials
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