"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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|2003 2004 ||
|N.B. minister in federal cabinet says Ottawa considers LNG dangerous cargo
Ship pilots to learn about LNG tankers
Feds collect pros, cons on Robbinston LNG facility (Mar 30)
Impact to sturgeon, whales delays LNG decision
|LNG suitors float bridge idea at Eastport
Quoddy Bay suggests “floating bridge” idea
St. Andrews mayor: Accord on LNG
Federal officials examine proposed LNG sites
FERC, USCG Hold LNG Scoping Meeting In Robbinston
Minister speaks at chamber meeting (Mar 28)
Correia named to LNG board
Coastal protestors oppose big LNG terminal
Oxnard chamber's LNG vote angers some
Quiet mayor becomes vocal candidate
Milford Town Council Hear From LNG Experts
Russia works for foothold on LNG market
|Quoddy Bay LNG makes pitch to Eastport City Council
Energy Coordination [Editorial]
|'We will win this fight,' declares St. Andrews mayor: LNG terminal foes rally in coastal Maine town
Vandalism, Threatening Note For LNG Foes In Eastport (Mar 25)
Police in Eastport probe threat to LNG opponents (Mar 24)
Treaty trumps LNG politics [Opinion column] (Mar 24)
Washington Gas Protests Expansion of LNG Plant (Mar 26)
A decisive time for LNG [Opinion column]
UPDATE 1 Mexico woos companies on Manzanillo LNG project
LNG Company Sued
|Save Passamaquoddy Bay plans anti-LNG rally
Investors seek to develop more tidal power plants
Canada to sell Russian natural gas to U.S.
Gazprom/Petro-Canada: Baltic terminal project hints at global LNG potential (Mar 20)
Dundalk, Calvert Co. differ on two LNG bills
Coast Guard puts brakes on smaller LNG tanker plan
Questions raised about LNG open loop system
LNG terminal gets hearing
Groups: LNG terminal would harm fisheries
LNG Terminal Planned Off the Coast of Ventura County
Floating Natural Gas Terminal Proposed Off Malibu
Consultant Predicts 'Great Shakeout' in LNG Projects This Year or Early 2007
|LNG project won’t start soon
McCloskey: Move LNG to Outer Brewster Island [Commentary]
New LNG plan prompts concerns from Army Corps
FERC’s hands may be tied
Companies seek LNG permits
NCC Study Demonstrates Maximizing Coal Use Will Reduce Energy Costs and Create Unprecedented U.S. Socio-Economic Benefits [Press release]
|Ex-Passamaquoddy leader says tribe broke
Goldboro project gets a lift: Keltic sells off interests in LNG terminal in order to focus on building petrochemical plant
Keltic signs gas terminal deals (Mar 20)
Army Corps wary of LNG plan
Lynch commends finding over LNG plan in Fall River (Mar 20)
Gov. unsure on LNG for L.B.
Report: Gas Consumers Overcharged $5B
Why your power bill is so high…and why LNG won’t make it any lower (2005 Nov 11)
|FERC plans LNG impact study: Agency requests comments, sets up meetings as part of assessment (Mar 17)
Coast Guard has safety concerns about LNG terminal plans (Mar 17)
PGW breaks off talks over natural gas terminal in Philadelphia
Port hears update, concerns about LNG facility (Mar 17)
Port of St. Helens gains 145-acre waterfront site for natural gas facility
Malibu News Flash: Malibu's coast gets 2nd LNG terminal proposal (Mar 17)
"History of LNG Dispute Is History Of Failed Legal Planning" Says Long Beach Lawyer & Candidate for City Attorney Michael Emling (Mar 16)
|PUC chief aims to diversify energy sources
Calais' kiss of death [Letter to the editor] (Mar 15)
Near-miss shuts down LNG imports on Elba: An incident Tuesday raises safety concerns at the rapidly expanding facility (Mar 15)
Negotiations Resume On LNG Project
LNG terminal poses adverse impacts (Mar 15)
Woodside selects LNG site
U.S. faults BHP's gas terminal plan (Mar 15)
|Mayor pushes Harper on LNG tanker issue (Mar 10)
Thompson firm on LNG (Mar 8)
City council endorses Calais LNG (Mar 10)
Frank, McGovern defy format to slam Hess terminal plans (Mar 11)
Somerset backs city’s LNG fight (Mar 14)
Market fundamentals can't account for huge increase in natural gas prices (Mar 7)
Bill would keep LNG traffic off the bay
Treasure or dump: LNG image war: The battle for Outer Brewster (Mar 11)
Committee sends Boston Harbor LNG bill to political graveyard
Bear Head LNG delay a 'glitch': businessman
Industry scramble for LNG still a fluid affair
State not sure of Freeport LNG plan
Coast Guard and MARAD Publish Final EIS for LNG Terminal (Mar 13)
Natural Gas Terminal Off Coast Is Proposed
Sempra weighs expansion of Baja LNG plant (Mar 14)
Local LNG Benefits "Laughable" Says FOE
|New Brunswick town hopes to stop LNG tankers (Mar 5)
LNG Developer Says He Was Misquoted In Wire Story (Mar 3)
St. Andrews Mayor Wants Feds Final Word In April To Stop Maine LNG Projects (Mar 1)
Terminal security weighed in review (Mar 2)
U.S. fears LNG supplies prone to terrorism (Mar 6)
PR firms wrangle over LNG proposal (Mar 3)
Outer Brewster LNG proponents hire security expert Clarke (Mar 3)
LNG report predicts economic gain (Mar 3)
DOE Continues Series of LNG Public Education Forums (Mar 1)
New owner of Fairbanks gas utility looks to expand (Mar 5)
Alternatives to Addiction (Mar 1)
Importing LNG into the US? A Few Pointers (Mar 3)
US assurances over LNG plant plan (Mar 3)
Winter Whales (Feb)
31 March 2006
Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson says the federal Conservative government has made it clear to U.S. companies they will not be able to bring large LNG tankers through Canadian waters off the New Brunswick coast. [Bold red emphasis added.]
