"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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|2003 2004 ||
31 August 2006
[Clifford Goudey] spoke about the dangers of an explosion from LNG. Both the terminals and the tankers represent large amounts of LNG, said Goudey, and from a public safety standpoint, you need to think long and hard before you store that amount of concentrated energy near the public.
The danger zone ... extends almost four miles from the terminal site and a spill from a tanker could extend out to one-and-a-half miles and that could happen anywhere along the approach. Goudey said there would be lots of impact on Canadians if there [were] an accident. (Sep 1)
Several KeySpan officials were available to answer questions during the tour, but councilors who attended weren't completely satisfied with the substance of the responses they received.
KeySpan's tank is located between Blossom Street Extension and Marine Boulevard, not far from downtown areas. The tank stores liquid natural gas that, if ignited, could cause a massive explosion and cause grave damage to the city.
The first official meeting of the state-sanctioned LNG task force is set for Sept. 5 in Annapolis even though a chairman and four members had not been selected by early this week, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.
30 August 2006
28 August 2006
Quoddy Bay LNG so far has not made any lease payments to the tribe.
The $200,000 offer by Quoddy Bay has stirred up criticism from LNG opponents. "In Maine, people see an act like this for exactly what it is, and Smith's desperate attempt to buy the election has not fooled anyone," said Save Passamaquoddy Bay - US Coordinator Linda Godfrey. (Aug 25)
On August 15 the U.S. Coast Guard issued an overview of regulations regarding safety and security zones around liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers and indicated that harbor pilots aboard LNG vessels do not have any authority to make decisions regarding other vessels including fishing vessels, ferries and other boats within such zones. According to the Coast Guard, only the Coast Guard, and in Maine, the Maine Marine Patrol, legally has that authority. [Bold red emphasis added.] (Aug 25)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Don Smith's video-recorded statements at a 2005 Sipayik Tribal Council meeting claimed that his LNG project would have no negative effect on fishing that the LNG vessel's pilot would radio any fishing boat within the LNG vessel's safety/security zone that the pilot recognized; then, if the fisherman answered the pilot's questions to the pilot's satisfaction, the fisherman would be allowed to keep on fishing in the safety/security zone.The Coast Guard's notice of authority is testimony to just one more of Smith's lies.
Smith's false claim was even adamantly repeated by a local harbor pilot during the 2006 July 13 FERC Quoddy Bay LLC Site Visit, confirming that local pilots have been hoodwinked by Smiths' lack of honesty.
Once again, Quoddy Bay LLC has proven their lack of character, and that they'll say anything at all to obtain public support for their project.
Each of the new projects, one submitted by the Passamaquoddy Tribe and two by Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) of Miami, Fla., would consist of fully-submerged turbines connected to generators, with the electricity produced to be sold to a local utility.
Normand Laberge, a principal of Tidewater Associates, has filed applications for two tidal power projects, one at the former Navy base in Cutler and one at Half Moon Cove, both involving dams. The Cutler project also envisions possible construction of an LNG terminal and conversion of the Navy's diesel plant to LNG to permit continuous operations at the facility. The Navy Department has submitted a "protest" to the Cutler proposal "on grounds of inconsistency with military mission and policy."
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: One of the uses that the Navy cites as prohibited from tidal and submerged lands around their Cutler base, as a matter of Department of Defense policy, is extracting energy. Mr. Laberge objects to this webmaster's previous conclusion regarding Laberge's proposed dam at Cutler, "It appears that this project is, essentially, dead." Laberge categorized this webmaster's conclusion as exhibiting "arrogance" and "intransigence." Since this webmaster simply iterated the obvious, Mr. Laberge should, instead, redirect his objection to the Department of Defense. It is that body who established the prohibition of his project around naval installations.
Milton Ross, area loan supervisor for USDA Rural Development, says the Split Rock site "is the best location for that access." He understands, if the LNG project proceeds, that the tribal government will be reimbursed by the LNG developer, Quoddy Bay LNG, for the cost of the boat launch, and it would then be rebuilt in another location. [Tribal project manager Dana Altvater] says he is not aware of that agreement. (Aug 25)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Is anyone else noticing the similarity between what is happening at this location and what happened at the Gleason Cove location? Quoddy Bay LNG previously proposed to put their project at Gleason Cove, and at the same time the Tribe had earmarked the site for a housing project. History is repeating itself.
FERC requires that Resource Report 13 be submitted at least 90 days prior to the final filing of a formal application to FERC. Quoddy Bay LNG has said it intends to have all permits for construction by the fall of 2007 and begin operations in the winter of 2009. (Aug 25)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Quoddy Bay LNG's "poise" has resulted in an embarrassing "stumble." Since the above article was published, FERC has notified Quoddy Bay LNG that their Resource Reports contain an abundance of missing and incomplete material, pushing back the date that they can file for an application until November, December, or later, making their project even more futile.
[I]n the Gulf Coast -- where several terminals already exist, 10 LNG projects have received federal approval and at least two more are proposed -- British Petroleum may have lost the race to build its own proposed project.
While BP's Crown Landing project is farther along in the approval process than any other LNG facility proposed for the area, it still may be delayed or stymied by a pending Supreme Court case. The court has been asked to decide whether the company can build a 1,900-foot loading dock for the New Jersey plant that would extend into Delaware's portion of the Delaware River.
The Alaska Gasline Port Authority is committed to its option -- a pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, where an expensive plant would liquefy the gas for shipment aboard tankers to West Coast ports. The port authority is so devoted to its cause that it has taken leave of the truth in trying to sell it to the public. In doing so, it has managed to convince far too many Alaskans that the LNG project is an immediate, legitimate option to a North Slope line to mid-America. (Aug 27)
Far from a "blind decision," an LNG terminal could not be more carefully and thoroughly studied. SB 426 would only result in senseless delays that could lead to even higher gas and electricity rates for California consumers. Bill Cooper, Executive Director, Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (Aug 27)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Having the executive director for an LNG-industry advocacy group tell the public that LNG terminals are "thoroughly studied" hardly justifies confidence regarding industry-friendly FERC and the LNG siting process.
When the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (the Act) was signed into law last August, it was criticized for taking a piecemeal approach to energy policy. The Act contained a virtual shopping list of items that benefit one or another branch of the energy industry; there were tax breaks and incentives for big oil and gas producers, nuclear energy providers, and renewable energy suppliers. A review of some of the specific items in the Act reveals just how serious policy makers are or aren't about breaking the U.S. addiction to oil.
In all, nearly $20 billion in tax revenue will be foregone because the federal government still believes that it should be encouraging energy companies to find and produce more oil and gas. Today's oil prices would seem to be sufficient encouragement without a depletion allowance, but it is still with us.
26 August 2006
"This administration has decided that of course it will accept the prior administration’s decision to adopt LNG as a part of our economy," Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson told The Bahama Journal. "In other words, it means that wherever applicants actually satisfy the conditions of our LNG policy we will entertain applications [from] them and possibly enter into heads of agreement with those particular applicants. We’re now in the process of negotiating a heads of agreement with AES."
Minister Miller has said an LNG facility will assist with economic diversification by providing income of approximately $25 million per annum for lease and license fees, plus an additional $50 million to $70 million per annum in throughput fees based on current prices and projected demand.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Compare the AES Ocean LNG project with Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LLC.
A state audit last year found that at the time, the Department of Telecommunications and Energy was not exercising sufficient oversight of safety and security procedures at 20 LNG storage facilities across the state. The review said the agency wasn't following the required schedule for inspecting LNG plants, nor was it enforcing a requirement that the operators develop and submit fire study and prevention plans, evacuation plans and annual operator training reports. [Bold emphasis added.] (Aug 24)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: A person doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to realize that LNG facilities aren't as "safely operated" as FERC and LNG developers hype to the public.
The bill, SB426, fell just short of success on the final night of last year's legislative session. It passed the Assembly late that night, but the Senate adjourned for the year before the measure could be ferried a few hundred feet across the Capitol for a final vote that would have sent it to the governor.
European observers are particularly concerned about the prospects of a Russian-Algerian coordinated pricing policy in Europe. Judging by the European reaction, Brussels sees a way out in a consumer cartel patterned after cooperation between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Energy Agency in the oil market. In this situation, it is important to understand the motives behind Gazprom's active international expansion. Do the two companies have normal business relations, or are they thinking of forming a cartel?
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: The European Union is worried about Russia and Algeria forming a natural gas cartel, while the U.S. Government blithely invites Russia to own and control U.S. natural gas infrastructure. Hasn't the U.S. Government learned anything from history?
24 August 2006
Shanna Ratner, President of Yellow Wood Associates in St. Albans, Vt., points out Quoddy Bay LLC Project Manager Brian Smith's lack of knowledge, lack of honesty, and lack of competence as demonstrated in his previous letter to the editor. [NOTE: The Bangor Daily News online letters page contains no link to take you directly to a particular letter. To find the letter using the above link, search the page for "Yellow Wood responds".]
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: FERC personnel must be embarrassed that they are required to deal with Quoddy Bay LLC's project. Hopefully, if Quoddy Bay LLC ever formally applies for a permit, FERC will unceremoniously reject them.
Two people were seen on surveillance tapes cutting through a fence and climbing atop the storage tank at a liquefied natural gas storage facility in Lynn last week, and while it does not appear to be an act of terrorism, authorities are calling for a full-scale investigation.
Authorities were especially displeased with the five-day lag between the Aug. 16 security breach and when KeySpan Corp. reported it to the state on Monday, said Mike Coelho, chief of staff of the state Executive Office of Public Safety. [See "LNG attack could ignite firestorm," below.] (Aug 23)
An explosion followed by a rash of fires spreading out for a mile in all directions is the worst possible scenario that could occur in the event of a terror attack on the waterfront liquid natural gas tank in Lynn.
That possible disaster zone would stretch from the waterfront past Western Avenue, over the General Edwards Bridge, encompassing downtown and much of West Lynn and extending halfway across the Nahant Causeway.
A local fire chief involved in emergency response to terror attacks on area utilities offered that grim scenario Wednesday as state and Keyspan energy workers sought to locate two people who climbed the LNG tank last Wednesday.
"It would be a catastrophic release if the tank were breached. The liquid would vaporize, expand quickly, seek an ignition point and then, if there was a flashback, you would have a firestorm," Revere Chief Eugene Doherty said.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Note: the emergency response personnel of the Lynn area have been trained to deal with an LNG "event," but the Revere Fire Chief still categorizes what could happen as a "firestorm."
This event should raise the hackles on everyones' necks, for two reasons: (1) It took five days for Keyspan to report the incident; and, (2) although it might have been committed by juveniles, terrorists could have been conducting a "practice run."
It begs the question: "With such a serious breach in security terrorists could have easily created a disaster how can the public believe FERC and LNG developers when they tell the public that new LNG facilities will be operated safely?"
The city has filed notice of its intention to appeal a recent decision by former state Secretary of Environmental Affairs Stephen R. Pritchard, which essentially allowed other state agencies to begin issuing permits for Hess LNG's proposal to construct a liquefied natural gas import terminal in the Spindle City.
The appeal will argue Hess LNG provided "incorrect information about the potential impacts of the facility, referenced an inaccurate worst-case scenario, failed to include a threat and vulnerability analysis for a terrorist attack, failed to include credible alternatives site locations for the terminal, and failed to commit to credible mitigation measures to protect the biological resources of the Taunton River."
“If the port enters into an agreement with (Jordan Cove) and FERC approves the site, they can build it,” he added. “They don't have to put an LNG facility on that land. They could put something else on that property.”
This news shocked and delighted local opponents of the LNG and natural gas projects, who had been told repeatedly by port commissioners that the approval of the LNG project was in the federal government's hands. (Aug 23)
23 August 2006
The reality is, Donald Smith failed" last week, said [Vera] Francis, a spokeswoman for the opposition group Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon, or "We Take Care of the Land" in the Passamaquoddy language.
"His attempt to gain a tax agreement on the eve of our tribal election and then attempt to impose upon the Tribal Council how to spend its money, months overdue, should tell you something about Oklahoma's business practice.
"Attempting to buy favor by those most vulnerable to unscrupulous tactics is an affront to all of Maine's people. Promising to dole out any amount of money on the eve of any election is simply wrong."
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Don Smith is making a habit of offering money just before elections.
Houlton native Robert Somerville, a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy, now chairman and CEO of the American Bureau of Shipping, fully understands Maine's economic development needs and is well qualified indeed to suggest that the benefits for Maine of assuming its natural role as one of the nation's most important energy transshipment points outweigh by far some mis-perceived risks. [NOTE: The Banfor Daily News online letters page contains no link to take you directly to a particular letter. To find the letter using the above link, search the page for "Maine's energy role".]
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Robert Somerville apparently failed to read the Whole Bay Study and the LNG industry's world standards.
The Whole Bay Study does a more objective job of "understanding Maine's economic development needs" than a spokesman-advocate for the shipping industry.
The Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO, with over 90% of the world's LNG capacity as members) has developed LNG-industry world-class standards that warn against siting an LNG terminal under the conditions in Passamaquoddy Bay. Somerville's and the letter writer's "mis-perceived risks" apparently are real-world risks in the eyes of the LNG industry's standards-making body.
22 August 2006
Woodcock was the most outright supporter. Merrill said she believed that the siting of LNG should not be a federal issue. LaMarche spoke adamantly against bringing LNG to Maine. (Aug 21)
BP Plc. said on Tuesday it was halting work on a proposed $600 million, 1.2 billion cubic foot per day (bcfd) liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal planned for Pelican Island, just north of Galveston, Texas, after an "assessment of the project's economics."
BP told Galveston city officials last week it would not go forward with the Bay Crossing LNG terminal and regasification plant project because of the glut of similar projects planned for the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to the Galveston County Daily News. [Bold emphasis added.]
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: The glut of LNG projects has caused BP to back out of the Pelican Island project. That's one more LNG-industry member that's indicated an over-abundance of LNG projects, even more proof that Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LLC are moot or otherwise doomed to financial failure.
The company cited changing market conditions as the reason for the pull-back. [Bold emphasis added.]
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: The 40 LNG terminal applications before FERC has convinced this mega-corp that they wouldn't make money on the project. This demonstrates that the Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LLC projects are dead ducks.
20 August 2006
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: This situation looks similar to the previous iteration of Quoddy Bay LLC's LNG project, where the selected Gleason Cove site at Pleasant Point was also scheduled to have homes built upon it. Those homes have been put in place, and Quoddy Bay LLC looked for another location for its proposed project.Quoddy Bay LLC's project moved. Quoddy Bay LLC may need to begin seaching for a new home.
Now, land on which Quoddy Bay LLC has a defective lease (due to the Bureau of Indian Affairs violation of federal statute in approving the lease) is being used for another purpose. Is history repeating itself?
The Harpswell decision was based on fear, he said: fear of the product, the method of transporting it, fear that it might attract a terrorist attack and fear of its impact on traditional ways, [according to Bob Somerville,, chairman of the American Bureau of Shipping]. (Aug 18)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Somerville obviously didn't read the Harpswell Yellow Wood Report. If he had, he'd have known that an LNG terminal at Harpswell would have resulted in a net loss of revenue and jobs.
The next governor faces a steep climb to meet a legislative requirement of having 4 percent of the state's energy from renewable sources by 2009.
Canadian soldiers, sailors, air crews and police officers gathered on one of the remotest points in the country on the weekend to project their nation's sovereignty over the Arctic into the future and pay tribute to those who guarded it in the past.
While Canada maintains it controls the seas around the High Arctic islands including environmental regulation countries such as the United States have long argued that they should be international waters.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Head Harbour Passage parallels the sovereignty issues in the Canadian Arctic. The LNG issue in Passamaquoddy Bay may become the test case for Canada's sovereignty over its Arctic waters.
Under the terms of the North America Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. is legally entitled to receive, in any one year, the same fraction of the natural gas produced in Canada as it received on average for the past three years. Canada may conserve all the energy it wants, but that does not diminish its treaty responsibility to keep delivering natural gas to the United States. At the current rate of production, the equivalent of 76% of Canada's total known reserves of natural gas must be exported to the U.S. by 2018. (Aug 16)
It seems to me that no plan with any possibility of such harm should be approved for waters near Gloucester and should either be dropped entirely or moved a lot farther out to sea - like the edge of the continental shelf.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Excelerate will need to be careful not to artificially influence natural gas prices by holding out on selling the product. BP is currently under criminal charges for that type of activity last winter.
[S]hareholders have filed a suit against BP executives and board members, including Lord Browne, chief executive, whom it charges took no steps to improve the 30-year-old pipelines, despite becoming aware of corrosion years ago. (Aug 17)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: FERC says all LNG facilities including those operated by BP will be operated safely. But, FERC doesn't concern itself with an LNG company's history or character. How does neglecting maintenance ensure safe operation?
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS:This situation poses a real quandry for "super patriots" who believe that Americans should support LNG, no matter what.
Unpopular Alaska incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski may not escape Tuesday's Republican primary. If Murkowski is unseated, his deal to smooth the way for a $25 billion natural gas pipeline to Canada will likely go down with him.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Since one of the partners in the current pipeline project deal is BP, the desire by Governor Murkowski's challengers and the legislature to change partners in the deal indicates that at least those people unlike FERC recognize that BP is an inappropriate company to do business with.
To ensure that a governor's decision is based on sound analysis, state Sen. Joe Simitian's SB426 would require the California Energy Commission to evaluate and rank LNG proposals on the basis of health, safety, economic potential, environment and national security. The governor would be compelled to reject any application that was not among the top two in the rankings.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Offshore LNG terminals are regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard, rather than FERC. Also, the state has the authority to reject offshore LNG terminals, even though FERC has preeminent authority (with the exceptions of air and water pollution issues, and coastal zone management issues) regarding LNG terminals on a state's actual shores.
Woodside has designed OceanWay to avoid community concerns that a land or platform-based gas receival terminal could affect property values. OceanWay involves two delivery buoys more than 32km offshore from Los Angeles International Airport, with twin underwater pipelines to deliver gas to shore.
LNG will be turned back into gaseous form on a specially equipped ship before being piped directly to shore, avoiding the need to construct a permanent plant. When not required for ship unloading, the buoys will rest on the sea floor. (Aug 21)
[Director of the environmentalist group reEarth, Mrs Sam Duncombe] is calling on the government to put the matter to a referendum; so all Bahamians could express their feelings about the high-risk facility. "To date the voice of the Bahamian People has not been canvassed, included, or analysed with regards to LNG. The voice of the People has not been welcome in the process of approving LNG. The voice of the people has not been listened to regarding safety or environmental issues to do with LNG and this lays bare the lack of respect for a democratic society by all political parties in The Bahamas," she added. (Aug 17)
Insurers are ... "worried about navigational errors" that may arise as shippers move away from traditional single-voyage deliveries to making one-off shipments to different ports, according to Lorentzen & Stemoco.
According to Marsh & McLennan Cos, the world's biggest insurance broker, premiums may rise by as much as 10 per cent to 0.2 per cent of the price of the ship's value, on concerns about staffing shortages and because ships are making more one-off deliveries in unfamiliar waters. [Bold emphasis added.]
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Insurers apparently aren't as confident as LNG developers and industry spokesmen that LNG's shipping record will remain as uneventful as it has been in the past.
15 August 2006
"Proceeds from the auction will go to Save Passamaquoddy Bay to pay legal expenses in the ongoing effort to prevent a liquefied natural gas import terminal from being built in the area," the group said in a news release.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Make your reservations today!
Even a northeaster should not affect the gas flow. Excelerate officials like to boast that they were able to operate in 20-foot seas in the Gulf during Hurricane Katrina, and they say ships will be able to operate even when dockside LNG ships cannot.
"I like these offshore terminals," said Scott Kraus, vice president for research at the New England Aquarium who studies right whales. He said all ships need to slow down so they don't hit right whales in the region and the technology exists to dampen noise from ships. "Nobody wants one of these things in their backyard and with this one, it isn't in anyone's." (Aug 14)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: This technology blows away Downeast LNG's Dean Girdis's claims that LNG facilities need protected harbors like Passamaquoddy Bay.
The [National Marine Fisheries Service] is proposing a mandatory speed restriction of 10 knots, about 11.5 mph, for vessels 65 feet or longer in certain areas when the North Atlantic right whales are active.
"The proposed 10-knot speed restriction could result in unintended consequences for vessels by taking away the master's ability to safely maneuver his vessel," said Joseph McKechnie, the vice president of shipping for Suez LNG.
The City of Fall River, the Conservation Law Foundation, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, the attorney generals from Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and Fall River resident Michael Miozza have all appealed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's decision to allow the siting of an LNG import terminal at Weaver's Cove in Fall River.
But instead of hearing separate appeals from each of the opponents detailing the reasons why they believe FERC's initial approval of Hess LNG's plan and its subsequent decision to deny a re-hearing request was a breach of federal law, the court has ordered all of those appealing FERC's decision to join together and submit their appellate filings by Oct. 4.
The looming closure of a BP oil field in Alaska has cast another mark against the oil giant and its reputation as it continues with plans to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Logan Township, according to critics of the project.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: BP's logic: The more safety violations BP has, the safer we'll all be. Is anyone actually comforted by that kind of thinking?
Apparently FERC thinks that BP's outlandish logic is appropriate, since FERC doesn't hold BP's lack of safety culture or the government's multiple criminal investigations of BP against the company when making LNG facility permitting decisions.
LNG developers and operators deserve the same level of scrutiny as nuclear energy developers and operators.
A meeting called by Clatsop County, six state agencies, plus two federal agencies, left no doubt that they want their say over issues related to the proposed Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and the 34 mile bi-state pipeline through portions of Clatsop, Columbia and Cowlitz counties. (Aug 13)
Attorneys for Bradwood Landing, about 38 miles inland from Astoria, recently filed legal papers asking the commission to set deadlines for local and state agencies to process the site's permit applications. The papers argue that those agencies' insistence that the project meet local zoning requirements before state air and water permits are considered "threatens to frustrate and to unlawfully delay" federal permitting.
The state, in turn, is refusing to consider the LNG facility's applications for air and water permits complete until the county has verified that the project meets land-use and zoning requirements. The Department of Environmental Quality on July 13 notified the project's developers that such verification is required under state law. (Aug 12)
Jordan Cove Energy Project, the company proposing the liquid natural gas holding facility on Coos Bay's North Spit, has filed a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an extension on an already exceeded deadline. (Aug 12)
The [Department of Energy] analysis predicts that residential use of natural gas in the entire Pacific region, where California accounts for about 80 percent of population, will remain constant at just over 500 billion cubic feet of gas per year for the next 24 years. Commercial use will rise very slightly, as will use by heavy industries, but use of natural gas for generating energy will actually drop, leaving total natural gas use in the region at about 3.3 trillion cubic feet per year almost exactly the same as today.
Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd. (GMT Ltd.), OAO Gazpromís LNG and gas trading business unit, in June registered two overseas subsidiaries ñ Houston-based Gazprom Marketing & Trading USA (GMT USA) and Paris-based Gazprom Marketing & Trading France (GMTF).
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Swell. Perhaps FERC will explain to Americans how a Russian gas monopoly controlling energy in the U.S. is a step toward U.S. energy security.
11 August 2006
Quoddy Bay Pipeline yesterday launched an open season offering firm and interruptible transportation capacity for up to 2 Bcf/d on a pipeline connecting the proposed Quoddy Bay LNG terminal to the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline. The open season is slated to end August 31. (Aug 10)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: "Interruptible transportation" includes the probability that Quoddy Bay LLC's lease agreement with the Passamaquoddy Tribe will be nullified in Federal Court. A lawsuit by Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon against the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Department of the Interior, for violating statutory Indian Trust obligations with respect to Quoddy Bay LLC's lease. As stated in the complaint, it "seeks injunctive relief that will set aside the BIA’s approval of the lease." The case is due to be heard by the court in September.
Some background regarding the BIA: They're deeply embroiled in another Indian Trust violation lawsuit that's been going on for over 10 years. Due to the BIA's negligence regarding their trust obligations, the courts forced the BIA to shut down their website and email years ago. The BIA has a long and shameful record of ongoing negligence related to Indian Trusts.
With the possibility of the Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon lawsuit lasting for 10 years, or more, and then ending in a nullified lease, what is the possibility that anyone will want to commit to business with Quoddy Bay LLC, Quoddy Bay LNG, Quoddy Bay Pipeline, or any other company name that they spawn? They're are all doomed to failure.
DiMasi has the political muscle to broker a compromise with the Senate (several members of which have worked diligently to block the Outer Brewster project) to make these energy alternatives a reality instead of just drawings on a drafting board. He ought to start flexing it. (Aug 9)
Do you live in one of Fall River's "historically significant" neighborhoods? Are you afraid they'll build new homes in your neighborhood or condos on the waterfront? LNG will fix that too. Once they build the tank, no one will build anything in your neighborhood or on the waterfront. Forever. Now that's preservation! (Aug 7)
Natural gas is a cleaner burning fuel than oil or coal, but the environmental benefits of this will only be felt if natural gas replaces more polluting fossil fuel. If, on the other hand, natural gas is used in addition to other fuels, the environmental impacts will only worsen. According to Thompson, consumption trends indicate that the latter will be true. “What seems to be happening is that the natural gas won't displace other fuels, but just increase consumption,” explains Thompson.
“The bigger trend is disturbing in that it postpones the real grappling with our energy and climate change issues,” continues Harvey. Rather than pouring resources into LNG terminals, communities should be focusing on how to decrease energy consumption and how to harness cleaner renewable sources of energy, like wind and solar, she says.
Gaz Metro LP, the Quebec natural gas utility, said yesterday the crunch point for a decision on its joint $800-million Rabaska liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at Levis, opposite Quebec City, will come next spring.
The Rabaska terminal and storage project includes a deepwater jetty to receive LNG tankers nearly 350 metres long. Shipping sources downplay potential navigation risks because of relatively infrequent sailings. (Aug 10)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Infrequent sailings reduce the probability of risk, just as playing russian roulette only once, instead of 10 times, reduces probability of risk but what are the consequences should a worst-case disaster occur? Terminal siting should rest on the location and surrounding conditions (along with other factors), as defined in the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) LNG-industry standards for LNG port and jetty siting, not simply the few number of LNG vessels visiting the Rabaska terminal.
[E]ven if the state doesn't meet its ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy goals, we have numerous additional sources of natural gas coming online. Domestic natural gas production is, in fact, predicted by both the Energy Commission and the federal Energy Information Administration to increase over the next decade or so, primarily due to increases in Rocky Mountain natural gas production.
10 August 2006
Yellow Wood Associates specializes in working against economic development and have no background in LNG or energy facilities. They were commissioned by an anti-economic development organization to seek out any potential negative impacts of a generic LNG terminal, leading to an incorrect and misleading "Whole Bay Study" essay.
Quoddy Bay LNG has stated that any increased costs to local governments relating to the safety and security of the Quoddy facility will be funded by Quoddy Bay. [NOTE: The Bangor Daily News online letters page contains no link to take you directly to a particular letter. To find the letter using the above link, search the page for "Quoddy Bay LNG helps".]
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Quoddy Bay LLC's Project Manager Brian Smith needs to look himself in the mirror. Smith and his father, Donald Mitchell Smith, themselves, have no background in LNG facilities.
If Smith had looked at Yellow Wood Associates' record before he wrote his letter, he'd have learned that contrary to his assertion Yellow Wood Associates is all about economic development. That's what they do.
Just like young Smith's father insisted to the press that some large Canadian corporation was pouring tens of thousands of dollars into Save Passamaquoddy Bay's coffers, son Brian because he can't come up with fact-based criticism makes illogical and unproven statements about Save Passamaquoddy Bay's intent. Unlike Quoddy Bay LLC, Save Passamaquoddy Bay believes in developing safe, sustainable economic development that won't destroy the natural assets of this area or its existing economy. We commissioned the Whole Bay Study, since Maine State Government should have done it, but didn't.
At the July 13 FERC Site Visit to Quoddy Bay LLC's proposed project, as Smith again states in his letter above, Smith insisted that Quoddy Bay would pay for all safety and security expenses that local governments would incur. When challenged by those present, because Quoddy Bay LLC has offered no contract to that effect to any surrounding town or city government, Smith stated that FERC requires such payments. Smith referred the issue to the FERC project director, Robert Kopka, who was present for the Site Visit.
When FERC representative Kopka was questioned about payments to communities to finance their LNG-related safety and security measures, Kopka admitted that what Brian Smith said is untrue. Neither the Energy Policy Act nor FERC require LNG developers or operators to pay safety and security expenses related to surrounding areas and communities.
Reading the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the end of Sec. 311 shows that LNG facilities must provide a plan to "share" costs but not necessarily pay any particular percentage or sum for safety and security related only to the facility proper and vessels that serve the facility, but not the expenses that surrounding communities would incur.
Following is a direct quote from the Energy Policy Act, Sec. 311, under "State and Local Safety Considerations," Sec. 3A, on the requirements for safety and security financing (bold emphasis has been added below):
‘‘(e)(1) In any order authorizing an LNG terminal the Commission shall require the LNG terminal operator to develop an Emergency Response Plan. The Emergency Response Plan shall be prepared in consultation with the United States Coast Guard and State and local agencies and be approved by the Commission prior to any final approval to begin construction. The Plan shall include a cost-sharing plan.
‘‘(2) A cost-sharing plan developed under paragraph (1) shall include a description of any direct cost reimbursements that the applicant agrees to provide to any State and local agencies with responsibility for security and safety
- ‘‘(A) at the LNG terminal; and
- ‘‘(B) in proximity to vessels that serve the facility.’’.
The Energy Policy Act doesn't require the developer to take any responsibility for expenses outside the LNG terminal and vessles that serve it.
Brian Smith's letter is just more evidence that Quoddy Bay LLC lacks the integrity and competence required to build and operate an LNG facility.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay/Canada is stepping up efforts to prevent liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments in the bay, and is asking people to write to the prime minister as well as other politicians.
The liquefied natural gas (LNG) spectre is rearing its head again, as protesters in Canada start to up the tempo with a new letter writing campaign and awareness activities designed to stir a generally apathetic public to action.
The New Brunswick Southwest NDP federal riding association passed a resolution declaring that the waters and shores of Passamaquoddy Bay and Head Harbour Passage should remain off limits to liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers and terminals as well as heavy development at an open meeting Saturday. (Jul 4)
7 August 2006
Its basic message is that if a liquefied natural gas import terminal is built in our area, every town within 50 miles would feel the effects of the increase in population, would choke on the dust of the construction, would curse the traffic delays as tons of building materials were trucked in, would watch property values plummet as owners moved away from the pollution and potential danger of such a facility.
I was told by a friend that LNG in Maine won't create any local jobs because nobody here is qualified. My question was, can't the University of Maine graduate any qualified people? I bet they can. I know for a fact that Maine Maritime Academy can graduate qualified people to operate the ships, as I am one. (Aug issue)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: This letter writer apparently isn't familiar with the LNG industry and its standards or requirements, other, perhaps, than operating an LNG carrier. Operating LNG ships is only one small part of the equation, and even locating an LNG terminal in Passamaquoddy Bay is warned against by the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators' (SIGTTO) world-class safety standards the LNG industry, itself. (NOTE: The Maine Maritime Academy Library contains several SIGTTO publications; however, as of 2006 July its online catalogue did not include the SIGTTO publications on LNG terminal siting standards or LNG terminal operating standards.) LNG construction companies don't reside in Maine, and LNG contractors bring their own trusted teams of people for the technical work.
Even as BP is offering assurances that it will fix its lax culture of safety and environmental compliance, the allegations in the lawsuit underscore the potential pervasiveness of the company's problems across its North American operations.
Flint Hills' claims related to the chemical operations in Joliet fit a pattern of BP's problems that stretches from the refinery blast in Texas City that killed 15 workers last year to the pipeline leak in Alaska that's the subject of a criminal investigation. [Bold emphasis added.] (Aug 5)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: BP has an abominable record of safety and environmental violations, and is being criminally investigated in multiple cases. And yet, FERC welcomes BP in the LNG permitting process, as if BP were a saint. FERC is supposed to be watching out for the public's interests, not enabling corporations of below-standard character to own or operate facilities that could cause the demise of thousands of people.
FERC's attitude regarding BP isn't surprising, since FERC representatives have announced in the Passamaquoddy Bay area that FERC would even grant LNG permits to the criminally-antisocial likes of Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, and Charles Manson, so long as these monsters followed FERC's permitting rules.
Congress including Sen. Snowe, Sen. Collins, and Rep. Michaud bears the responsibility for allowing this travesty to continue.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Apparently among a long string of other transgressions BP doesn't do an adequate job of maintaining its pipelines, and government oversight is lax. This situation speaks to the public's concerns regarding regulation and potential lack of safety of gas pipelines being proposed in the Passamaquoddy Bay area.
4 August 2006
House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, whose North End home overlooks Boston Harbor, said Wednesday he favors closing the region’s main LNG terminal in Everett, and is pushing legislation he knows is unconstitutional so the federal government will develop an alternative. (Aug 2)
"I'm disappointed," Mayor Edward M. Lambert Jr. said. "I think the administration has evolved its position on this. When you look back at the original scope the secretary had ordered, then [Hess LNG] have clearly not complied."
Lambert said Hess LNG officials failed to answer questions about the effects an explosive blast could have on the environment and never provided an alternative site analysis for its LNG terminal despite being asked to do so in previous filings.
"State and local insistence on compliance with county land-use requirements as a precondition for the processing of necessary permits ... threatens to frustrate and to unlawfully delay or unreasonably withhold federal authorizations necessary for the Commission to process expeditiously the applications," the [Bradwood Landing and Northern Star Natural Gas] federal filing states.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Here's one more an example of LNG developers having no respect for local communities and laws.
[BP] Chief Executive John Browne said on Thursday he hopes that a final agreement on financial terms for the proposed natural gas pipeline can be reached soon, but there is no need to rush, despite pressure from the Bush Administration and Alaska's governor.
"It would be easy for me to say that there's a short window and give you a lot of arguments about that. Actually, the window is reasonably long for any project," Browne told a luncheon audience in Anchorage.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: FERC Commission Chairman Kelliher has been pushing for this project, warning Alaska that they'll lose out to LNG imports, bringing up the question of FERC's supposed "project neutrality."
Demand for LNG tankers "has deteriorated markedly as a result of a large increase in fleet supply," partly caused by speculative orders for new ships, John Meagher, an analyst for Edinburgh-based Wood Mackenzie, said in an e-mailed reply to questions yesterday. (Jul 31)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: It's interesting that LNG developers keep screaming that we need to import more LNG, while the industry itself continues to indicate overcapacity. LNG terminals are opertaing significantly below capacity, LNG import capacity in New England is 400% greater than needed, and there are too many LNG tankers.
Earth to Downeast LNG & Quoddy Bay LLC: You've already lost the race, and the bubble is about to burst. Leave now.
3 August 2006
"Regardless of what sentence is imposed on these young individuals, never in the minds of Grand Manan people will they ever be considered criminals," said Russell to applause from the crowd.
At the Perry selectmen's meeting on July 24, Town Clerk Janice Scanlon reported her findings to town selectmen regarding a petition circulated by some Perry residents to enact a recall ordinance to eventually oust two selectmen, David Turner and Dick Adams, from the Perry board. The petition that was submitted about two weeks ago to her office was examined by Scanlon, who stated, "Of the 145 signatures on the list, five were invalid. I had received numerous phone calls from people who had signed the petition and didn't know what it was really about."
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: This is just one example of strife that the LNG developers have brought to the area.
A site inspection held by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) representative Robert Kopka on July 13 attracted more than 100 Quoddy Bay residents from both sides of the border. Canadians believe the charts used at a meeting, held prior to the site inspection, are deceptive because they do not show Deer Island in relation to Eastport.
Tempers flared as area residents questioned Quoddy Bay LNG Project Manager Brian Smith about the proposed site. The proposed pier at Split Rock would extend 1,300 feet from the shore in a Y-shaped fashion, with one arm being located in Eastport waters and the other in Pleasant Point waters. Eastport City Councillor Kathryn Lewis was concerned about what measures were planned for an evacuation of Eastport in the event of an emergency associated with the terminal operation.
While people discussed the project at the proposed terminal site, about 50 feet away a group of Passamaquoddy tribal members gathered at the actual Split Rock, considered a sacred area by some tribal members, and sang ceremonial songs.
Many of the questions directed at Kopka concerned engineering matters, which Kopka said he was not able to address. The audience expressed disappointment that FERC sent only one representative to the site inspection. Kopka assured the group, "We will have our engineers here in the future." (Jul 29)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: The absence of someone from FERC capable of answering questions prior to Quoddy Bay entering the formal permitting process demonstrates FERC's lack of concern regarding the public interest and welfare. FERC should have been providing answers to questions from the beginning of the process. The statement that FERC engineers will be present in the future is of little consolation.
[Q]uestions were raised because no ship reported the collision. "This would not have gone unnoticed on board the vessel," explained one of the researchers. "No matter how large the ship, if you collide with a nine-ton whale, you know you've hit something significant." She went on to say that a finback whale had been speared on the bow of a ship several years back. "If the LNG terminal is opened, there will be more traffic, and more traffic inevitably means more of this," referring to the killing of the whale, the researcher said. "This is an incredibly rare animal, and we can't afford to lose them this way." (Jul 28)
Gov. Romney made it clear that he opposed the planned LNG terminal in Fall River. However, at an unrelated press conference to sign a law speeding up commercial permitting, Gov. Romney said he could not allow the Everett LNG plant to close.
Rep. Correia acknowledged that the amendment was written in a way that could close the Everett LNG plant in 2007, but he said there was not time to fix it before the session ended. He is urging Gov. Romney to sign the bill and then file legislation to exempt the Everett terminal from the provisions later on.
2 August 2006
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: FERC and the U.S. Coast Guard must be doing some serious thinking about the poor siting choice and the additional safety and security problems for the LNG terminals proposed for Passamaquoddy Bay. The project investors must be kicking themselves for not selecting more appropriate sites.
The mob fired gun shots, flare guns and some reports say, Molotov cocktails made from beer bottles, as they approached the house that was burned to the ground in the attack. Five men from the house were badly beaten. Reports have circulated that the citizens of Grand Manan were tired of the drug problem on the island, and some decided to take matters into their own hands. [Bold emphasis added.] (Aug 1)
Meanwhile four of his friends, three from Saint John and one from the island, were getting beaten up by the crowd. Ross said upon his return to check on his friends, he was beaten by three people, in front of a police officer.
"People were trying to cut the fire hoses off the trucks," said Ross. [Bold emphasis added.] (Jul 28)
"As the evening wore on, taunts were exchanged back and forth. Our first call was that someone had heard shots being fired. There was rock throwing, a lot of shoving and fist fights then, all of a sudden, a house goes up in flames. Who set it, and by what means, we are hoping to find out. It does not look like it was accidental."
The fire department was called, said Sgt. MacAvoy, but the problem was they could not get through to fight the fire, and rocks were thrown at the fire truck. He said Cpl. Smith managed to calm the crowd down enough so that the truck could eventually get to the house. [Bold emphasis added.] (Jul 25)
Among the public, the location of an LNG terminal has been deeply divisive; residents of Harpswell fought about the wisdom of building it there and eventually rejected a proposal to do so. Then developers went Down East -- and a proposal to locate a terminal on Passamaquoddy land has led to painful dissent among that tribe's members as well as their neighbors along that part of the coastline. (Aug 1)
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Three years is a long time. Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LLC would never last that long waiting to get permits, since their competition is already years ahead, mooting their projects.
Attorney Christopher Flood began his closing argument in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas by saying the prosecution had failed to prove its case against former Dynegy gas trader Michelle Valencia, who is accused--along with co-defendant Greg Singleton, a former El Paso trader--of reporting false information to two gas index publishers in an attempt to manipulate gas prices.
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Considering the numerous cockamamie local LNG developers' statements, doesn't this kind of story make you wonder if maybe everyone in the gas industry isn't "cut from the same cloth"? Shouldn't it make FERC rethink its lack of consideration regarding LNG developer character and veracity?
WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Congress continues its rush to economic and environmental disaster.