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"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
                                           — US Senator Susan Collins, 2012 Jun 21


News Articles
Passamaquoddy Bay & LNG

2007 June

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26 June 2007

Eastport opposes LNG project, citing safety, security concerns — Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

The City of Eastport has formally announced its objections to the Quoddy Bay LNG project, in a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on June 21, and has requested that FERC deny Quoddy Bay's pending application to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal adjacent to the city. The filing, called a protest, states that both the location and the unconventional design of the Quoddy Bay LNG project pose undue safety and security risks to the people of Eastport. The city's position also contends that Quoddy Bay's design does not meet the minimum regulatory requirements that are intended to protect those in close proximity to LNG facilities. (Jun 22)

Wabanaki Trails and Interpretive Center launched — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

"I do not speak for Quoddy Bay, but I know they have a good relationship with the Passamaquoddys and any involvement in this project could, in my opinion, continue to enhance that relationship." (Jun 22)

Webmaster's Comments: Does Quoddy Bay LNG's "good relationship" with the tribe include the permanent Hazard Zones that the LNG terminal would inflict on nearly the entire population of Pleasant Point Reservation?

Plans for Wabanaki Trails and Interpretive Center announced — Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Beach access at low tide would allow people to get to Pulpit Rock, a rock formation that is culturally significant to native people in the area. Bear Creek hopes to begin construction on the Trails in 2008. (Jun 22)

Quoddy Bay applies for state permits — Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

On June 11, Quoddy Bay LNG filed applications for a host of state permits for the development and construction of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility proposed for the Pleasant Point Reservation and the Town of Perry. Quoddy Bay is proposing to construct a facility with a throughput capacity of two billion cubic feet of natural gas per day that will serve the New England market beginning in 2010. (Jun 22)

Quoddy Bay LNG offers workforce survey — Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Wilson clarified that this is an effort to determine where its workforce would originate and where to set up potential training programs and host future job fairs. (Jun 22)

Webmaster's Comments: According to this article, Quoddy Bay LNG doesn't know if they'll be hiring local workers — as promised — or not.

Quoddy Bay LNG shares views on project's impacts on area — Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

A model of the projected tanks will be available on the Quoddy Bay LNG application that will appear shortly on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) website. (Jun 22)

Judge: LNG foes now have papers — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

"Without commenting on the merits of the project," Woodcock wrote, "the court is concerned that the delay in disclosing these documents leaves the BIA open to the charge that it has stonewalled the FOIA request, because it asks for documents that will lead to increased public scrutiny. If so, such actions are contrary to the letter and spirit of FOIA."

"A FOIA requester should not have to undertake multiple requests, administrative appeals, and legal action in order to obtain documents the law allows it to obtain," Woodcock said in his ruling. "It is also disturbing that the requested documents are central to an issue of public and tribal significance, the building of an LNG terminal on tribal lands, and that [the group] has taken a dissident view of the project, one that challenges its construction." (Jun 25)

AES mum, but county expects LNG terminal fight to go on — The Daily Record, MD

Federal regulators are continuing to review plans for a liquefied natural gas terminal at Sparrows Point, though the proposed project remains in limbo after a Baltimore County zoning law that bars the project was upheld in federal court. (Jun 25)

Judge backs county LNG ban — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

A federal judge upheld a Baltimore County law yesterday that bans liquefied natural gas plants in some coastal areas, dealing what the county government described as a major blow to a company's plan to build such a facility at Sparrows Point. (Jun 23)

LNG plants delayed as firms work on details — Caller-Times, Corpus Christi, TX

Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Corpus Christi project completed its site preparation work in March, but the company has no timetable on when construction will begin. (Jun 22)

If we build it, will they come? —

Unfortunately for residents of North America, LNG imports will have little cushioning effect if a natural gas cliff arrives this coming winter or within the next several years. For that reason it is truly puzzling that no one in government is talking about the one option left: a massive conservation effort to buy us some time. The only thing that can explain such obliviousness is that cargo cult thinking continues to overpower all the warnings that are now in plain view. (2006 Oct 31)


15 June 2007

Eastport LNG dispute: Letter to Maine Department of Environmental Protection — Fishermen's Voice, Gouldsboro, ME

Recently, one group of opponents, the Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance, drafted a letter, dated May, 29, 2007, to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The letter cited the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Rules Concerning the Process of Applications and Other Administrative Matters, which require permit applicants to provide adequate public notice of their intent to submit an application to the DEP. (June issue)

Sempra Baja LNG terminal seeking expansion permit — Reuters

Sempra Energy's liquefied natural gas (LNG) unit is seeking permission to more than double the capacity of its Baja import terminal, but has yet to make a decision on when or whether to proceed with the project, a senior executive said on Tuesday.

Sempra's LNG Vice President for Commercials Octavio Simoes told Reuters Chevron's decision in March to drop plans for a rival import terminal off the Baja California coast of Mexico, near the U.S. border, "adds value" to Sempra's project. (Jun 12)

Gas buyers granted intervenor status to protest Kenai export license renewal — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Marathon and ConocoPhillips contend that Alaska has sufficient gas reserves to satisfy domestic needs as well as exports.

Safety / Society of Gas Terminal and Tanker Operators (SIGTTO):

RTM STAR Center certified to SIGTTO LNG standards — Marine Log, New York, NY

ABS Consulting has certified RTM STAR Center's Tankship Liquefied Gases course as meeting all the requirements of the Society of International Gas Tanker & Terminal Operators, Ltd. (SIGTTO), LNG Shipping Suggested Competency Standards.

This makes RTM STAR Center the first and only training organization in the U.S.A., and one of only eight organizations in the world, thus far accredited or certified as meeting the SIGTTO standards. (Jun 14)

Webmaster's Comments: In spite of FERC ignoring SIGTTO standards, the US gas industry education infrastructure is beginning to require training to SIGTTO standards.

Will Sen. Snowe, Sen. Collins, Rep. Michaud, and Rep. Allen publicly endorse these standards, both as requirements for workers in the industry and for LNG terminal siting? Will Snowe, Collins, Michaud, and Allen also join with New Jersey's Sen. Lautenberg and co-sponsor his Maritime Hazardous Cargo Security Act of 2007?

If you're a Mainer, let your federal delegation know that you want them to support SIGTTO standards in training and in LNG terminal siting, and the Maritime Hazardous Cargo Security Act of 2007. Contact:

Sen. Olympia Snowe

Sen. Susan Collins

Rep. Michael Michaud

Rep. Thomas Allen

MARAD to sign LNG training agreement with maritime academies and unions — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

MARAD announced yesterday that Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton will sign an agreement with the major U.S. maritime academies and seafaring unions to implement training standards for crews aboard LNG carriers. (Jun 5)

Reps. Israel, DeLauro, Bishop announce expanded LNG tanker safety study at Department of Energy [Press release] — Congress of the United States

Washington, DC — On Thursday [June 7], U.S. Representatives Steve Israel (D-NY), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Tim Bishop (D-NY) announced the inclusion of language in the 2008 Energy spending bill that would require that the Department of Energy study safety concerns related to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tanker spills.

“It’s unthinkable that the Department of Energy would leave out some of the most widely identified hazards relating to a liquefied natural gas spill in its study on tanker safety,”  said Congressman Israel.

“The GAO report raised more questions than it answered about the consequences of an accident or terrorist attack,” Congressman Bishop said. (Jun 7)

LNG shipments grew by 11.8% in 2006, led by Asia, Europe: BP — Platts [Registration required]

In the US, strong natural gas prices trimmed industrial demand causing a 1.7% overall decline in US gas consumption in 2006 despite an increase in gas used for power generation, Ruhl said. (Jun 13)

US working gas in storage rises 92 Bcf to 2.255 Tcf: EIA — Platts [Registration required]

In the East, inventories are now 128 Bcf above the five-year average, 58 Bcf above the average in the West and 179 Bcf above in the producing region. (Jun 14)


14 June 2007

House bill restricts LNG movement — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

BRISTOL — A bill aimed at adding another obstacle in the path of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Fall River was approved last night by a Rhode Island House committee during a special session in Bristol.

The House Committee on Municipal Government voted 9 to 0, with one abstention, in favor of legislation that would require any emergency management plan developed for the transportation of LNG through Rhode Island waters be subject to approval by the General Assembly and by seven coastal communities that border the proposed route of tankers supplying the marine terminal planned for Fall River’s north end. (Jun 13)

Spitzer's LNG verdict looms — Long Island Business News, Ronkonkoma, NY

Governor Spitzer's decision on whether to support or oppose a Long Island alternative energy project is expected in mid- to late summer. (Jun 13)

State ok's county's anti-LNG legislation — Dundalk Eagle, Dundalk, MD

On Feb. 5, the Baltimore County Council passed legislation that added the prohibition of LNG plants to existing county law. That measure needed the approval of the state’s Critical Area Commission, according to the release.

“This is a major victory for Baltimore County in our effort to protect our critical coastal area,” Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. said in the release.

Clatskanie to take LNG concerns to FERC — The Daily News, Longview, WA

"I don't know why NorthernStar is so reluctant to work with us," [Port of St. Helens Commissioner Robert Keyser] said. "They told us these were just lines on a map, but unbeknownst to us, those lines moved." Keyser said the port is also still working to find out just how far the FERC permit condemnation authority goes.

Clatsop County to study LNG public safety risks — The Daily News, Longview, WA

The study will be conducted by PBS&J, a consulting firm with offices in Portland and throughout the U.S. The county said it will include two parts:

A NorthernStar spokesman said the company has no influence in the study, but will pay for it. County officials expect the assessment will cost no more than $126,000.

Krist: An energy-policy paradox [Opinion column] — Ventura County Star, Ventura, CA

"The proposed project, including its associated supply chain and end users, would result in emissions of several million tons annually of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide," the staff report says. "The contribution of these emissions to global warming would result in numerous adverse effects to coastal resources due to sea level rise, ocean warming, and ocean acidification, which lead to secondary effects such as loss of habitat and species, increased coastal erosion, adverse economic effects to California's ports and fisheries, and other serious impacts to the California coast."

No LNG could cost California dearly — Energy Intelligence, New York, NY [Subscription required]

The demise last month of BHP's proposed Cabrillo Port project off California has put in question the future of LNG in one of the largest US gas markets. In vetoing Cabrillo, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger left open the door to other LNG projects, but the state Legislature is considering a bill that could close it again. Ironically, this is happening just as an era of plentiful, relatively cheap gas in California looks to be ending. Rejecting LNG could thus be a vote for higher gas prices. (Jun 13)

GAO faults translation contract: Sempra to haul LNG through Baja —

Sempra plans to open its Louisiana Gulf Coast Cameron LNG receiving terminal in the third quarter of 2008. The company has put on hold plans to build its third terminal, in Port Arthur, Texas, because of a lack of LNG supplies, Simoes said. [Bold emphasis added.] (Jun 13)

Market Experts: Future access to LNG imports in American market unclear — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Some experts believe that expanding regasification infrastructure will provide greater access to LNG supplies in the global market, though others disagreed, claiming that U.S. LNG buyers would be consistently outbid by Asian and European buyers. (Jun 13)

Lautenberg acts to protect U.S. ports and waterways from attacks on hazardous cargo shipments [Press release] — Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ)

NJ Senator introduces bill to secure dangerous chemicals and liquefied natural gas transported by ship; Cosponsored by Senators Inouye, Stevens, and Smith

"Currently, no international standards exist for the safe and secure handling of these chemicals/petrochemicals by ship and limited U.S. Coast Guard resources for EHC security poses a dangerous risk to our communities." (Jun 12)

Webmaster's Comments: Apparently, US legislators are generally unaware of the existence of SIGTTO, the international non-profit organization that develops shipping and terminal standards for the gas industries, including LNG. That lack of awareness can be, at least in part, blamed on FERC, since FERC has apparently continued to ignore SIGTTO's 2004 offer of assistance.

This webmaster submitted to the FERC pre-application dockets for the proposed Downeast LNG terminal and the proposed Quoddy Bay LNG terminal numerous citations of SIGTTO standards violations that would occur should either of those terminals (or any LNG terminal) be built in Passamaquoddy Bay.

Maine residents may want to contact Sen. Snowe, Sen. Collins, Rep. Michaud, and Rep. Allen to encourage their support for Sen. Lautenberg's bill, the Maritime Hazardous Cargo Security Act of 2007. At the same time one might encourage those legislators to familiarize themselves with the SIGTTO standards.

This webmaster has twice previously made such a request of Sen. Snowe regarding SIGTTO, but has received no response regarding that request.

Short-term energy outlook — Energy Information Administration, US Department of Energy

Consumption: Demand this summer is projected to be close to what it was last summer, which was also much warmer than normal, leading to an annual average increase in natural gas consumption of 4.0 percent in 2007 over 2006….

Production and Imports: Onshore production increases are expected to offset the drop in Gulf of Mexico supplies for 2007, leaving total dry gas production flat for the year.  Total dry gas production is expected to grow by 1.5 percent in 2008.

Inventories: …inventories are 366 bcf above the 5-year average (2002 – 2006)….

Prices: The Henry Hub spot price averaged $7.88 per mcf in May, up from $7.83 per mcf in April and $7.32 per mcf in March.  From August, the average Henry Hub spot price is expected to climb toward a winter peak of about $9.45 per mcf in January 2008.  The Henry Hub spot price is expected to average $7.96 per mcf in 2007 and $8.15 per mcf in 2008. (Jun 12)

LNG imports likely to raise US natural gas prices: risk manager — Platts [Registration required]

New liquefied natural gas terminals and rising US imports of LNG are likely to boost domestic natural gas prices as terminal owners bid against each other to attract cargoes, a risk management official told a natural gas utility audience Tuesday.

"I think if all the permits are granted and all terminals are's going to be worse for long-term supply."

He singled out for particular scorn FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher, who has argued that speculators, such as hedge funds, help the market by providing liquidity. "I can't wait to see that guy go," Corby said. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Jun 12)

Webmaster's Comments: LNG developers, on the other hand, talk about how importing LNG will lower gas prices. Who's telling the truth?

Trinidad, terror and terminals for LNG [Blog] —

An unappreciated aspect of the NYC airport plot is that Trinidad, which seems the focus of the terror plot, is a large supplier of natural gas to America ( 65% of America's imports of Liquefied Natural Gas-LNG.) Trinidad and its sister island of Tobago have a Muslim population estimated to range from 10–15% of their total population — including a recent influx of immigrants from Pakistan and Afghanistan — two fertile sources of terrorists. (Jun 4)

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

Webmaster's Comments: The "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea" (UNCLOS) is being covered on the Save Passamaquoddy Bay website, since LNG proponents claim that LNG ships transiting to their proposeed terminals would have rights under that treaty. The US is not a party to the treaty, but is again considering ratifying it.

U.S. officials cite benefits of joining Law of the Sea Convention [Op-ed] — US Department of State

Joining the convention would give the nation a seat at the table, a voice in the debates, to help shape the future development of oceans law, policy and practice. (Jun 13)

Webmaster's Comments: The op-ed's authors are John D. Negroponte, deputy secretary of state, and Gordon England, deputy secretary of defense. In writing, "joining…would give the nation a seat at the table," it appears clear that the US does not currently have rights under the UN Law of the Sea Convention.

Bush sides with Mexican killers against U.S. — Accuracy in Media, Washington, DC

In a major disclosure, Bellinger said that Bush is currently seeking immediate Senate ratification of 35 different "treaty packages." He said these include the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a measure rejected by President Reagan and his U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. Bellinger didn't name any of the other "treaty packages" that the administration wants to push through. But a number of radical treaties are known to be pending before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, headed by Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Joseph Biden.

Once again, it appears that Bush wants to ignore the concerns of conservatives in order to work with liberal Democrats and advance a controversial legislative agenda.

The ICJ "ordered the United States to review the cases of 51 Mexican nationals convicted of capital crimes," Bellinger told the audience. Citing U.S. sovereignty and the concerns of the victims' families, the Bush Administration could have ignored the ICJ ruling. But Bush, "acting on the advice of the Secretary of State," decided to "require each State involved to give the 51 convicts a new hearing," he said. Hence, Bush sided with convicted killers from Mexico against the American victims and their families.

"In particular circumstances, the President may decide that the United States will not comply with an ICJ decision and direct a United States veto of any proposed Security Council enforcement measure," said the US Justice Department. [Red bold emphasis added.] (Jun 12)

Webmaster's Comments: As is evident, International Courts of Justice have no authority unless the affected sovereigns agree to abide by the ICJ's decision. That implies that innocent passage either under UNCLOS or otherwise cannot be assured, even by court decision.

Oil race at top of the world — Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL

U.S. lawmakers who oppose the [UNCLOS] treaty have held up its ratification in Congress since 1994, arguing that signing on to the pact cedes too much power to the UN. Proponents of the treaty say if the U.S. doesn't ratify it, Russia's bid for the Arctic's energy wealth will go unchallenged. (Jun 10)


11 June 2007

Quoddy Bay LNG, selectmen debate payment of legal fees — Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

"…The bill in question is in the amount of $2,304.09 and was submitted by Erik Stumpfel of Eaton Peabody, attorney representing the Town of Perry during that recount." Smith said, "The bill does not necessarily fall within the scope of that agreement, as it involved internal town affairs. However, in consideration of the fact that this issue came about as a result of the vote on the Financial Framework Agreement, Quoddy Bay has determined that it would be appropriate to reimburse the town for this additional expense, regardless of the fact that Quoddy Bay is not obligated to do so." (Jun 8)

LNG testimony looks at risks, fishery impact — Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Lars Lund, a retired master mariner who lives in Seelye's Cove, N.B., stated that taking the calculated risk of bringing the LNG tankers into Passamaquoddy Bay "is pushing the envelope beyond good sense." (Jun 8)

Quoddy Bay plans new vaporization process — Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

"This technology will result in the Quoddy Bay facility being the most advanced and environmentally friendly onshore LNG import facility in the world," said Donald M. Smith, president of Quoddy Bay LNG. (Jun 8)

Webmaster's Comments: And yet, Mustang Engineering has a process — Air Vaporization (PDF download) — that uses ambient air to warm up LNG.

Quoddy Bay LNG to hold second meeting — Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

An earlier public meeting was held on May 23 in Perry, but letters of complaint were sent to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) stating that Quoddy Bay LNG's notice of the meeting was inadequate. A small ad was placed in the daily newspaper but not in any newspapers in the immediate area of the proposed LNG project. Information concerning the May 23 meeting was mostly by word of mouth. A survey of landowners that would have the pipeline on their property also showed that notice was not sent to property owners who would be impacted by the pipeline construction. According to DEP rules, the processing of applications requires permit applicants to provide adequate public notice of their intent to submit an application to the DEP. The Sunday, June 10, meeting is to satisfy the notice requirements. (Jun 8)

Cruising troubled waters — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

Charlotte County environmentalist Janice Harvey, who has taken a leading role in opposing the LNG terminals, said the simulation study may have shown safe passage through the channel is "possible - but it's another thing to say it's prudent."

Master mariners who've captained tankers have told her group that in an area as unpredictable as Head Harbour Passage, only the quick responses and instincts of a captain can keep the ship safe - but that there's no margin of error.

"Nobody has said it's not possible to take ships through - it's taking them through regularly and always in the absence of human error that we worry about," said Harvey.

Webmaster's Comments: The LNG industry, itself — through its best practices-arm, SIGTTO — advises against siting LNG terminals subjected to the numerous hazardous conditions in Passamaquoddy Bay. Human error is always a possibility.

SIGTTO states, "The recommended site selection process removes as many risks as possible by placing LNG terminals in sheltered locations remote from other port users…where other ships do not pose a (collision) risk and where any gas excape cannot affect local populations."1 [Bold emphasis added.]

SIGTTO lists the following General Requirement for LNG Carriers: "Short approach channels are prefereable to long inshore routes which carry more numerous hazards."2 [Bold emphasis added.]

Despite simulations and pilots' skills, the hazards in the long, winding, passage into Passamaquoddy Bay remain, just waiting for someone to make a mistake. Why take that unnecessary risk? It makes more sense to site LNG terminals in short-approach locations that have few hazards. Offshore fits that scenario.

  1. "Site Selection and Design for LNG Ports and Jetties," Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators Ltd, Wales, UK, 2004, §6.2, p 6.
  2. Ib., Appendix, p 23.


9 June 2007

LNG on the ropes — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

FALL RIVER — Citing Coast Guard concerns on the safety of the waterways to a potential liquefied natural gas import terminal at Weaver's Cove, the state Department of Environmental Protection has halted its permitting process. (Jun 5)

Challenges to LNG plant argued in court — Providence Journal, Providence, RI

Attorneys general from both states [Massachusetts & Rhode Island], plus lawyers for the city of Fall River, the Conservation Law Foundation, and a private citizen have filed lawsuits in federal court against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Washington, D.C., agency that approved the LNG proposal in July 2005.

This case is about the agency “avoiding its responsibility,” said Robert S. Taylor, an attorney representing the city of Fall River and the Massachusetts attorney general’s office, speaking yesterday before a three-judge panel of the appeals court. [Bold emphasis added.]

Bill would require local approval of any LNG safety plan —, Bristol, RI

SAKONNET AREA — Rep. Raymond E. Gallison has introduced legislation requiring General Assembly and municipal approval for any emergency response plan developed for the transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on Narragansett Bay and/or Mount Hope Bay. (Jun 7)

Maryland Commission approves prohibition on LNG facilities in sensitive coastal areas — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Maryland's Critical Areas Commission approved a measure Wednesday that prohibits LNG facilities from being built in environmentally sensitive coastal areas. (Jun 8)

Dow Chemical waiting for LNG surplus — Reuters

"There're a lot more liquefaction plants being built than regasification terminals, and that will create a supply-demand imbalance in LNG that will enable us eventually (after early 2008) to take advantage of that regasification facility," he said. (Jun 4)

Senate approves bill establishing LNG approval process — Malibu Times, Malibu, CA

The bill now moves to the Assembly for a hearing in June or July.

SB 412 requires the California Energy Commission to conduct a needs assessment of the state's energy market by projecting future energy supply and demand. The CEC will focus on projected demand while analyzing conservation, climate change impacts and efficiency potential, as well as the ability of the state to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy supplies over time. (Jun 6)

Panel: Early investors have advantage as LNG construction costs soar — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

"The facilities we have under construction, and others under way, definitely have a cost advantage to any new projects." (Jun 8)

Security tightened at Trinidad and Tobago's LNG facility — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Police in Trinidad and Tobago announced that security has been tightened at the country's key energy facilities. (Jun 7)

Webmaster's Comments: The majority of LNG currently imported into the US comes from Trinidad & Tobago.

MARAD signs training standards agreement with maritime academies and unions, seeks to set global standards — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton signed an agreement with the major maritime academies and seafaring unions to establish training standards for crews operating vessels carrying LNG. (Jun 6)

WorldLink tunnel across the Bering Strait

Webmaster's Comments: Russia is proposing an undersea tunnel between Siberia and Alaska, containing rail transport, electricity generated from tidal power plants off Russia's coast, plus oil and natural gas pipelines. The plan would also include participation by the governments of the US and Canada, plus private enterprise.

For additional information, refer to the April 19 Moscow News article cited on this website on May 14.

Will Canada join the rail and nuclear renaissance? — Executive Intelligence Review, Leesburg, VA

With Russia's recent proposal that Canada and the United States join it in building a tunnel across the Bering Strait, a question of great historical importance has been set before the Canadian people: Will Canada join the growing chorus of nations that are denouncing the neo-liberal ideology of free trade and globalization, or will Canadians blindly follow the dictates of lunatic environmentalists such as David Suzuki and Al Gore? (Jun 8)

"Tunnel to Peace?" Russians bring Bering Strait tunnel project to G8 this week [Press release] — Executive Intelligence Review, Leesburg, VA

In an op-ed entited "A Tunnel to Peace? Bering Strait Tunnel Advocates To Make Pitch at G8 Summit," published in the June 3 Juneau Empire, the former publisher of the Ketchikan Daily News, Lew Williams Jr., says that tunnel supporters will be asking the G8 for $120 million to sponsor a feasibility study of the "World Link, a tunnel and rail lines that help unite four of the world's six continents."

Williams notes that promoters of the the tunnel project, which is estimated to cost $65 billion, says it could repay its construction cost in 15 years. (Jun 5)

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

Webmaster's Comments: The "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea" (UNCLOS) is being covered on the Save Passamaquoddy Bay website, since LNG proponents claim that LNG ships transiting to their proposeed terminals would have rights under that treaty. The US is not a party to the treaty, but is again considering ratifying it.

Bush sows seeds of America's demise [Opinion] —

Bush is also pressing the Senate to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty, which gives the U.N. jurisdiction over the high seas and includes a provision for a global tax (or fee) in order to exploit ocean resources. Some think Bush sees passage of this treaty as another part of his “legacy.”

JBS action alert: Urge Senators to reject the Law of the Sea Treaty! [Opinion] — The John Birch Society, Appleton, WI

Whatever changes the treaty has undergone, constantly present has been Third World pressure for financial transfers. President Reagan was right to torpedo the Law of the Sea Treaty two decades ago. Creating a new oceans bureaucracy is no more attractive today. (Jun 8)

Will the UN rule the waves [Opinion] —

…the UN has little oversight and, therefore, little accountability. Who, after all, oversees a world body?

The United States should not surrender sovereign powers to world organizations or tribunals when doing so has the potential to weaken our military or economic posture and subjects us to the whims and fancies of regional and political blocs that may be hostile to the U.S. and its interests.

Ronald Reagan refused to sign the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNLOSC) in 1982 because of what he felt were basic conflicts with free market principles….

Why would the world’s paramount naval power surrender flexibility in this vital area and subject itself to the jurisdiction of a UN regulatory agency without transparency or accountability? (Jun 8)

Special Reports: Sustainability and the sea: Sovereignty and responsibility – Who rules the waves? — Ethical Corporation, London, UK

An international legal framework of rights and responsibilities over the oceans’ resources was codified a generation ago. But whether there are the judges and police to enforce it is another matter.

The lesson is simply this: that the international agreements on any aspect of the law of the sea are only as good as the implementation of those agreements by individual states. [Red emphasis added.] (Jun 7)

Time to Ratify the Law of the Sea — Foreign Policy in Focus, Silver City, NM

Until the United States ratifies the treaty its rights at sea will lack international recognition.

When nations disagree on boundaries, mineral claims, or other aspect of the convention, the LOS contains a unique dispute resolution mechanism that obligates nations to peacefully settle their difference through one of four methods: the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, adjudication by the International Court of Justice, binding international arbitration procedures, or special arbitration tribunals with expertise in specific types of disputes. Binding arbitration, the preferred U.S. approach, is the default mechanism if parties don’t agree to another. All of these procedures involve binding third-party settlement, except for sensitive cases involving national sovereignty. In such circumstances, the parties are obliged to submit their dispute to a conciliation commission, but they will not be bound by the commission’s decision. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (Jun 6)


8 June 2007

FERC says no to NB — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

"Timing is everything. The province should stay alert because there may be another opportunity. They should be stating concerns over the impact on the bottom which they have jurisdiction over. They have jurisdiction over the bottom of our portion of Passamaquoddy Bay. They should be greatly concerned about the dredging, pile driving, etc., because the impacts will be on provincial property.

"There are some unique invertebrate animals located in that area and there is a well known and important overwintering area for ground fish and herring right off where Quoddy Bay LNG (the other company proposing an LNG terminal in Passamaquoddy Bay) plan to build their terminal.

"That particular population is really the foundation of the spring fishery for groundfish and herring — so the province should be protecting the bottom on behalf of the residents of New Brunswick."

Perry: Quoddy Bay to hold Perry public hearing — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

"If Quoddy Bay LNG truly [were] responding to the DEP’s expectations, they would, as we have suggested, hold a public information session in each of the 10 communities that could be affected by the project."

On Sunday, Adam Wilson, Quoddy Bay LNG’s deputy project manager, will give a presentation similar to the one given by Quoddy Bay LNG project manager Brian Smith at the last meeting. A project manager from TRC Cos., the Boston-based engineering and environmental consulting firm hired by Quoddy Bay LNG, also will attend Sunday’s meeting, Smith said Tuesday. [Red emphasis added.]

Building of LNG port and pipeline begins — Gloucester Daily Times, Gloucester, MA

Construction has started 12 miles off Gloucester on the region's first liquefied natural gas port — a controversial project opposed by fishermen and hailed by its operator as a new source of clean energy.

There are few signs in Salem Harbor that work has begun on what Excelerate is calling the world's second deepwater LNG port, a project it says will dramatically increase the supply of natural gas in New England. (Jun 1)

Webmaster's Comments: Offshore, away from people, using technology tested in the North Sea, and without need for a protected harbor. (Note: The first Excelerate offshore terminal, in the Gulf of Mexico 100+ miles from the Louisiana coast, offloaded its entire LNG cargo during Hurricane Katrina.)

Study: Ocean alternative to LNG project could be built — The Day, New London, CT

The report looks at placing a floating gas terminal or using a different technology — an undersea offshore pipeline that would be supplied by tankers and connected to facilities on shore — at three locations in the Atlantic just south of Long Island and east of northern New Jersey. Wind and wave action there, the report said, is about as intense as it is in areas off the Massachusetts coast where similar projects have been approved.

Esposito said the alternative locations would be less environmentally problematic than putting a terminal in a sensitive estuary like the Sound, would have fewer security demands and place fewer demands on the Coast Guard. [Red emphasis added.]

LNG plant owners cry foul — Petroleum News, Anchorage, AK

The various issues raised about the proposed extension of the LNG terminal all come down to one basic question: Is there enough gas available from the Cook Inlet basin, on and offshore, to supply both the LNG terminal and other Southcentral Alaska gas users? (Week of Jun 10)

Massive gas pipe may skim Mac — News-Register, McMinnville, OR

A 36-inch pipeline with the capacity to move 1.5 billion cubic feet of revaporized natural gas a day is being proposed by a virtually unknown energy firm called Oregon LNG. And it has chosen a route traversing the northern outskirts of McMinnville, barely outside city limits. (Jun 7)

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

Webmaster's Comments: The "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea" (UNCLOS) is being covered on the Save Passamaquoddy Bay website, since LNG proponents claim that LNG ships transiting to their proposeed terminals would have rights under that treaty. The US is not a party to the treaty, but is again considering ratifying it.

Lost at Sea — Wall Street Journal, New York, NY [Subscription Required]

The Law of the Sea Treaty, deep-sixed years ago by the Reagan Administration, resurfaced last month when President Bush issued a statement urging its ratification. Let's hope the Senate sends it back to the bottom of the ocean. [Bold emphasis added.] (Jun 2)

President Bush’s new world order legacy [Editorial] — SmallGov

Another part of this “legacy building” is [President Bush's] decision to seek ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a dangerous document that transfers control of the oceans and much of the land area of the world as well to a U.N. bureaucracy. It finances its activities with a global tax. The pact is endorsed by some of the same groups and individuals involved in the Global Leadership Campaign.

This time, it can be anticipated that Bush Administration opposition to global taxes will completely collapse. After all, the White House has already endorsed a global tax scheme through the Law of the Sea Treaty. [Bold emphasis added.] (Jun 1)

Abiding by law of the sea — Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, AB

As many readers may know, Ottawa and Washington are at loggerheads — politely, so far — on how the international boundary should extend north into the increasingly ice-free Arctic waters from the land border between the Yukon and Alaska. (Jun 1)

Statement by Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the Coast Guard, on the Convention on the Law of the Sea —

"The convention greatly enhances our ability to protect the American public as well as our efforts to protect and manage fishery resources and to protect the marine environment." (May 21)


1 June 2007

We are winning this race: LNG official — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB [Subscription required]

Just a few months ago it was nothing more [than] a sprawling gravel pit, but Canaport LNG has transformed itself into concrete giants with rebar skeletons.

Usually it is a closed shop and not welcoming to the prying eyes of passersby, but Canaport officials loaded up a bus with journalists and drove them around the Mispec site Thursday, smiling like proud parents at a high school graduation.

Pipeline approved — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

The 145-kilometre route will begin at the Canaport liquefied natural gas terminal on the East Side near Mispec, pass through the city — including Rockwood Park — before heading to the Canada-U.S. border north of St. Stephen.

From there the $350-million Emera Brunswick pipeline is to connect to the existing Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline.

The NEB's decision on the 100-metre preferred pipeline route must now go before federal cabinet for approval.

The NEB's decision comes after nearly two years of heated debate. Opponents had demanded an undersea route instead of one running through the city.

They cited environmental as well as public safety concerns with the 30-inch diameter, high-pressure natural gas pipeline.

Many ways for boaters to stay up to date on LNG construction — Marblehead Reporter, Marblehead, MA

In order to assist all mariners, the project has established a Web site … that will provide daily updates on the locations of construction activities and vessels by use of an interactive NOAA-based map, as well as updates to individual pages within the Web site in order to highlight ongoing construction activities. In addition, the project will place high-flyer buoys offshore in the project area, which will indicate the areas of active construction as shown on the NOAA-based map on the Web site. (May 25)

As Lower Columbia area ponders dangers of new LNG terminal, Savannah, Ga., residents report few problems with their own — The Daily News, Longview, WA

The nearest business to the terminal, Humes said, is 1.5 miles away; the nearest residence is more than two miles off.

But there have been problems. As the company began to reopen the plant in 2000, a passing coconut oil ship lost control and hit the terminal's dock.

To fix the problem, Humes said, Southern LNG spent $35 million to carve out a slip for two LNG carriers, which gets them off the main river channel.

Last year, while the Golar Freeze was docked in the slip, a river pilot passed the terminal at about 14 knots, stirring up a wake that knocked the ship loose of some of its moorings. The tanker was unloading LNG at the time, and the arms through which the gas passed disconnected.

The Coast Guard maintains a heavy presence on the river. On Tuesday, a 25-foot Defender Class boat, mounted with a machine gun, bounced along the waves. Crew members boarded a container ship to make sure its crew was following regulations. A Coast Guard helicopter screamed overhead. (May 27)

Why build any LNG plant until and unless need is proven? [Editorial] — Santa Monica Mirror, Santa Monica, CA

So this was a safe veto for the governor to exercise. But his veto message made it clear that either he still does not really understand the issue or that he's ready to play along with former staffers in his administration now working for LNG companies and/or big contributors who have an interest in LNG.

What's clearly lacking is a solid process to determine whether LNG is needed. Only after that determination has been made should anyone even begin looking at potential sites and their environmental impacts. That's what Schwarzenegger doesn't appear to get. (May 25)

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

Webmaster's Comments: The "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea" (UNCLOS) is being covered on the Save Passamaquoddy Bay website, since LNG proponents claim that LNG ships transiting to their proposeed terminals would have rights under that treaty. The US is not a party to the treaty, but is again considering ratifying it.

"UNCLOS" or "LOST" – A bad idea resurfaces [Commentary] —

…thanks to Howard Phillips, Phyllis Schlafly and others I began to realize that this Treaty, sometimes disparagingly called “LOST,” approvingly called “UNCLOS,” would give our sovereignty away. That alarmed me.

Meanwhile, the extraordinary researcher Cliff Kincaid has produced a monograph linking global warming with the Treaty and demonstrates that if the Treaty were ratified it would be far easier to bring cases against the United States. In another paper, “The Secret Agenda behind the Law of the Sea Treaty,” he says the Treaty is so extreme that former UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick stated that “it was viewed as the cornerstone of Marxist-oriented New International Economic Order.” According to Kincaid, “This was conceived as a scheme to transfer money and technology from the United States and other developed countries to the Third World.” He points out that Kirkpatrick strongly opposed the Law of the Sea Treaty. (May 29)

U.S. warships in Strait of Hormuz violating Law of the Sea: analyst — Mehr News Agency, Tehran, Iran

Asserting that the U.S. warships in the Strait of Hormuz are violating the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), [former Iranian representative to the United Nations Disarmament Commission Ali Khorram] explained that the U.S. warships are passing through the water between Iranian islands and not international waters, and their passage is neither an innocent nor a transit passage. (May 28)

A very bad treaty — Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh, PA

World government would be less disgusting -- but not much so -- if its disciples weren't human-rights hypocrites. Sink the treaty. (May 26)

Outside View: Arctic problems -- Part 2 [Commentary] — UPI,

Just recently, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) urged the United States to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea in order to counterbalance Moscow's claims to polar energy resources. (May 25)


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