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: At the request of the two pilots (Peacock and Morrison), the State Government plans to pay for 75% of the costs ($25,500, out of tax revenues from oil companies) for the pilots to get LNG vessel training. While we support appropriate pilot training, this is an expenditure for LNG training that will never be used in Passamaquoddy Bay.
Harold Bailey of Lubec read from a prepared statement submitted to FERC by the Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission, a cooperative Canadian-U.S. board made up of three members and three alternates from each country. U.S. members are President Roosevelt's grandson Christopher Roosevelt of Armonk, N.Y., Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, and newspaper publisher Richard J. Warren of Bangor; alternates are former Maine Gov. Kenneth Curtis, and President Roosevelt's granddaughters Chandler Roosevelt Lindsley of Dallas and Eleanor Roosevelt Seagraves of Washington, D.C. (Mar 30)
29 March 2006
"Have that standing by so we could dive that directly into the water and that's for any event that may happen on Route 190," [Quoddy Bay LLC's Project Manager Brian Smith] said. He said it would take about an hour to position it. Left unanswered was how the bridge would function in the event of low or high tide.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: "Absurd" doesn't quite fit such a laughable idea. Just as the surnames "Mud" and "Fink" took on additional meanings, perhaps "Smithify" and "Brianize" need to be added to our lexicon. [Example: "Such Brianized Smithifications assure us of the pending collapse of Quoddy Bay LLC, the laughing stock of the LNG industry."]
[Brian Smith] stated that this lengthy process would conflict with the "strict guidelines that require FERC to deal with it within one year." [LNGLawBlog notes that, unlike the Deepwater Port Act that governs offshore terminal proposals, the Natural Gas Act and FERC’s regulations do not limit the time period in which FERC must make a determination on an LNG terminal application.] [Bold and red emphasis added.]
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Gosh! Another Brianized Smithification, all in the same day's news! According to Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan's online LNG law blog, Brian Smith lied to city officials and the public at the Eastport City Council meeting! Smith seems to be betting that the absence of any FERC requirement for developer veracity will allow him to say just anything to win public approval for Quoddy Bay LLC's laughable project.
John Craig, the mayor of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, drew a standing ovation last Saturday when he rose at a rally against liquefied natural gas development to say: "No LNG tankers will move through Head Harbour Passage, and internal Canadian waters in Passamaquoddy Bay are closed to LNG tankers period."
Under its review process, the federal agency will look at several factors including impact on geology and soils; water resources; fish, wildlife and vegetation; endangered and threatened species; cultural resources; land use; socioeconomic factors; marine transportation; air quality and noise; reliability and safety; and possible alternatives to the proposed project.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Downeast LNG needs to look closely at their possible alternatives, since their own industry's world authority on LNG safety (the Society of Gas Terminal and Tanker Operators [SIGTTO]) warns, for safety reasons, against the siting of any LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay.
It's inconceivable that any reputable LNG company would be as ignorant of SIGTTO best practices standards as Dean Girdis has evidenced himself to be. Girdis was even quoted in the Bangor Daily News that SIGTTO standards don't apply to LNG terminals even though they do. SIGTTO standards alone are sufficient reason for FERC to bounce this project out on its ear.
The development plans of the Shtokman field provide for the delivery of gas to the LNG plant, which should turn out about 20 million metric tons annually. About 90% of it is to be sold in the U.S. and Canada and in northern Europe. The Shtokman deposit has enough gas for 50 years of deliveries to the United States.
28 March 2006
"We have long considered the possibility or trying to help out with capital or matching funds or something like that for a permanent bridge, and the tracks." ... "The only problem we see with that is that we don't want our facility to be contingent on building that bridge."
Smith added, "That bridge will take years to get through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, years to get all the approvals. An LNG import facility have [sic] very strict guidelines that require FERC to deal with it within one year. It's relatively quick and very thorough."
"As long as our facility is not contingent upon the construction of that bridge," Smith said. [Bold brown emphasis added.]
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Brian Smith couldn't be more clear: "Trust us but don't hold us to it!" Brian Smith's "pig in a polk" meets the standard that we've learned to expect from Quoddy Bay LLC.
Although such an approach is too late for projects that have already begun the FERC review process, 13 New England congressmen and senators have asked for help from the Department of Energy in coordinating a regional approach to LNG siting. Reps. Tom Allen and Mike Michaud have both signed on to this request, which makes sense for future energy projects.
The Oregon Siting Council, which is part of the state's Department of Energy, provides a model to build on. The council offers a "one-stop" process in which it determines compliance with its standards as well as those of other state and local permitting agencies. [Bold emphasis added.]
27 March 2006
St. Andrews Mayor John Craig brought a crowd of LNG protesters to their feet at a rally in Eastport, Me., on Saturday when he reaffirmed his town and his country's pledge to keep liquefied natural gas tankers out of Passamaquoddy Bay.
"At this point, we do have some leads in the matter," Gardner said. "We're going to be aggressively pursuing them. Eastport Police take this very seriously especially if it's associated with the LNG issue. We do not want this to progress into a property damage contest." (Mar 25)
The Godfreys believe that a recent television program that was repeatedly broadcast over the reservation's closed circuit television over the weekend played a role in the vandalism. The program was put together by former tribal Lt. Gov. Eddie Bassett. "Tribal television has been broadcasting messages this past week intended to inflame this type of hateful response," Linda Godfrey said. "While there are differing points of view on the LNG issue, no one has the right to harm, threaten or cause personal danger to other people. This is an illegal act of a desperate few. We in no way blame the Passamaquoddy people for this act. Those who did this also harm their own cause when this type of rage occurs." (Mar 24)
Mr. Thompson's statement that Canada can stop ships traveling through Head Harbor Passage may have overlooked Canada's adoption in November 2003 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This treaty, which now binds Canada, requires that they give any ship the right of "innocent passage" through that strait. (Mar 24)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Although Canada signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 2003, the United States has repeatedly declined to do the same. In fact, federal legislators argue that the Law of the Sea is disadvantageous to the United States.
A treaty is an agreement between states. Simply put, "it takes two to tango."
It makes no sense except in the muddled minds of the local LNG developers that Canada must observe a treaty giving privileges to the United States, when the United States itself refuses to agree to that same treaty.
Lawyer or not, Quoddy Bay LLC's attorney doesn't appear to "get" the basic concept of treaties, and offers a defective argument. In any case, the Law of the Sea is irrelevant the local LNG projects have such a myriad of insurmountable obstacles, they have no chance of completion.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: "Dominion" is Dominion Cove Point LNG terminal in Maryland, the same facility that Dean Girdis (Downeast LNG) holds up as a paragon of perfection.
Last week, the owners of a new LNG terminal in Canada that was expected to serve the northeastern U.S. announced a construction slowdown because of contract uncertainty. If that happens to an approved project in the U.S. investors in LNG may rethink their financing.
At current and foreseeable natural gas prices, almost all other forms of electric generation are less costly than natural gas. These include baseload coal, windmills, cogeneration, and even photovoltaics (once we include distribution costs). Natural gas use also declines with high prices since the second largest use is for heating our homes: at current prices, we might expect that most consumers will replace their 1990s-vintage, 80-percent efficiency furnaces with 95-percent efficiency furnaces over the next few years. Logically, then, our demand for natural gas is likely to plateau or even decline as less costly options are taken in electric generation and home heating. [Bold emphasis added.]
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: One of this article's authors is Robert McCullough, an energy consultant who testified before the U.S. Senate in FERC's Enron investigation. His view of LNG isn't the same rosy picture that LNG developers want the public to believe and there seems to be a growing amount of inside-LNG pessimistic opinion.
Mexico is talking to half a dozen companies ahead of opening tenders next month to build and supply a liquefied natural gas terminal at the Pacific port of Manzanillo, the CFE energy provider said on Monday.
AES Corporation, the Virginia-based energy conglomerate that proposes to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in The Bahamas, has been implicated in the deaths of several residents of the Dominican Republic.
23 March 2006
Green Coast Related
Investors seek to develop more tidal power plants CBC New Brunswick
Canada is planning to capitalize on shortages of natural gas, exacerbated by last year's hurricanes, by importing vast quantities of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia to be exported to the United States.
"Russia may have questions on the timing and availability of U.S. East Coast regasification facilities to handle imports, and the Canadians have expressed an interest in building a regasification facility in the Northeast that would serve New England markets," said Frank A. Verrastro, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.
"This waterway segment, including the opening through the existing Brightman Street Bridge, affords no margin for navigational error, and appears unsuitable in its current state, when considering the current vessel size, cargo and number of transits in your proposal."
Concerns over a proposed open loop system using sea water to heat liquefied natural gas were among the complaints voiced during a hearing Wednesday on the environmental impact statement for Freeport-McMoran Energy's proposed Main Pass Energy Hub LNG Project more than 60 miles off the Gulf Coast.
Much of the criticism leveled against McMoRan's offshore terminal has focused on the company's decision to pull seawater from the Gulf and use it to warm the gas, which comes out of the tanker at -260 degrees.
“The DEIS shows that the Beacon Port terminal, if permitted to use an open-loop vaporizer, could destroy the equivalent of nearly 32,000 pounds of red snapper and over half a million pounds of redfish every year,” said Briana Kerstein, outreach coordinator for Gulf Restoration Network. “This is more than half the amount of redfish caught in Texas annually.”
The environmental impact study purports the danger of a leak from accidents is small, due to the many safety features built into the project. However, it cautions that in an intentional attack, a vapor fire could affect an area up to 7.3 miles away. The proposed terminal would be located 13.8 miles offshore. Boats in the shipping lanes would have 30 minutes to receive a warning of the danger.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: The EIS mentioned above states that a vapor fire could affect an area up to 7.3 miles away, yet in Passamaquoddy Bay the developers insist that 1/2 mile between ship / terminal and residents is sufficient.
"I think there are a total of 98 potential projects [in North America] and 10 of those are expansions," Thumb said in an interview. "We list the 10 expansions as separate projects because we're trying to keep track of the timing of the capacity. Of those 98, we have 20 in the so called 'likely' category. It just sure looks like they are going to proceed because: a) they have permits, b) they have locked in some form of supply, or c) they are already under construction -- and even if they have supply problems, it's tough to argue once they are under construction."
You can't take that much gas flowing in, particularly with no storage up there [in New England]," he said. "We're seeing one offshore Boston at best, and I'm not sure I would take that gamble unless you think Bear Head is going to die...." [Bold & red emphasis added.]
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Among the list of 18 "likely" LNG terminals to be constructed, none of the proposed projects in Passamaquoddy Bay made the cut. Even professionals in the LNG industry think Quoddy Bay LLC and Downeast LNG are losers.
Quoddy Bay LLC and Downeast LNG were doomed before they started, even without the resistance from all around Passamaquoddy Bay.
22 March 2006
...Anadarko’s problem of being unable to find a gas supply is now coupled with the fact that its Nova Scotia competitor, Keltic Petrochemicals, announced Monday it has teamed up with two European partners to bring gas to its LNG regassification terminal for operation in 2010. "I think that creates additional challenges for Anadarko…. Anadarko is a distant third," said Mr. Theal, referring to the Keltic Petrochemicals project in Goldboro and another rival project in Saint John, N.B., led by Repsol, Spain’s largest oil and gas company, and Irving Oil Ltd.
[I]n the last century LNG accidents from Cleveland to New York have caused hundreds of casualties. So what is the solution? Move the LNG facility out of densely populated Everett to an isolated coastal or offshore location. The location of choice, Outer Brewster Island.
Groups like MASSPIRG, of which I used to be a member, and pandering politicians like Hedlund and Murphy have tried to portray Outer Brewster as some sort of wildlife refuge or "jewel" in Boston Harbor. They want it to be left as is and any proposed LNG facility moved elsewhere. The question then becomes, where?
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: McCloskey overlooks a third option, and one that would satisfy both the safety concerns for Boston Harbor and the environmentalist concerns for Outer Brewster Island (although environmental and fishery concerns may still exist for the third alternative): an offshore submerged buoy LNG facility, like the one being proposed for offshore of Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Submerged buoy LNG import facilities cost less to build than land-based or offshore platform LNG receiving terminals. They are also easier to secure from terrorist threat.
"The Corps is examining the impacts of this change on our public interest review and is pursuing clarification from the FERC, the USCG and the applicant about those impacts."
Similar concerns were raised last week by the Coast Guard. The agency questioned the safety of Weaver's Cove using the smaller vessels because of the turns in mid-river in a 1,000-foot space between the old bridge and the new bridge those ships must make to deliver LNG.
"I think (FERC) knows enough now to conclude that the project is not in the public’s interest," Berlin said. "If it is not disposed to dismiss the application, it will have to commence a rather prolonged review process, including allowing additional public comment."
Using coal to produce natural gas would ease supply pressures by providing an alternative to at least 15 percent of America's annual consumption, or 4 trillion cubic feet (TCF) per year. The additional supply would moderate natural gas prices and use an additional 340 million tons of coal per year. This natural gas could be used for home heating and all other applications that use natural gas, including repowering existing underutilized combined cycle units. The amount is also roughly equal to EIA's projection of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports in 2025. [Bold emphasis added.]
21 March 2006
A former Passamaquoddy lieutenant governor said in a program that aired over the reservation's cable network on the weekend that the tribe is broke and only a liquefied natural gas terminal at Split Rock would save tribal members from a life of spiraling welfare dependency.
During his taped presentation, Bassett also took issue with tribal LNG opponents. "I do not have any respect for the people who have declared a holy war, declared war against LNG. It's kind of like the Islamic fundamentalist jihad. You know, when you get these people who declare war who said they will go the distance and they are just totally closed-minded and they will do anything they can ... to go against something. That to me is extremist behavior," he said
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance has advocated respect for our neighbors no matter what their opinion on the LNG issue, since we will still be neighbors after the issue is decided. We hope to see as little relationship damage done as possible. We're disappointed that the same attitude isn't embraced by everyone on both sides of the issue.
Under the deal announced Monday, Keltic will receive a crucial supply of liquids to feed the petrochemical plant that will make raw plastics, and Maple, the Canadian affiliate of two European energy companies, will develop and control the LNG regasification terminal.
"It’s a major step because we’ve been looking for feedstock from Day 1 and this gives us a required feedstock to operate the petrochemical plant. That’s where the jobs are," said Mr. Dunn. [Bold & red emphasis added]
Under the Keltic plan, the project would also consist of ethylene, polyethylene, propylene and polypropylene plants, as well as a supporting power plant and receiving terminal for liquefied natural gas. [Bold emphasis added] (Mar 20)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: The Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) have established world-recognized LNG-industry standards that also warn against the shipping lane conditions for the Weaver's Cove project at Fall River.
Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch commended Friday the U.S. Coast Guard’s recent finding that the revised Weaver’s Cove LNG plan “affords no margin for navigational error and appears unsuitable in its current state, when considering the intended vessel size, cargo and number of transits,” according to the finding. (Mar 20)
In an interview with the Press-Telegram, Schwarzenegger was asked about a proposal for a $450 million LNG terminal at the Port of Long Beach that would receive tankers filled with a supercooled form of gas. The proposal by Sound Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp. and ConocoPhillips, is the only one in the state so far that calls for an on-shore facility.
[While prices have dropped somewhat, the states' investigation says prices remain artificially high. Energy-trading markets, the report says "... are vulnerable to abuse and manipulation" and "...are less regulated than many other commodity markets." [Bold and red emphasis added.]
Importing LNG will not lower your utility bills. The current production cost for domestic natural gas is well under $3 per MMBTU. The cost to land LNG on the West Coast is at least $3.50 to over $4 per MMBTU, depending on where the LNG comes from. LNG is subject to even more unpredictable market forces than our domestic gas supply. For instance, the Chief Executive of an Australian natural gas company recently warned that LNG prices will rise dramatically in coming years. LNG-supplying countries have recently made moves towards creating an OPEC-like natural gas cartel which would control world LNG prices. With LNG, we will find ourselves competing with booming economies throughout Asia for our energy needs. (2005 Nov 11)
18 March 2006
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued two notices one for the Oklahoma-based Quoddy Bay LLC, the other for the Washington, D.C.-based Downeast LNG of its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the two liquefied natural gas developers planning to build plants Down East
In the Quoddy Bay proposal, FERC states that as the developer acquires land for its project, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the developer could initiate "condemnation proceedings" in accordance with state law. No similar statement was included for the Downeast LNG project by FERC.
Anyone may mail commentary on the proposals to The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Office of the Secretary, 888 First St. NE, Room 1A, Washington, D.C. 20426 by April 17 for the Robbinston project and by April 28 for the Split Rock project. Comments also can be sent by going to www.ferc.gov, using the "e-filing" link and then linking to the user's guide.
FERC also has set up three meetings. The Downeast LNG joint public meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, at the Robbinston Grade School while the planning meetings for the Quoddy Bay project have been set for Wednesday, April 5, at the Pleasant Point Recreation Department and Thursday, April 6, at the Perry School. Those two meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. [Bold and red emphasis added.] (Mar 17)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: To submit comments on the Quoddy Bay LLC and Downeast LNG projects to FERC electronically, see our FERC page.
Coast Guard officials say they're concerned because the [Fall River, Massachusetts] plan would force the tankers to pass through a narrow opening under an old bridge. They want the company to create a revised plan. (Mar 17)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: This is a case of the Coast Guard's opinion coinciding with SIGTTO international LNG-industry standards. These same standards indicate that there is no safe place for an LNG terminal in Passamaquoddy Bay.
Mayor John Street had endorsed the idea as a way of bringing in revenue for the struggling utility. But last month, City Council, which would have to approve any deal, passed a resolution denouncing the project.
I'm frustrated because I feel like we're just accepting any junk industry without researching it,” McCaffree said. “I think it needs to be opened up for public debate instead of charging ahead.” (Mar 17)
Billiton has raised objections along the coast with its plans to anchor a permanent, 14-story-high floating regasification and storage unit 13.8 miles off the Malibu coast. The FSRU's trio of round 55-million gallon tanks would be visible on clear days from the Pepperdine University campus west to Port Hueneme, according to an analysis released this week.
Woodside would avoid the need for an FSRU by placing regasification boilers on all of the LNG tankers that it would build to ferry gas from Australia and Asia to the California market, Cutler said. (Mar 17)
The purpose of a letter of intent or MOU is to set a basis for two parties to investigate and move forward with a deal on an exploratory basis. It should always include provision allowing the parties to terminate if they do not like the results of the investigation. (Mar 16)
16 March 2006
Green Coast Related
PUC chief aims to diversify energy sources Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME
Maine's growing dependency on natural gas as its main source of electricity is the reason many consumers, especially commercial and industrial electric users, have seen their power bills soar this past year, according to the state's top utility official [Kurt Adams, chairman of Maine Public Utility Commission].
Importing more liquefied natural gas into Maine may help with electricity prices in the short term, he said, but it may not help if Maine comes to rely more heavily on natural gas for electricity than it does already.
Maine should take steps to make its energy consumption more efficient and to take better advantage of its geography, "particularly in regard to wind," he said, in order to lessen its dependence on a finite supply of imported fuels. Biomass boilers are another alternative energy option.
Nuclear power will not be a viable option, he said, as long as the federal government and the nuclear power industry have not resolved the issue of where to store spent nuclear fuel. [Bold emphasis added.]
For my part, I am pleased with [the Calais City Council's] statement of support [for the Cianbro-Red Beach LNG project]. It sounds like the kiss of death to me. (Mar 15) [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 To find the letter using the above link, search the page for "Calais' kiss of death".]
A potentially disastrous spill was averted early Tuesday morning when a liquefied natural gas tanker discharging its load at the Southern LNG terminal on Elba Island broke from its moorings and pulled away from the pier.
Initial reports indicated the Golar Freeze was ripped 15 feet from its moorings by the surge created when the chemical tanker Charleston sailed past in the channel. The Charleston was reportedly headed for the ST Services docks, just upriver of Fort Jackson. (Mar 15)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: This incident perfectly illustrates why the Society for International Terminal and Tanker Operators (SIGTTO) international best practices standards specify that LNG terminals must be located away from the shipping lane and well away from people. SIGTTO specifically identifies that surges from other ships can cause LNG carriers to break from their pier and LNG offloading equipment. Such a violation of SIGTTO LNG-industry standards would exist for any LNG terminal built in Passamaquoddy Bay.
Among those making comments about the EIR were city officials, who said, “The Draft EIS/EIR does not meet California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) or National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) requirements.” Both of those standards must be met for an EIR to be certified.
As part of this new study, Sandia National Laboratories, a government-owned/contractor-operated facility, analyzed ship-to-ship LNG transfers, an unloading process of a volatile subzero liquid that has never before been attempted on the high seas. The Sandia report contradicts earlier Billiton claims that an LNG leak could not explode, and predicts that a fireball would reach out seven miles from Cabrillo Port in a worst-case catastrophe.
The terminal's gas-fired boilers, used to bring the liquefied gas temperature up from -260 degrees, will be loud enough to make conversation difficult outside the closed zone, the report said. [Bold emphasis added.] (Mar 15)
Q. How can regasification in California be so noisy, but as Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LLC promise regasification in Maine be so quiet?
Q. How can it be that as the LNG industry and FERC claim LNG won't explode, but Sandia National Laboratories says an LNG leak can explode?
A. LNG developers and FERC use semantics and spin in attempts to lull the public into complacency.
The proposed Cabrillo Port project, near the shores of Ventura County, poses a threat to public safety in the event of a collision at the terminal, damage to pipelines or a "significant" spill of LNG, the report by the California State Lands Commission said. (Mar 15)
15 March 2006
April 7 is the deadline set by John Craig, mayor of St. Andrews, for a reply from Prime Minister Stephen Harper on a decision concerning the proposed passage of liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships through Head Harbour Passage. (Mar 10)
Calais City Council members have sent a letter of endorsement to Calais LNG, a company that proposes to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Red Beach, within the city limits of Calais. Cianbro, a Pittsfield-based construction firm involved with the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township, will construct the proposed facility. (Mar 10)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: A more accurate characterization is "Cianbro...won't construct the proposed facility." SIGTTO* LNG industry best practices standards along with state environmental issues make the "Cianbro-Calais" LNG project the least likely of the bunch.
Even though they weren’t on the agenda, U.S. Reps. Barney Frank and James P. McGovern made sure Fall River’s voice was heard at a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored forum on liquefied natural gas in Boston Friday.
"I want to begin by saying as I hear the (siting) process explained, I am dissatisfied ... with the place (in which) I work," Frank said. "I think we in Congress have not done a good job of structuring this."
Earlier in the day, Lambert submitted a letter directed to Bodman criticizing the structure of the forum because it was "put together in a fashion that was not conducive to fostering an actual give-and-take between elected officials, members of the general public and government regulators."
Lambert said the "forum took the form of people in government agencies that have their minds made up talking at the attendees and asking them to accept the government’s way of doing business." (Mar 11)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Frank is correct; Congress needs to correct the serious errors it made in voting for the 2005 Energy Act without seeing to it that the LNG provisions were appropriate. Lambert, too, is correct; FERC's forums are taking place merely to satisfy the requirements of the Energy Act, not because FERC wants to learn about the public's concerns.
About 150 residents voted to continue their support of Brayton Point Station while making it clear they do not stand behind Hess LNG’s proposal to build a liquefied natural gas import facility across the Taunton River in Fall River. (Mar 14)
"We are finding that natural gas markets may be vulnerable to abuse and volatility, and yet the markets in which wholesale natural gas prices are set are very lightly regulated, and they lack transparency." (Mar 7)
Gallison introduced legislation last year that would ban LNG tanker traffic within 5,000 feet of any residence, school, hospital, business or elderly housing complex. But the legislation was never voted on because legislative lawyers were concerned it violated federal law, which prohibits states from interfering with interstate commerce.
Although it does not ban LNG tanker traffic, Gallison's bill, if passed, would effectively prevent tankers from traveling to a federally approved LNG receiving terminal in Fall River, Mass. Officials from Rhode Island and Massachusetts are appealing that approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. [Bold emphasis added.]
"We are also delighted that this bad bill is off the table for the time being, and that there are still 34 islands in the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, at least for now!" said Bruce Berman, spokesman for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. announced Wednesday that it's scaling back plans at the Bear Head site while it looks for a supply of gas. Construction on the two storage tanks will not go ahead this summer as scheduled.
Canada's emerging liquefied natural gas industry took a step forward and one back yesterday as Petro-Canada announced it had taken measures to lock in supplies from Russia, while Anadarko Petroleum Corp. said plans for a plant in Nova Scotia had suffered a setback.
McMoRan [Exploration] is pursuing development of the MPEH [Main Pass Energy Hub], an offshore facility for receiving and processing liquefied natural gas (LNG) that would be located east of the Mississippi River Delta.
The EIS assessed the impact to fisheries of using the Open Rack Vaporizer alternative for the project and indicated that this system would have "direct, adverse, minor impacts on biological resources. (Mar 13)
[I]f California eventually decides to import liquefied natural gas, then the Woodside [offshore submerged-buoy] proposal might make sense, said Susan Jordan of the California Coastal Protection Network in Santa Barbara.
Environmentalists and community activists, however, believe the state should cut imports of petroleum-based fuels and focus on conservation and developing new sources of renewable energy. They're backing a bill in the Legislature that would require the California Public Utilities Commission to quantify the state's natural gas demand and rank LNG proposals on criteria for safety, environmental protection and economic necessity. [Bold emphasis added.]
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Ranking projects by demand, safety, environment, and necessity are exactly what Congress should require the FERC process to be, rather than the community-damaging free-for-all that's now in place.
The United States now has record levels of natural gas in storage, the result of what has been an extremely warm winter. Attorneys general from Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri last week charged that natural gas markets are subject to market manipulation and called for further regulation. [Bold red emphasis added.] (Mar 14)
"Considering that Pembrokeshire, particularly the poorest areas around Milford and Pembroke Dock, has been lumbered with all the negative aspects associated with the LNG developments many of which were described by the County Council's own LNG social impact report in January, such as a housing crisis, increased traffic pollution, extra strain on public services, more petty crime, not to mention the unresolved super tanker safety issues and the pipeline the economic benefits from these contracts to the county and surrounding area are actually quite laughable.
6 March 2006
"Canada can say 'no' verbally, but legally there is no definition at this point as to what innocent passage means," Cary Weston, public relations spokesman for Quoddy Bay LNG, which is proposing a plant in Maine, told CP. "It's a grey area." (Mar 5)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Quoddy Bay LLC keeps saying they have the right to send LNG tankers through Head Harbour Passage, because of "innocent passage," but then state that no one really knows what innocent passage means. Quoddy Bay LLC developers and their steady turnover of mouthpieces* just can't keep from shooting themselves in the foot.
Mouthpieces, so far: (1) James Mitchell, (2) Emily Francis of Savvy Inc., (3) Dennis Bailey of Savvy Inc, (4) Peter Nelson of William Alexander and Associates, and now (5) Cary Weston of Sutherland & Weston.
Girdis told WQDY Classic Hits, "well first of all, I didn't say that, and it's not for me to say what the U.S. government position is regarding transit of Head Harbour Passage. They do define it as an international strait that falls into the regime of innocent passage." (Mar 3)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Girdis is hanging his hopes on a tenuous idea. The U.S. isn't a signatory to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. In fact, the U.S. opposes signing on to the Convention.
It should be noted that, in an effort to keep Canadian fishermen out of what was a shared fishing area, the U.S. disputed with Canada the fishing territory some distance to the southeast of Machias Seal Island, between Maine and Nova Scotia, but in 1984 an international court established a previously-nonexistent international boundary in Canada's favor, completely locking the U.S. fishing fleet out of that area.
Just because the U.S. makes a claim doesn't make it correct or law, and as proved in the fishing boundary dispute, U.S. international claims, if pressed, may actually backfire and reduce U.S. rights in areas in which it currently holds freedoms.
With growing liquefied natural gas imports coming from Trinidad and Tobago, Washington fears supplies could be interrupted by a terrorist attack on LNG facilities or worse al-Qaida could use Trinidad as a launching base for a major terrorist attack on the United States.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: It looks like Don & Brian Smith and Quoddy Bay LLC may have a rather large "wrench in the works" regarding their plan to sell their far-fetched Quoddy Bay LNG terminal to Trinidad and Tobago.
A company proposing to build an LNG terminal at the edge of Boston Harbor has hired Richard Clarke, a former top terrorism adviser in the Reagan, Clinton and both Bush administrations, to testify on behalf of the project during a key legislative hearing next week. (Mar 3)
The operator of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in the Port of Long Beach unveiled an economic impact analysis Thursday that showed the facility, if built, would increase the West's supply of natural gas by nearly 11 percent, decrease consumer prices by more than 7 percent and create 223 new high-paying jobs. (Mar 3)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Does this sound familiar? Would any developer release a study that indicated that the project would bring harm to a community? The above study just like the study done by Downeast LNG, and the 2-page cookie-cutter spreadsheet so-called "study" for Quoddy Bay LLC is suspect and deserves thorough scrutiny.
The Department of Energy's Liquefied Natural Gas forums are being scheduled in compliance with the National Energy Policy Act of 2005 and aim to initiate constructive dialogue among community members, local, state, and federal government leaders. (Mar 1)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: These are "regional" meetings in locations where LNG facilities are being constructed. The first meeting is being held in Boston. There are three proposals in downeast Maine, but none being constructed. How many Mainers will have the opportunity to attend the forum all the way down in Boston and interact with forum members?
With the long list of government speakers, and with limited periods for public questions and comment, it is highly unlikely that any meaningful "constructive dialogue among community members, local, state, and federal government leaders" can or will take place, especially related to downeast Maine. The forums will be just another method for the LNG industry to spin its message, with enablement from our elected representatives in government.
Pentex acquired Northern Eclipse LLC, which owned Fairbanks Natural Gas and a small natural gas liquefaction plant in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, from which the company trucks LNG to Fairbanks. (Mar 5)
The companies appear to have missed one of the most basic lessons of the past few years: the market for energy is now linked inextricably with the environment. The Kyoto Protocol, for all its warts, is a harbinger of the global energy-environment link. Environmentalists, and especially the threat of global warming, have leveled the playing field a bit, and energy companies can no longer dictate energy policy based solely on maximum profit for company officers and stockholders. (Mar 1) [Look for link "March 1, 2006 Alternatives to Addiction"; PDF d (Mar 1)
There are advantages to the importer in conducting the business through a separate subsidiary. Such a structure may enable the company to allocate risks, and thus liabilities, among separate entities. For example, one "importer" entity can be established to purchase LNG receiving terminal capacity, import the LNG into the US, and own the LNG while it is held in storage at the LNG receiving terminal, while a separate entity can be established to purchase the regasified natural gas, enter into gas transportation contracts, and sell the regasified natural gas to end users. The importer need not be a US entity, although there will often be good commercial reasons to establish such an onshore entity. (Mar 3)
Safe Haven, a group with safety concerns about the LNG development in west Wales, points to claims by James Fay, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that an LNG spill could endanger 20,000 lives.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Who would you trust a politician or an independent, world-recognized LNG safety expert?
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