The Saint Croix Courier

St. Stephen, NB

2007 Aug 6


A thousand words

If one picture is worth 1,000 words, Monday's liquefied natural gas protest in St. Andrews spoke volumes.

There are few certainties in life and seldom, particularly in a town of diverse interests and strong personalities like St. Andrews, is there agreement, let alone unanimity. But the specter of liquefied natural gas development has brought residents there together like nothing else could, and that united stand was in full effect on Monday. The town, and of course some visitors, marched to the town wharf to tell the American developers who want to build gas storage tanks and off-load piers on the Maine shores of Passamaquoddy Bay to take their business elsewhere. They posed with banners and sent their message loud and clear.

The developers have tried to sell St. Andrews and other Canadian communities on their plan. They've visited communities, including St. Andrews, with the message that Passamaquoddy Bay is big enough for everyone and that LNG tankers can glide through the waters of Head Harbour Passage under the watchful command of experienced pilots. They've touted LNG as a clean, safe energy source and tried to reassure those living on the New Brunswick side of the bay that, hey, the U.S. has a right to develop industries here, too.

In Maine the sell is a little easier. The developers can bring the promise of jobs where work is so badly needed, particularly with the latest cuts a the Domtar mill in Baileyville. The U.S. needs energy and the LNG plants are simply filling those needs, they say. And they pledge they're doing this the right way — building modern facilities with high safety and environmental standards.

But in places like St. Andrews, Deer Island, and Campobello, the LNG protest is more than a case of Not In My Backyard. The howls from the Shiretown come from the gut of people who truly believe that these developments will forever alter a community built on the beauty around it. Protest is all about hyperbole but in the case of Passamaquoddy Bay LNG, New Brunswick communities truly are in a position of having nothing to gain and everything to lose.

An estimated 2,000 people stood on the St. Andrews wharf on Monday to send a message to Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and all the other players in this long-running saga that could have staggering consequences.They said go away. Get the picture?


© 2007 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.

The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB