"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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|2003 2004 ||
|FERC official outlines LNG approval process
|FERC official to answer LNG permit questions
LNG plans confront NIMBY factor
Petition drive launched against LNG terminal [Letter to editor]
Welcome to Gastoria!
Energy bill opens tap for BP refinery
Any Profit in a Storm: Stormy weather allows big oil to practice a crude sort of blackmail (Sep 27)
|LNG firm outlines plan for Calais area
Third LNG project surfaces Down East
Momentum builds over LNG battle
Experts argue need for LNG facility vs. safety
Representative announces opposition to LNG terminal
Chevron Oil Platform Is Adrift in the Gulf
In Katrina's wake, officials rethink LNG safety
|Southern Union says La. LNG plant has minor damage
Quebec village says yes to proposed LNG terminal
New Jersey to Sue Delaware for Blocking LNG Pier
New LNG facility would help meet region's energy needs [Opinion]
Nigeria, Australia, Egypt Output Hitches Lift LNG Prices
Foes of a proposed gas terminal vow to fight it (Sep 25)
Natural Gas Terminal Hearing Draws Hundreds (Sep 22)
Passamaquoddy Bay: an LNG speculator's paradise [Opinion column] (Aug 31)
|OSHA Fines BP Products North America More Than $21 Million Following Texas City Explosion (Sep 22)
No damage visible to Southern Union plant (Sep 25)
Magnitude 3.4 - Maine (Sep 25)
Minor Earthquake Rattles Eastern Washington County
Ayers: Minor earthquake recorded near Canadian border (Sep 25)
No LNG in St. Andrews [Op-ed column]
Gas pipeline meeting (Sep 23)
PM gets LNG invite (Sep 20)
Total executive warns of LNG oversupply risk
Preservation group opposes plan for island LNG facility (Sep 23)
Mishap at Dahej LNG unit, supply hit (Sep 19)
All-Alaska pipeline is not the best choice for state [Op-ed column] (Sep 18)
|LNG Briefs: Conservative Leader Against LNG In Maine; Public Input Sought On NB Gas Pipeline Corridor
Premier opposes LNG plans: Third LNG plan for county wins Calais approval (Sep 7)
LNG plant offers benefits for all of us [Letter to the editor]
|LNG opponents launch 'Whole Bay Campaign': Down East, N.B., Passamaquoddy leaders unite in funding effort
BDN, Quoddy Tides Sue Tribe For LNG Right-To-Know Access [WQDY]
A lack of familiarity [Letter to the editor]
Bush officials say they're concerned about natural gas shortages
LNG Terminal Proposed For Sound Opposed By Selectmen
Top LNG ship takes shape in Shanghai (Jul 18)
|BDN, Quoddy Tides sue tribe for LNG right-to-know access
Calais radio newscaster wins award for LNG story
Lessons of Katrina [Letter to the editor]
LNG Briefs: Canaport LNG Begins Construction; Baileyville Town Council To Reschedule LNG Discussion
FERC extends LNG rehearing deadline
FERC misses deadline on LNG appeal
Group in Tiverton will collect money to fight LNG terminal
PGW's storage plan opposed: Bridesburg residents say no to LNG (Sep 8)
|Canaport LNG begins construction on LNG regassification terminal [News release]
Addressing Maine's energy problem [Op-ed]
Foes seek to delay LNG with lawsuit until plans are moot [Op-ed]
|Mayor invites PM to town
Federal officials not happy with LNG proposals
Award-Winning Engine Powered Solely by Water
|Coast Guard asks: Is LNG safe?
Canada and LNG imports can't offset Gulf shut gas-EIA
Natural Gas May be Key to Future Energy Consumption
Oil Industry Expert Doubts LNG Availability; Working Waterfront Article Raises Questions of Assured Supply for Proposed ME Terminals [Press release]
In Fall River, terrorism and health fears
Legal hurdles await Baja LNG project
|LNG Briefs: Quoddy Bay Commissions Safety Report, Gov. Baldacci Says Premier Lord Hasn't Called Him About LNG
Ecotourism for Maine [Editorial]
Industry expert: Is there enough LNG for new facilities?
LNG: Trust Us [Editorial]
Cartel capers on the backburner
|Safety and navigation study clears way for Quoddy LNG project to move forward [Quoddy Bay LLC news release]
Rural bay no place for LNG [Op-ed column]
First Gazprom Cargo Arrives at Cove Point
China clamps down to avoid LNG terminal glut (Sep 5)
|Lawmakers consider new tactic in LNG fight
Viewpoint on LNG projects is off mark [Letter to the editor]
Calais Police Charge Vandals Who Were "Upset At Canada" (Sep 2)
Police arrest pair of suspects in Calais vandalism incident (Sep 2)
Canadian LNG opposition grows louder: St. Andrews forum slams sites (Aug 26)
Canadian LNG opposition grows louder: Premier opposes LNG plans (Aug 26)
|Let Katrina Be a Warning (Sep 2)|
|New England governors form regional oceans council to manage environment
Mayor disagrees with Calais proposal
Cutler lawmaker forges own path in LNG fray (Sep 1)
Offshore LNG port unaffected by Katrina
Medvedev's Gazprom Sends First LNG Tanker To U.S.
Shell Buys Gazprom's First LNG to the US
Australian minister in 'a snit' over LNG terminal (Aug 31)
U.S. ports begin catastrophic terrorist attack drills (Aug 25)
BP must fix its safety culture, board says (Aug 18)
30 September 2005
If the three separate developers who have proposed LNG projects for Robbinston, Calais and Passamaquoddy tribal land at the Pleasant Point reservation each submit stellar, flawless applications to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, then "probably, yes," all three facilities could be constructed, the official said.
Similarly, if Canadian politicians choose to block Maine-bound LNG tankers from passing through Canadian waters as they round Passamaquoddy Bay, then none of the three proposed facilities would likely be built, he said.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: When Hoffmann was asked why the exclusion zone around facilities was only far enough away that people would still receive second-degree burns, and not far enough away that people would receive no injuries, his answer included the statement that some would argue that a child might be close enough to get burned and wouldn't know if he should run or not, but then that isn't a fair question followed by, "just kidding."
After Hoffmann stated that LNG operators don't want accidents, so they will operate LNG facilities safely, he was asked if BP (British Petroleum) had any LNG operations. He responded that he was not aware of any.
The question was asked, since BP Products North America (a BP company) was just fined $21 million by OSHA, in part, for numerous willful health and safety violations related to its 2005 March 23 Texas City, Texas, refinery explosion that killed 15 people and injured 170, indicating a corporate culture of gross willful health and safety negligence.
Surprisingly and contrary to Hoffmann's statement BP has a proposal currently before FERC to build an LNG import facility called Crown Landing at Logan Township, New Jersey. (See Crown Landing Informational Website; see FERC Docket Numbers PF04-2-000 and PF04-5-000, as indicated in the Federal Register on the project's Environmental Impact Statement and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings, see BP LNG North America, see BP LNG Global.) BP has also been awaiting outcome of a lawsuit in order to build an LNG terminal on Pelican Island, Galveston, Texas. (See BP awaits lawsuit outcome.) Even more surprising is the fact that the BP Crown Landing project is included on FERC's latest map of LNG sites and proposed sites the map that Hoffman had just used minutes earlier in his Robbinston slide presentation. (We have a copy of Hoffmann's presentation, and have confirmed that he used the latest August 22, 2005 version of the map. [link is to a PDF file])
Since FERC and Hoffman are the agency and personnel responsible for regulating the BP Crown Landing proposal (and the BP Pelican Island project), one would have thought Hoffmann would know that the BP Crown Landing project was in progress. Perhaps he didn't answering the question properly, because he knows that BP isn't a good example of a company that conducts safe operations, and acknowledging that would have contradicted his earlier statement.
While Hoffmann insisted that FERC is "inclusive" related to the public, and that safety is foremost in FERC's thinking, his presentation made it clear that FERC tilts the balance toward industry, and that FERC's safety-related interests are about the safety of the product, ship, and facilities, but not the surrounding community.]
29 September 2005
"The senator is asking for them to do another meeting where all interested parties in the whole bay area can come and learn about the permitting process," Preston Hartman, Snowe's press secretary, said.
The seaside town of St. Andrews, N.B., on Passamaquoddy Bay has a population of 1,850. On a Monday night in late August, 1,300 of them packed the local arena for a special event, and it wasn't an Ashley MacIssac concert. It was the geopolitics of energy -- specifically liquefied natural gas, or LNG -- in which St. Andrews suddenly has a starring, if reluctant, role. Welcome to the latest flashpoint in Canada-U.S. relations.
Would the Park Service or the Governor give serious consideration to a plan for the Statue of Liberty be used as an oil terminal or Yosemite to store nuclear waste? Would AES Inc., of Arlington Virginia, suggest that Monticello's lawn be used as a runway for quick response fighter jets to protect the nation's capitol?
[Tom Duncan] does believe his group is battling the overwhelming forces of the global energy industry, forces he says threaten to turn Astoria a sleepy coastal community that has seen a recent rebirth in both its tourist trade and its sardine business into an industrial zone and a terrorist target.
Environmentalists say the bill would reverse 28-year-old protections for Puget Sound, and allow BP to skirt a recent appeals court decision requiring a review of whether it broke federal law when it built a pier at Cherry Point.
"This is a gross and disturbing violation of the commitment to keep water healthy in the straits and Puget Sound," said U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., a member of the House energy and commerce committee that met Wednesday to work on the bill.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Here's another example of BP as lousey neighbor.]
There is no free market in oil and gas. It is a business dominated by a handful of companies that have managed to regulate themselves through various joint ventures and other deals. During the 20th century they worked openly through cartels, theoretically against the law in the U.S. When times got rough, they persuaded the government to apply various forms of regulation, such as oil depletion allowance, low or nonexistent royalties for oil produced in the public domain on the outer continental shelf. If the situation gets out of hand, there will doubtless be a call for price controls to help the industry keep its head above water, while its executives laugh all the way to the bank. (Sep 27)
28 September 2005
BP Consulting is working with the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township and Calais city officials to build a $500 million facility 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. In 1604, St. Croix Island was the site of the first French settlement in North America.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: "BP Consulting" is totally unrelated to "BP," a.k.a. "British Petroleum," a.k.a. "Beyond Petroleum."]
They said BP would own the land and the [Indian Township Passamaquoddy Reservation] would own the facility that would employ approximately 50 people. Gas would be piped to two storage tanks from a pier to be built in the St. Croix River.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Placing such a facility between an International Historic Site and a recreational site, requiring LNG tankers to pass immediately adjacent to the Historic Site is sure to bring objections from the US and Canadian national parks departments, and rightly so.]
More than two dozen interveners, including major energy companies, environmental groups, and Bay State and Rhode Island officials, had fought in vain against the plan. They’d tried to have FERC take other, more palatable LNG proposals into consideration; that too failed.
A member of Congress said she has "waited long enough for answers" to safety, pollution and operational questions over two proposed liquefied natural gas terminals near Malibu and Oxnard, and has decided to oppose the projects.
Five days after Hurricane Rita made landfall, the extent of the damage to offshore oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico sharpened yesterday after Chevron indicated that one of its three large platforms had capsized after losing its moorings.
The deepwater platform, called Typhoon, was spotted Sunday drifting nearly 80 miles from its original position, a Chevron spokesman, Mickey Driver, said. The company had first said on Monday that Typhoon had been "severely damaged."
Katrina's devastation "is making everybody rethink" the capability of LNG facilities to withstand the forces of nature, Richard Hoffman, director of the gas, environment and engineering division of FERC's Office of Energy Projects, said during a webcast jointly sponsored by the Energy Bar Assn. and Corporate TeleLink Network.
Katrina also revealed the dangers to energy reliability of having so much gas infrastructure concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico, observed Mike Hightower, a researcher with the Dept. of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories. Putting new LNG terminals in the US Northeast and in California "probably is an appropriate thing to do" from an energy security standpoint, he said.
27 September 2005
The large liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Lake Charles, Louisiana, suffered "minor damage" from Hurricane Rita but remained shut pending further inspections, operator Southern Union Co. said Tuesday.
Although the proposed LNG delivery pier would connect to the New Jersey shore, much of its 2,000 foot length would pass through Delaware waters. A seventeenth century border quirk places all of the Delaware River in the region of the proposed pier in Delaware territory.
Both Gov. Mitt Romney and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino have endorsed the concept of offshore terminals because they would not require tankers to come into the harbor and travel up the Mystic River to the Suez-Distrigas plant in Everett, where there could be catastrophic damage in the event of an explosion caused by a terrorist attack.
Spot prices of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) have surged to record highs as Hurricane Katrina hit US natural gas output while LNG projects in Nigeria, Australia and Egypt suffer production problems, further impacting the market.
Comparing these proposals to the Irving-Repsol project sheds some useful light on what's going on. Irving and Repsol are energy companies. Irving has the wherewithal to develop the infrastructure and access the pipeline; Repsol has the wherewithal to access and deliver the gas. Passamaquoddy developers, on the other hand, appear to be little more than brokers and speculators. (Aug 31)
26 September 2005
BP Products North America Inc. has agreed to pay more than $21 million in penalties for safety and health violations following an investigation of a fatal explosion at its Texas City, Texas, plant March 23 that claimed the lives of 15 workers and injured more than 170 others. (Sep 25)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: This article itemizes each violation. From reading the number of "willful violations" to "egregious willful violations" it's clear that BP is an undesirable, greedy, and malicous neighbor certainly not a company that would be welcome in the Passamaquoddy Bay area.]
The Trunkline LNG terminal, located in Lake Charles, La., was able to withstand the storm’s rain and 150 mph winds. "The LNG terminal is safe and our pipelines are flowing gas," Southern Union spokesman John Barnett said. (Sep 25)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: This earthquake accentuates the stupidity of building as proposed by Quoddy Bay LLC a "flight-of-fancy" never-before-attempted 8-mile-long undersea cryogenic LNG pipeline directly on top of the Oak Bay seismic fault that runs the length of Western Passage and up the Saint Croix River into Oak Bay. Building terminals as proposed by Quoddy Bay LLC (at Split Rock; and an LNG tank farm at Robbinston), Downeast LNG (in Robbinston), and BP Consulting LLC (at Red Beach) on top of this same fault are just as ludicrous.]
The quake rattled our Main Street studios during "Classic Hits Rock & Roll Saturday Night." The request show turned into a clearing house for quake reports that came in from Baileyville, Baring, Calais and also in Red Beach, Cooper, Robbinston, Pleasant Point, Perry and Pembroke.
Despite what Delmonaco and Moore would have you believe, St. Andrews is not a wealthy community, but I concur it is a rich one. It is rich in land, sea, and air; rich beyond compare in an environment that doesn't belong to just us alone. Passamaquoddy Bay benefits both sides of the border and it is up to all of us to see that it is preserved not only for us but for our children and their children to come.
The proposed new line would begin from the planned Canaport LNG facility in Saint John, travel north of Pennfield, St. George, and St. Stephen, then across the St. Croix River into Baileyville, Me. (Sep 23) [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: This article indicates that the pipeline is an "LNG" pipeline; however, it will actually be carrying natural gas, the result from regasifying LNG at the LNG import facility.]
[T]he mayor wants Paul Martin to issue a statement that Head Harbour Passage is Canadian and that no LNG supertankers will be allowed to pass through this area. (Sep 20) [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
The LNG proposal has yet to go before state environmental planners, but the Island Alliance's opposition was called significant because of the group's unusual standing; it is the only nonprofit designated by Congress as a partner with a national park and responsible for raising money to support it.
[T]he Pacific Rim will remain a buyers' market.... Thus, by building an all-Alaska project, Alaska could potentially lose upward of $1 billion a year in revenue or $1,500 per Alaskan per year. (Sep 18)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: The above was authored by Doug Reynolds, associate professor of oil and energy economics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and author of "Scarcity and Growth Considering Oil and Energy" and "Alaska and North Slope Natural Gas."]
15 September 2005
Harper said "the Conservative party recognizes the importance of LNG as part of North America's energy program in the twenty-first century. However, there are well-founded concerns about the construction and operation of LNG terminals in ecologically sensitive areas like Passamaquoddy Bay."
According to Moore, BP Consulting has an option on 300 acres of land located between Devil's Head and St. Croix Island International Historic Site. The largest parcel, approximately 160 acres, is the former Fenderson property now owned by Steve Carothers and Gail Roberts. The remaining acreage is mostly small parcels. Les Cook of Calais, one of the smaller property owners, says he will not option his land. "They will have to take it by eminent domain." (Sep 7)
New Product Promises To Save Gas And Heating Oil WLBZ-TV, Bangor, ME
Chemist Frank Norman says his product, FFT, is the solution to high fuel prices. Norman claims that one ounce of his product mixed with 10 gallons of gasoline or diesel fuel will create 10 to 30 percent better fuel efficiency and reduce tailpipe emissions. An independent test performed by the University of Southern Maine concluded that the product created only about a 9 and a half percent increase in fuel efficiency.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Any increase in fuel efficiency ought to be investigated.]
"I'm crippled," said Grant. "I can't run very fast. They think they can stick this thing out where it's only going to hurt the poor people and we're not going to say anything. Well I am. I'm going to fight."
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: By advocating an approximate 1-mile "safety" zone between LNG tankers and residents, the LNG industry thinks it's okay to burn local people, just so long as it's only 2nd-degree burns! When is government going to take responsibility for establishing true safety zones between people and LNG facilities?]
I'll play devil's advocate and imagine what benefits an LNG terminal might bring to Fall River. [LNG is] coming anyway, and the mayor who can turn it to the city's advantage will be the real and long-term winner. We have vast deposits of natural gas right here in this country. Let's get on the bandwagon and be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: The above letter writer hasn't researched the issue very well. At least she admits that she represents the Devil.]
14 September 2005
"The Whole Bay Campaign objectives are to inform, promote and protect," [Arthur] MacKay said. "Our group believes that knowledge and education will lead to informed decisions. We want to inform citizens, politicians, and others about the valuable Quoddy region."
Vera Francis has been a leader of Passamaquoddy tribal members opposed to LNG coming to the reservation since the first announcement 15 months ago. "The LNG developments threaten to disenfranchise my people," she said.
"WQDY Classic Hits News has also been denied access to Tribal Council meetings at Pleasant Point where the proposed LNG facility was discussed, and for the same reasons as Graettinger and Holmes, but we are not part of the BDN-Quoddy Tides lawsuit." Tom McLaughlin, WQDY-WALZ News Director
Thankfully, there are some people who have the wisdom to understand the folly of liquefied natural gas terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay. [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 "A lack of familiarity".]
[Wang Hengyuan, chief technology inspector of the shipbuilder] said that even a worker's sneeze or sweating could harm the Invar-melting process because one drop of foreign fluid on the 0.7-millimetre-thick membranes could lead to a leak that is invisible to the naked eye. (Jul 18)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: There's no guarantee that "prismatic"-style LNG vessels containing invar would not come to an LNG port here, if such a port were ever to be built. The invar leak possibility raises the risk level.]
13 September 2005
The two newspapers are seeking the right to inspect and copy public records under the Maine Freedom of Access Act, and have appealed their denials by the tribe to the court. They also seek a declaration from the court that all meetings of the Passamaquoddy Tribe or its Tribal Council at which the possible development of an LNG facility is discussed, must be made open to the general public, "without distinction based on tribal membership."
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: This lawsuit apparently doesn't address the Tribe's (and others') ongoing violations of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, that guarantees a free press to Tribal members on reservations, as well as free access by the press. Hopefully, those violations will be addressed soon, as well.]
Longtime radio newscaster Tom McLaughlin of WQDY Classic Hits Radio received a second-place award over the weekend from the Maine Association of Broadcasters for a spot news story he did on the controversy surrounding siting a liquefied natural gas terminal in Washington County.
Industrial development there [in the Louisiana delta] did not make things better for everyone. It only sharpened the disparities. Why should we expect that anything different would come from having LNG up here?
[Fred] Moore and [Ian] Emery then passed a note to Town Manager Scott Harriman, that they "had to leave to get to another meeting, call Fred to reschedule." Earlier this year, Baileyville officials spoke in support of the LNG proposal of Quoddy Bay LLC and the Passamaquoddy Tribe. Baileyville, a.k.a. Woodland, is home to Domtar Industries' pulp and paper mill. The Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline also crosses through the town of Baileyville.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission missed the deadline to hold a hearing on the city's request to reconsider its approval of the Weaver's Cover liquefied natural gas terminal, the agency announced yesterday.
"Sometimes the facts are just so compelling," Durfee responded. She said no one thought the levees would breach in New Orleans, and they did. The same reasoning can be carried over to the LNG issue, she said. Some people say that an LNG tanker will never explode, Durfee said.
