"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
2005 July 25
Dear Governor and Legislators:
With LNG developers surfacing in Washington County, a broader view of the realities of such industrial developments is necessary.
LNG DOESN'T MAKE GOOD ECONOMIC SENSE IN PASSAMAQUODDY BAY
Those who have extolled the virtues of the proposed LNG terminals in Washington County have ignored the facts: LNG facilities would disrupt commercial fishing, whalewatching, four ferry services, pleasure boating, tourism, and the nursery to the Bay of Fundy. Passamaquoddy Bay currently generates around $1 billion each year in Maine and New Brunswick, from marine-related businesses. According to Quoddy Bay LNG developer Don Smith, his LNG facility would generate that much money to Washington County in around 30 50 years, and yet, such a project would severely damage the existing economy and area ecology. This hardly seems like a smart economics.
IT THREATENS OUR LIVES
LNG is officially categorized as a Hazardous liquid. When LNG is exposed to the air, as in an accidental or terrorist-induced spill, besides posing a cryogenic hazard, it becomes a highly combustible gas. Such a spill could endanger the lives of everyone within a minimum of one mile from the proposed tanker route and proposed terminals (according to the December 2004 Sandia National Laboratories report for the US Government). If the two proposed LNG terminals were to be built, the communities and facilities at risk from thermal radiation from an accident related to LNG tankers, tanks, and pipelines would include the following. Campobello Island: Wilson's Beach, North Road, Welshpool, plus Roosevelt Campobello International Park. Also, all of downtown Eastport, large portions of that city's residential areas, all of Carlow Island, and a private campground would be at risk. On Deer Island, New Brunswick, the island's campground, the community of Fairhaven, and residents of Clam Cove would be in peril; the majority of Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Reservation would fall within the one-mile hazard area; near-shore residents of Perry would be at risk. In St. Andrews, New Brunswick, the Canadian Federal biological station, the Huntsman Biological Station, the Fairmont Algonquin Resort Hotel, and the Algonquin Golf Course would be in danger. And lastly, the entire village of Robbinston could be destroyed. That's a perilous risk to take, in order to make money for out-of-state investors.
FEDERAL AND INTERNATIONAL LITIGATION
The LNG proposals are precipitating international legal action. The proposed projects so far have offended civil rights, human rights, environmental justice, protected species, and international sovereignty. If forced to their conclusion, there will be a high social, diplomatic, and monetary cost to people and governments.
THERE ARE BETTER ALTERNATIVES
People in Washington County can plainly see a bad thing when it beats on their door just as well as the people of Casco Bay, Harpswell, and Corea. Those communities have all previously rejected LNG facilities, due to its hazards and negative economic effects. It's unacceptable for Washington County to be the dumping grounds for huge industrial sites that no one else in Maine will tolerate. Small scale, safe, diversified, and sustainable economic development is what is appropriate here, and is what Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance is working toward.
To receive details on items mentioned above, please visit <www.SavePassamaquoddyBay.org>. We also invite you to attend the second in a series of Green Coast initiatives on August 21, from 10am 3pm, at the Machias Grange. Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance is leading an effort of people who are dedicated to creative energy and economic solutions for Maine and New Brunswick.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay webmaster, Old Sow Publishing, and Quoddy Loop Tour Guide