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"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
                                           — US Senator Susan Collins, 2012 Jun 21


Latest News

2013 October 29


CLEC is looking for (not after) your wallet (Oct 28) — Conservation Law Foundation, Boston, MA

The recently announced formation of the Coalition to Lower Energy Costs (CLEC) represents the latest tactic employed by Kinder Morgan and its Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) subsidiary in their effort to build a gas pipeline on the backs of electric customers.…

A quick read of CLEC’s website exposes its self-serving intentions as it unabashedly proposes that the solution to anticipated high energy costs is the development of a new 2 bcf/day pipeline to be paid for by consumers that would just happen to follow the same route from New York to Dracut, MA that TGP has proposed. CLEC cites to “studies” that support this approach, but neglects to mention that they were written by experts hired by TGP and that their “flood the market with gas” approach was widely discredited by a variety of experts in a recent proceeding before the Maine Public Utilities Commission, as being bad for consumers and likely to undermine the energy markets. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Letter to the editor: Boothbay’s energy project proves natural gas pipeline not needed (Oct 27) — Portland Press Herald, Portland, ME

Mainers do not have to choose between electricity and national security. There is a third choice that will enable us to maximize both. The residents of the Boothbay region have already done this, in a pilot project which we could replicate all over the state.

…[W]ith a grant from Efficiency Maine and with technical advice from Grid Solar and others, Boothbay businesses and residents reduced their demand by 10 percent over three years, and now they are reducing it even further. They don’t need those new transmission lines.

How did Boothbay reduce demand? By installing “non-transmission alternatives” – solar PV panels, more efficient light bulbs and appliances, battery banks that store excess electricity, blocks of ice called “Ice Bears” that boost air conditioners, and a computer system that turns on existing standby generators in hospitals and government offices during peak demand.

Boothbay has demonstrated that Mainers do not need to pay for an additional natural gas pipeline to generate enough electricity. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


First Quebec LNG proposal seeks natgas export license (Oct 27) — Reuters

GNL Quebec Inc is applying for a liquefied natural gas export license from the National Energy Board, requesting permission to export as much as 11 million tonnes of LNG per year. The gas would come from a proposed liquefaction plant in Saguenay, Quebec, about 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of Quebec City, according to regulatory documents.

The Energie Saguenay project is the first proposed for Quebec and is backed by GNL Quebec, owned by Freestone Capital LLC and Breyer Capital LLC. GNL Quebec is planning to build a 650-kilometer long pipeline connecting with TransCanada Corp's main natural-gas conduit to supply the facility with gas from Western Canada. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]


NYS updates proposed rules for LNG storage — WXXI Public Radio, NY

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ New York regulators have revised their proposed liquefied natural gas storage rules to include size restrictions in response to public comments.

The regulations would allow LNG fueling and storage facilities in New York for the first time since 1973, when the state imposed a moratorium following a Staten Island explosion that killed 40 workers. The regulations would make New York the only state to require a permit for LNG storage.

The revision released Tuesday would limit the size of facilities to 70,000 gallons. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Pennsylvania Congressman Launches Frack Waste Investigation as Concern Rises — InsideClimate News

The move follows a report by ICN and the Center for Public Integrity that documented how and why toxic oil and gas waste is virtually unregulated.

Rep. Matthew Cartwright, a first-term Democrat from eastern Pennsylvania, wants to know more about how the contaminated leftovers from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are regulated.

Cartwright also has introduced legislation to repeal the exemption that allows oil and gas waste to escape regulation as hazardous material.

The congressional inquiry is expected to expand to other states before the end of the year, mirroring a growing concern over the disposal of massive amounts of waste generated by fracking. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Gulf of Mexico

Cameron LNG project breaks ground in Louisiana, US — Tank Storage Magazine

A ground-breaking ceremony has taken place for the new $10 billion (€7.8 billion) liquefaction export facilities at Cameron LNG in Hackberry, Louisiana.

The liquefaction project will be comprised of three-train natural gas liquefaction facilities with an export capability of 12 million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG), or approximately 1.7 billion cubic feet per day. All three trains are expected to commence operations during 2018, with the first full year of operations in 2019.

British Columbia

British energy firm blames market as it pauses its B.C. LNG project — The Province, Vancouver, BC

British energy firm BG Group is hitting the pause button on its proposed liquefied natural gas project near Prince Rupert, B.C., as it takes stock of shifting market conditions.

Estimated LNG volumes from the United States are looking to be higher than previously expected at 90 million tonnes a year, versus 60 million tonnes, Gould said.

"So, as a result of this, coupled with weakness in gas pricing generally, there is a risk that the market will be very well supplied post 2020," he said. "We're pausing on Prince Rupert to see how the market evolves, particularly in function of total supply that will come out of the U.S."

Webmaster's comment: Downeast LNG stays several years behind the LNG market curve, ensuring that potential profitability is a pipe dream.

B.C. off the mark with claim that LNG could help fight climate change: report [Opinion column] (Oct 27) — The Globe and Mail, Toronto, ON

A report from the Pembina Institute pokes holes in the British Columbia government’s claim that exporting liquefied natural gas is the greatest single step the province can take to fight climate change.

“Our research indicates that, contrary to the government’s claim, natural gas will not reduce coal use and will not help solve climate change in a world with weak climate policies in place, which unfortunately is the world we live in,” said Horne.

“The reality is that it’s actually climate policy, not the production of natural gas, or the availability of natural gas, that will determine our trajectory toward dangerous climate change and the mix of fuels that will avoid this outcome,” she told reporters on a webinar after the report was released. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

United States

Exclusive: Asian buyers of U.S. LNG dial back as exuberance dims (Sep 19) — Reuters

A looming gas glut worldwide is prompting Japanese and Indian firms to resell to European traders and utilities big chunks of U.S. liquefied natural gas they had committed to buy several years ago, signaling tempered enthusiasm for U.S. energy.

The chance to ship LNG from the United States, where natural gas output is booming, was touted as the solution to Asia's soaring energy needs and mounting fuel import bill -- and firms rushed in to grab a slice of the affordable action.

But after splashing out billions of dollars to build numerous plants to liquefy and export the gas by ship, at least three buyers spooked by the scale of their commitments and risks of heavy financial losses want out, in part.

More critical, they sense that overexposure to U.S. gas markets could prove costly after a recent run-up in prices showed how the fuel's global competitiveness could be eroded. [Colored & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Downeast LNG's business model has turned to dust.


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