"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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31 May 2007
Save Passamaquoddy Bay-3 Nation Alliance [SPB-3] has sent a letter of complaint to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection [DEP] taking issue with what they call a lack of adequate public notice by Quoddy Bay LNG for a mandatory public information session last week.
Webmaster's Comments: Maine DEP's Jim Dusch replied that he will be conferring with the Maine Attorney General regarding this issue.
LNG foes have fired off a letter of complaint to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection alleging Quoddy Bay LNG's efforts at notifying the public about their mandatory public information meeting were inadequate.
Although not part of the board's consideration at its May 17 meeting, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIF&W) has recommended denial of state permits for the Downeast LNG facility under the Natural Resources Protection Act and the Site Location of Development Act, because the project will impact a shorebird area, a tidal waterfowl/wading bird habitat and 14 inland waterfowl, wading bird habitats. [Red emphasis added.] (May 25)
Following an executive session during the May 14 Eastport City Council meeting, councillors voted unanimously to send a letter to Governor John Baldacci, U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and to Congressman Michael Michaud outlining concerns about liquefied natural gas (LNG) proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay and the possible effects on the city of Eastport. [Red emphasis added.] (May 25)
Members of the public were not hesitant to ask questions and to register complaints concerning what they felt was a lack of detailed information concerning the plans submitted by Quoddy Bay LNG to the DEP.
Nancy MacIntosh, a Liberal party candidate for New Brunswick Southwest, said the Canadian government, regardless of political party, will not allow the passage of LNG tankers through Head Harbour Passage. (May 25)
Whether it's tourism, farming, fishing, or aquaculture, there's an understanding that, if you don't treat the ecosystem you use properly, it will come back to haunt you. Unfortunately, some businesses ignore those basic ecological rules, and disaster follows. It takes many, many years of sound practices to restore what was once lost.
LNG developers take note. (May 25)
So what would Jack Kennedy do if he lived in neighbouring Washington County? Well, he and his brother Robert would probably have toured the area and created a list of inequities and opportunities. They would have tried to tackle the foundational problems by applying political pressure higher up the line. I doubt they would have put personal gain at the top of the agenda by trying to establish an industrial plant here that most other places had turned down.
And what kind of a half-page ad would Jack Kennedy actually aim at his Canadian neighbours? Maybe it would be something like, "Partners across a bay. Partners in tourism." Or "Sharing one nature. Preserving a diverse ecology." Something kinda visionary, I'd like to think.
Proposals for Canadian LNG receiving terminals have never been as numerous as those on the US side of the border, but even in Canada, the inevitable shakeout has winnowed the number down by more than half. The most advanced project is Canaport, the joint venture of Irving Oil and Spain's Repsol YPF. Other still-active contenders are Kitimat LNG on the West Coast and TransCanada and Petro-Canada's proposed Gros Cacouna facility in Quebec. (May 30)
You just know the person or persons doing the talking are either rabidly for, or rabidly against, the idea of permanently anchoring a 1,200-foot-long factory ship 14 miles off Branford. As such, they give a one-sided, fact-selective view of the project's advantages or disadvantages, skillfully leaving out mitigating factors that might bolster the other side's position. When they are done you find yourself more confused than when they started. You had precisely the same positive reaction a week ago when someone from the other side delivered their spiel. (May 30)
Called Port Esperanza, this LNG plan would only have a pipeline running through the city. The main facility would be 10 miles offshore and not have any of the storage tanks or other things that were the focus of discussion about the last LNG project proposed for the area.
Webmaster's Comments: Offshore, no land-based storage tanks near people.
Platts LNG Daily reports that the latest monthly outlook from Steven Smith Energy Associates predicted that LNG imports will continue to run approximately 1 Bcf/d higher than last year. Assuming no loss of gas production due to hurricanes, the report forecasts that storage this summer will surpass last year's volumes by 114 Bcf. (May 30)
An increase in the amount of US natural gas storage capacity since 2006 is one of the factors supporting relatively strong gas prices despite bearish near-term fundamentals as utilities and local distribution companies come under increasing pressure to fill inventories this summer, analysts said.
The study, which will be based on data gathered from a newbuild vessel scheduled to begin transporting LNG from Nigeria to North America and Europe in early 2008, will employ pressure sensors and fiber optic technology to measure strain in one of the ship's cargo tanks.
Green Coast Related
Professor Jerry Woodall and students have invented a way to use an aluminum alloy to extract hydrogen from water a process that he thinks could replace gasoline as well as its pollutants and emissions tied to global warming.
24 May 2007
"Both parties, no matter who's in government says 'no, you are not going through our internal waters with LNG tankers.' How do you say that that's not going to impact on your schedule if we will not allow LNG tankers through Head Harbour Passage and we are willing to take you to international court as long as you want to go?" [New Brunswick federal Parliament candidate Nancy] MacIntosh asked.
"If you are aware at all of the Full Moon Ceremonies that were going on long before anyone from Oklahoma came to set up this idea, you know that one of the major tenets of a Full Moon Ceremony is a large, blazing open bonfire. So don't make us think that you're going to allow ceremonies to happen at Split Rock next to an LNG terminal with a large, blazing open bonfire!"
Webmaster's Comments: No one in the audience spoke in favor of the project.
"However, we do have very strong concerns that the Quoddy Bay LNG project poses safety and security risks for the people of Eastport and, therefore, unless clear and compelling assurances protecting the health, welfare and vitality of the community can be provided, do oppose this project," [City Councilor Earl Small] wrote.
"It is not a matter of buying a fire engine, it is a matter of ensuring citizen well-being and when a process is brought forward with independent experts in the field, the City will work with them to consider how our needs can be met," he said.
"… in our case, the qualifications of myself [City Manager Finch] and Councilor [Earl] Small, who is a federal fire chief we do not believe we're qualified to be participating in such a plan." [Bold emphasis added.] (May 23)
Suez' project received its operating license from the U.S. Maritime Administration in March, one of the final permits required before it can begin construction. The international energy company plans to have the facility operating by the end of 2009.
Excelerate Energy, which is building the Northeast Gateway Energy Bridge 13 miles southeast of Gloucester, is waiting for its operating license, but expects it soon. The company, based in The Woodlands, Texas, hopes to begin construction this summer and wants to begin operation by the end of this year.
Each port will be an underwater buoy to which tankers filled with supercooled liquefied natural gas will moor. The vessels reheat the liquid and pump the gas into a pipeline scheduled to be constructed this summer and connect to the existing HubLine pipe, which runs underwater from Salem to Quincy.
Webmaster's Comments: Offshore LNG terminal siting safer, easier to expand, more secure.
Specifically, the lawyer questioned how FERC can accept that an agreement between Shell and the developer meets all deed restriction uses at the 73-acre contaminated site without seeing the agreement.
The excess greenhouse gases that people produce - most notably carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels - are trapping more and more of the sun's radiation and causing serious changes on Earth. Glacial cores have indicated the Earth now has more carbon in the atmosphere than any time in the last 650,000 years. (May 23)
The governor's disapproval of the project came in the form of a letter to U.S. Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton, a man who actually would have had final say about the project if it were to have survived state review.
BHP Billiton essentially has two paths it can take now. It could continue with its pursuit for the project in its current form through litigation, or it could scrap its plan. This could either be followed by giving up entirely or developing a new project. The company is giving no clue as to which option it will choose. (May 23)
[T]he issue began to take on a broader scope when the issue of emissions connected to the LNG production process came into play. The argument, in a nutshell, is that producing, processing and transporting LNG spews enough greenhouse gas into the atmosphere to negate LNG`s image as a clean fuel. The 'net loss' argument is very similar to the one used by critics of ethanol.
'The dialogue has shifted in a huge way,' Rory Cox, Pacific Environment`s California program director, said in a statement last month. 'This is no longer only about the safety factor. Nor can it be said to be `just a NIMBY` issue. Rather, our critique of LNG -- that it`s a setback to clean energy, that it`s an unnecessary boondoggle, and that it will contribute to global warming -- has hit the mainstream.' (May 22)
PADDY CRUMLIN: They're very sophisticated ships, very large. They're very safety sensitive, very expensive to build and they're also great security risks. Al-Qaeda for example, has targeted LNG's as one of the preferred targets because of the volubility of the cargos and the importance it has to the energy sector in various countries.
The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), now being pushed by the Bush Administration for a quick vote, is already starting to get rave reviews from the press, with the Sacramento Bee saying that protecting the oceans of the world could be Bush’s “legacy.” The message to Bush is that he should go out as a liberal and he may salvage some of his reputation. But he will lose what is left of his conservative base.
As President Reagan understood, UNCLOS creates another dangerous U.N. bureaucracy, with a seabed “authority” to run ocean affairs, as well as a court system and a global tax. It is a mechanism created by the World Federalists as a major stepping-stone on the road to world government. It is also designed to make it easier for the “international community” to thwart the exercise of U.S. military power in foreign affairs. One of the main authors, Elizabeth Mann Borgese, was a socialist who admired Karl Marx. But don’t expect our media to report these facts to the American people.
THE PNG Government stands to lose more than US$5 billion (K15.6 billion) over a 20-year period if it agrees to tax concessions demanded by InterOil for its proposed liquid natural gas (LNG) plant, industry sources said yesterday.
23 May 2007
"…we do have very strong concerns that the Quoddy Bay LNG project poses safety and security risks for the people of Eastport and, therefore, unless clear and compelling assurances protecting the health, welfare and vitality of the community can be provided, [we] do oppose this project," [Eastport City Council President Earl Small] wrote.
[Webmaster's Note: This article on page B5 of the downeast edition, as with some other Passamaquoddy Bay LNG-related stories, was not posted to the Bangor Daily News website. As they have told us, they don't post to their website published articles that are not of local or statewide interest. Apparently, in their judgment, this story falls into that category.]
EASTPORT The Eastport Port Authority in a letter to the governor Tuesday said Canada has a right to look out for its citizens when it comes to LNG ships in Passamaquoddy Bay.
In its letter to Gov. John Baldacci and members of Maine's congressional delegation, the port authority officials said it was concerned about the impact the LNG tankers would have on commercial shipping to and from the city's port at Estes Head.
[City Manager George "Bud" Finch] also noted that the port authority agrees with the Canadian government about ship traffic in a portion of the bay.
21 May 2007
Capt. Roy A. Nash, commander of the Coast Guard's southeastern New England sector, wrote that the developers have yet to show that LNG tankers "can be safely navigated through this waterway on a consistent, repeatable basis."
Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., John Kerry, D-Mass., Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., recently opened another front against Weaver's Cove, asking Senate appropriators to block federal funds for "any action to approve or allow the construction of" the project. [Red emphasis added.] (May 20)
"Any time you introduce something that's going to increase vessel traffic, it emphasizes the importance of making sure there are appropriate rules in place to try to prevent these types of interactions from taking place."
Excelerate Energy and Suez North America, the two energy companies proposing to build deepwater buoys off Gloucester where the tankers would offload the liquefied natural gas, were ordered to pay a total of $6.5 million to build an acoustic monitoring system designed to detect whales. [Bold & red emphasis added.] (May 18)
FALL RIVER -- Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry have teamed with the Rhode Island senatorial delegation in an attempt to shut off any possible federal funding that may be used to construct a liquefied natural gas import terminal in the city.
In a letter signed by the Massachusetts duo and Rhode Island Democratic Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, the four congressmen are requesting that the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development include language stipulating that "no funds made available by this or any other act for any fiscal year may be used to take any action to approve or allow the construction of any liquefied natural gas facility to be located within the city of Fall River."
"Alternative locations and technologies in the Atlantic Ocean south of Long Island have not been fully explored and developed," the [state Energy Research Development Authority] said in the contract with [Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio]. (May 18)
Webmaster's Comments: New York State government is taking initiative in seeking out alternative locations and technology for an LNG terminal. Why isn't Maine?
On May 7, [FERC Office of Energy Projects director J. Mark Robinson] spoke positively about the Broadwater project in testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. He said the project's offshore location reduces any safety risks, and many safety and environmental concerns would be reduced by the 79 conditions FERC would impose on the project.
Next week he is expecting final legislative approval of a new state law that would require Broadwater to have Connecticut's approval to have a private security force patrolling the terminal. Because the safety and security zone around the terminal would extend into Connecticut waters, the security force could not operate without the state's approval. (May 20)
The four U.S. senators who represent Rhode Island and Massachusetts have asked a Senate appropriations committee to permanently block federal funds from being used to approve or construct any liquefied natural gas facility in Fall River. [Red emphasis added.] (May 16)
In a move that could stymie further efforts to block a liquefied natural gas terminal at Sparrows Point, the state agency that oversees development restrictions in coastal areas has suspended its review of a Baltimore County zoning law aimed at stopping the project. (May 17)
BHP Billiton's (BHP) proposal previously was rejected by the State Lands Commission and the California Coastal Commission. The company needed permission from both bodies and the governor to build the terminal. (May 20 & May 21)
SAN FRANCISCO -- BHP Billiton, the largest Australian oil producer, has said that it needed time to evaluate the future of its proposed California natural gas-import facility now that the governor of the state, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has rejected the project. [Red emphasis added.] (May 21)
LONG BEACH -- To mitigate safety concerns, Esperanza located the facility at least 10 miles off-shore, past the point where a flammable vapor cloud from a leak would harm people, according to the state Public Utilities Commission.
"I would encourage the council to engage in the John Gotti school of negotiation with these people," [Long Beach attorney Bill McKinnon] said, referring to the notorious New York gangland boss with a reputation for strong-arm tactics. "Get every dime you can get. We have something they want, which is public approval. Without us deciding that we want to do this project, it's not going to happen." (May 15)
The last time LNG proposals suffered a similar delay when a lawsuit stymied a terminal in Santa Barbara County in the early 1980s a worldwide glut of natural gas ensued, prices plunged and the entire project collapsed before anyone actually voted on it.
There is just as much potential for a new gas glut today, especially if plans move forward for a pipeline bringing gas from northern Alaska across Canada to the upper Midwest. If that happens, no one will ever need LNG....
- The governor made the natural gas industry's leading Washington lobbyist, Joseph Desmond, chairman of the state Energy Commission in 2005...
- LNG sponsors took high Schwarzenegger aides on a lengthy junket to Australia. They handed a $1 million contract to a political consulting firm where former Schwarzenegger communications director Rob Stutzman is a partner.
- [Desmond] became a top official of a firm seeking to build LNG terminals in California and Oregon. And Billiton's law firm hired former Schwarzenegger legal affairs aide Richard Costigan. [Bold red emphasis added.] (May 1723))
Having seen a new peak-day record set this month, US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission analysts Thursday said they expect the recent strong growth in liquefied natural gas imports to continue into this summer. (May 17)
Webmaster's Comments: Interestingly, last summer had LNG import facilities operating at only 50% capacity, at times, and with LNG storage at a high. (See, "Supplying demand for natural gas" and "As Natural Gas Glut Looms, Producers Eye the Weather.") Are we to believe that this summer's demand for natural gas will be as much as twice that of last summer?
"It's absolutely essential we accede to it so we can sit down and negotiate with our partner Canada. You can't participate in the negotiations until you become part of the treaty," said U.S. Rear Admiral (Ret.) Richard West, now president of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education. [Red & bold emphasis added.] (May 20)
Webmaster's Comments: So says a former US Rear Admiral! Also, Maritime Law expert Ted McDorman, from whom Downeast LNG obtained advice related to Head Harbour Passage, and who participated as a panelist at the 2007 May 11 University of New Brunswick & Canadian Council on International Law workshop, "(Not So) Innocent Passage: International Law and the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG Terminal Controversy," indicated at that Canada has no UN Convention on the Law of the Sea obligations to ships transiting to US ports, since the US is not a party to that treaty.
It provides a mechanism for resolution of conflicts. The treaty ensures, as the president noted Monday, that the United States has a seat at the table "when the rights that are vital to our interests are debated and interpreted." [Red emphasis added.] (May 19)
Webmaster's Comments: The "(Not So) Innocent Passage: International Law and the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG Terminal Controversy," workshop indicated that even the UN Law of the Sea doesn't have conflict-resolution capability, since conflict resolution still requires the invoved sovereigns to agree to any resolution.
The purpose of the taxing power is to compel the United States to pay billions of private-enterprise dollars to International Seabed Authority bureaucrats, who can then transfer U.S. wealth to socialist, anti-American nations (euphemistically called "developing countries") ruled by corrupt dictators. The treaty asserts that this is for "the benefit of mankind as a whole."
The treaty also created the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, with the power to decide all disputes and enforce its judgments. Of course, there is no guarantee that the United States would have even one judge on this 21-member international court, and it's reasonable to assume inherent bias against the United States by the anti-American countries whose representatives will make all decisions.
The notion that the U.S. Navy needs approval from foreign bureaucrats in Jamaica in order to enjoy passage through international straits, or for permission to do what our Navy is already doing (such as moving our ships to the waters near Iran), is offensive and insulting to U.S. sovereignty. (May 17)
Webmaster's Comments: This opinion, provided by ultra-conservative Phyllis Schlafly, presents an interesting conundrum for Maine Passamaquoddy Bay-area ultra-conservatives who desire innocent passage into Passamaquoddy Bay for LNG vessels.
WASHINGTON, May 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A United Nations watchdog group said today that the Law of the Sea Treaty, being pushed for Senate ratification by the Bush administration, is a trial lawyers' dream but a nightmare for American taxpayers and U.S. sovereignty.
In his new report, Kincaid declares that, "A Senate decision to ratify the treaty is an open invitation to subject the U.S. to global litigation before domestic and international courts. The effect would be to raise energy prices on average Americans, undermine economic growth, restrict U.S. military activities around the world, and take decision-making authority away from our elected representatives and senators in the Congress and put it in the hands of global authorities." [Red emphasis added.] (May 17)
[T]he building of all this infrastructure will take decades. In the meantime, growing demand will translate into rising prices in isolated markets like the U.S. - boosting profits for companies like ConocoPhillips, the largest natural gas producer in North America after its 2005 acquisition of Burlington Resources. "That was a very smart strategic acquisition," says [Fadel Gheit, a New York-based analyst with Oppenheimer & Co.].
There's also the future danger of more cartels being formed. Iran and other countries have hinted strongly at the creation of an OPEC-like organization to control natural gas production and prices. (May 21)
14 May 2007
A panel of lawyers and professors probed the ongoing dispute over American liquefied natural gas developments in the Passamaquoddy Bay region at a University of New Brunswick forum on Friday, and while they talked about the International Law of the Seas, the controversial issue is proving to follow the law of the Cs - it's confusing, complex and convoluted. (May 12)
Canada's first liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving and regasification terminal in Saint John has a new access road that will make industrial transport more efficient. The seven-kilometre road cost $10 million to build and is now open for construction traffic to and from Canaport LNG.
Mr. Ciacciarelli noted that the terminal is progressing smoothly and construction is ahead of schedule thanks to the mild weather last fall through January. More than 20 per cent of Canaport LNG's construction is now complete. Onshore, the construction of temporary installations, such as office buildings and material staging areas, has been completed. The foundations for the construction of the LNG tanks and pipelines have also been erected. Preparations for the summer construction season, when the peak of construction is expected, are almost finished.
FALL RIVER -- In what is being described as a "significant blow" by Mayor Edward M. Lambert Jr., the Coast Guard has decided to issue a preliminary rejection of Hess LNG's plan to use smaller tankers.
"After considering the totality of proposed LNG marine traffic through this waterway, and acknowledging the substantial safety features and navigation capability of the proposed tankers, pilots, and accompanying tugs, the waterway continues to present a substantial challenge to the safe navigation of hazardous cargo, and the concerns I expressed in my letter to Weaver's Cove of March 13, 2006, remain," Nash wrote. (May 11)
Webmaster's Comments: Note that the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port's opinion is a "preliminary rejection." Also, note that the Coast Guard doesn't have authority over approving or denying shoreside LNG terminals (although they do have such authority over offshore LNG projects) only FERC has that authority; however, FERC would be politically and ethically foolish to ignore the Coast Guard's advice.
- Proximity of the waterway to population concentrations,
- Channel offset between bridges,
- Severe turn required beneath and just north of the Braga Bridge,
- Close proximity of the channel to Fall River piers, infrastructure (e.g., I-195/Braga Bridge) and USS Massachusetts museum complex,
- Prolonged, frequent exposure of the Fall River metropolitan region to safety and security risks during the transits,
- Expected delays to marine and vehicular traffic associated with frequent LNG tankers navigating through or under five bridge crossings,
- Conditions favorable to inbound and outbound transits are severely limited by vessel draft, tide, wind, visibility, and infrastructure. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (May 10)
BOSTON -- KeySpan Corp. has agreed to pay $125,000 for safety violations at a liquefied natural gas storage plant in Lynn where two people cut through security fences and climbed atop a storage tank last summer.
State regulators initially imposed a $250,000 fine, which KeySpan appealed. The fine was reduced after KeySpan showed that it had tightened security, according to the state's Department of Public Utilities. (May 11)
The Republican chairman of the State Senate's environmental committee yesterday announced his opposition to the proposed Broadwater Energy liquified natural gas terminal and called on Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer to take the same position.
[Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton)] and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut), both of whom presided over the hearing at Brookhaven town hall in Farmingville, elicited from those who testified that it is unknown how much the Coast Guard would need in terms of manpower and equipment to handle an emergency either onboard of LNG terminal or aboard a tanker servicing it.
Mark Robinson, director of the office of energy production at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, had reassuring words for the auidence (sic). Robinson said that until a safety plan is approved, complete with costs and who will pay the costs, Broadwater will not be allowed to operate.
Webmaster's Comments: And yet, the public doesn't determine who pays the bill for all that emergency response manpower and equipment. FERC makes that decision, based on what the LNG developer offers to pay (as specified in the Energy Policy Act of 2005).
Admitting that “overlapping jurisdiction” by the two states may “pose practical difficulties,” Lancaster said the high court could not alter the river boundaries as they did earlier this decade in a separate dispute over Ellis Island because the boundaries were not at issue in the current case: New Jersey only asked the justices to declare that it has “exclusive” jurisdiction to finance development tied to the New Jersey shore beyond the low water mark.
Official from the Russian Economy Ministry told reporters on Wednesday, April 18, that Russia plans to build the world’s longest tunnel, a transport and pipeline link under the Bering Strait to Alaska, as part of a $65 billion project to supply the U.S. with oil, natural gas and electricity from Siberia.
The project, which Russia is coordinating with the U.S. and Canada, would take 10 to 15 years to complete, Viktor Razbegin, deputy head of industrial research at the Russian Economy Ministry, said. State organizations and private companies in partnership would build and control the route, known as TKM-World Link, he added.
The planned undersea tunnel would contain a high-speed railway, highway and pipelines, as well as power and fiber-optic cables, according to TKM-World Link. Investors in the so-called public-private partnership include Russian Railways, national power utility Unified Energy System and state-controlled pipeline operator Transneft.
The World Link will save North America and Far East Russia $20 billion a year on electricity costs, said Vasily Zubakin, deputy chief executive officer of HydroOGK, Unified Energy’s hydropower unit and a potential investor.
“It’s cheaper to transport electricity east, and with our unique tidal resources, the potential is real,” Zubakin said. By 2020 HydroOGK plans to build the Tugurskaya and Pendzhinskaya tidal plants, each with capacity of as much as 10 gigawatts, in the Okhotsk Sea, close to Sakhalin Island. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Apr 19)
Webmaster's Comments: Since Canada is an essential player in this project to supply the US with energy, does the US intend to risk good relations with Canada by demanding that Canada allow LNG ship transits in Passamaquoddy Bay? Also, note the Russian tidal generating plants to be built to supply this project.
While the energy industry regards LNG as a vital step in keeping up with the demand for natural gas in the United States, proposals to build terminals are raising environmental and safety concerns, including plans in Long Beach.
In 1999, gas traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at an average price of $2.35 per million British thermal units. Last year, the price averaged $9.20. In between, there were price spikes as high as $20.
Developers contend the off-shore site … avoids the safety concerns raised in opposition to the Port of Long Beach site, which Sound Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi, had hoped to place on Pier T.
Algeria hopes to complete a large gas project known as Gassi Touil being developed by Spain's Repsol YPF and Gas Natural. The country is also rebuilding two gas units at a complex at the port city of Skikda after being destroyed by a fire in 2004.
The minister indicated that Algeria's state oil and gas company Sonatrach, Africa's biggest company by revenues, produces 62 billion cubic meters per year of LNG and is expected to reach 85 billion cubic meters by 2010.
3 May 2007
…Maine Public Utilities Commission Chairman Kurt Adams says consumers shouldn’t expect any long-term relief through construction in Maine of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, even though such a project might make natural gas a less costly fuel for generating electricity in Maine.
“An LNG terminal would have a mitigating effect on natural gas prices, but, in the long run, it would tie Maine into global energy supplies even more deeply than we are now,” Adams told The Ellsworth American.
“Given the fact that natural gas is produced in places that have an interest in keeping the prices high, you really have to ask yourself if there is an interest in the United States being so dependent on natural gas."
“…Our best hope to maintain an economic advantage in electricity prices and fuel prices is to develop the renewable, indigenous resources that we have and Maritime Canada has.” [Red and bold emphasis added.]
In a letter to FERC, Shell Oil Products US ("Shell") advised the Commission that it "has reached a definitive agreement with Weaver's Cove regarding the deed restrictions with respect to future activities and use limitations on the site…. (May 2)
State Sens. Len Fasano, R-North Haven, and Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford, applauded state Senate passage of legislation intended to require the state Attorney General to recommend that the U.S. Coast Guard designate a hazard zone, and recommend that the federal government designates a security zone, around any liquefied natural gas storage (LNG) facilities located or proposed in the Long Island Sound.
The first phase of the new 167-mile pipeline provides 220 million cubic feet per day of takeaway capacity from Elba Island, the company's liquefied natural gas facility near Savannah, Ga., and extends the SNG system into southern Georgia and northern Florida, interconnecting with the Florida Gas Transmission system near Jacksonville, Fla. (May 1)
The US Supreme Court's recent decision mandating that the Environmental Protection Agency regulate carbon emissions will substantially increase US natural gas demand, energy consultants said Tuesday at the Canadian Enerdata GasFair PowerFair conference in Toronto. (May 1)
Contrary to the unsupported assertion recently published in your newspaper ("LNG firm begs feds to 'disregard' state concerns," The Daily Astorian, April 25), Congress in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 did not alter the important role of state authorities in reviewing proposed liquefied natural gas terminals and other natural gas facilities. (May 2)
Webmaster's Comments: FERC Director of External Affairs Andy Black called the Daily Astorian's assertion ("LNG firm begs feds to 'disregard' state concerns") "unsupportable"; however, Black's response didn't address those assertions at all; instead, he solely addressed the contents of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
If Black had evidence that The Daily Astorian's assertions about the NorthernStar LNG company's actions were incorrect or unsupportable, he should have presented that evidence. The result is that Black, himself, made unsupported assertions about the newspaper, giving the impression he representing a supposedly "neutral" federal regulatory agency is defending NorthernStar LNG.
…Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger must decide by May 21 whether to reject the Malibu LNG port, or send it back for redesign. The governor does not have any power, analysts say, to override the two agencies that killed the project’s current design plans.
Schwarzenegger is required by federal law to continue to process the project’s permit application, even though the company’s proposed Cabrillo Port does not now have a legal right to anchor, has no mandatory environmental study about its hundreds of tons of air pollution, and has no way to unload any cargo.
2 May 2007
David Seman, Bayside port manager, says fertilizer going through the port is of agricultural grade and has a low carbon content and is not hazardous at all. It is not listed on Canada's dangerous goods list.
Both Champlain Stevedoring and Seman deny that any dynamite or explosives are carried by ship to Bayside. Dynamite is transported in marked trucks for quarrying operations in a nearby Bayside quarry. (Apr 27)
Webmaster's Comments: On May 1, this webmaster confirmed with the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port Safety & Security personnel that dynamite is not carried on ships to the Port of Bayside. This contradicts claims made by Quoddy Bay LNG's marine consultant at the 2007 February joint Eastport City Council and Port Authority meeting (and also claims made in the news media by a local Maine State Senator). The marine consultant insisted to me that dynamite is brought by ship into Bayside multiple times per year, that he'd actually seen the dynamite, and that someone had taken photographs of that dynamite. When this webmaster enquired as to who the photographer was, the marine consultant stated that he didn't know.
At that same 2007 February meeting, the Quoddy Bay LNG marine consultant publicly contradicted a 2006 August 15 Captain of the Port Safety/Security Notice, and implied that local fishing vessels routinely would be allowed to enter the the Coast Guard's Safety/Security Zone around LNG tankers. The Coast Guard Notice clearly states that local fishing vessels entering the Safety/Security Zone would be a rare exception.
This once again confirms that LNG developers and their representatives are allowed by the FERC process to misrepresent the truth to the public, with impunity. When will our elected federal delegation stand up to this abuse of the public interest by big energy?
Although the land sale was approved by a 2-1 margin, opponents are still as determined to fight the Quoddy Bay LNG project for Split Rock. Vera Francis, coordinator for Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon or We Take Care of the Land, comments, "Relying on Indian Township and Pleasant Points recent special referendums as overwhelming support for LNG at Split Rock at whatever cost is a strange argument. It's like what some of the state officials initially believed about Washington County; little-to-none resistance justifies LNG siting anywhere along our coast. What is constant is that Split Rock is a cultural and ceremonial gathering ground, which makes it indeed relevant to 'the general background' of the land -- we are as much a part of the land as we are the 'heartland' waters that have sustained us. We've not forgotten this basic life principle." (Apr 27)
Guisinger said later in an interview, "The Perry Citizens for Responsible Growth did not expect to find any discrepancies. It was the way it was handled, before and after the elections, that I disagree with. I am not accusing anyone with any wrongdoing. I am only doing what voters expect me to do as a selectwoman for the town." (Apr 27)
…the machine could well be the fusion machine that could form the basis of an electrical generating plant only two decades away. Progress in this arena might eventually require funding from DOE’s energy arm. (Apr 24)
Webmaster's Comments: As the person who brought this news release to our attention stated, "If this really comes to fruition in 20 years, there're going to be a lot LNG tankers looking for business" and a lot of surplus natural gas/LNG!
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