2008 Aug 22
"We will use every legal and diplomatic means to defend our position," said Charlotte County Member of Parliament Greg Thompson, the guest speaker at the annual general meeting of Save Passamaquoddy Bay/Canada, an organization dedicated to opposing the three proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities for the Maine side of Passamaquoddy Bay. "It's a no-go zone," stated Thompson.
The August 20 meeting was held in St. Andrews and drew a standing-room-only crowd. Many interested participants were turned away because of fire-safety regulations.
Thompson stated that the Head Harbour Passage waters are sovereign waters of Canada. "We are not giving up. We will protect our bay." He added that the fight may take a while, and he reminded listeners that the successful battle by opponents of the Pittson Oil Company's plan to build an oil terminal in Eastport took 14 years.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay/Canada is opposed to the siting of a Quoddy Bay LNG facility at Pleasant Point, a Downeast LNG facility in Robbinston and a Calais LNG facility near Devil's Head in Calais. All three sites face the St. Andrews area. Opposition is based on the use of Canadian waters that would affect the economy, tourism and the environment of the St. Andrews area. "The debate will not be settled overnight," Thompson said.
The MP announced at the meeting that a $100,000 grant has been awarded for a study of environmental issues concerning LNG. "We will put our money where our mouth is."
Thompson questioned where the companies would secure their LNG supplies. A Nova Scotia facility does not have a supply, and a Louisiana facility is not operating because it does not have an LNG supply. Thompson said that the three proposed Maine LNG facilities are about 15 years late for securing a supply.
The Maine Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is seeking the approval of the organization's New England board in an effort to aid the fight against the location of the three proposed Maine LNG facilities. Thompson and other speakers said that they will support CLF as a legal advocate in battling the Maine permitting process.
During a question-and-answer period, in response to a question as to why the companies continue in the application process, Thompson said that the "payoff [would] be great if they [could] bring it into operation."
Jessie Davies, a co-chair of Save Passamaquoddy Bay/Canada, led the meeting. A welcome was also extended by St. Andrews Mayor John Craig and present and past council members.
© 2008 The Quoddy Tides
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.