"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
Published in 2012 January 13 edition of The Quoddy Tides
Downeast LNG president Dean Girdis' January 10 op-ed column in the Bangor Daily News would have the public live in his alternate reality.
Girdis wants the public to believe that the Department of Energy's Hazard Zones for LNG ships would magically disappear, simply because he says so. He wants the world to believe that opposing Native American rights in the waterway and attempting eminent domain on tribal island territory in the St. Croix River is not offensive.
Girdis wants everyone to believe that he can simply "think-away" his problems:
1) The Coast Guard requires Downeast LNG to obtain Government of Canada cooperation and coordination for LNG-ship transit safety and security. No treaty requires Canada to provide those services, and Canada prohibits LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay.
2) Downeast LNG's January 3 filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) demonstrates that [virtually] all of Eastport would fall within the Department of Energy LNG ship Hazard Zones. Girdis cannot simply "wish that away."
3) The company's December 19 FERC filing shows the company plans to put a natural gas pipeline beneath a Passamaquoddy-owned island in the Saint Croix River — even after the Tribe registered its objections in FERC's 2009 Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Downeast LNG. Girdis cannot "wish that away."
4) Girdis cannot wish-away US natural gas market realities. The two new LNG import terminals offshore from Boston have been sitting idle. Canaport LNG's natural gas output has been deemed "unsustainable," as reported on January 6 by CBC News. The US is drowning in domestic natural gas. There are now at least seven US applications to export LNG overseas, including from Cove Point LNG in Maryland — the LNG terminal that Dean Girdis held up as a model for his own proposal.
5) The US is using only around 5% of the LNG import capacity it has already built. Our region already has more than twice the LNG import capacity being used by the entire country.
The US, New England, and Maine simply do not need yet another idle LNG import terminal, regardless of what Dean Girdis wishes us to believe.
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Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance
(US • Passamaquoddy • Canada)
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