12 September 2005
Maine's energy policy, dating from about 1980, has focused on electric conservation and renewable electric generation. Our electric utilities, being heavily regulated by the state, have been used as a convenient vehicle to implement the policy.
The fact is, providing energy using greater amounts of electricity offers many options for reduction in the use of oil and gas and for increasing energy efficiency, which Maine surely needs. The current policy has failed to accomplish its objectives.
[A] coalition of environmental, human rights and clean-energy-centered groups has filed a lawsuit in a San Diego appeals court questioning some key assumptions behind the rush to LNG, demanding there at least be a series of public hearings where witnesses can be questioned and cross-examined.
9 September 2005
Mayor John Craig said he is issuing a personal invitation to the prime minister to come to St. Andrews to see for himself the Passamaquoddy Bay area that is threatened by three liquified natural gas (LNG) proposals in Maine. [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: CHTD's online news is not preserved after the date of broadcast. Below is the news item in its entirety.]
Federal officials are indicating they're not happy with proposals to build LNG terminals on the U.S. side of passamaquoddy bay. Andy Scott, New Brunswick's representative in the federal cabinet, has joined the growing opposition to the liquefied natural gas terminals. New Brunswick's cabinet member says with over two thousand milesof U.S. coastline on the eastern seaboard, there is no need to locate the LNG facilities in an area that presents navigational difficulties.
Award-Winning Engine Powered Solely by Water Office of Fossil Energy, US Department of Energy
The engine used to drive an oil pump operates without fuel or electricity, just hot and cold water. The concept is similar to that of a thermometer. Thermometers rely on the simple principle that a liquid changes its volume relative to its temperature.
8 September 2005
"If there’s (sic) issues identified by the Coast Guard that aren’t addressed by the applicant, then the obligation is on the applicant to go back and address those issues," said Coast Guard Lt. Shadrack Scheirman, chief of port operations in Portland, Oregon.
The Coast Guard’s guidelines for this process, including what information they are looking for, is called the Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular No. 05-05, or Guidance on Assessing the Suitability of Waterway for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Marine Traffic. It can be downloaded online at (http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/nvic/index00.htm)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: In other words, the Coast Guard only makes recommendations, and FERC allows the applicant to keep trying to satisfy the Coast Guard, until the applicant gets approval.]
NEW YORK Imports of natural gas from Canada and shipments of liquefied natural gas will not be able to replace natural gas shut in the Gulf of Mexico by Hurricane Katrina over a prolonged period, an analyst at the Energy Information Administration said Thursday.
Professor Jhirad agrees there is a need to expand facilities to receive LNG from Qatar and other foreign sources, but he says industry leaders need to convince site communities that they are taking the proper precautions. "There are several options to mitigate risk. One of the options is to site them far from populated areas -- remote siting. Another is to have more stringent federal and state siting regulations.
ROCKLAND, Maine, Sept. 8 /U.S. Newswire/ -- As public debate continues to swirl around the safety and environmental impact of proposed LNG terminals in the Gulf of Maine, media coverage of LNG has focused almost exclusively on these topics -- until now. The September edition of the Island Institute's monthly newspaper, The Working Waterfront, includes a front-page story questioning the basic premise that there are adequate supplies of LNG to justify the construction of the terminals.
Rep. David Sullivan (D - Fall River) has sponsored a bill to ensure that a LNG terminal be built at least 5,000 feet from any homes, schools, hospitals or businesses to protect residents from the danger of LNG released by an accident or a terrorist attack.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: It's troubling that politicians and even the Conservation Law Foundation have settled on a 1-mile distance as being "safe." The Sandia National Laboratories December 2004 report to the US Department of Energy specified that if a catastrophic pool fire were to occur, then people one mile away would incur 2nd degree burns within 30 seconds. If that's "safe," then "you're my uncle!" (Apparently, your life and safety is expendable so that Boston can have air conditioning!) If government and the LNG industry want to demonstrate that they have any regard for public safety, then they'll do the appropriate research, and then adhere to it. It's likely that 11 miles might actually be the safe distance that these facilities should maintain from the public. If so, then off-shore terminal and regasification siting makes the most sense, while making appropriate considerations for fisheries, recreation, and environment.]
7 September 2005
Governor John Baldacci told Classic Hits Tuesday that he has had no communications from New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord with regard to LNG proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay. The Governor said, "no, I never heard from him, not a word." Chuckling, he said, "the phone lines are still open."
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Perhaps the lack of communication is actually Governor Baldacci not calling Premier Lord about the LNG projects that Baldacci is so intent on sending through Canada. Additionally, many months ago, Gov. Baldacci offered to meet with members of Save Passamaquoddy Bay, but on the appointed day after we traveled the 3+ hours to the Governor's office in Augusta he refused to meet with us. We think that the Governor of Maine should be a person of integrity and honor, and should be interested in discussing diverse views on issues of importance to Maine, but to this day, Baldacci continues to renege on his offer.]
[E]cotourism is based on a set of principles and practices including environmental sustainability, protection of nature and providing tangible economic benefits to local people. No one has ever said that a tourism destination was spoiled because the environment was still clean, the culture was still vibrant and the scenic towns and villages were still free from billboards and sprawl.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: It's ironic and perhaps heartening that the Bangor Daily News editorial staff can, on one day, proselytize how Passamaquoddy Bay should be turned into a heavy-industry mecca (see the BDN editorial, "Lording It Over Maine"), and then a few days later publish the above op-ed column by the director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, promoting the very virtues that many successful Passamaquoddy-Bay-area businesses depend upon that would be spoiled by that same heavy industry. We hope that the BDN editorial staff also noticed this irony and will reform its viewpoint.]
“The oil industry has a lousy data system,” says [president and CEO of Simmons and Company International, based in Houston, Texas, Matt] Simmons, who has 35 years’ experience in the business [and who is also the author of "Twilight in the Desert The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy," published by John Wiley & Sons]. “But compared to the data on LNG it’s pristine. If you build an enormously expensive LNG facility, you’re asking to lose a lot of money.”
[Tribal Attorney Craig Francis said,] “The tribe is in the process of negotiating with Trinidad and Tobago for a supply that’s guaranteed to last for the term of the lease, 25 years, and more. The supply could last for 50 years,” Francis said.
Simmons counters, “From a limited amount of data that I have seen, the reported total proven reserves of Trinidad and Tobago compared to the projects they have now committed would only last about half this time. Simmons concluded, “Anyone telling you they have a 30 year supply is assuming they find vast amounts of added gas, which might happen but it also might not.”
LNG terminals, no matter where they’re built, are bound to have a huge impact on the area around them. They must be supplied by large tankers; they require the construction of pipelines and storage facilities; they impose risk on the communities that host them, and on those communities’ neighbors. Like any large industrial development in Maine at least, because of the state’s tax structure and tradition of local control, they can be counted on to distort the local economy, as the host town fattens from tax revenues while other towns nearby absorb the costs.
Delegates to a major gas conference in Perth last week headed off a move that could have led to the formation of international gas cartel. The controversial anti-competitive suggestion was made at the APGas conference, set up as part of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation forum. The Perth meeting was intended to set up guidelines to ensure energy supply security for the 21 APEC member economies.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: It is naïve to think that an OPEC-like cartel for LNG won't eventually emerge.]
6 September 2005
A safety, security, and navigation study of the proposed LNG import terminal at the Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation on Pleasant Point has found "no major issues, obstacles or concerns" to prevent the project from moving forward, paving the way for Quoddy Bay to apply for state and federal permits for construction of the facility.
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Calling a dog's tail a "leg" doesn't make it one. We're about to see how many legs Canada thinks this dog actually has.]
[P]eople may ask, much as your editor has questioned, how I, or New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord, or many others who have taken this stance [against LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay], can support the LNG terminal for Saint John, yet oppose the proposals for such a terminal in Passamaquoddy Bay. Compare locations and it becomes very obvious why the Saint John site is a good place for LNG, while Passamaquoddy Bay is not. Eric Allaby, Member of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly for Fundy Isles
"There is not a big enough market to build so many terminals at once, so the government issued guidelines to build batch by batch," said an official at offshore oil producer CNOOC, the undisputed leader of the emerging LNG industry. (Sep 5)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Apparently the government of China knows what the US government refuses to acknowledge.]
5 September 2005
The [Bangor Daily News (BDN)] editorial ["Lording It Over Maine," that was republished in the Telegraph-Journal] ... announced, "If there is an accident involving a tanker headed to either a Maine or New Brunswick terminal, the damage could spread to both countries." This is particularly interesting, since the Maine projects' proponents stress how safe LNG is, and how anyone over a half-mile away would be safe. If they're correct but they aren't then an accident such as that mentioned by the BDN wouldn't be a problem. If such an accident really would be a problem, then Canada is justified in preventing an LNG tanker from passing dangerously close to its communities. LNG tankers traveling to St. John won't come anywhere near the US, and so wouldn't be a danger to American communities.
The following two articles are included since there had been speculation that the mentioned anti-Canada vandalism was the result of the LNG issue.
Calais Police Charge Vandals Who Were "Upset At Canada" WQDY-FM, Calais, ME
Police arrest pair of suspects in Calais vandalism incident Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME
Two men who were barred from entry into Canada allegedly took their anger out on their neighbors when they spray-painted a retaining wall that faces St. Stephen, New Brunswick. For a time, some residents speculated that the graffiti were a result of New Brunswick's opposition to a liquefied natural gas terminal being built across from its shores. (Sep 2)
Mayor Craig told the crowd, "I granted their request to meet with the people of the St. Andrews area and the town council. We went to great lengths to accommodate the requests of the developers and they opted out after the date had been set." (Aug 26)
New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord, at a meeting of the chamber of commerce in St. Stephen on Tuesday, August 23, said he supported community efforts to prevent a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Passamaquoddy Bay.
Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Andy Scott, the regional minister for New Brunswick, issued a statement on August 24 concerning the proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay, saying, "With well over 2,000 miles of U.S. coastline on the eastern seaboard, I believe that there is no need to locate these facilities in an area that presents navigational difficulties and is home to numerous endangered or at-risk species." (Aug 26)
4 September 2005
It is a natural disaster of unprecedented proportions for America. But the irony and the tragedy of the killer storm called Katrina is that the hurricane's devastating effects were entirely predictable -- and largely preventable. (Sep 2)
2 September 2005
The mayor of this town doesn’t think one comment made by a Calais City councillor, who said he hoped ships carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) to proposed sites in Maine would travel through St. Andrews, will change the long-standing relationship between the two communities. [NOTE: This link leads to an authorized copy of the story. No subscription required.]
A number of Passamaquoddy elders at the Pleasant Point reservation, where an Oklahoma developer wants to build an LNG facility, took the two legislators to task during a news conference Wednesday. They suggested that Emery and Moore may be trading on their legislative credentials and crossing moral and ethical lines in their quest to front an LNG development firm.
But that's not how Vinton Cassidy sees it. The mayor of Calais, Cassidy doubles as a member of the state's Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. Last week, even before the pair's formal presentation to the council on Aug. 25, Cassidy had prepared a letter of support for Emery and Moore.
Both Emery and Cassidy confirmed that the two parties had discussed the proposal to bring LNG to Calais in at least two executive sessions in the weeks and months leading up to last Thursday's announcement. (Sep 1)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Legislators owning projects that they might end up voting on, and a mayor and member of the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices writing a letter of support prior to the City Coucil's hearing on the project? The fox is in charge of the henhouse, folks.]
The first offshore LNG port, the Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge deepwater port has come through Hurricane Katrina without any effect on operations. During this time, the EXCELLENCE continued to discharge natural gas into the pipeline grid, increasing her natural gas discharge rate at the request of the pipelines in attempt to compensate for some of the lost Gulf of Mexico production. At no point in this operation did weather affect the operations of the vessel and Energy Bridge will continue normal operations in the coming days and weeks.
A high ranking Australian government minister reportedly "left the office in a snit" last Friday after he spoke with California's lieutenant governor about the delayed environmental review of the controversial BHP Billiton plan to anchor a liquefied natural gas terminal off the Malibu coast. (Aug 31)
Saying lapses pose 'imminent' danger, feds [U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board] issue an urgent call for an outside inquiry. ... [Board Chair Carolyn] Merritt said evidence so far in the investigation of the March blast which killed 15 people and injured more than 170 as well as early reviews of two other dangerous incidents in July and earlier this month, pointed to deep-seated systemic problems at BP. (Aug 18)
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Does BP (British Petroleum) sound like a company you'd want building an LNG terminal in your back yard?]
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