The Saint Croix Courier

St. Stephen, NB

2005 August 30

Shock at Calais LNG announcement


CALAIS – News of the possibility of a third liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal sent shock waves throughout Charlotte and Washington counties last Friday morning as residents and politicians, already dealing with the possibility of two LNG terminals for the area, now wondered, overwhelmed for a moment, how they could possibly deal with this third announcement.

But they were quick to rally and stand firm in their opposition to the news that BP Consulting LLC, a local company formed by Fred Moore III, of Pleasant Point, and Ian Emery, of Cutler, along with other partners who were not publicly identified, wanted to build a $500 million terminal, complete with two storage tanks, along the St. Croix River, south of Devil’s Head and north of St. Croix Island, directly across from the Bayside quarry and the Port of Bayside.

However, what most found to be the most shocking component of the announcement was the unanimous support the LNG proposal received from the members of the Calais City Council who voted to support any potential LNG development within Washington County as well as to support the potential development an LNG terminal within the city limits of Calais.

"They’ve gone mad over there," said Art MacKay, executive director of the St. Croix Estuary project, who has made over 40 public presentations providing information of the potential dangers as well as the ecological and environmental effects posed by LNG plants.

He was never invited to Calais to make one to their council.

"I’m beginning to think that if the devil came to some of our municipalities and asked to locate one of his fire pits they might indeed consider it," quipped MacKay.

He said if there is a fourth company waiting out there to apparently propose an LNG plant for Lubec, "they might as well jump on now."

MacKay said the developers were turning the Maine and New Brunswick coastlines into New Jersey north, with pipes belching smoke and effluent. He said the terminals would mean the end of an incredible list of marine species in the area.

"The whole thing is so stupid it’s beyond belief," said MacKay.

Referring to Calais City Council, St. Andrews Mayor John Craig said, "they don’t understand the whole argument."

He said it was imperative now more that ever for the Canadian government to take action on a decision whether to permit U.S. LNG tankers passage through Canadian waters to their American destinations in Maine.

"It is imperative that the federal government does not wait for any application from these developers and puts an end to this foolishness now," stated Mayor Craig.

He said the announcement of a third possible LNG terminal in such close proximity to another New Brunswick location has increased the urgency of the situation.

"Don’t wait until they make application," he urged the federal government.

Mayor Craig said it was up to the government to show some leadership.

Western Charlotte MLA Tony Huntjens, who has already spoken out against the LNG proposals by Quoddy Bay LLC for Split Rock and Downeast LNG for Mill Cove, called this third proposal "even more scary."

"I’m really surprised at the Calais council and somewhat disappointed they are not taking into consideration the ecology and economy of the bay," said Huntjens, who said he was frankly "flabbergasted" by council’s decision.

"They really need to look at this closely," said Huntjens.

Meanwhile, MacKay said he finds it very odd that the City of Calais did not invite him and the others conducting the 40 plus LNG information sessions in the area for the past year or so to make one to the Calais council.

"They are operating in a total vacuum on this," said MacKay.

MacKay said he doesn’t think the LNG developers stand a chance of getting Canadian federal government approval to bring their ships in through Head Harbour passage. He said he thinks the government will refuse to allow those ships through that stretch of water the same way it did in 1976 when it refused entry to Pittston Oil.

"And this is way more serious than Pittston," said MacKay.

Lee Sochasky is the executive director of the St. Croix International Waterway Commission, which maintains a 315 acre conservation area knows as Devil’s Head, owned by the City of Calais under a protective agreement with the State of Maine near the site of the third proposed LNG terminal.

The St. Croix International Waterway Commission is an independent, international body established in 1986 by the Maine and New Brunswick legislatures to plan for and facilitate delivery of a heritage management plan for the St. Croix boundary corridor

Sochasky said her commission, comprised of both Canadian and American members, will be reviewing the situation at its next board meeting late next month.

"At this point, we really need to sit down and look at this thing," said Sochasky.


© 2005 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.

The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB