"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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30 Sep 2009
Brunswick Pipeline advises the public that maintenance work will take place at the Red Head meter station today beginning around 1 p.m. Replacement of several pieces of equipment will require evacuating the gas from the meter station, which may result in residents detecting a rotten egg smell. To minimize this possibility of an odour release, a flare stack will be used to burn off the gas and may be visible to nearby residents. An eight-hour shutdown is planned in conjunction with Canaport LNG operations.
Repsol is the managing general partner of Canaport LNG with a 75% stake. Repsol has contracted for 100% of the plant’s capacity. Repsol began selling gas in Northeast of the US in 2008. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Irving has a 25-year customer for 100% of its gas; therefore, Irving has no motive to oppose LNG terminals in Maine.
Yesterday FERC announced that it has rejected EPA's request for cooperating agency status in the Weaver's Cove LNG offshore berth proceeding. According to the Commission, the decision was based on EPA's statements that the agency would not pledge not to release pre-decisional information related to the NEPA analysis of the project. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Isn't NEPA analysis public information?
- Why should NEPA analysis be prevented from public disclosure prior to FERC's final decision?
- How is preventing public disclosure of NEPA analysis in the best public interest?
- Is FERC's decision an abuse of power and process?
- Is it a violation of Environmental Justice?
AES’s main argument was that the state had exceeded the year allotted to consider the [Water Quality Certification] permit application, Donnelly said. The state pointed out that federal law allows exceptions for coordinating agencies and the delays were cited numerous times as caused by AES, Donnelly said.
The state is continuing in a separate suit filed with the U.S. District Court, pressing U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke to reconsider a decision made by his predecessor, Carlos Gutierrez, concerning the state’s Coastal Zone Management Plan exclusion of LNG facilities.
Last weekend, Chapolini was served again, this time with a demand to allow AES access to conduct a wetland survey. He was given 10 days to respond or ordered to appear in court Oct. 19. There were 45 other property owners listed on the order, including Maryland State Roads and Baltimore County. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
A new data request from Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and National Marine Fisheries Service will "significantly alter" the permitting schedule for the project, according to a letter sent to Bradwood Landing executive Gary Coppedge Friday.
State and federal regulators want substantially more data and analysis on water quality impacts from the Bradwood Landing project before they can decide whether it meets clean water and endangered species standards.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Portland District is giving people more time to comment on the waterway aspect of the proposed liquefied natural gas pipeline at Coos Bay. The deadline now will be Dec. 27.
"In order to strengthen Gazprom's presence on world energy market, to diversify export routes and markets, to ensure safety and reliability of gas supplies and also in accordance with Gazprom's strategy in the field of production and supply of liquefied natural gas [LNG], the board of directors has instructed the Management Committee to organize a campaign to strengthen the company's positions on gas and power energy markets of the North America," Gazprom's press service says.
Webmaster’s Comments: Giving control of US energy infrastructure and supply to a Russian monopoly ought to be below the last thing the US should want to happen.
29 Sep 2009
Premier’s position ‘unequivocal’ as Baldacci takes issue to White House
NOTE: This same story is carried by the following publications, under the following headlines:
- Energy: Governor, premier still at odds over plant in Maine, Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB
- Maine, Canada at Odds Over LNG: Premier's Position 'Unequivocal' As Baldacci Takes Issue to White House, iStockAnalyst
On Monday, New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham reiterated his government’s firm opposition to allowing LNG tankers to pass through Head Harbor Passage en route to LNG terminals that have been proposed for the Calais area.
“The province's position remains unequivocal: We oppose the proposed locating of an LNG terminal in Passamaquoddy Bay because of its impacts on New Brunswick,” Graham wrote in a commentary published in the Telegraph-Journal newspaper in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Andrew Dawson, Atlantic Canadian representative for the New Brunswick Building and Construction Trades Council, said he met with officials from SNC-Lavalin and Canaport LNG on Friday to discuss a resolution to the unions' concerns. He said he is still waiting to hear if the companies are willing to hire New Brunswick tradespeople for many of the jobs that were being done by out-of-province employees.
Attorneys representing the city and the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley have requested a rehearing from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding the commission’s decision that Weaver’s Cove Energy has met a condition of the 2005 approval of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal.
FERC ruled in August the condition had been met, but according to the filing, project opponents contend that at no time Weaver’s Cove submitted evidence that it controls all areas subject to DOT exclusion zones or that DOT has waived these requirements. The filing also states there is nothing in the FERC record concerning the Wedge Lot to indicate the DOT has offered any opinion or guidance as to satisfaction of the DOT regulations.
According to Clean Ocean Action, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and New York Governor David Paterson still have official veto power to stop the project going ahead, despite legal action from ASIG [Atlantic Sea Island Group].
"The world is moving toward using more LNG facilities and it is becoming safer to do so and so we are actively looking in that direction, but we feel it is critical to first establish a way forward, a policy as to where we ought to go, where all players, BEC, Grand Bahama Power and all of those are in line with us," he said. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Perhaps Governor Baldacci could learn something from the Bahamas rather than violating his own Energy Policy by lobbying for LNG import terminals before allowing his planned year-long "dialogue" to determine whether or not LNG projects are needed.
The 10-year-old, municipally-led Gasline Port Authority has focused efforts on building a pipeline from the North Slope to a proposed liquefaction plant in Valdez. But the authority is also in discussions with Fairbanks’ major natural gas distributor, Fairbanks Natural Gas, AGPA attorney Bill Walker said last week. FNG trucks liquified [sic] gas north from Southcentral to Fairbanks and wants future supplies from the gas-rich North Slope.
Push polls are not really polls at all. People conducting the campaigns call voters saying they are conducting a survey that will only take a few seconds. But they aren't seeking data. They're trying to influence voters' opinions on an issue.
Jan Mitchell, a leader of the recall effort against Hazen, reported that the surveyor asked, "If you were told that LNG would lower energy costs, would you be more or less likely to vote against a recall?"
But the question that really riled up some of the folks receiving the calls asked, "If you knew that "extreme environmentalists" had led the recall effort, would you be more or less likely to vote against a recall?"
At the end of the day … Clatsop County does not belong to LNG developers. It belongs to the residents, and those residents ought to be upset after federal and local officials seemingly continue to ignore their wishes.
The only OLCV [Oregon League of Conservation Voters] “major threat” passed this year was House Bill 2001, the landmark transportation package that allotted funding to transportation projects across the state and provided for an increase of the state gas tax. OLCV reprimanded legislators for not setting standards for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in the state; the controversial LNG proposals, while decried for possible environmental impacts and land disruption, have been touted for the revenue they would bring to the state. [Red bold emphasis added.]
28 Sep 2009
There are more than 6,000 New Brunswickers who live along the LNG vessel transit route, some within 800-1,000 meters. As Premier of New Brunswick, I have a sovereign and legal duty to ensure that the interests and concerns of our residents are taken into account and defended by all appropriate means as these projects move through all regulatory processes.
Webmaster’s Comments: The Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick position on LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay have been reiterated in clear and unshakable terms. Their opposition to these projects is in perfect agreement with LNG industry best practices. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more.)
Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are wasting a lot of time and money pursuing their ill-sited proposals. For any chance at success, they would need to move to industry-compliant locations. Why won't they do it?
Perhaps the developers refuse to move to compliant locations because they know their projects have no chance, regardless of where they locate. North American doesn't need what they're selling; there is a 100-year natural gas glut in North America. The developers are merely collecting their nice paychecks until the projects inevitably collapse.
Repsol has a 75-per-cent stake in Canaport LNG and is responsible for contracting 100 per cent of the plant's capacity while Irving Oil Ltd. parent firm Fort Reliance Ltd. owns one quarter of the $1.2-billion Saint John facility.
Brufau said his company continues to sell its gas to more lucrative international markets and admitted the number of vessels coming to moor at Canaport LNG is less than what it could be. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Irving has a 25-year contract for 100% of its gas. They have no motive to oppose LNG in Maine.
Canaport does not have a strong market for its natural gas, demonstrating a lack of need for Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
Governor Bobby Jindal's office is now involved in the dispute. Tonight two of Jindal's top aides are expected to be at the Lake Charles Port Board's regular meeting to discuss a lawsuit filed by West Cameron Port. The suit claims the West Cameron Port owns the land at that it's illegal for the Lake Charles Port to make the lease deal with Sempra
On Friday Freeport LNG Development, L.P. informed FERC that it has not yet completed the required noise survey of its regasification facility because the LNG delivered to the terminal recently has been stored for possible re-export and has not been regasified. Freeport LNG states that its understanding of FERC's noise survey condition is that the noise survey will take place when an LNG cargo has been delivered for regasification and not for storage and re-export.
Pipeline projects will have to earn from FERC what is called a "certificate of public convenience and necessity," which would allow a company to build and operate a line. Moeller doesn't hold back in his assessment that only one of the two projects will ever be built. Yet, both Denali and TransCanada have pre-filed applications for the FERC certificate, and both are undertaking costly and extensive environmental studies.
[General counsel for the Alaska Gasline Port Authority Bill Walker] said the [natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to the oil port of Valdez] could bring North Slope gas to Alaskan citizens that live in the southern part of the state, and remaining gas could be liquefied and exported, according to a report on the Alaska Dispatch website.
Webmaster’s Comments: Alaska would be exporting LNG, probably to Asia.
Bradwood Landing turns off torch on program before certification
Without notifying individual students such as Clark, Bradwood Landing has ended its Workers in Welding program after spending nearly $200,000 on full- and part-time scholarships, equipment and transportation and child care. [Red emphasis added.]
The Oregonian draws the astonishing conclusion that the commissioners "appear to have voted correctly in accordance with Oregon land-use law." Say what? Did it somehow escape notice that the decision was remanded by the Land Use Board of Appeals as being in error? Proponents are fond of remarking on LUBA remanding only two of 22 appealed issues. Oops, the two issues happen to be the scale of the liquified natural gas project, and the ability to protect fishing and threatened and endangered fish.
“My view has been that we need to look at those [proposed LNG terminals] very carefully, and we need to consider all of the regional needs when determining whether or not there has been a finding of need for the facility,” said Wellinghoff. “That was largely why I voted against the Bradwood decision in Oregon, was because I didn’t believe that there had been an adequate determination of need for that facility to meet the needs of the region.”
Wellinghoff challenged the idea that the U.S. needs to expand its infrastructure to import more LNG. Instead, he predicted increased use of domestic natural gas reserves. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Even FERC is condering nixing surplus LNG projects — like Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
25 Sep 2009
Canada has opposed the proposed LNG terminals on Maine's side of Passamaquoddy Bay. Robert Godfrey, a spokesman for Save Passamaquoddy Bay, told the AP the LNG terminal in New Brunswick was located at an "industry-compliant" site, while the three proposed terminals in Maine are not.
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG and Calais LNG knew, or should have known, that their proposed sites did not comply with industry best practices when they made their choices. It is no surprise that they now have two insurmountable obstacle preventing their success: 1) No market for their product, and 2) Canada protecting its citizens, environment, and economy.
“LNG developers in Passamaquoddy Bay selected eminently inappropriate locations according to best practices established by the LNG industry itself. The outcome being celebrated today exemplifies the differences between Canaport and the proposed Passamaquoddy Bay projects.”
Webmaster’s Comments: While LNG tanks contain no oxygen, they cannot explode. It is when LNG leaves containment that, under the right circumstances, explosion becomes a possibility.
Deepa Poduval, an energy consultant with Black and Veatch, said yesterday that she expects LNG imports via terminals on the U.S. East Coast to compete with natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale formation for market share in the U.S. Northeast in the coming years.
Webmaster’s Comments: And LNG was the new "oil" two years ago. That didn't work then, either.
24 Sep 2009
On a recent diplomatic visit to the United States, Prime Minister Stephen Harper affirmed Canada's position on two contentious LNG terminal proposals in Maine. The U.S. federal approval process has no bearing on Canada, and LNG tankers will not be allowed to use Canadian waters in Head Harbour Passage.
If the situation were reversed, we have little doubt that representatives in Maine would stand fast for the interests of their constituents; indeed, that is what they have been doing, by championing the LNG proposals so vigourously. We respect their tenacity, and hope they will respect the steadfastness of Prime Minister Harper and New Brunswick MP Greg Thompson. This is not an issue on which Canadians are prepared to bend. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
We think both these "leaders" [Maine Governor Baldacci, and New Brunswick Premier Graham] are a bit confused about how international disputes are decided. FERC doesn't have jurisdiction over the Canadian waters which LNG tankers would have to use to enter Passamaquoddy Bay.
Outside of the U.S., FERC has no jurisdiction and no authority to decide anything. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
But even as the divide between the two countries remains wide and the rhetoric heats up over the Head Harbour issue, one key development may be lost in the debate: the US is so oversupplied with natural gas that the urgency of bringing new LNG to US shores has all but disappeared. Whether those fundamental energy supply dynamics color this politically charged border dispute going forward will be interesting to watch.
The company's strategic plan aims to quadruple the volumes of LNG sold by 2012. [Red emphasis added.]
"I thought it was unfair for New Brunswickers to be expelling Alberta workers, when in fact Alberta is chock full of Maritime workers that we pretty much embrace out here," Dave Rutherford, host of a show on Calgary-based CHQR, said in an interview.
"I champion jobs for our local tradespersons," Chase said. "I just fear that this protest will create a situation where big project work doesn't come this way and in the end they create this huge irony where our tradespeople have to go to Alberta to find work and might find themselves in unfriendly territory, so it just becomes bad all around."
NOTE: A similar item is also carried by:
- SNLi — Group: US Chamber of Commerce stance on energy projects 'extreme' [link provided via Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) — NewsNow (LNG).]
"The US Chamber's posturing on energy and its consequences is so extreme that large US corporations are deserting the organization. Pacific Gas & Electric and Nike have recently left the Chamber's membership due to its extreme, wrong-headed views."
"If the US Chamber were providing accuracy, they would indicate all three LNG proposals in Passamaquoddy Bay violate industry best practices. That is far from NIMBYism, which is merely the easiest term for the US Chamber to use. If providing accuracy, they would also indicate those same irresponsibly-sited LNG project are opposed by the Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick, due to safety concerns similar to those of the world LNG industry as published by the industry's representative, the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO). [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Update — 2009 Oct 5:
The US Chamber's webpages contain the following message:
If you wish to comment on a project please see this important note..
A link takes the user to instructions on how to access a comment form for those pages without one.
If the Comment form is missing from the Downeast LNG page or the Calais LNG page, use the following links:
It should also be noted that since the above-published Save Passamaquoddy Bay news release, the US Chamber has updated their Calais LNG page, including extensive comments from Save Passamaquoddy Bay.
[W]hen we demand that local companies only hire local we need to be very careful what we wish for. Saving one job today may well cost us two or three or 3,000 jobs tomorrow. Trade barriers have a way of building momentum and multiplying their negative effects.
Webmaster’s Comments: The same observation applies to "Maine Jobs First" attitudes that if LNG terminals aren't built in Passamaquoddy Bay, then points south should not get New Brunswick's energy. A NB-ME Energy Corridor would produce significant jobs and revenue to Maine. Maine Jobs First's argument is comprehensively self destructive.
"At present, the state and federal frameworks for offshore renewable energy development are not coordinated, nor are they at all connected to local, regional and tribal plans and policies addressing both terrestrial and marine uses and issues," according to the statement. "Participatory, community-based processes must be implemented to empower the public, stakeholder groups and decision-makers and ensure they are fully engaged in siting and planning so as to build support and reduce opposition during project permitting."
Brett VandenHeuvel, the executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, said … [t]he only logical reason that the applicant would want to change the zoning is to do an end-run on Clatsop County voters, who last year overturned a previous Board decision and blocked pipelines from crossing OPR-zoned property.
Supporters of the rally said Clatsop County commissioners have bent over backwards for years to please the LNG developers. They said the zone change would be further demonstration that the commissioners ignore a referendum from 2008 in which voters blocked the pipeline. [Red emphasis added.]
Smead, who co-authored a study that indicates the U.S. has enough natural gas reserves to last more than 100 years, says the Haynesville could be producing 7 or 8 billion cubic feet of gas a day by 2016, nearly double what comes from the Alaska pipeline. Though $7 million to $9 million horizontal wells, reaching reservoirs 11,000 feet down, are needed, production has been more than anticipated. "So much gas was coming out of the well in the first year that you could stand a much lower market price than what you had thought," he says. "So it's continuing to be developed. It looks very healthy." [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Gas gas gas gas gas gas gas gas….
23 Sep 2009
Energy PM told U.S. officials tankers won't be allowed to get to Maine facility, MP says
Prime Minister Stephen Harper restated this position to American leaders, including Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins, during a recent visit to Washington, the New Brunswick Southwest MP said in an interview.
"I think it's changed in the story line that some of the senators are using," he said. "When they were taking a serious look at some of the sites along the eastern coast of the Unites States of America, none of them stood up and supported the idea of putting them into places " along the Maine coast."
Webmaster’s Comments: Sen. Collins's kowtowing to LNG developers' wishes, and her promoting violation of industry best practices, endangering thousands of Mainers and the downeast economy — as well as bullying and endangering our Canadian neighbors, allies, and biggest trading parterners — can only damage her usefulness as a US Senator.
This bully's bluff has been attempted several times, and it still isn't working. These projects are goners.
He notes the presence of many boats, both commercial and recreational, in Head Harbour Passage to watch the whales. In one instance, he said, a humpback approached his boat to within six feet when it was stopped in the water.
“[T]he area is a commercial ecotourism and recreational area that would be seriously disrupted and compromised by LNG traffic, its dangers and its accompanying security requirements,” he said. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
“Having read the draft EIS we see no acknowledgement of our intervention nor any evidences that an attempt has been made to evaluate whether these specific concerns about the proposed project will have significant impacts upon Atlantic salmon,” he said.
“By definition, endangered populations have small population sizes. In these circumstances, to suggest that the project would have minimal impact because few fish are present defies logic. Potential impacts of the project upon salmon from rivers on the Canadian side of the border have been evaluated.”
“For these reasons, we find the impact statement, as presently constituted, unacceptable.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]
“Whatever the cause, it is attracting several species of whales – including as many as 40 endangered north Atlantic right whales – close to shore exactly in the shipping fairway that would be used by LNG carriers for this project,” he said, referring to the Downeast LNG project.
“This rare abundance of marine life needs to be nurtured, protected, respected and celebrated for the gift it is,” Morrell said. “The value of this abundance to the surrounding communities is beyond price. It is the foundation of all our worth as communities and everything we value as communities.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Maine Watch with Jennifer Rooks tours the new Liquified Natural Gas facility in New Brunswick. It's the first new LNG plant on the east coast in 30 years. Is LNG right for Downeast Maine? Hear from those on both sides of the debate.
Webmaster’s Comments: The above webpage provides a link to a video of this news story.
SAINT JOHN, N.B. — A court-ordered injunction which prevents protesters from physically obstructing or blockading employees of Quebec-Based company SNC Lavalin working at Canaport LNG in Saint John has been extended.
"It's the biggest thing I've ever even heard of," says Ray Walker, vice president of Range Resources, a gas exploration and production company. "It's huge. The ability to produce these shale reservoirs is going to revolutionize this industry all over the world." [Red,yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: There is sooooooo much domestic natural gas. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are futile projects.
The Municipality of the District of Guysborough must pay a landowner almost $1 million extra after it expropriated 200 acres of waterfront property in Goldboro to make way for two massive energy projects.
The municipality has already sold a piece of the property to EnCana Corp., of Calgary, developers of the $760-million Deep Panuke natural gas project located 175 kilometres off Nova Scotia and scheduled to deliver gas in late 2010.
Webmaster’s Comments: Deep Panuke natural gas mine is another project mooting Downeast LNG and Calais LNG. Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is already expanding to accommodate the Deep Panuke natural gas. Maple LNG — already permitted — would add to the over-abundance of domestic natural gas available to the Northeast.
While Industrial Info is currently tracking about $3 billion of Terminals Industry projects that have already begun construction this year or plan to start construction before the end of 2009, one particular project dominates all other 2009 projects in this industry sector. Neptune LNG LLC's (Gloucester, Massachusetts) grassroot liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal, located 22 miles offshore from Boston, has an estimated total investment value of $840 million, while the associated grassroot LNG pipeline has an estimated value of $60 million. Neptune LNG is a subsidiary of GDF Suez (Paris, France).
Webmaster’s Comments: Neptune LNG is one of three new LNG import terminals that moot Downeast LNG and Calais LNG. The other two terminals are Northeast Gateway Energy Bridge, several miles offshore from Gloucester, MA, and Canaport LNG five miles east of Saint John, NB.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) has requested that the U.S. Coast Guard reconsider its Letter of Recommendation for waterway suitability regarding the Weaver's Cove LNG offshore berthing proposal.
Webmaster’s Comments: Just like Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and now-defunct Quoddy Bay LNG, the Weavers' Cove project violates world LNG industry best practices. (See LNG Terminal Siting Standards Organization for more.) The US Coast Guard inappropriately brushes those industry best practices aside when considering Waterway Suitability Reports for LNG transits — even though the Coast Guard regularly encourages the use of navigation-related best practices!
Atlantic Sea Island has provided Paterson administration officials with a comprehensive briefing on the role of the company's proposed LNG transfer station some 13.5 miles distant off the Long Island coast but close enough to the region's enormous demand for energy in the tri-state area.
The Safe Harbor Energy Facility will include construction of an island and terminal 13.5 miles south of the city of Long Beach, New York. Initially the terminal will include over 7 billion cubic feet (bcf) of storage capability which will help meet demand for gas on the coldest days of the winter even when sea or weather conditions may prevent LNG carrier deliveries. Safe Harbor ultimately [would] have the capability of delivering up to 2 bcfd and storage capacity expanded to 15 bcf. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: New York is one market Downeast LNG is aiming for, according to its draft Environmental Impact Statement, but DeLNG proposes to site its terminal about as far away from the market as possible, where it would endanger civilians. On the other hand, Safe Harbor would be many miles offshore, away from civilian populations, and adjacent to potential natural gas demand, if additional unmet demand even exists.
Gerry Goobie, managing consultant with the international energy consulting firm Purvin & Gertz, painted a picture at the Alaska Oil and Gas Congress conference of a buyer's market bloated with global supply, including in the United States, where much of Alaska's gas would be sold under current proposals. That's led to bottom-of-the-barrel Henry Hub natural gas prices in recent weeks - at one point, as low as $1.83 per million British thermal unit. Prices a year ago this time reached more than $7.80 per Btu. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: It is abundantly clear that Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are pipe dreams.
ConocoPhillips Alaska Natural Gas Corp. and Marathon Oil Co. have jointly filed a resource report required by FERC in its January 15, 2009, order clarifying the regulation of the Kenai LNG liquefaction project.
Demonstrators plan to converge in a rally Wednesday afternoon in downtown Astoria; a recall election looms for two county commissioners; and a petition is under way to gather signatures for an election to recall a third.
At heart of the controversy are several issues. Opponents say that while developers had five months to respond to LUBA's request for more information on two specific matters, the public had only a long weekend to review the developer's 617-page response; and that the county attorney redacted some of the public's response and refused to hear new evidence.
The Coos County Commissioners approved a zone change Tuesday for the Kentuck Golf Course to exclusive farm use. The switch would allow the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay to use the land, if it builds a docking area in conjunction with the Jordan Cove Energy Project LNG terminal on the North Spit.
Each of the studies found that customer countries who imported Australian LNG to displace higher emission fuels in electricity generation produced between 4 and 9.5 tonnes less greenhouse gas emissions even when all associated greenhouse gas emissions from production, liquefaction and transport of importing Australian LNG were taken into account.
Webmaster’s Comments: This report comes from the US Center for Liquefied Natural Gas — certainly not an impartial organization; however, even if Australian LNG were to have lower cumulative emissions than coal, that says nothing about LNG from Trinidad & Tobago or from other geographic locations.
More to the point, total cumulative emissions from any foreign LNG supply chain must be compared to total emissions for domestic natural gas. LNG loses.
18 Sep 2009
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach called for cooler heads to prevail Friday following protests by unemployed trade union members in New Brunswick against Albertans working on a natural gas construction project.
New Brunswick MLA Abel LeBlanc said it's not illegal to bring in workers from outside the province but it is morally wrong to do so when there are plenty of experienced, but unemployed, tradespeople nearby.
Contract workers brought from Alberta to staff a New Brunswick energy project have retreated in the face of loud protests by local residents furious at what they viewed as carpetbaggers taking scarce jobs.
They were buoyed by the honks of supporters driving by but lambasted by others. Shouting matches erupted between protesters and residents and beer cans and insults were hurled at the marchers, who were dismissed as “welfare bums,” before police separated the groups.
SNC-Lavalin and Integral Energy have a temporary injunction that prevents protesters from blocking contract employees or vehicles at any hotel in the areas of Saint John, Fredericton or Moncton. It also covers the Canaport LNG plant on Red Head Road or any other location in Saint John where SNC or Integral business might take place.
[T]he outside workers have sparked anger among local tradespeople, who say they should have been hired for the job. Protests have been happening all week outside Hotel Courtenay Bay, where the workers were staying until Thursday.
Acting Insp. Glen McCloskey said police didn't enforce the injunction Thursday morning because it's a civil matter and police must first receive an official complaint from the hotel that the injunction is being broken before they can act.
Stating that Washington Gas Light Company's (WGL) protest of a planned interconnection on Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company's mainline that will permit delivery of regasified LNG from the Elba Island LNG terminal expansion had "no merit," FERC reaffirmed its previous determination in the Cove Point LNG terminal expansion proceeding that the potential leaks on the WGL system "would not occur on a properly maintained system."
Ronald Lukas, Vice President, Gas Supply for Atlantic Sea Island Group, presented the firm's proposal, using his 39 years in the energy business, and 28 years of experience with KeySpan, to provide a framework for how the off shore LNG facility would work within the state's energy master plan.
"We believe the unique location of the terminal so far off shore yet near to the gas market makes it the best and perhaps only place to locate an LNG facility to supply New York State. The offshore island concept represents a safe, secure, and environmentally sensitive approach to meeting energy demand.
Webmaster’s Comments: Regardless of whether or not there is a need for this project, and regardless of the environmental impacts it would present, this project, at 13.5 miles offshore, seems to conform to LNG industry terminal siting best practices — unlike Downeast LNG and Calais LNG. Also unlike Downeast LNG and Calais LNG, it is close to the natural gas market, reducing transportation costs and resulting air pollution.
Opponents wanted to know, among other questions, whether the facility would withstand an earthquake and tsunami, how the 3-foot diameter natural gas transmission pipeline and 17-story LNG storage tanks would be installed and stabilized in the Skipanon's dredge spoils, and whether FERC would consider whether the natural gas import facility was needed before approving it.
Webmaster’s Comments: FERC is not legally obligated to respond to the public's questions. Our experience is that questions submitted to the FERC Docket do not get answered.
NEW YORK, Sept 17 - U.S. natural gas prices, having bounced more than 50 percent since hitting a 7-1/2-year low earlier this month, may not have much higher to go in the near term as brimming inventories and weak demand leave the market oversupplied. [Red emphasis added.]
17 Sep 2009
Today’s policy shift proposed by the president’s Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force holds enormous potential for sweeping changes in how the nation’s oceans are managed, including energy development, experts say.
At its core, the plan would set up a new National Ocean Council to guide a holistic “ecosystem-based” approach intended to elevate and unify what has long been a piecemeal approach by US agencies toward ocean policy and development — from oil and gas exploration to fisheries management to ship transportation to recreation.
At the same time, desalination plants, offshore aquaculture, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals are clamoring for space along coastal areas where existing requirements by commercial shipping and commercial fishing are already in place.
The new proposal won’t be finalized until next year, after a 30-day comment period that begins now.
- Ecosystem-based management as a foundational principle for comprehensive management of the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes.
- Coastal and marine spatial planning to resolve emerging conflicts to ensure that shipping lanes and wind, wave, and oil and gas energy development do not harm fisheries and water quality.
- Improved coordination of policy development among federal state, tribal, local, and regional managers of ocean, coasts, and the Great Lakes.
- Focus on resiliency and adaptation to climate change and ocean acidification.
- Pay special attention to policies needed to deal with changing arctic conditions.
Both unemployed and employed workers have been protesting since Monday at the Hotel Courtenay Bay, where up to 100 workers from Alberta are staying and being bused to the Canaport work site. The protesters are not organized by any specific union.
Demonstrators have targeted the hotel because a contractor at Canaport LNG has hired out-of-province workers who are staying there. The hotel has been the site of morning and afternoon demonstrations that have drawn hundreds of protesters.
Justice Hugh McLellan refused to grant the 10-day injunction that the hotel's lawyers asked for. McLellan wanted to give the protesters a chance to be heard and has scheduled a hearing today for 1:30 p.m. before he grants a more long-term injunction.
Deputy Chief Darrell Scribner of the Saint John Police Force said a previous injunction issued in May wasn't enforceable, according to a legal opinion the force sought. That injunction was put in place after unions blocked buses from leaving the same hotel. The buses were loaded with Polish workers destined for Canaport LNG. [Red emphasis added.]
QUINTANA — A federal regulator has begun analyzing the possible environmental impact of a natural gas liquids extraction facility sought by Freeport LNG and wants to hear what residents think about the project.
“I don’t really feel anything one way or the other about the idea of doing it,” [Quintana Town Councilman Harold Doty] said of the extraction facility. “It’s just we’ve had a problem trusting their word in the past as to doing what they say they’re going to do.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Developers’ veracity seems to be a common thread among many LNG projects, including the LNG developers in Passamaquoddy Bay.
"The greater geographical scope of Trinidad & Tobago's LNG exports over the past year is expected to continue in the medium term, given the large inventories and low economic growth in the US market."
The potential of the Marcellus is significant. It is thought to contain about 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas - enough to supply the entire United States for two years with a wellhead value of one trillion dollars. The Marcellus is also the closest natural gas to the high demand markets of New York, New Jersey and New England. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: This is in addition to other already-existing domestic natural gas resources, along with other vast domestic shale gas resources.
Experts now believe the Marcellus formation may contain up to 1,300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas! [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
The presence of an enormous volume of potentially recoverable gas in the eastern United States has a great economic significance. This will be some of the closest natural gas to the high population areas of New Jersey, New York and New England. This transportation advantage will give Marcellus gas a distinct advantage in the marketplace.
The events described above are not unique to the northeastern United States or the Marcellus Shale. The horizontal drilling and hydrofracing technologies were perfected for shale reservoirs a few years ago in the Barnett Shale of Texas. The technology was then applied in other areas such as the Fayetteville Shale of northcentral Arkansas, the Haynesville Shale of northwestern Louisiana, and the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachians. These are just a few of several unconventional gas plays now happening in the United States and Canada. Similar organic shale deposits in other parts of the world might also produce gas as use of the new technologies spread. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: All this gas negates the need to liquefy natural gas into LNG in remote parts of the world, transport the LNG thousands of miles across the sea, regasify the LNG, and finally inject the regasified LNG into the US natural gas pipeline network. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are moot, several times over.
U.S. domestic natural gas production increased from 2007 to 2008, reducing the demand for imports despite an increase in domestic consumption. Although Canadian import levels decreased by 9 percent compared with 2007, Canadian pipeline imports accounted for 90 percent of total U.S. natural gas imports in 2008. Three new LNG import facilities came on line in 2008, including Sabine Pass in Louisiana, Freeport LNG in Texas, and Northeast Gateway offshore of Massachusetts, according to the report. Despite new infrastructure, however, net U.S. LNG imports fell by 58 percent in 2008, as prices climbed by more than 40 percent. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Russia, Iran and Qatar which jointly possess 55% of global, proved natural gas reserves have announced their plan to form an organization of major gas producing countries worldwide, on the lines of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). If formed, the gas cartel will certainly have an influence on global gas prices if its members act as a group. The cartel can then manage the global gas supplies and in turn, gas prices. The cartel can also press for Liquefied Natural Gas(LNG) to be traded for the first time as a commodity in the different commodity exchanges across the world. This proposed cartel may be enhanced by the addition of new members like Algeria, Indonesia, Libya, and Venezuela. Once formed, the member countries will meet once in every quarter to discuss pricing and supplies of natural gas. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: This article provides good energy security and economic reasons to avoid importing LNG.
16 Sep 2009
Baldacci’s own “State of Maine Comprehensive Energy Plan 2008–2009” (see below for link to file) has not yet determined that LNG would be good for Maine, yet Baldacci is out lobbying for the industry.
Baldacci’s Energy Plan requires the state to conduct a year-long natural gas “dialogue” to “continue to explore the feasibility of the development of a LNG facility in Maine.” In other words, to determine if LNG is something Maine should welcome, or not.
THAT STATE PROCESS HAS NOT YET BEGUN. If the process began today, a determination about LNG in Maine could not occur before mid-September 2010.
Additionally, since Congress gives the US Coast Guard the authority to deny or grant the use of the waterway (Canada’s Head Harbour Passage and the Canadian portion of Passamaquoddy Bay) for LNG transits, and since sovereigns are equal, then Canada has that same authority.
Baldacci’s claim …
The United States has the authority to determine who can use Canada’s waterway, but Canada doesn't.
… is patently and legally flawed.
There are two sovereign governments involved in this issue. Canada has already made its determination that LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay would be unsafe to Canadians and the Canadian environment. The projects are effectively dead.
Baldacci is …
- clearly out of line, both with Maine and with New Brunswick;
- abusing his own adminstration’s energy policy; and
- accomplishing nothing but ill-will.
State of Maine Comprehensive Energy Plan 2008–2009 (PDF; 4.07 MB)
"We need a strategic approach that would be able to plan it out to take advantage of what we've got and to gain the environmental advantages," Coon said Tuesday as the premiers and governors ended their conference in Saint John, N.B.
The Nova Scotia project will initially include three LNG storage tanks of 160,000 cubic metres capacity. The Goldboro site will be able to receive LNG carriers of up to 250,000 cubic metres. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: This is one more LNG import facility ahead of Downeast LNG and Calais LNG, mooting the Passamaquoddy Bay proposals.
A significant thing to note is that since Northern New England does not need Maple LNG's natural gas, Maple LNG has changed its plans from shipping its natural gas to the US to shipping it to Ontario.
SAINT JOHN - Local workers protesting the use of out-of-province workers at the Canaport LNG terminal demonstrated at two local hotels Tuesday, starting early in the morning and continuing into the night.
Arseneault, the MLA for Dalhousie-Restigouche East, said the government has been in close contact all parties involved, but there's nothing it can do to force the company to hire locally. Workers can chose to file a complaint to the Labour Employment Board, but Arseneault said none had been filed as of Tuesday afternoon.
"Let's be frank. What's taking place in Saint John is not illegal," Arseneault said. "We would love for all work in our province to be done by people in New Brunswick, but there's no doubt we also go and work in other jurisdictions as well."
Yesterday FERC granted a waiver of its prohibition on tying and certain capacity release requirements sought by Statoil Natural Gas LLC and Sonatrach. The parties sought the waiver to allow a release to Sonatrach of Statoil's open access transportation capacity on the Cove Point sendout pipeline to be tied or linked to a purchase and sale agreement whereby Sonatrach would sell LNG to Statoil at the inlet of the Cove Point terminal, Statoil would store and regasify it and sell it back to Sonatrach at the outlet of the terminal.
Webmaster’s Comments: This is an indication that Freeport LNG will be importing "hot" LNG (vapors more combustible and possibly explosive when unconfined).
Webmaster’s Comments: Chesapeake owns enormous domestic shale gas reserves — the resource that moots permitting more LNG import facilities like Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
Originally built in the heyday of Cook Inlet oil and gas development to provide a market for excess natural gas discovered during oil exploration, the plant started up in 1969 and has exported LNG to Japan since.
In addition, Enstar Natural Gas Co., the main Southcentral gas utility, has been discussing with the LNG plant owners the possibility of installing equipment at the plant that converts liquefied natural gas stored at Nikiski back into a gaseous form to increase gas supply during peak demand. A proposal to use the plant in this way, in effect as a gas storage facility to support "needle peaking" supplies, was included in a gas supply contract between Conoco and Enstar that the Regulatory Commission of Alaska rejected last year, Clark said.
One solution that people are considering to tackle a pending shortfall in Southcentral utility gas is the possibility of converting the Nikiski LNG-export plant to an LNG-import terminal, to bring liquefied natural gas from overseas into Alaska.
Webmaster’s Comments: The irony is that Alaska has a vast supply of available natural gas, but lacks transportation to domestic Alaskan markets. In the meantime, Alaska has two proposals to build a natural gas pipeline to the lower 48 states.
The Port's countersuit, which Tienson filed in Clatsop County court Friday, turns the tables on Oregon LNG, arguing the company needs Port and state approval to exercise its 30-year sublease renewal option and does not have it yet. If the Port renews the state land lease for 30 years and the LNG terminal isn't built, the complaint says, the Port could get stuck paying the $38,400 annual lease fee to the state for decades. Tienson argues the two-year extension will give Oregon LNG time to complete the federal permitting process before the Port renews the state lease.
15 Sep 2009
Yesterday FERC issued a request for additional environmental data to Downeast LNG on several issues ranging from whale strike avoidance plans to air emissions modeling. FERC also addressed vapor dispersion distances, noting that Downeast's current analysis is "not sufficient" to demonstrate that vapor could not disperse beyond areas under Downeast LNG's legal control. FERC requests that Downeast LNG file its responses within 20 days and notes that following Downeast LNG's submission of the required information, "[FERC] will determine the schedule for completion of the final [Environmental Impact Statement]." This appears to delay the issuance of the final EIS beyond the previously set date of September 18, 2009. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: "Downeast LNG" is beginning to look more and more like "Quoddy Bay LNG."
SNC-Lavalin, a Montreal-based engineering firm, has hired a contractor who brought in workers from outside the province to work on the third natural gas storage tank, said Gary Ritchie, president of the New Brunswick Building and Construction Trades Council in Fredericton.
The protesters believe that since the city gave the Canaport LNG a reduction on property taxes, the company should be providing as much work for local people as possible, Delucry said. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: This is a current example of outside labor being brought in for construction at an LNG terminal site.
"I think there will be some very good discussion points for what the New England region can produce for renewable power and the general scale of renewables that New England would welcome from the eastern provinces," said Karin Tilberg, senior policy adviser for Maine Gov. John Baldacci.
Webmaster’s Comments: Improperly-sited and ill-fated Downeast LNG and Calais LNG apparently were not discussed.
Webmaster’s Comments: We already know from previous news that the proposed NB-ME Energy Corridor natural gas pipeline is on the back burner due to lack of demand.
Maine Jobs First would have Maine lose jobs and other revenue the energy corridor would provide to Maine, just because Canada will not allow industry best practices-defying Downeast LNG and Calais LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay. Of course, the LNG projects could move to industry-compliant locations where Canada has already stated it would have no objection, so why won't Downeast LNG and Calais LNG do it? Here's the answer:
Downeast LNG and Calais LNG probably aren't moving to industry-compliant sites because they know their projects will fail wherever they put them — there is no demand for their product. Meanwhile, the developers continue to receive fat checks from their venture-capital investors as long as they can keep the illusion of non-failure alive.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. John Baldacci said Monday a major topic of today’s meeting of New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers is an effort by Midwestern governors to seize the initiative on generation and distribution of renewable electricity sources at the expense of the Northeast.
Also at issue, Baldacci said, are the “green” jobs that will go with the generating facilities. He said Maine and the entire Northeast region has a “huge capacity” to generate electricity using renewable sources such as wind, both offshore and onshore, as well as tidal and solar.
Webmaster’s Comments: Gov. Baldacci is unlikely to nix the benefits to Maine from an NB-ME Energy Corridor, especially when doing so would only make it easier for Midwestern states to profit at Maine's expense. The LNG lobby (so-called "Maine Jobs First") works against Maine's interests.
Originally, the plan was to send the gas to the northeastern United States but that changed last year. Marketing studies indicate huge growth in the Ontario market for natural gas. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The US natural gas glut that came to light in 2008 has redirected Maple LNG's plans. This is additional evidence that Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are ill-fated, futile projects.
By violating SIGTTO best practices, Weaver’s Cove would increase the probability of an LNG incident. If there actually were a need for the project, there are far better locations for a terminal, far away from civilian populations. Northeast Gateway and Neptune LNG deep water ports, far offshore, are two good examples. If LNG storage is desired, it could be provided aboard LNG vessels or on a floating facility or platform at the deep water port.
Independent energy consulting firm KEMA ranked GDF Suez second in the U.S. retail electricity market. GDF Suez through August 2009 increased its annualized sales by 40 percent to 15 trillion kilowatt hours since August 2008.
GDF Suez is one of the largest importers of liquefied natural gas in the United States, meeting 20 percent of New England's gas demand alone. The utility has a stake in the power, gas and retail markets in much of the northeast United States and Texas.
Webmaster’s Comments: GDF Suez owns the Neptune LNG deepwater LNG terminal off Gloucester, MA, that will be completed near the end of 2009. They are also in the final stages of the FERC permitting process for the Calypso LNG deepwater port offshore from southeastern Florida.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's Governor Charlie Crist announced, on September 11, his approval of the planned Port Dolphin Energy, LLC, deepwater port project which will provide a new source of natural gas to the state.
The Governor's positive support is a major step in the permitting process that is expected to be completed by 2010 as federal, state and local regulatory agencies review and act on the permit application. Construction of the port project is scheduled to begin in 2011.
James Robertson, Jamaica's Energy Minister, said last week that the Energy Ministry will issue a formal Request for Proposals for a floating LNG regasification facility planned for Port Esquivel in southern Jamaica.
ConocoPhillips Company has filed an application to export previously imported LNG from the Freeport LNG terminal. Citing current conditions in the U.S. natural gas market, ConocoPhillips is seeking a blanket authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy to export up to 500 Bcf of previously imported LNG over a two year period.
Webmaster’s Comments: The LNG import bubble burst in 2008. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are moot.
The Kitimat LNG export terminal proposed for Western Canada has a strong chance of becoming a reality, an executive of North America's largest natural gas producer told the Barclays Capital energy conference last week. "We like the project, we think it's very viable," Mike Graham, executive vice president of EnCana's Canadian Foothills Division, told attendees at the investment banking event in New York.
Due to expanding global LNG liquefaction capacity, Darryl Kennedy, director of origination and marketing for Total Gas and Power North America, told the LDC Forum in Chicago that he expects the U.S. LNG market to serve as a "dumping ground" for excess LNG supply.
Webmaster’s Comments: The real world is demonstrating Kennedy as being wrong, at least so far.
12 Sep 2009
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) submitted a letter to FERC this week reiterating its request for information regarding Downeast LNG's plan to mitigate the possible effects of its project on marine animals. Specifically, NMFS is seeking additional information on Downeast LNG's ship strike avoidance plan. The agency notes that it has received no response from Downeast or FERC regarding its requests, and its required consultation under the Endangered Species Act cannot commence until it receives such information.
Webmaster’s Comments: Downeast LNG appears to be submerging into the same vortex that flushed out now-defunct Quoddy Bay LNG.
HEAD HARBOUR PASSAGE, New Brunswick — Tourists, boat captains and those who work the sea say they’ve been seeing lots of whales over the past few weeks in the international waters off Down East Maine, especially in the Campobello Island, Eastport and Lubec areas.
Moira Brown, a senior scientist of Boston’s New England Aquarium, says ever since Hurricane Bill came through last month, the whales have been coming quite close to shore. She says there’s been lots of finbacks, humpbacks and minkes. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Yesterday FERC authorized Gulf LNG Energy to commence construction of the process and utilities piping, process vessels and equipment at its LNG import facility in Pascagoula, Miss. [Red emphasis added.]
Sempra leases property owned by the Port of Lake Charles in Cameron Parish. The Cameron port takes issue with Lake Charles port owning property in their jurisdiction and receiving lease payments from Sempra. [Red emphasis added.]
The Ministry of Energy and Mining is to make a presentation to Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, on September 24, following which there should be a direction on the way forward for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), as the country seeks cheaper and varying energy sources.
The utility is also in discussions with ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. on ways the liquefied natural gas plant near Kenai could help the utility meet gas supply needs, although this is a long-term option.
The base-load and peaking gas are priced in two different ways, with the base-load set on the average price in five Lower 48 gas producing areas. The peaking gas will be priced at 95 percent of the price of Alaska gas delivered to Japan as LNG until March 2011, and then based on other indices.
"If Chugach has a need for volumes above that level, ConocoPhillips will engage in commercially reasonable efforts to make the volumes available, including possible curtailment of the delivery of gas to the Nikiski liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant," the RCA said.
The chambers took the side of the few, the rich, and of outside corporate interests over the long-term interests of their own members and the community as a whole. Perhaps some board members made this mistake out of desperation for new jobs, any jobs. But we can do better.
Webmaster’s Comments: This parallels Washington County, Maine, economic and government entities that have supported outside corporate interests over long-term community economic interests.
One of my office visitors this week said our region is in the midst of a culture war, between the past and the future; between the old ways of doing things and the new. I think he's right. We see this culture war in the fight over liquefied natural gas (LNG). It is also apparent in the bad behavior within the Clatsop County Commission.
There are many ways of looking at the Bradwood LNG facility promoted by NorthernStar LLC or the Skipanon facility promoted by Oregon LNG. The promoters are using the big payroll - or big tax base increase - as an argument to build support for their projects. But when viewed in its totality, these LNG terminals are essentially components of economic colonialism. And to sell the colony concept to the natives, the promoters need local recruits who are willing to give up an element of their culture on the belief that financial reward will follow. In the jargon of the carnival sideshow, the LNG promoters need suckers. Money is the bait in the recruitment of dupes.
People do absurd things when money is dangled under their nose. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
The unsigned editorial published Sept. 2 criticized the Brandwood [sic] Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Astoria, spurring complaints from former school board member Dave Samuelson. Adviser Don Anderson received a voicemail from Samuelson after the editorial ran.
"In the message he said he was going to come down and get me and do something and try to make life miserable for me," Anderson said. "I was amazed. I was surprised because the position in the editorial was not out of keeping with the mainstream position of the LNG debate. Students should be encouraged to take positions on issues and shouldn't be afraid to do so."
Mike Hiestand, legal consultant for the Student Press Law Center, said the pressure that was put on Anderson as an adviser was conflicting. An adviser shouldn't have to make a choice between affording students the opportunity of a journalistic learning experience -- the job he is supposed to do -- and losing his position, Hiestand said.
Webmaster’s Comments: And, students should not be intimidated by adults with differing political beliefs. Samuelson was clearly guilty of terrorizing.
Last week, Anderson's journalism students didn't have to travel to Portland to soak up a major lesson about the news business. They learned it right there in the remote community of Jewell in the coastal mountains of Clatsop County.
For the students, it's a lesson in journalistic courage and accountability. If you're going to publish a hard-hitting editorial on your community's hottest environmental controversy, you must be braced for strong, sometimes angry responses and be willing to defend your work and your right to publish it.
The student journalists should stand by their outspoken position and refuse to be bullied into silence. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
It’s the second time the FERC didn’t include the local project despite Jordan Cove’s request for a hearing. The developer’s attorneys also submitted a request to have an agenda item for FERC’s July hearing.
The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay has filed an application with Coos County to change the zoning of the Kentuck Golf Course to exclusive farm use. The change would allow the port to flood the property to offset damage caused by construction of a slip the port is building in connection with Jordan Cove Energy Project’s LNG terminal on the North Spit.
Associate editors for Platts Gas Daily, Adam Bennett and Joshua Starnes, discuss the rapidly filling natural gas storage facilities in Canada, which have put pressure on pipelines and producers to consider exporting gas to the US this fall regardless of price or face the prospect of shutting in production until demand returns. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Listen to the Plattspodcast. [Free registration required.]
The Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) released a report this week that encourages Canada's gas industry to develop LNG export facilities, particularly projects that can readily access markets in Europe. According to Platts LNG Daily, the report suggests that liquefaction projects in eastern Canada could deliver LNG to European markets in as little as ten days, allowing the projects to compete with Russian natural gas delivered via pipeline. [Subscription required] [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Like the US, Canada has surplus quantities of domestic natural gas resources. North America is in a century-long natural gas glut.
Mexico should enjoy a wealth of new gas supply options in the years to come. Consequently, some expect the country to abandon its traditional role as an importer of US pipeline gas, and instead start exporting net volumes to its northern neighbor. However, that transition may prove challenging, particularly if North American gas prices remain too low to attract much LNG.
Natural gas has been trading at seven-year lows for the past couple of weeks, beleaguered by overly bearish fundamentals. While a mild summer restrained domestic demand, the economic recession has bridled industrial demand for the commodity. Also, production has been unable to contain itself, with inventories reaching historic levels. [Red emphasis added.]
Canadian wellhead gas prices are already in the US$2 per million Btu range and seemly headed for $1, if not pennies. US prices are only modestly higher. So why would prognosticators such as Calgary's FirstEnergy Capital analyst Martin King and others be forecasting $7/MMBtu prices by early 2010? Hint: Check the long-term winter weather forecasts.
Webmaster’s Comments: Since natural gas industry players indicate North America has a 100-year domestic gas resource at today's rate of consumption, the answer to the headline question is "No".
Jylkka: Natural gas and crude oil have historically been correlated for a long time. But a couple things recently have changed the structural relationship between the two. The biggest one is really the way markets have evolved. Oil is truly a global market now, but gas is very domestic. Everyone talks about LNG, but it's really only 2-3% of the supply. It's not growing as fast as a lot of people say. Natural gas is truly a domestic marketplace.
Also, the cost of storage is very different. Gas is much more difficult to transport, with LNG being a great example. Consider just the energy needed to compress it, liquefy it and transport it across the ocean. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Consumption of LNG among Japan's utilities rose 2.9 percent in August from a year earlier, rising for the first time in nine months, but the burning of coal, crude and fuel oil stayed down as it continued its precipitous decline for the year.
10 Sep 2009
Maine, strategically located between Northeast population centers and the abundant energy resources of eastern Canada, is well-positioned to take advantage of that vision. At the same time, the state wants to supply the Northeast with its own power from the wind, tides and liquefied natural gas.
Two [developers] focus on liquefied natural gas. Terminals in the Washington County communities of Calais and Robbinston would offload the liquid from tankers, turn it back into gas and pipe it to customers in Maine and southern New England.
Webmaster’s Comments: Since there is no need for additional natural gas, there is no need beyond existing infrastructure. Even Fort Reliance (Irving) has put piping natural gas through the corridor on the back burner.
The LNG terminal operator aims to bring in at least 20 of its own cargoes to Sabine this year, but Sabine Pass, like all terminals on the U.S. Gulf Coast, has received only a trickle of imports this year as low U.S. gas prices have made it unattractive for shippers. [Red emphasis added.]
Sabine Pass LNG, L.P. has requested that FERC authorize the commencement of service at the Sabine Pass LNG Phase II facilities. The request notes that construction and cooldown of the facilities are complete.
FERC noted that the Alaska Gasline Port Authority’s proposed LNG export project would liquefy and load gas shipped from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez onto tankers for sale on the US West Coast, Mexico, Hawaii, elsewhere in Asia. It said TC Alaska has committed to include an option of transporting gas for this project within its open season for a line from ANS to Alberta. FERC said it would have jurisdiction over this or any other Alaskan LNG project.
Oregon LNG is proceeding with its lawsuit against the Port of Astoria - even though the Port Commission voted last month to sign a two-year extension of the state land lease for the liquefied natural gas terminal in Warrenton.
Oregon LNG renewed its sublease with the Port for a 30-year term in April, but last month the Port decided not to renew the underlying lease of state land for 30 years. Instead, the agency extended its lease with the state for two years and kept two 30-year options in place.
“No Fishing" areas, such as the MLPA-Initiative closures currently being implemented are a solution looking for a problem. Yet they are promoted by the Ocean Conservancy, and supported by the Sierra Club, 2 groups recently in support of the PXP Tranquillon Ridge Oil and LNG "Deal" offshore at Santa Barbara. Gordon Moore of the Moore Foundation himself delineates the gap between the 'Political' Donation Reserves & Investment Bottom Lines (DRIBL) of the private foundations (with billions of dollars readily available) and the reality of Ecosystem Boundaries Of Influence (BOI). [Red & bold emphasis added.]
In its Short-Term Energy Outlook released yesterday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted that U.S. imports of LNG would total 460 Bcf in 2009 and 660 Bcf in 2010. EIA noted that it revised downward its previous prediction for 2009 due to global LNG market conditions and relatively high world oil prices. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Atlantic Basin LNG supplies are fixed on Europe in the months ahead as the US heads for an historic natural gas glut. That’s as a US Federal report said there “was no physical explanation” for record prices of US natural gas posted last year. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
8 Sep 2009
Whale watching tour operators in the Passamaquoddy Bay area are reporting the best year for sightings they can remember with customers almost guaranteed to see humpback, minke and finback whales - even Atlantic right whales, of which only about 400 survive today.
[Art MacKay] described Head Harbour Passage, the entry to Passamaquoddy Bay between Campobello and Deer islands, as a "nutrient pump" years ago. "It's plugged with whales, it's absolutely plugged with whales," he said, referring to this year. [Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
So I guess forty years from now, Lynch and CCAW will be happy if LNG importing goes away--as the Asians end up buying up all of the LNG imports from Trinidad, Egypt, and Nigeria. Less LNG means more domestic & foreign oil and gas consumption. That sort of works against CCAW's core mission of cleaner air for the Coastal Empire.
Webmaster’s Comments: No, the US has a 100-year natural gas glut, so constructing more LNG import infrastructure makes no energy-security sense.
Manatee County, Fla., filed comments with FERC and the U.S. Coast Guard that criticizes the findings of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) prepared for the Port Dolphin LNG deepwater port project. The county notes that recently its Board of County Commissioners voted to conditionally approve an alternative pipeline route for the Port Dolphin project, but it argues that the FEIS as it currently stands does not sufficiently account for the effects of the planned natural gas pipeline on sand replenishment resources.
ASTORIA, Ore. -- Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin says he's decided the husband of a county commissioner didn't break the law when he said he would "come after" the adviser to high school journalists who wrote an editorial critical of a proposed liquefied natural gas project.
Webmaster’s Comments: In Maine, according to the Maine Justice Policy Center, a threat is equivalent to the crime of terrorizing.
The cases against Hazen, Roberts and Samuelson carry varying proportions of three distinct complaints. 1. They have to do with making a mess of the commission (such as the Marquis misadventure), 2. stacking the deck for Northern Star LLC (developer of Bradwood) and 3. misfeasance (Roberts at NOAA). Of these three components, Hauke's letter seems mainly to be motivated by LNG. The very appearance of this letter tells us something about the level of anxiety among the county commissioners who are targeted for recall as well as within Northern Star LLC, which relies on the three commissioners to do the Texas company's bidding rather than protect the citizens and the Columbia River. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
Oregon LNG is one of two companies with proposed LNG terminals on the Columbia River and one of three companies with proposed LNG projects in Oregon. NorthernStar Natural Gas of Houston has proposed the Bradwood Landing LNG project 20 miles east of Astoria and Jordan Cove Energy Project has proposed a facility in Coos Bay.
The issue is mired in so much red tape that it may seem to some hard to decipher fact from fiction, but that is just the way Bradwood Landing (the LNG corporation) wants it. The more they can confuse, obfuscate, and bamboozle local residents, the more sway they will have over the (unfortunately few) politicians that have your back. Let's look at some of the myths that Bradwood is foisting upon us and the facts that lie behind them.
6 Sep 2009
…Lynch argues against the fuel because of day-to-day security requirements. Incoming and outgoing shipments of LNG require a federal security "exclusion" zone [actually, they are termed "Safety & Security Zones" — webmaster] of one mile in front of the moving ship, two miles behind it and 1,000 feet to either side. That disrupts other shipping as well as recreational boating. It also decreases waterfront property values and can hurt waterfront businesses, Roberti said. [Red emphasis added.]
At a recent meeting, the Board of County Commissioners of Manatee County passed a motion to find that the proposed pipeline route would be an acceptable alternative route if conditions are added to the deepwater port license to enable the removal of future beach compatible sand from areas prior to construction of the pipeline and if such conditions are acceptable to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Truth is, Prime Minister Manning increasingly speaks, often in sharp contrast to close advisers and ministerial colleagues, with confidence about "the future ahead" and even as an official audit was last week revealing dangerous levels of decline in the country's vital foreign exchange earner - liquefied natural gas (LNG). [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Declining LNG resources in Trinidad and Tobago could throw a serious financial wrench in the business plans of yet-unlicensed US LNG import proposals, like Downeast LNG and Calais LNG — although they already have no hope of importing LNG, regardless of the source.
The most important issue discussed was the issue of energy diversification. Industrialist Barclay Ewart argued passionately, as he has since the 1970s, that Jamaica needs to look carefully at moving towards coal, rather than what seemed to be a rush towards liquefied natural gas (LNG). He observed that the environmental argument for LNG over a modern coal plant did not take into account all the energy costs associated with liquefying, compressing, shipping, and reversing the process at the power plant. All this makes it a quite different product than the natural gas typically burned in US power stations. He noted that both Rusal and JPS had been in favour of coal on cost grounds, and that there were issues related to economies of scale with the huge capital costs involved in LNG. Finally, he suggested the need to have a top energy engineering firm evaluate Jamaica's energy strategy before making such a momentous decision. [Red emphasis added.]
In an unlucky coincidence, the low-frequency sound generated by ships falls in the same range used by whales to communicate, and it's capable of traveling hundreds of miles through water without diminishing.
A 10-knot limit when whales are present took effect this year for liquefied natural gas carriers at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts, and its adjacent waters. Another restriction took effect in 2008 on the Eastern Seaboard, requiring the slowdown of all large ships during the season that federally endangered right whales congregate.
The federal regulations were enacted to protect the whales from death and injury by ship strikes, which have increased in recent decades on the East Coast. But they have the ancillary effect of reducing ship noise, said Leila Hatch, an ecologist who runs the underwater acoustics program at the Stellwagen marine sanctuary. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Play the underwater sound from the passing freighter referred to in the above news article:
4 Sep 2009
I recently met with President Obama’s nominee to be our next ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, who currently serves as a Special Assistant to the President at the White House. He is a lawyer with extensive experience in commercial, securities, insurance, and business law. I used our meeting as an opportunity to discuss several contentious issues with Canada that must be resolved.
Chief among them is the development of a Liquefied Natural Gas terminal here in Maine. There currently are two proposed LNG projects for Washington County, both of which would use the Canadian waters of Head Harbour Passage. Canada, however, denies that LNG tankers have the right of innocent passage through these waters. I asked the U.S. State Department to clarify this issue, and it confirmed that all commercial vessels enjoy a non-suspendable right of innocent passage into and out of Passamaquoddy Bay through Head Harbor Passage. [Red and yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments:The US State Department position is fraudulent. Besides, Senator Collins received that answer from the Bush Administration Department of State. The current administration may have — and should have — an entirely different opinion.
Maine residents can send Senator Collins a webmail message on her ill-advised support for these inappropriately-sited LNG facilities.
[This editorial also appears in iStockAnalyst.]
Fort Reliance is a co-developer of an LNG terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick. And it is seeking to expand its energy holdings and operations in both eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.
That goal isn't a bad one, as long as the regional heavyweight plays fairly and according to the rules. Part of that includes not trying to squelch a project that would aid this state by increasing and diversifying its sources of energy.
Webmaster’s Comments: An LNG terminal in Passamaquoddy Bay is a dead-end pipe dream, since Downeast LNG and Calais LNG made no effort to comply with LNG industry terminal siting best practices when they selected their project locations. Continuing to defy compliance, they continue to doom their own projects.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) responded this week to filings submitted to FERC by Weaver's Cove Energy. DEM took issue with Weaver's Cove's statement that their proposal "addresses concerns raised by the resource agencies." Specifically, DEM stated that Weaver's Cove's dredging plan and other environmental mitigation measures do not address DEM's concerns. [Red emphasis added.]
The company wants to put a platform 28 miles from shore, where ships would unload liquefied natural gas. The gas then would be shipped through the pipeline, which would come ashore at Port Manatee and connect with existing land pipelines for distribution.
County and Longboat Key officials initially objected to the pipeline’s original proposed route because it would cross prime sources of sand for beach renourishment . The company later agreed to move the pipeline farther north but not far enough in the eyes of town officials, who continue to explore possible legal action.
Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass natural gas import terminal is expecting back-to-back shipments of liquefied natural gas in the next week and is nearly done with construction of its fifth and final LNG storage tank.
Cheniere spokeswoman Diane Haggard said the company could either sell it to an end customer elsewhere in the U.S. or keep it in storage at the terminal and export it at a later date to another overseas market should prices there prove profitable. The terminal was recently granted an export license for just such deals. [Red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Cheniere cannot find a domestic market, and can now re-export their newly-imported LNG. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are moot projects.
Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Sempra Energy, the utility owner that built gas-import terminals in Mexico and Louisiana, said itís seeking spot deliveries at its U.S. plant after a collapse in demand made it impossible to get long-term contracts.
“I don’t think in this environment that anyone in their right mind would enter into a 10- or 20-year contract to use a terminal,” Chief Executive Officer Donald Felsinger said yesterday in an interview at Sempra’s headquarters in San Diego. “When there is enough terminal capacity available, you just contract for it and get the best price you can on a spot basis.”
There are nine U.S. LNG terminals open and five new plants or expansion projects under construction, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Terminals were built when domestic gas production was failing to keep pace with growth in U.S. demand and officials such as Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan were saying more import capacity was needed.
U.S. LNG imports have failed to meet expectations, averaging less than the capacity of just one terminal. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: The writing has been on the wall for years, now. Downeast LNG and Calais LNG are zombie projects with no purpose.
In the past three winters gas has been diverted from a liquefied natural gas plant near Kenai to meet the utilities' peak demands during cold snaps, but the plant could close in 2011 when its federal LNG export permit expires. The operator, ConocoPhillips, has not yet made a decision about the plant. Regional gas producers like Chevron and Marathon Oil have installed some gas storage capabilities but not enough to meet the projected winter peaks.
The timing was poor. U.S. natural gas production has surged in recent years as many companies found success tapping unconventional gas formations throughout the country. The economic downturn compounded the problem, sapping demand. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
NEW YORK, Sept. 4 (Reuters) - The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States rose two this week to 701, the seventh straight weekly gain after sinking in mid-July to the lowest level in more than seven years, according to a report on Friday by Baker Hughes in Houston.
Webmaster’s Comments: The US is in a natural gas glut.
The fear that the U.S. is going to import more liquefied natural gas has definitely hurt the price of natural gas. I think that fear is exaggerated and that LNG will be shipped more to Europe than to the U.S. If that's the case, there's one major overhang that's going to disappear.
“We could go lower than $2, it hasn’t finished yet.” Demand hasn’t increased in Europe, and U.S. domestic output has been higher than expected, which will put further pressure on Henry Hub, the U.S. gas benchmark, he said. [Red emphasis added.]
Noting the progress in developing an LNG export facility at Kitimat in northwestern British Columbia, also attracted by Asian gas demand, Deacon projected: “We end up exporting natural gas as LNG from North America, as it seems unlikely North America will be a major import destination for LNG.”
“It is a great game changer,” according to the American Gas Association’s Managing Directory of Policy Analysis, Chris McGill. Based on the advances in technology, he said, the estimated reserves in the U.S. “have grown by 50 percent since 1990” and now total 100 years of supply. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
3 Sep 2009
Today's Federal Register announces that NOAA has issued an incidental harassment authorization to Northeast Gateway Energy Bridge LLC that permits the taking of marine mammals incidental to the operations of its LNG deepwater port.
Webmaster’s Comments: View the Federal Register announcement (PDF file).
FERC conducted its annual inspection of Distrigas' Everett LNG import terminal last month and reports that "[n]o deficiencies were found in the inspected areas, nor were any identified as a result of the technical discussions."
Similar to other requests, the towns of Bristol and Tiverton, Rhode Island, have jointly requested reconsideration of the U.S. Coast Guard's Letter of Recommendation for the Weaver's Cove LNG import project.
Transco in March asked FERC for authority to construct and operate two bidirectional interconnections on its mainline, allowing it to receive regasified LNG from Elba Express Co. LLC's system, which transports supplies from Southern LNG Inc.'s import terminal. Washington Gas' complaint is a familiar one: The utility challenged Dominion Cove Point LNG LP's expansion at its terminal in Maryland, claiming the regasified supplies could cause damage and leaks on its system.
Webmaster’s Comments: This possibly forebodes US LNG importers having to find other sources, meaning farther away (greater transportation costs and greater carbon footprint) and with different hydrocarbon content — likely “hotter” (greater butan, propane, and ethane content).
Herman Acunia, Ryder Scott managing senior vice-president, told a news conference in the Caribbean twin-island nation’s capital of Port of Spain that while there was a reduction in the country’s proved reserves, its probable and possible reserves had increased.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) informed FERC last month that formal consultation by NMFS is warranted for eleven marine species that FERC previously said were not likely to be adversely affected by the construction and operation of the Bradwood Landing LNG import terminal.
The Petroleum Economist [subscription required] carries an analysis of Mexico's natural gas supply over the next decade and raises questions about the country's planned reliance on the production of gas from the Chicontepec project. To make up for its expected gas shortfall, the analysis suggests that Mexico may have to increase its LNG imports via the Altamira, Costa Azul, and Manzanillo LNG terminals.
2 Sep 2009
[This identical story is also reported by iStockAnalyst.]
Webmaster’s Comments: To Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance’s knowledge, Irving/Fort Reliance has never made any attempt to influence or finance resistance to the LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay.
Canaport LNG has a 25-year contract for its natural gas, so it has no competition from Maine LNG projects. There is no motive for Canaport to fight LNG in Maine.
Downeast LNG, Calais LNG, and the now-long-gone Quoddy Bay LNG all needed a bogeyman to point at for their problems, instead of admitting their own failings. For the uninformed, Irving/Canaport/Fort Reliance makes a convenient target.
This story is not news, it has no impact on Canada’s position against LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay, and Calais LNG and Downeast LNG still have no chance at success.
In a letter to U.S. officials, Daniel Goodwin with Fort Reliance — the holding company for Irving’s energy businesses — wrote that all energy projects “that aim to improve our shared region’s supply of clean, secure and reliable energy … should be given the opportunity to proceed through the various local, state or provincial and federal regulatory processes.”
Webmaster’s Comments: Irving never has opposed Maine LNG facilities. The bogeyman isn’t Irving/Canaport/Fort Reliance. It is inappropriately-sited Downeast LNG and Calais LNG.
Citizens for Clean Air and Water (CCAW) invite the public to attend an important public policy forum about the issues surrounding the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals near populated areas and busy shipping lanes. Featured speakers are Patrick Lynch, Attorney General of Rhode Island, and Paul Roberti, Public Utilities Commissioner of Rhode Island.
Germuth acknowledged that the company’s decision to switch to a liquefaction process rather than regasification would mean it would be more energy intensive, however he had been unable to get a new number from KLNG.
Yesterday FERC issued an order denying requests for a stay and for rehearing filed by the State of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). The State of Oregon requested a stay pending the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Oregon's appeal of the Commission's January 2009 rehearing order affirming its prior approval of the Bradwood Landing LNG import terminal. CTUIR filed a request for rehearing of the January 2009 order asserting that their motion to intervene in the proceedings was improperly denied. [Red emphasis added.]
Opponents of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project filed notice Tuesday that they will appeal Clatsop County commissioners' recent land-use approval for the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project.
NATS released market comments this morning and opined that the utilization of U.S. LNG import terminals "remains lackluster," with the exceptions of the Everett, Elba Island, and Canaport LNG terminals.
Webmaster’s Comments: The continually-predicted rush of LNG imports is still not happening. North America is swimming in a glut of natural gas.
1 Sep 2009
Quoddy Bay LNG is also under litigation. A complaint filed in court by Coler and Colantonio Inc. of Norwall, Mass., claims it is owed nearly $160,000 for work the engineering firm did in drafting documents for an application the company submitted to FERC.
Maine lobbyists earned $4 million this year to influence bills, with Central Maine Power Co. and the Calais LNG Project leading the way. But the total is lower than in recent years, particularly 2007, when groups spent nearly $5 million on lobbyists.
[Bold, red & yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Government actions should be based on what is right, not on what well-paid lobbyists cajole legislators into doing.
Lobbyists are among the few Mainers to receive any financial benefit from ill-fated Calais LNG. The project cannot be constructed since the US Coast Guard Letter of Recommendation and Waterway Suitability Report require LNG developers in Passamaquoddy Bay to obtain Canada's cooperation — something Canada has repeatedly stated since 2007, at the highest levels of government, it will not provide.
[Note: This is in addition to the “innocent passage” issue — another insurmountable obstacle in Calais LNG’s way.]
Lobbyists representing Calais LNG at the Maine Legislature
— Sources: Follow The Money & Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics & Election Practices
Developers who wish to establish LNG Terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay seem to know that the trump card from their opposition might well be the whales that literally plug Head Harbour Passage each summer and the endangered North Atlantic right whales that, later in the season, move into the approaches to Head Harbour Passage. [Red emphasis added.]
In a filing Friday, Lynch said the decision was made based on “dated and, frankly, bogus information that Weaver’s Cove Energy supplied.” Lynch’s claim states the company provided Coast Guard officials with information based on Weaver’s Cove’s past proposal to use smaller tankers to traverse both Brightman Street bridges. Under that proposal, Lynch said, about 120 to 130 round-trip transits would take place per year. But the latest information provided to the Coast Guard, Lynch said, referenced only 70 such transits taking place annually. [Red emphasis added.]
The City of Fall River (Mass.) has filed a request that the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Sector Southeastern New England, Raymond J. Perry, reconsider the findings of his Letter of Recommendation (LOR) in the Weaver's Cove LNG proceeding. The LOR, issued July 30, 2009, determined that the waterways associated with the planned Weaver's Cove LNG project are suitable for LNG vessel traffic.
Webmaster’s Comments: The Weaver’s Cove Coast Guard Letter of Recommendation suffers the same fault as the LOR for Passamaquoddy Bay — they both defy LNG industry best practices that indicate the terminal site is unsafe for the health of the industry and the public. Both allow thousands of civilians to be engulfed in Federally-defined and potentially fatal Hazard Zones.
Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP filed an answer to Washington Gas Light Company's (WGL) request for rehearing filed with FERC regarding its order authorizing Cove Point LNG's Pier Reinforcement Project. Citing U.S. Supreme Court precedent and other sources, Dominion emphasized that FERC repeatedly has ruled in other proceedings that there is a lack of causation between the Cove Point expansion and the proposed pier reinforcement project and any potential, speculative leaks that may occur on WGL's local distribution system.
Still, the stunning development of huge shale gas deposits further undermines the case for the Mackenzie project, which was already seen as vulnerable to competition from LNG and gas from Alaska. Mackenzie would deliver 1.2-billion cubic feet per day at a cost of $16-billion – roughly a quarter of the Alaska's project capacity but at half the cost. [Red emphasis added.]
"The citizens of Clatsop County rejected this project because it will harm our local businesses, including our salmon fishery. The commissioners who approved this project ignored the law and voters' opposition to Bradwood LNG."
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) filed its response to a letter regarding formal consultation issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service early this month in the Bradwood Landing LNG terminal proceeding. In its response, available in the FERC eLibrary under Docket No. CP06-365, the Coast Guard clarified that FERC has "exclusive authority to approve or deny an application for the siting, construction, expansion or operation of an LNG terminal."
Sempra's deal allows its partners to divert up to half the loads it has purchased if they can get a higher price elsewhere. In exchange, they pay Sempra the profit it would have made in North America.
In its weekly report last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a bigger-than-expected 54 billion cubic feet (Bcf) weekly addition to natural gas stockpiles for the week ended August 21. This takes the current storage level to 3.26 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), which is up 18.8% from last year's level and 18.1% above the five-year range (as clear from the nearby chart from the EIA). Current stocks are 516 Bcf above this last year and 500 Bcf above the five-year average.
They need to do it, it can be done, but it won't be easy, because it means taking market share away from things traditionally powered by the two big bruisers of the energy business: coal and oil. Also fighting for the same piece of business are the young and spirited renewables brothers: biomass, solar and wind.
[I]ts quite likely that gas will be demonized as not being really 'green' and as being dangerous in vehicles. In addition, the potential of shale gas will be downplayed by the rivals and the public led to believe that consuming more natural gas will make the nation more reliant on foreign LNG. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: As a matter of fact, natual gas is not really 'green'. It is merely less dirty than other hydrocarbon fuels.
For as long as Canada has exported oil and gas there has been little reason, until the last couple of years, to look beyond the US market. But the volatility of the US economy, changing fuel needs, shrinking demand and the uncertain impact of possible climate-change regulations imposed on oil sands-derived imports are eroding confidence among Canadian producers that the US will continue to buy two-thirds of their crude production.
For gas producers, which also rely on 60% or more of their volumes flowing to the US, the changes are even more severe and sudden thanks to the proliferation of US shale-gas developments…. [Red emphasis added.]
To understand why, you need to get up to speed on the exciting phenomenon of so-called tight gas. This, after coal, could perhaps be the world's most prolific energy source. Hitherto, we have relied on conventional deposits of gas. But tight gas is locked into difficult rock formations, such as shale, and in the past couple of years the industry has found low-cost ways of fragmenting those rocks in order to get at the gas, particularly in America. The result is that US gas reserves have effectively doubled, almost unnoticed; and the same technology can be readily applied in Canada, Australia, Asia and even parts of Europe. [Red emphasis added.]
In testimony before Congress this month, the Industrial Energy Consumers of America said that from January 2008 to August 2008, the price of natural gas more than doubled because of too much speculation. During the same time period, U.S. production of natural gas actually rose about 8 percent while national inventories were well within the five-year average and demand was essentially unchanged from the same period of the previous year. As a result of that excessive risk taking, consumers paid more than $40 billion in higher natural gas costs, it concludes. [Red& yellow emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: This demonstrates one reason why importing LNG is no assurance of lower natural gas prices. Besides, North America is awash in natural gas reserves. New LNG import infrastructure proposed by Downeast LNG and Calais LNG is not needed.
Even though the industry isn't making any money pumping natural gas at prices below $3 per mcf, it cannot cut production. These companies have to make interest payments and must earn whatever revenue they can get. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster’s Comments: Since domestic supply is so great, and keeps on coming, importing incremental LNG is pointless — just like the Downeast LNG and Calais LNG projects, and for the same reasons.