2007 Aug 14
By BARB RAYNER
CALAIS The proposal of Downeast LNG to site a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Mill Cove does not make sense in terms of its negative impact on the environment and economic development, a Perry resident told the Maine Board of Environmental Protection during recent hearings.
The fifth generation living on a small family farm homestead, Georgiana Kendall said she choose to live and work here because she believes it is the most incredible place on Earth. She said she believes it is possible to have economic development and preserve the environment if it is done properly.
"What we have in Washington County is precious. We need to respect and embrace where we live as well as work toward economic development that preserves our environment and culture for future generations," she said.
"I support economic development that is sustainable and works with what we have already going for us here in Washington County including our natural resources, the creative economy and eco-tourism. We need to build on what we have going for us which is our natural environment."
Last year she travelled to Trinidad and Tobago, where over 60 per cent of LNG is imported, then exported to the U.S., in order to see what type of environmental and economic impact this had on everyday citizens on these tropical islands.
"What I found was disturbing and is a lesson for our local leaders, the environment, and the economic development of Washington County," Kendall said.
On a visit to Guayaguay are on the southeast coast of Trinidad she said she found this coastal gem to be littered with offshore drilling rigs and access to incredible points of land closed off with high fences owned by companies such as British Petroleum (BP) and Trintomar.
One taxi driver told her that people still have no health care and, because the environment has been so devastated and much has to be imported, the cost of living has risen dramatically.
Kendall said the companies employ mostly men from overseas who have engineering and specialized degrees and earn good salaries. Local workers earn minimum wage.
"Jobs have not been created as a result only jobs have been lost due to the decrease in fishing and loss of tourism. The waste, fuel spills and pollution collecting on the shores is harmful and everyone knows it," Kendall said.
She said the taxi driver told her that companies make promises to improve economics, infrastructure and help with health care but none of them keep their promises. He told her the companies were raping the island and there is nothing they can do.
From Trinidad, Kendall went on to Tobago where they focus on fishing and tourism and are flourishing. They have not allowed oil or natural gas terminals on the island.
"Trinidad is self destructing because they have introduced and continue to introduce so much industry to their island. They know it now and cannot stop it," she said.
Washington County can learn a lot from Trinidad and Tobago, said Kendall. Currently, she said, it is like Tobago, but if Downeast succeeds it will become Trinidad.
© 2007 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.
The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB