The Saint Croix Courier

St. Stephen, NB

2007 February 20

Public asked to write LNG letters


ST. ANDREWS — Save Passamaquoddy Bay/Canada are asking LNG (liquefied natural gas) opponents to contact Premier Shawn Graham as well as Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet to voice their concerns.

Premier Graham recently met with Maine governor John Baldacci to discuss the proposed LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay and following that meeting he was quoted as saying the provincial government wanted to make sure there is minimal impact on the environment.

"That's why we requested intervenor status at the upcoming FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) hearings, to make sure due process is followed, and environmental concerns on LNG traffic through Head Harbour Passage has been addressed."

SPB/Canada are hoping other opponents of the projects will contact the premier and Doucet asking them to honour their outstanding promises to the region by clearly stating their government's unequivocal opposition to any LNG terminals or tanker traffic in Passamaquoddy Bay. They are urging people to help them assure that Premier Graham won't renege on his promises to protect the area from LNG.

Graham's office can be reached at 453-2144, by fax at 453-7407, by e- mail at or by mail at Centennial Building, PO Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1.

Doucet can be reached at [(506)444-6734 or (506)755-4207, by fax at (506)444-5477], by e-mail at or by mail at 28 Mount Pleasant Rd.,St.George E3C 3K4.

Last week Dean Girdis, president of Downeast LNG, issued a statement in response to a letter sent by Canadian Ambassador to the US, Michael Wilson, to Joseph Keliher, chairman of FERC, saying this was nothing more than the latest attempt to insert local Canadian politics into the US regulatory process and to protect the interests of Canadian LNG projects.

He said they were confident that the US government would reject this attempt by Canadian politicians to interfere in what will be a comprehensive review of the Downeast LNG project by FERC and that Canada's position is not based on any documented concerns about safety, the environment, or the principles of international law governing rights of innocent passage through Head Harbour Passage which is used consistently by ships travelling to US and Canadian ports.

Girdis said the issue was not about LNG but the right of innocent passage and freedom of navigation and that any action by Canada to stop transit by ships through Head Harbour Passage sets an extremely dangerous international precedent with severe implications on international maritime commerce worldwide.

Downeast LNG is especially disappointed that the Canadian government is trying to stop their project before it has had its proper review in accordance with US laws and regulatory practices, said Girdis, and they have supported the efforts of FERC, US Coast Guard, and the State of Maine to allow Canadian input in the review of their project.

He said the statements made by Wilson were hypocritical and contradictory given his earlier statements that Canada wanted to participate in the regulatory process. Girdis added that the comments were also surprising in light of the recent request by the province for formal intervenor status in the FERC review of their project which Downeast support.

The project, said Girdis, will provide a much needed source of clean burning natural gas to US energy markets in the northeast. He described it as a safe and environmentally sound project that will create good paying jobs and provide sustainable economic development in Washington County.

The people of Perry who are opposed to LNG development in their area, Perry Citizens for Responsible Growth, will be hosting a coffee house Saturday, March 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. [Eastern Time] at Perry Grange Hall on Southmeadow Road with live music by Om Sweet Om, and Slim Chance and theCan't Hardly Playboys. Admission is $5 for adults and $12 for families with all proceeds going to Perry Citizens for Responsible Growth.


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

The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB