The Saint Croix Courier

St. Stephen, NB

2006 August 8


Paranoia or prophecy?

It's very easy, seeing as it is summer, to forget that there are real issues to deal with.

Failing to do so could very easily jeopardize the way of life we've come to enjoy — even some of those summer activities we're currently immersed in.

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.

On the Canadian side of the St. Croix River, there appears to be almost universal opposition to LNG tankers and LNG terminals on the U.S. side of the river. However,that hasn't really translated into a great deal of activity, and it could easily be said that the momentum gathered at a public meeting in St. Andrews earlier this year has been lost.

One of the dangers is that people are overloaded with information, and they feel that the pressure regarding the LNG issue is overkill. They don't want it, but the position has been made clear, and maybe now we're just at the point of nagging and pushing the issue too much.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The long process in the U.S. for the approval of the sites might be seen by some as a deliberate attempt to keep the issue out of the spotlight. It's difficult to keep the anti-LNG bandwagon rolling when there's not a great deal of activity, and when the duration is more of a marathon than a sprint.

The Save Passamaquoddy Bay groups on both sides of the border are walking that thin line between overkill and required public information. Having said that, the time for action is not after the battle to prevent LNG from the bay has been lost, and the group is understandably both frustrated and desperate.

It's very hard to argue with the points they make in the article on a renewed letter writing campaign on page A-3 of today's newspaper. When the new federal government came into power, there was a real sense that the war was won, that in short time, there would be some kind of preventative measure in place to stop the LNG juggernaut once and for all.

And, to date,there is still nothing in place that would suggest that a concrete LNG banning strategy is in place.

It's better to have the perception of overkill now than face those mammoth tankers passing through Head Harbour Passage. Prevention is always the easiest route when it comes to protection of the planet.Species can't be brought back from extinction. The effects of oil spills can't be reversed.

The Alaskan oil field closure is being blamed — along with tension in the Middle East — for a new spike in oil prices, which in turn will lead to increased prices at the pumps, and on everything else that is connected to the price of oil — i.e.everything.

It's ironic how we care and complain about the price at the pump, yet we don't seem to be outraged by the effect the oil leaks and spills have on the environment that, in the long run, will cost us far more than the cost of gas — and that's not simply measuring the immediate or short-term economic costs.

We've got to stop seeing ourselves as somehow apart from the planet. Many ancient cultures realized the connection, something that our wondrous western civilization seems to have forgotten.

Whether it's Alaska or Passamaquoddy Bay, we've got to do a better job of protecting what we have. It's a perfect opportunity to act locally on an issue of global importance.

But the key is that there's no room to take time out from the struggle.

Good luck to the campaigners in their latest effort to mobilize the region to commence a new letter writing campaign. Hopefully all of the politicians will be snowed under with correspondence, and they will stop the development now, before it truly is too late.


© 2006 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.

The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB