2009 Mar 27
CALAIS – The City of Calais and Washington County’s legislative delegation are officially on board and hundreds of people joined them on Tuesday night when over 240 people turned out for a public information session on the Calais LNG project held at Washington County Community College (WCCC).
All 27 speakers supported the project.
A company press release said the session was organized to present the findings of last year’s field work and to receive comments and questions from the public.
Every member of the Washington County legislative delegation, led by Senator Kevin Raye, submitted letters in support of Calais LNG, and excerpts were read by former Calais City Councillor Marianne Moore.
“On behalf of the entire town council, I am so confident in all the work that has been done by Calais LNG and I know this will be an excellent project for the area,” said Calais Mayor Vinton Cassidy.
Former state senator Harold Silverman, commenting on the economic conditions in the area, said, “The unhealthy culture created by a lack of employment separates families whose next generation must move out of Washington County to find a job.”
Jane Delmonaco picked up on the economic theme, stating, “Our children bear burdens far beyond their years, suffering fear and stress that afflicts families separated by the need to find work.”
The public information meeting is one of several outreach activities initiated by Calais LNG to encourage public involvement. Open house sessions were held in Calais and Baileyville in the fall of 2008 and Calais LNG participated in a Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC) scoping session in December of 2008 that was attended by over 100 people.
John Rogers, a landowner along the 40-kilometre proposed natural gas pipeline route, complimented those associated with the project on their local outreach activities and expressed his full support for Calais LNG while Robert Tyler announced the Sunrise County Economic Council’s endorsement of Calais LNG based on a careful review of the project.
Kevin Shorey said, “The economy of Maine and Washington County is on thin ice, and Calais LNG will recharge our economy and help build a secure energy future.”
Representatives of Verso Paper and Lincoln Pulp and Paper both called attention to the effects of energy costs on their businesses.
“The cost of energy represents the single biggest competitive issue we face,” said Dennis McComb, Environmental and Safety Manager for Lincoln Pulp and Paper.
“Natural gas shortages have a huge impact on our costs,” said Brad Flannery, from Verso Paper, which employs 1,600 people at their plants in Bucksport and Jay.
“This project will lower electricity prices and increase gas supplies. We strongly support it,” he said.
Maine Maritime Academy senior Matthew Stein, who has sailed on an LNG vessel, said of his experience, “The LNG industry has an outstanding commitment to public and environmental safety.”
Captain Gerald Morrison added, “An LNG import facility in Calais would offer far-reaching benefits. As a harbour pilot, I am very confident that the LNG tankers will navigate these waters safely.”
The session ran more than an hour over the allotted time due to the number of people waiting to speak in support of the project, says the news release.
University of Maine professor of Marine Ecology, Brian Beal, who was the last speaker, said, “Calais LNG has a sincere commitment to conduct scientific studies in the most thorough manner,” he said.
Calais LNG is proposing to construct and operate an LNG receiving terminal and storage facility on a 133-hectare site located roughly 11 kilometres south of downtown Calais.
An interconnection with the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline is planned.
© 2009 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.
The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB