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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 November

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30 November 2007

Hearing to consider pipeline route from Canaport LNG to United States — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) will hold a public hearing on January 28 to consider the best possible route, construction schedule, and methods for the Emera Brunswick Pipeline, which is expected to transport regasified LNG from the Canaport LNG terminal in St. John, New Brunswick, to the United States. (Nov 29)

Supreme Court hears riverfront arguments — The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA

At stake is a $600 million liquefied natural gas terminal that energy giant BP wants to build on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River. (Nov 28)

Suit on LNG terminal should be heard in Balto. County, judge rules — The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

Baltimore County officials say they are allowed to prohibit certain uses, such as LNG terminals, along the waterfront as part of the state and federally sanctioned Coastal Zone Management Act.

AES is appealing a ruling by a federal judge in Baltimore that upheld the restriction. (Nov 27)

Rabaska runs into native rights — The Gazette, Montreal, QC

Before giving Rabaska the federal approval it needs, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency wants to consult with the tiny Maliseet of Viger First Nation, which has ancestral land claims to the Rabaska site.

In a letter to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, acting chief Ernest-Daniel Nicolas noted the band wrote to the Rabaska promoters and the federal government in 2004, informing them of the band's ancestral rights to the site.

But that letter was ignored, he wrote in the band's Nov. 9 letter. (Nov 25)

Quintana might tie into fiber optic line — The Facts, Clute, TX

Fiber optic communication lines are being laid to the island to service, primarily, the Freeport LNG terminal.

After the lines are completed, residents also will have the opportunity to tap the high-speed lines.

“We’re not going to give free communications service,” Henry said. “Anyone can tap into it just like cable, if they want, but they are going to have to pay for it. (Nov 26)

LNG counter to green strategy [Op-ed] — Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

The BC Energy Plan states coal-fired generation must have sequestration. BC, as part of the green plan, should not go down the route of opening up the province to gas-fired generation. British Columbians are to reduce emissions by 33 per cent by 2020, so it would seem foolish to sanction a policy of fossil fuel burning, thus placing greater burdens on crucial parts of the economy, where meeting targets will be more problematic and failure would cost jobs. (Nov 29)

Safety will be a factor [Letter to the editor] — Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

In response to the safety concerns, WestPac will complete a risk assessment and consequence analysis that will consider the likelihood of an accidental event and examine the potential impacts that could result. These studies will consider the impact on ferries and the ability to evacuate residents from Texada Island. The results of these studies will form the development of emergency preparedness and contingency and emergency response plans for the facilities. Such plans would be developed in consultation with emergency responders and key service providers, and will focus on the protection of public health and safety. (Nov 29)

Webmaster's Comments: Who would be providing the information that emergency response organizations need to determine their training and infrastructure improvements?

In the case of Maine's Emergency Response Agency's attempt to provide coordinated information and readiness related to the Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay was a miserable two-day boondoggle, with no advice from the state, and with several local emergency responders threatening to walk out.

The LNG industry can't be trusted to look out for the safety interests of local communities when community interests may be at odds with the industry.

Governor: LNG OK, but ... — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

"If he's going to keep his mind open to all possible energy development and not categorically oppose LNG, that's not an unreasonable positions for him to take," said Huhtala. "But the agencies in the state of Oregon made it pretty damn clear that the Bradwood project has so many problems it probably couldn't and shouldn't be redeemed. He should take a stand on the Bradwood project." (Nov 28)

LNG is not a done deal [Editorial] — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Now that we have in-depth analysis from the state, the shallowness of the Clatsop County Planning Commission's reversal of findings by county planning staff is exposed as a power play utterly without intellectual merit.

It is pleasing to learn that professionals in state agencies are quantifying opinions that have previously been dismissed by LNG supporters as the shrill unsubstantiated cries of worrywart NIMBYs.

This LNG permitting process should not be evaluated as a race for economic development. This should be a strategic, national planning exercise. Instead, we have a horse race among developers of prospective LNG terminals. It is a process that rewards - more than anyone else - Washington, D.C.-based lawyers who specialize in regulatory law. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Nov 26)

Webmaster's Comments: Some people think that if there are no facts to discredit the opponents, resorting to name-calling (i.e., "NIMBY," "emotional," "moon bat," "tree-hugger," etc.) will somehow be convincing.

Gov.: Companies need to step up PR efforts — Hillsboro Argus, Hillsboro, OR

In a series of letters dated Oct. 30, Kulongoski stopped just short of chiding natural gas developers about the way they've involved the public in their planning to build natural gas infrastructure across western Oregon.

Kulongoski cited reports of meetings being insufficiently noticed, times being changed at the last minute, pipeline routes being changed before meetings without notice to newly affected landowners and company representatives trespassing on private property.

"I have heard that company representatives sometimes come across as unprepared, dismissive and inattentive during public meetings and generally are very heavy handed when working with concerned citizens," Kulongoski wrote. [Red emphasis added.] (Nov 27)

Webmaster's Comments: Governor Kulongoski's complaints ring all--to-familiar here in the Passamaquoddy Bay area, and are indicative of FERC's lack of concern about the rights of the public.

It's too bad that Maine's Governor Baldacci won't stand up for Maine citizens on the ill-sited, and economically and socially harmful Passamaquoddy Bay LNG projects, like Gov. Kulongoski is doing for Oregon citizens.

Heed LNG concerns — The Register-Guard, Eugene, OR

[S]tate agencies offered scathing reviews of a 600-page environmental analysis of the project that FERC released in August.

Calling the federal study “incomplete and flawed,” state officials say there is no assurance the facility will meet Oregon’s safety and environmental standards. They also question the glaring absence of any independent assessment of the region’s need for a liquified natural gas facility. “For FERC to make LNG siting decisions in a vacuum without the best available information and scientific data does a huge disservice to the people of Oregon,” says a draft cover letter from the state Energy Department.

Meanwhile, Congress should move swiftly to give states a meaningful role in determining where LNG terminals are located. [Red emphasis added.] (Nov 27)

FERC announces engineering conference on Jordan Cove LNG proposal — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

On December 12 FERC will convene an engineering design and technical conference in Coos Bay on the proposed Jordan Cove LNG regasification terminal. The conference will not be open to the public, but intervenors may attend. Advance registration an non-disclosure agreements are required. (Nov 27)

Commissioners delay approval on LNG — The World, Coos Bay, OR

COQUILLE — The Coos County Board of Commissioners postponed its final approval of a land use application Monday that would allow construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal on Coos Bay’s North Spit. (Nov 27)

Thomas Elias: Natural gas supply is unreliable [Op-ed] — Press-Telegram, Long Beach, CA

…Tangguh's [a supplier, along with Shell, to the Baja California terminal supplying Mexico and California] LNG will be a reliable source of income for Sempra, but not even Sempra is willing to call it a reliable source of energy for California. In an exchange of e-mails over several days inviting Larson and Sempra to explain why their LNG should be considered a reliable source of energy for California, he consistently refused any direct response. (Nov 28)

November LNG imports to United States decline 56% from previous monthly total — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

LNG cargos and activity at American LNG import terminals … [represent] a 56% month-on-month decline. (Nov 29)

US working gas in storage falls 12 Bcf to 3.528 Tcf: EIA — Platts

The withdrawal fell below the expected range….

Inventories are now 95 Bcf above the five-year average…. [Bold emphasis added.] (Nov 29)

US greenhouse gas emissions fall 1.5% in 2006 from 2005: EIA — Platts

The total US emissions level for 2006 rose 15.1% from 6,146.7 million mt of CO2e in 1990, while 2005 levels were 16.8% higher than 1990.

The report, EIA's 15th annual, presents the agency's latest estimates for CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and other GHG. (Nov 28)

Petro-Canada mulls gas projects in Canada far north — Reuters Canada

Petro-Canada has some 12 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in Canada's far north, the arctic islands region thousands of miles from potential markets, ice-locked for much of the year and where winter temperatures routinely fall below minus 40 degrees.

"To me it makes a pretty ideal (liquefied natural gas [LNG]) project," Brenneman said at a company-sponsored investment conference. "We've just formed a small team to start looking at the feasibility of that." (Nov 28)


29 November 2007

Montana looks to international law in coal mining dispute with Canada — Independent Record, Helena, MT

Any energy proposal on one side of an international border that puts at risk environmental and economic systems on the other side … is prima facie a violation of international law. [Bold red emphasis added.] (Nov 24)

Webmaster's Comments: The above article strengthens the case against LNG developers Dean Girdis and Rob Wyatt (Downeast LNG), and Donald M. Smith and Brian Smith (Quoddy Bay LNG). Nothing can change the fact that they selected an inappropriate location for their projects.

Canadian coal mine could be delayed [News release] — US Senator Max Baucus of Montana

Baucus has also asked U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to call for an investigation by the International Joint Commission, a panel of both American and Canadian experts charged with preventing and resolving international disputes between the U.S. and Canada. The panel was instrumental, at Baucus' urging, in defeating a similar mining proposal in the same area in 1988. (Mar 30)

Webmaster's Comments: Montana's Senator Baucus seems to be more concerned about cross-border environmental and economic impacts than the Maine's federal delegation, Sen. Olympia Snowe, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Michael Michaud, and Rep. Thomas Allen (who now wants to represent this district of Maine as Senator).


26 November 2007

BEP changes mind, grants request by LNG firm to refile — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

At the November 14 meeting, two BEP members, Matt Scott and Nancy Ziegler, reversed their previous votes opposing the withdrawal request and voted in favor of granting Downeast's request to withdraw the application and refile at a later date. The request to withdraw the application was granted by a vote of 5 – 3.

"Now for the board to rush to a new decision where two members changed their votes, at a meeting that did not clearly state this specific agenda item in advance, and on a huge matter that did not provide for appropriate legal and public participation, is unfortunate, lessens public faith in the whole process and begs a host of questions." (Nov 23)

Webmaster's Comments: The BEP's reversal came after rejecting 8 attempts by DeLNG to corrupt the process. DeLNG's Pierce Atwood attorney Chip Ahrens stated that the reason for withdrawing was not due to having lost Title, Right, or Interest in their proposed pipeling route — even though DeLNG and allies had used that argument in two hearings to justify withdrawal. That leaves the 6 failed pleas made by DeLNG before the BEP — where they attempted to submit testimony after the close of the hearings.

But now, after two additional hearings where the BEP denied DeLNG's attempts to withdraw, two members of the BEP decided to change their votes; they say they had "made a mistake" — after having steadfastly made 8 previous rejections of DeLNG's arguments. What's going on?


24 November 2007

FERC offers comments on Weaver's Cove LNG administrative appeal — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC granted approval of the project in July 2007 but notes that its approval of the project was "conditioned on compliance with a number of environmental and safety conditions." (Nov 21)

Webmaster's Comments: FERC bills itself as a "safety agency," and has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Coast Guard to be cooperating agencies. For FERC to issue an LNG terminal permit prior to the Coast Guard issuing its final opinion regarding site location safety is non-cooperative, and illustrates FERC's actual lack of dedication to safety.

When the Coast Guard finds a site location to be unsafe, as with the Weaver's Cove LNG terminal proposal, FERC facilitates undue industry pressure on the Coast Guard, while at the same time, taking itself off the hook.

Suez employs first U.S. mariners under MARAD agreement — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that Suez LNG is now using U.S. mariners aboard one of its LNG carriers, the Suez Matthew, pursuant to an agreement between the company and MARAD. (Nov 21)

R.I.P., LNG — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

At a mock funeral for the proposed Weaver’s Cove Energy liquefied natural gas terminal Saturday, opponents of the project gathered outside the North Main Street site to pay their “lack of respects” to a project they believe is now dead. (Nov 18)

LNG proponents wage campaign against river —, MA

The Weaver's Cove vision of the Taunton River is a bleak one, as noted in their response to the National Park Service's Taunton Wild and Scenic River Study, Draft Report and Environmental Assessment. They describe the last five miles (essentially Fall River and Somerset north of the Braga Bridge) as "almost entirely built up on both banks, with power plants, an inactive oil terminal, roadways, railroads, bridges, power lines, shipyards, sewage treatment plants and large stretches of residential living." In other words, it's so ugly that their terminal can't possibly degrade it any further. Nice neighbors.

The reality is far different. (Nov 9)

Some Oregon agencies critical of LNG plans — AP, The Daily News, Longview, WA

"For FERC to make LNG siting decisions in a vacuum without the best available information and scientific data does a huge disservice to the people of Oregon," says a proposed cover letter drafted by the state Energy Department.

Distrust clouds LNG hearing — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

An air of distrust pervaded Monday's Clatsop County Commission hearing on the land-use application for NorthernStar Natural Gas Co.'s liquefied natural gas project at Bradwood Landing. (Nov 20)

Webmaster's Comments: The proposed NorthernStar Bradwood Landing LNG terminal would require LNG ships to pass within one-quarter of a mile from Astoria (due to the height of the Astoria Megler Bridge) — placing downtown Astoria in the LNG ship "Zones of Concern" #1 and #2 (the most-extreme hazard zones) — and to transit an approximate 32-mile, winding, inland water transit, near people, and in conflict with other existing uses — all warned against by the LNG industry's own standards, developed and published by SIGTTO.

Natural gas pipeline concerns justified [Opinion] — Woodburn Independent, Woodburn, OR

Also, farmers are not allowed to plant anything within 25 feet of either side of the pipeline. That is ludicrous. The gas companies say the farmers will be "fairly compensated" but how do you put a value on lost land over the course of a lifetime? You can't.

Also, in order to put this pipeline through, the gas companies will have to cut down a lot of trees along the Willamette and Pudding Rivers. Those trees, however, are vital to soil stability and survival of the fish habitat. The trees provide shade, which keeps the water temperature livable for these fish.

FERC officials to visit LNG site — The World, Coos Bay, OR

According to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission notice, staff of the Office of Energy Projects will pay a visit to the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal site on Tuesday, Dec. 11. (Nov 22)

Webmaster's Comments: If FERC paid any attention to the LNG industry's own terminal siting standards, as developed and published by SIGTTO, the Jordan Cove terminal site proposal would have disappeared long ago.

LNG promoters try end run through Oregon [Editorial] — Santa Monica Mirror, Santa Monica, CA

So far, promoters like Houston-based NorthernStar Natural Gas and the Canadian Fort Chicago energy firm have made five proposals to build LNG receiving facilities along the picturesque Oregon coast, from the mouth of the Columbia River at Astoria to the waters off the small but lovely town of Coos Bay.

If all were built, they would bring in more than five times the amount of natural gas Oregon can consume anytime in the next 50 years.

For sure, LNG would likely cost more than the conventional gas supplies now coming here from Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, and the Canadian province of Alberta. (Nov 22-28)

Fears of LNG come to westside--and Palisades — Palisadian-Post, Pacific Palisades, CA

If Woodside's plans were approved today, the company would alternate between two identical regasification ships in Santa Monica Bay. At a buoy 28 miles off Dockweiler Beach, one ship would regasify that load from a near-frozen, liquefied state and deliver the gas through two 24-inch-wide pipelines that would travel along the ocean bottom. (Nov 7)

NATS: Relatively low U.S. gas prices sending LNG cargos to Europe — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Low U.S. gas prices are keeping the Cove Point and Lake Charles LNG terminals operating at low levels of utilization and the Excelerate Gulf Gateway facility is idle, according to NATS. (Nov 20)


23 November 2007

FRIENDS MOURN WOMAN'S DEATH — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

Photographer Jenna Sullivan is remembered in St. Andrews for her spirit and smile.

After finishing school in the spring she returned to Sweet Harvest Market, and her calendar project was born when she took a photograph of her roommate, who is a member of one of the featured bands, then they decided to donate the proceeds to Save Passamaquoddy Bay.

For those who would like to make a donation in her memory, cheques should be made out to the Town of St. Andrews with "SPB/C in memory of J.L. Sullivan" in the memo line on the cheque.

The mailing address is 212 Water Street, St.Andrews, E5B 1B4. (Nov 20)

Downeast LNG to file new state applications next year — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

"We now will be able to come back before the board next year with a new pipeline route and additional information that addresses concerns raised by board members following the public hearings last summer. A more complete record will enable the BEP to make a more informed decision on our project," said company president Dean Girdis. (Nov 20)

Webmaster's Comments: Despite the BEP hearing, that disclosed — among numerous other problems with DeLNG's testimony — the need for a two-year lobster study before any permit should be considered, Downeast LNG President Dean Girdis has already announced that they'll present their permit applications to the State of Maine in 2008 — one year premature!

If Downeast LNG should have learned anything from the BEP hearing, it would be "do your homework before filing your state applications" — something that DeLNG previously hadn't even come close to doing, and that Girdis has arrogantly indicated he isn't going to do in the future.

Apparently, DeLNG's President Dean Girdis modus operandi (M.O.; method of operation) is to be "information challenged," working toward getting slapped down again in 2008.

Group demands LNG moratorium — Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

Denise Reinhardt, a spokeswoman for Malaspina Communities for Public Power (MCPP), presented a resolution to New Democratic Party (NDP) MLA Nicholas Simons, who represents the Powell River-Sunshine Coast riding, which calls for no LNG terminal and plant on Texada Island or "anywhere on the coast of BC."

WestPac has backed off for a year, Simpson added, only because of the work of the people in the community who oppose it. "The people in the community deserve all the credit for that," he said. "But as you know, they have backed off for now, but they have not gone away." (Nov 22)

Law prevents Texada LNG vote — Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

Colin Palmer is the regional board chairman and Electoral Area C director. "It was just quite clear that local government simply cannot have a referendum on an opinion," he said. "And neither can we kind of do some end run around such a thing and spend money on it. That would be illegal as well."

TAN [Texada Action Now] is not dismissing the idea of a referendum, but it doesn't think it's as urgent as it seemed to be a month or two ago, Childress added. "I think it's clear to everyone that an overwhelming majority of people on Texada Island don't want the WestPac project to go ahead," he said. "If we think in the future that a referendum is necessary, we're willing to go ahead with it by finding an impartial third party to conduct it and TAN would be willing to pay for it." (Nov 22)

Webmaster's Comments: It's a curious democracy that doesn't allow its citizens to vote on issues that affect their lives and well-being.

Terasen Gas building LNG storage — Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

WestPac LNG, an Alberta-based private company, has proposed a combined LNG import terminal and natural gas-fired electrical generation facility on the north end of Texada Island. Plans for the $2-billion project include two onshore LNG storage tanks, each with a capacity up to 165,000 cubic metres, and an interconnection with the existing Terasen natural gas pipeline from the mainland to Vancouver Island.

Stu Leson, WestPac's vice-president of business development, said the announcement shows LNG is an important part of Terasen's supply portfolio, and it is complementary to WestPac's proposal for Texada. "We were certainly aware of the Terasen proposal and the kind of peaking facility they are going to put in," he said. "There's quite a difference between the type of facility that they're putting in and the type that we're putting in."

Chuck Childress, chairman of TAN (Texada Action Now), said the Terasen facility hurts WestPac's proposal slightly. "Basically, it lets Terasen be more efficient in its delivery of natural gas to Vancouver Island," he said. "It lets them do it in a more cost-effective manner, which then makes some of the arguments WestPac has been making redundant." (Nov 22)

State agencies worry about LNG proposal — KTVZ-TV, Bend, OR

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon's government has said little about whether a liquefied natural gas import terminal should go up on the Columbia River above Astoria.

But in preliminary comments reviewed by The Oregonian, numerous state agencies are critical of an environmental review that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued in August. (Nov 22)


19 November 2007

LNG company vows new push for Fall River plant — AP, Boston Herald, Boston, MA

BOSTON - The company hoping to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Fall River is forging ahead even after the Coast Guard rejected the proposal last month.

"Weaver’s Cove could present an entirely new proposal, which would require the Coast Guard to conduct an entirely new analysis," Coast Guard Senior Chief Richard Uronis said.

Webmaster's Comments: In other words, Weavers Cove LNG can continue to burn up taxpayers' money, even though their project has no future. The Weavers Cove project violates SIGTTO LNG-industry terminal siting standards — standards that FERC ignored and violated when they granted a permit for the project.

If FERC actually were a safety agency instead of an instrument of industry, they would take the Coast Guard's opinion into account before and in deliberation of issuing a permit, rather than issuing a permit and then asking for the Coast Guard's opinion regarding safety and security.

Why haven't our federal delegation — Sen. Olympia Snowe, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Mike Michaud, and Rep. Tom Allen — attempted to fix this obvious and wasteful cart-before-the-horse?

Largest onshore LNG plant proposed in Florida — Reuters UK

Floridian Natural Gas Storage LLC plans a facility in southeast Florida that would liquefy gas from pipelines and store it for later regasification and send out to users, partner Bradley Williams told a Rice University conference.

Each of the storage tanks on site would be capable of holding 190,000 cubic meters of LNG, the equivalent of 4 billion cubic feet of gas, Williams said. The facility would be much larger than the 100 onshore LNG facilities already used to meet peak gas demand across the United States, Williams said. (Nov 16)

Lack of supply delays Texas LNG terminal construction, an Industrial Info News Alert [Press release] — Yahoo Finance [Free registration required]

SUGAR LAND, TX--(MARKET WIRE)--Nov 15, 2007 -- Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- Occidental Energy Ventures Corporation, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY - News), is in the process of securing liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply for its Ingleside Energy Center near Corpus Christi in Gregory, Texas. (Nov 15)

Future of Alberta oil could be decided in B.C. — CanWest News Service

[P]lans that could see the construction of a West Coast LNG terminal in the next decade could play a role in ultimately short-circuiting the controversial $16.2-billion pipeline that was originally envisioned as bringing natural gas from the northern expanses of the Beaufort Sea to the gas-hungry markets of the United States.

Obviously unasked questions abound. What, for example, if anything, will LNG imports do to already depressed North American natural gas prices? North American natural gas is currently priced independent of European or Asian markets. Will a market fuelled by new LNG imports be subject to price wars? Or, more importantly, will price surges develop as competitors bid for the increasingly valuable fuel? (Nov 18)

States, feds, counties all will have say in LNG's OK, FERC says — The Daily News, Longview, WA

So who has the authority to approve NorthernStar's liquefied natural gas terminal, anyway? Is it the feds? The counties? The state agencies?

The answer, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is all of the above.

Paul Friedman, a FERC environmental project manager who is working on the proposal, said the Natural Gas Act and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 give FERC "total authority" to site onshore LNG facilities. In most cases, FERC, he said, can override the decisions made by counties in Washington and Oregon.

Friedman confirmed that if Cowlitz County denied NorthernStar's permits, the project could still be built per FERC's authority.

So why bother approving permits in Cowlitz County?

"It's a voluntary thing, but we think they should do it," Friedman said of the local process. "It's one way of proving to us that you're going to reduce environmental damage by following local procedures." (Nov 18)

Webmaster's Comments: This is more evidence of the cockamamie FERC process.

Clatsop County asks FERC to honor local land use decisions on Bradwood LNG — Small Town Papers News Service

At the board of commissioners' public hearing on the project Oct. 22, county staff was surprised by testimony suggesting that FERC could simply overrule any local conditions imposed on the project, in defiance of the Coastal Zone Management Act and the Energy Policy Act, according to a Clatsop County press release issued late last week. (Nov 16)

Science is factual [Letter to the editor] — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

It was with some amusement that we listened to the Northern Star spokesman call Dr. Jerry Havens a "hired gun" at the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee meeting on Nov. 8 in Knappa. It is an old public relations trick: If you can't dispute the message, attack the messenger.

We feel a fact check is in order. Havens, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Arkansas and a nationally respected expert on liquefied natural gas, is the scientist who wrote the U.S. Coast Guard model used by FERC to determine the vapor cloud exclusion zones. Havens has repeatedly expressed his concerns that FERC is incorrectly calculating the results of an LNG spill. (Nov 16)

Webmaster's Comments: If FERC doesn't calculate LNG vapor dispersion models properly — according to the author of those models — how can FERC call itself a "safety" agency?

BP begins production from Trinidad's Mango offshore field —, Dow Jones

Gas from Mango will supply Atlantic LNG's liquefaction plant for export as LNG to international markets - including the U.S., as well as the domestic market.

Webmaster's Comments: Two things:

  1. Trinidad's natural gas supply is due to run out in 12 years; and,
  2. BP isn't exactly a company that exudes safety — with its lack of corporate safety culture, it's record of fatalities and accidents, the criminal investigation that's currently being conducted about the company — it's more like a company that should be kept as far away from our shores as possible!

16 November 2007

BEP reconsiders; Downeast LNG can withdraw & re-file — WQDY-FM, Calais, ME

Reached for comment, [Save Passamaquoddy Bay attorney] Ron Shems told WQDY News, "I think what today shows is almost desperate behavior by Downeast LNG to want to start over. They rushed into this. Their application was not put together well, they didn't have the studies, there were lots of problems with what they wanted to do. That became apparent at the July hearings and so they want to start over."

"This takes a project in a very competitive and time-sensitive industry and puts it back a couple of years, so now I really question the viability of the project," Shems said.

"This is a blow to public participation in the permitting process because there was an enormous effort on everyone's behalf for the citizens to participate, and to simply go through this again because Downeast chose to jump the gun and not do a good job is to make everyone have to go through it again. Their feet should have been held to the fire," Shems told us. [Red emphasis added.]

BEP reversal lets Downeast LNG revise plan — Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME

"We now will be able to come back before the board next year with a new pipeline route and additional information that addresses concerns raised by board members following the public hearings last summer," [Downeast LNG's] president, Dean Girdis, said in a statement. "A more complete record will enable the BEP to make a more informed decision on our project."

Save Passamaquoddy Bay representatives also suggested that by reconsidering its thoroughly deliberated earlier decision, the board could be undermining public confidence in the integrity of the BEP.

After the vote, Save Passamaquoddy Bay attorney Ronald Kreisman urged the board to make sure Downeast LNG files all of the required information next time to avoid additional "dry runs" by the company. [Red and bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Even though the week-long BEP hearings in July brought forth the need to conduct a two-year lobster study, Downeast LNG is already saying they'll be re-submitting their applications next year — a year too early to complete the study.

By withdrawing, it's clear that Downeast LNG was ill-prepared when they submitted their state applications, and after an expensive taxpayer-financed hearing and vetting by the Department of Environmental Protection that demonstrated Downeast LNG's lack of diligence, after intervenors dealt in good faith by following the rules, and after eight failed attempts by Downeast LNG to subvert the state's regulatory system by trying to submit information after the record was closed and attempting to withdraw their applications, the developer finally got permission to withdraw.

There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that Downeast LNG intends to continue its abuse of the regulatory process.

Board allows LNG developer to withdraw application — Boston Globe, Boston, MA

"My clients are already wondering what's going on here," attorney Ron Shems told the BEP.

Canadian officials have threatened to block LNG tankers from passing through their waters en route to either Robbinston or another LNG facility proposed for nearby Pleasant Point. [Red emphasis added.]

Webmaster's Comments: Canada hasn't "threatened" to block LNG transits; it has been stated at the highest level — face-to-face from Prime Minister Harper to President Bush — that they will block them.

The US Department of State's false assertion that LNG tankers have a right to transit Canada's Head Harbour Passage — when Canada has the same right as the US Coast Guard has to assess the Head Harbour Passage waterway, and where appropriate, to prohibit LNG transits to the proposed Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG ports — is merely a red herring.

The US State Department is telling the world that the US Coast Guard doesn't have the authority it has been given by Congress!

US Senator Olympia Snowe has been aping that same aspersion.

Relying on the State Department's deceit, FERC and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection act as though the proposed LNG projects can actually receive LNG by ship, and are wasting taxpayers' money vetting projects that have no future.

It's time that US and Maine bureaucrats and politicians be taken to task on this matter, to stop this uncontrolled hemorrhaging of state and federal tax money.

To Dean Giridis and his Local Supporters — Google Groups [Quoddy]

This is not selfish NIMBY, it's all about Quoddy citizens protecting our lives, our businesses, our homes, and the unique environment that binds us to this place. A small number of LNG jobs in Maine and no revenues flowing into Canada is not a good business deal for us.

There are many local folks who are busy building viable businesses based on our readily available natural resources. Our sad history is packed with saviours from afar who came, exploited our resources, and left. It's time we showed some collective drive and intellect and moved forward to build our own international community based on the unbelievable resources at our doorsteps. (Nov 15)

Waterbury officials want something done with LNG tank's exterior — The Republican-American, Waterbury, CT

City officials and state legislators discussed the issue with utility officials Thursday, after the Republican-American reported that Yankee Gas did not plan to paint the 148-foot-tall, concrete-and-steel tank in part because it would cost about $400,000.


14 November 2007

Maine BEP denies LNG firm's request to refile application — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Maine Assistant Attorney General Peggy Bensinger ruled that the BEP had the right to suspend the application rather than grant a withdrawal of the application. "We have a different viewpoint," stated Girdis. (Nov 6)

Emera still plans to hit deadline — Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, NB

With 40 per cent of property owners objecting to the company's detailed route, the NEB will decide how to go forward. (Nov 12)

Another approval for LNG terminal — The Telegram, St. John's, NL

The province’s Department of Environment has determined the risk assessment study for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) transshipment terminal near Arnold’s Cove is satisfactory.

The next step for the Grassy Point project is the federal comprehensive study. (Nov 7)

Webmaster's Comments: Like too many LNG projects, the proposed terminal and tanks would be too close (1.4–1.75 miles) to the community. (See for a project map.)

No marooning N.J. in dispute — The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA

Officials in New Jersey, concerned that the island [to be called Safe Harbor Energy] might jeopardize the state's 127-mile coast and the $21 billion it generates in tourism each year, last weekend won a voice on whether the Atlantic Sea Island Group's plan for the artificial island is built.

The Coast Guard and the U.S. Maritime Administration, which will decide whether to approve the island, designated New Jersey an "adjacent coastal state" for the project's application. (Nov 11)

Company proposes peakshaving LNG storage facility in Florida — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Floridian Natural Gas is seeking FERC approval to build an LNG storage facility in Florida to serve as a peakshaving plant to both complement proposed LNG import terminals by storing gas imports and compete with them during peak volume periods. (Nov 9)

Energy co. pushes LNG project off Florida — The Bahama Journal, Nassau, Bahamas

SUEZ had planned to build an LNG terminal on Grand Bahama. Now it intends to build an LNG terminal in the ocean about 10 miles off Fort Lauderdale. (Nov 5)

SUEZ Florida LNG project moves to public meetings — Reuters

U.S. officials have issued a draft environmental impact statement on SUEZ Energy' proposed LNG import terminal offshore of Florida, moving the project to the public meeting stage of the licensing process, the company said Friday.

Calypso, a fallback plan after unsuccessful efforts by SUEZ to locate a terminal in the Bahamas to serve Florida, would be a submerged buoy 10 miles off southeast Florida. Planned capacity is more than 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day, SUEZ said. (Nov 2)

Webmaster's Comments: Safely offshore, away from the public. More easily expandible. Fewer security concerns.

US' Cheniere holds open season on proposed Louisiana project — Platts [Registration required]

Cheniere Energy Partners will launch Thursday a non-binding open season to gauge shipper interest in the proposed Louisiana Natural Gas Header, the Houston-based limited partnership and parent of Sabine Pass LNG said Monday.

The project would link growing markets in the US Southeast with new incremental gas supply sourced from multiple liquefied natural gas terminals currently existing and being built in and around Louisiana, Cheniere said. (Nov 12)

Sabine Pass LNG terminal nears test for April start — Reuters UK

Cheniere Energy Inc officials said the $1.5 billion project, one of four under construction within 120 miles (195 km) along the U.S. Gulf Coast, is within budget and on schedule to receive its first LNG in February in preparation for commercial operation in April.

The first phase of the facility will be able to receive, regasify and ship 2.6 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas. When the second phase is finished in 2009, the plant's sendout capacity will be 4.0 billion cubic feet a day, officials said. (Nov 2)

Potential applicants to build gas pipeline mask their intentions — Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage, AK

With the deadline looming for companies to submit natural gas pipeline applications to the state, most contenders are clinging to strategies best described with one word -- cagey. (Nov 12)

LNG: What is the fire risk? — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

[C]ounty counsel Blair Henningsgaard, who is also an Astoria City Council member, was curious about [University of Arkansas chemical engineer and LNG vapr hazard expert Jerry Havens's] claim that current calculations for the LNG vapor cloud exclusion zone around the Bradwood Landing LNG facility were misapplied in violation of federal law.

Havens, who has studied LNG for more than three decades, said in the "feeding frenzy" to get approvals for LNG terminals, companies have incentives to "cut corners," and federal agencies may be under pressure to "grease the wheels."

He was in town Thursday to tell FERC staff that he believes the vapor cloud exclusion zone for the Bradwood Landing project has been miscalculated, and that if it were done correctly, the exclusion zone would likely be bigger.

By looking at the map, he said, it's clear to him that in the event of a tanker spill in the Columbia River shipping channel, "essentially this whole community is in harm's way." A large fire in the channel would "set the building we're in on fire," he said. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Nov 9)

Webmaster's Comments: It's worth noting that the waterway in the article is over 3-1⁄2 miles across at the Astoria City Hall (Google Earth coordinates 46°11'18.01"N, 123°49'54.52"W) — even so, Jerry Havens indicated that the City Hall would catch fire in the event of an LNG spill in the channel.

The waterway between Eastport, Maine and Deer Island, New Brunswick is just slightly over 1⁄2 mile across. The entire City of Eastport, with the exception of Shackford Head and uninhabited islands, would fall within the Federal Government-designated hazard zones ("Zones of Concern"). (See "Living in the Hazard Zones" for more about LNG hazard zones and the shipping lane in Passamaquoddy Bay.)

LNG expert: Vapor model misused — The Daily News, Longview, WA

FERC, Havens said, uses two models, both authored by him, to set safety zones for vapor clouds at LNG terminals. In the event of a spill, he said, gas vapor must be projected to stay within the terminal's property, or the terminal cannot be approved. (Nov 10)

Webmaster's Comments: NorthernStar developers are calling Havens a "hired gun" and "professional opponent." Was he a "hired gun" and "professional proponent" when he was developing the LNG vapor hazard models for the US Government?

LNG terminal developer to answer Coast Guard's questions — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

NorthernStar Natural Gas, the company developing the Clearwater Port LNG Deepwater Port offshore Southern California, will attempt to answer the more than 400 additional questions required by the U.S. Coast Guard on their deepwater port application. (Nov 9)

'Exclusion zones' on river under scrutiny — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Havens, who has studied LNG for decades, testified that technical models he helped design to protect public safety around LNG terminals aren't being correctly applied to the Bradwood Landing project.

He told FERC project manager Paul Friedman, who convened the hearing, that the calculations needed to be redone. He also criticized the different LNG spill sizes used to calculate exclusion zones at proposed terminals across the country, saying the "lack of consistency ... could have the appearance of simply determining the size of the spill that the property line distance allows." (Nov 9)

Convergence for Climate Action — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

Movie SlideshowA slideshow of Columbia River Bradwood Landing LNG protest. (Aug 14)

LNG, NIMBYs and BANANAs — The Oregonian, Portland, OR

Once operational, the plant's economic impact will be an estimated $18 million a year.

…the company's not asking for a thing. Not a tax break. Not inclusion in an enterprise zone. Nada. (Nov 11)

Webmaster's Comments: The Oregonian editorial editor Reinhard, like some newspapers in Maine, has fallen for the LNG developer's bait. The "economic impact" of an LNG terminal, as presented by the developer, typically doesn't account for the comprehensive economic losses that would occur. In this instance, the editor has gleefully swallowed the entire hook, believing that tax incentives and infrastructure incentives — things that this developer is rejecting — are the area's only economic costs to such projects.

Reinhard is also mimmicking the industry "safety" hype, even though one of the world's premier LNG vapor hazard experts — Jerry Havens, who developed the vapor hazard modeling used by FERC — has warned FERC that the developer and FERC didn't calculate the exclusion zone distance properly, and that Astoria would be "toast" in the event of an LNG fire in the waterway.

Reinhard even uses Boston — a city trying to get rid of the LNG traffic there — as a safety example. Reinhard apparently doesn't know that just because an LNG facility already exists somewhere doesn't mean it is sited safely in today's geo-political climate. After all, the Boston terminal was built long before today's LNG industry siting standards were developed by SIGTTO and before 9/11. By today's LNG industry SIGTTO standards, the Everett, Massachusetts (Boston Harbor) terminal would never have been sited there.

The editor further panders to the industry in claiming that burning more natural gas will reduce pollution and greenhouse gasses. That would only be true if coal and oil-fired power plants were simply being replaced with natural gas; however, the net demand for fuel is increasing, including for new power plants. Rising demand for BTUs means greater hydrocarbon combustion — a net increase in pollution and greenhouse gasses, unless there's a major effort to supply the demand with renewable and truly clean energy sources.

County OKs LNG facility application — The World, Coos Bay, OR

Griffith said he didn’t want to limit the decision to the U.S. Coast Guard because a local agency might have a better understanding of what would be needed in the event of an emergency. Rather than pay for the resources themselves, they should have a voice, he argued. (Nov 8)

Webmaster's Comments: It's unlikely that local Coos Bay responders would have any inkling of what would be needed to deal with an LNG disaster. Even the State of Maine Emergency Response Agency doesn't understand what's needed, as demonstrated by the recent state's Emergency Responders' Workshop in Calais. At that event, several responders threatened to walk out if appropriate information and process weren't forthcoming. On the second day of the workshop, after beginning like the previous day, the threat of walkout was repeated.

LNG emergencies are so different from other types of hazards that communities face that it requires specialized training to prepare for such incidents.

Two area liquefied natural gas plants in pipeline — Los Angeles Daily News, Woodland Hills, CA

SACRAMENTO — Just months after environmental concerns killed a proposal to locate a liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of Malibu, a proposal for an even larger plant off Oxnard and one off the coast of Los Angeles are under review.

The [California Energy Commission] is tracking at least 11 LNG projects that are pending along the West Coast, including Canada and Mexico.

…Severin Borenstein, director of the University of California Energy Institute, said satisfying California's need for natural gas is not as easy as simply building LNG facilities along the coast.

"There is a lot of misinformation out there about what this will or won't do," Borenstein said. "We really need to have a better understanding among policymakers of how energy markets work when we make decisions like this."This will neither ensure a natural gas supply nor will not doing it cause a natural gas shortage." (Nov 12)

South Bay LNG proposal stirs up critics over planned site — The Daily Breeze, Torrance, CA

A proposal for a liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of Los Angeles International Airport has generated dozens of letters from residents, local leaders and government agencies as regulators begin an extensive environmental review.

The offshore terminal would sit roughly 27 miles from Dockweiler State Beach, 18 miles off Catalina Island and 23 miles off the Palos Verdes Peninsula. (Nov 13)

LNG firm wants Coast Guard concerns applied to competitor — Malibu Surfside News, Malibu, CA

In what may be a case of “corporate tit-for-tat,” the company asking to build one offshore liquefied natural gas terminal near Ventura has demanded that another, competing LNG terminal closer to the Malibu coast address a long list of environmental concerns—concerns originally proposed by the government for the first plant. (Nov 8)

Council opposes LNG terminal — Santa Monica Daily Press, Santa Monica, CA

In addition to Congresswoman Jane Harman, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and the environmental watchdog group Santa Monica Baykeeper, the City Council is now on record opposing Woodside Natural Gas’ OceanWay Secure Energy project, which would be located in federal waters, 27 miles offshore. (Nov 2)

Proposed Ocean Way LNG lightering site falls within U.S. Navy training and testing range — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

The U.S. Navy is urging Ocean Way LNG to reconsider one of its proposed LNG lightering sites as the site falls within the Navy's Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of Southern California. (Sep 21)

FERC Report Says Sanctions Not Imposed in 70% of Investigations — Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI) Daily Gas Price Index [Paid subscription required]

Breaking News from Nov 14

Of the 64 investigations that FERC's enforcement staff completed in the past two years, more than 70% (47 cases) were closed without any sanctions being imposed on energy companies, the agency's Office of Enforcement (OE) said in a report issued Wednesday.

Commission narrows scope of protected CEII information; improves process — US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Washington, DC

“Today’s action narrows the scope of CEII to improve public access to all information at the Commission, while continuing to ensure that sensitive information critical to energy infrastructure security is protected.”

Specifically, the Commission is allowing landowners access to alignment sheets containing CEII for the limited portion of a project that would affect their land and the adjacent parcels on each side without going through the CEII process. In addition, the Commission is eliminating the non-internet public (NIP) category because much of the information currently designated as NIP is easily available on-line from other sources such as the U.S. Geological Survey or commercial mapping firms.

Furthermore, the Commission is narrowing portions of forms and reports it defines as containing CEII. These include Resource Report 13, natural gas pipeline flow diagrams….

Today’s final rule … becomes effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register…. (Oct 30)

Webmaster's Comments: The new rule is 18 CFR Part 388.

PDF document Download 18 CFR Part 388 (PDF; 124 KB)

FERC hosts conference on the state of the natural gas industry — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

FERC's website provides links to PDF versions of the panelists' presentations. (Nov 7)

U.S. 'Last Resort Market' for LNG — Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI) Daily Gas Price Index [Paid subscription required]

Breaking News from Nov 12

As a relatively new buyer in the world liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, the United States is like a fish out of water, with North American buyers and sellers doing business in an efficient domestic spot market while the rest of the world, with a utility mind-set, signs long-term, take-or-pay contracts (remember them?) for gas pegged to the price of crude oil. (Nov 12)

Sticky issues for Coast Guard — Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA

"It used to be that the only things the Coast Guard had to do was search and rescue," Salas said. "Now they're spread thin." (Nov 13)

Industry experts warn LNG may not fill supply gap in U.S. gas market — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

Several industry insiders state that LNG may not fill the supply gap in the U.S. gas market.

U.S. LNG imports slow, but expected to rebound — Energy Current, Houston, TX

IEA [U.S. Energy Information Administration] noted that several LNG producers are experiencing difficulties maintaining full production levels while strong demand in other parts of the world has resulted in higher prices, which diverts cargoes away from the United States. (Nov 7)

LNG imports provide strong opportunities for pipelines: Spectra — Platts [Registration required]

LNG-linked pipelines do have some extra complications because of the potentially high variability of flows, but Yardley said that "the larger challenge over the last year or so has been gas quality," or trying to match customer specifications with the need of importers to have access to LNG from as wide a variety of sources as possible. (Nov 13)

CAFE to be in US energy bill, other key provisions fight for time — Platts [Registration required]

[Representative Rick Boucher, chairman of a US House energy subcommittee,] refused to comment on rumors circulating Washington since Friday that two key provisions of the House bill -- renewable mandates for utilities and a $16 billion tax package that would roll back oil and natural gas tax incentives in favor of renewable incentives -- might be dropped from the final bill. [Red emphasis added.] (Nov 13)


8 November 2007

Casino is a gamble [Editorial] — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

While New Brunswickers have howled over the tribe's involvement with bringing liquefied natural gas to the region, the casino proposition offers something the gas industry doesn't — economic benefits in places like St. Stephen and St. Andrews. One of New Brunswick's most famous tourist towns, St. Andrews, offers quaint shops, fine dining, and top-rated golfing. It doesn't offer much in the way of nightlife. A casino can help fill a void and complement some of the area's natural attractions.

A casino won't solve Washington County's economic woes, but it can provide a spark, at least.

If Maine voters OK a casino for Calais, they'll be taking a gamble, but it's one that's worth the risk. (Nov 6)

Webmaster's Comments: The Saint Croix Courier illustrates that it is the character of the project that deserves support or rejection — not nationality, as some would have us believe.

Calendars will raise money for Save Passamaquoddy Bay — Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

ST. ANDREWS — A calendar featuring up and coming musicians from all over Charlotte County went on sale this week with the proceeds going to Save Passamaquoddy Bay. (Nov 6)

Construction halted on Saint John pipeline — CBC News, NB

The request to begin construction was denied because information relating to the environmental protection for area species was not addressed by Emera, said Carole Léger-Kubeczek, a communications officer with the National Energy Board.

The 145-kilometre, 76-centimetre-diameter pipeline will deliver natural gas from the Irving Oil-Repsol LNG terminal at Mispec Point to the U.S.-Canada border near St. Stephen, N.B., where it will connect with the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline.

It is expected to be completed by late 2008. (Nov 6)

Hearing ignites debate over merits of designation for Lower Taunton — Standard-Times, New Bedford, MA

Along with Church's testimony, three letters of opposition were received in response to the bill. The letters, from local companies Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding and Fortier Boats Inc., along with the Shipbuilders Council of America, all stated that the designation would stunt the growth of business in the area and eventually cost the area revenue and jobs.

The environmental designation would also create further obstacles for Weaver's Cove Energy's plan to construct a liquefied natural gas terminal on the river. The designation would subject the river to oversight by the National Park Service, effectively ending efforts to complete the project because it would mean greater environmental regulation. (Oct 31)

Webmaster's Comments: The "wild and scenic" designation being sought is in addition to the US Coast Guard's decision that LNG transits to the FERC-permitted Weavers Cove LNG project would be unsafe.

If FERC is the federal "safety" authority for shoreside LNG terminal siting, then why doesn't FERC take the US Coast Guard's Waterway Suitability decision into account prior to making its permitting decision? The Coast Guard is a "Cooperating Agency" in FERC's permitting process. FERC's current procedure of making its permitting decision before the Coast Guard Captain of the Port issues his Letter of Recommendation abuses FERC's safety mission — an abuse of FERC's responsibility to the public.

Why are Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Congressmen Tom Allen and Mike Michaud ignoring FERC accountability on this issue?

Why — after 1-1⁄2 years (over 550 days) — won't Snowe, Collins, Allen, and Michaud indicate their support of, or opposition to, the ill-conceived LNG proposals in Passamaquoddy Bay? Will they ever show leadership on this issue, instead of fence-sitting — or will they continue to do what's "safe for their elected positions," instead of what's safe and responsible for Maine citizens?

[Note: We realize that Congressman Tom Allen doesn't currently represent this district of Maine, which may be his excuse for not responding to our questions; however, he is seeking to oust Senator Susan Collins of this district, and has been asking voters from this district for their opinions on issues and for their support. In other words, Tom Allen — like Susan Collins — doesn't want to answer our questions, but wants our support.]

Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher's opening remarks at the State of the Natural Gas Industry Conference [Statement] — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Washington, DC

[T]he notion of “U.S. gas market” is somewhat of an abstraction, since the market is really North American rather than national. The market ceased being national when U.S. gas production no longer sufficed to meet U.S. demand, and we relied on Canadian imports to make up the difference.

The United States has done a good job authorizing increased LNG import capacity. But increased import capacity does not mean increased imports. We are in competition with other importing regions of the world for LNG supplies. And we are not predestined to prevail in that competition.

To be clear, I do not think there is competition among the North American countries for LNG imports. I think it is more of a question of North America competing with Europe and the Asia-Pacific nations for imports. [Bold emphasis added.] (Nov 6)


4 November 2007

Official sees N.E. energy shortage: Not enough terminals, pipelines, regulator says — The Patriot Ledger, Boston, MA

BOSTON - New England will need to add liquefied natural gas terminals or significantly expand its gas pipelines - and possibly do both - or the region will likely face natural gas shortages or major price hikes, a key federal official said Friday.

New England is vulnerable because of its location at the tail end of several natural gas pipelines, its dependence on natural gas for both electricity generation and heating, its limited gas storage space and lack of its own geological gas reserves, said Joseph Kelliher, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Webmaster's Comments: Kelliher's remarks bring to mind his predecessor's recommendation that the entire US needed only about 7 new terminals of LNG supply. Three of those (Canaport and two offshore from Gloucester) will be supplying northern New England. Kelliher, a Presidential appointee, may simply be overreacting to the Coast Guard-defeated FERC permit for the terminal at Weavers Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts.

Safety concerns tie up LNG development — CBS News

Nine thousand people live within one mile of the 73-acre industrial site along the Taunton River where Weaver's Cove Energy, a subsidiary of energy giant Hess, hopes to build the terminal.

According to a Government Accountability Office report issued earlier this year, all but one of 19 experts surveyed believe an LNG spill could "present hazards to the public."

"There's just a growing demand for natural gas, and North America can't meet that demand with its own production," says Mark Robinson, FERC's executive director. (Oct 27)

Webmaster's Comments: FERC claims to be a "safety" agency, and yet they place nearly 100,000 people at risk in the Fall River area, even in light of the Government Accountability Office report on LNG.

If what FERC's Mark Robinson says is true, they why would the US be shipping natural gas as LNG to Asia? (See also, "Company says Slope LNG could supply Asia," below)

Mid-bay fishing holds over anglers — The Capitol, Annapolis, MD

Many gave up on waters around the giant structure of the Gas [LNG] Docks, once one of best chumming holes in the entire bay, until [the terminal] was rejuvenated and close-up fishing and boat traffic banned.

Webmaster's Comments: This is a real-world example of how an LNG terminal has negatively affected sport fishing.

Company says Slope LNG could supply Asia — Alaska Journal of Commerce, Anchorage, AK

David Keane, vice president for corporate affairs for BG North America Inc. also said that if Alaska gas is delivered to Japan as LNG it could back out Atlantic basin LNG now being sold in Asia.

The conventional wisdom in Alaska has been that an LNG export project could not compete in Asia against less expensive LNG imported from Australia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. (Oct 28)

Webmaster's Comments: This is an example of big business attempting to do what is best for them, but that isn't best for the US — or an example of government being led by industry. If the US needs natural gas as badly as government and the natural gas industry claim, then why should US natural gas be sent to Asia?

NorthernStar LNG plan suspended — Ventura County Star, Camarillo, CA

Stopping the clock in what was to be an accelerated environmental review process for a proposed offshore liquefied natural gas terminal, the Coast Guard has asked the company behind the Clearwater Port plan to address more than 400 safety and environmental issues before restarting the review. (Nov 3)

Country Analysis Briefs > Canada > Natural Gas — Energy Information Administration, US Department of Energy, Washington, DC

To compensate for reduced domestic production, Canadian natural gas companies have begun to explore the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminals.

In total, there are seven LNG regasification projects in Canada at various stages of development, including one in Nova Scotia, one in New Brunswick two in British Columbia, and three in Quebec. (Apr)

Flaring, thermal power, and LNG [Editorial] — Oil & Gas Journal, Houston, TX

Two reports in late summer have implications for the global natural gas industry, especially LNG.

In both reports, implications for the struggle to reduce global production of greenhouse gases are obvious. Implications for continued supply of natural gas for LNG are more problematic. (Oct 1)


2 November 2007

Behind the lines: Our take on the other media’s Homeland Security coverage — Congressional Quarterly, Washington, DC

Bugs ‘n bombs: While it shouldn't have taken 12 years after the Oklahoma City atrocity to regulate ammonium nitrate, a House bill to do just that comes “better late than never,” Newsday remarks. A proposed Bay State LNG terminal that has incited fears about explosive accidents or terror attacks was blocked last week by a Coast Guard safety ruling, The Boston Globe reports — and see The Bangor Daily News on another LNG facility’s demise Down East. [Bold red emphasis added.] (Oct 29)

Selectmen deny planning board request for land-use lawyer fees — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Asante also stated that Eaton Peabody's lawyers, Erik Stumpfel and Andrew Hamilton, "don't have the expertise we need," and both lawyers "are not land-use lawyers." Asante noted, "Erik Stumpfel is reluctant to represent us; he has stated that himself." (Oct 26)

LNG records under fire — The Herald News, Fall River, MA

Supporters of David Sullivan’s run for mayor are calling out his competition for what they are saying is misleading advertising released by Robert Correia regarding the efforts to stop a liquefied natural gas import terminal from locating in the city. (Nov 1)

Short fuse [Editorial] — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

Natural gas: Unload it offshore

LNG suppliers should focus on offshore terminals, like the two proposed for waters north of Boston. (Nov 1)

U.S. Coast Guard puts clamps on LNG project — The Jamestown Press, Jamestown, RI

The U.S. Coast Guard last week issued its final decision, awaited since May and widely hailed by officials in recent days, on a ruling against the Weaver's Cove/Hess plans to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) in giant tankers to Fall River, Mass., using Narragansett Bay.

Weaver's Cove announced within a day that it will appeal the Coast Guard's ruling that its tanker plans would be too risky. Weaver's Cove questions facts used to reach the Coast Guard's conclusion.

The Coast Guard and others said the drawn-out battle over the liquefied natural gas terminal is all but over unless there are unexpected changes to the plan. (Nov 1)

Coast Guard rejects local LNG facility, citing safety concerns — The Brown Daily Herald, Providence, RI

Last Wednesday, the Coast Guard halted three years of conflict between Rhode Island legislators and a natural gas company that wanted to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on Rhode Island waterways. (Nov 1)

Gas, wind and ethanol [Editorial] — The Providence Journal, Providence, RI

The Coast Guard has chimed in against a proposed liquefied-natural-gas terminal on the Fall River waterfront. We can only hope that its announcement is not based on the NIMBY political pressure on federal agencies that has slowed, for example, the proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound. (Oct 31)

Webmaster's Comments: The editors of The Providence Journal clearly — and remarkably — haven't studied the transit route required for the Fall River Weavers Cove LNG proposal. They also can't be aware of the LNG industry's (SIGTTO) own standards warning against such long, difficult, inland waterways lined with dense populations. Otherwise, they'd never have made such a statement.

Spitzer picks Broadwater lobbyist as top adviser — Newsday, New York, NY

Gov. Eliot Spitzer yesterday appointed the chief Albany lobbyist for the cross-sound Broadwater [LNG] energy project as a senior adviser in his administration, raising the eyebrows of some Long Island opponents of the proposal.

"It makes a precarious situation even worse," said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "Now I have one more knot in my stomach."

Officials to hold D.C. meeting on approval of LNG projects — Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD

Last week, federal officials notified AES Corp. that the State Highway Administration would not grant the company access to construct its pipeline along the Baltimore Beltway and asked the company to submit a new route for the pipeline. [Red emphasis added.] (Oct 30)

MARAD, Coast Guard release DEIS for Calypso LNG — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

MARAD and the U.S. Coast Guard have released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Calypso LNG, an LNG import terminal designed as a deepwater port and planned for offshore Florida.

Oxy still waiting on gas for Texas LNG terminal — Reuters

DOHA, Oct 30 (Reuters) — U.S. Occidental Petroleum has yet to finalise gas supply deals for a Texas liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and will not start construction without them, a senior company executive said on Tuesday. (Oct 30)

Sempra looks for more LNG opportunities — Energy Current, Houston, TX

The company already has two LNG projects set to move forward. Sempra's Energia Costa Azul facility in Baja California, Mexico, is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2008 and is fully subscribed. Sempra's Cameron LNG facility, under construction in Hackberry, La., will open in late 2008. (Oct 30)

Sempra seeks further LNG opportunities — AP, Yahoo Finance

NEW YORK (AP) -- The outlook for strong liquefied natural-gas demand in the U.S. has one major stumbling block, according to the head of Sempra Energy's LNG division: insufficient liquefaction capacity.

Sempra Energy is open to developing liquefaction facilities if it finds the right partner, said Darcel Hulse, president and chief executive of Sempra LNG. (Oct 29)

BC Ferries met WestPac [Letter to the editor] — Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

It's also important to note that BC Ferries itself is not responsible for coordinating the interaction between ferries and LNG carriers. All large vessel traffic in the Strait of Georgia, including that of BC Ferries, operates under the direction and coordination of Vessel Traffic Services (VTS), operated jointly by the United States and Canadian Coast Guards.

Provincial regulations slow LNG application — Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

WestPac president Mark Butler told the Peak in a phone interview that "we will likely not file until late 2008 at the earliest."

LNG protesters planning rally — Powell River Peak, Powell River, BC

Malaspina Communities for Public Power (MCPP) was founded in opposition to a proposal by WestPac LNG for a combined LNG import terminal and natural gas-fired power generation facility at Kiddie (Coho) Point on the north end of Texada. Close to 100 people attended a meeting on October 23, according to MCPP spokeswoman, Denise Reinhardt.

The group plans to work with Texada Action Now (TAN), and other local and provincial community and environmental organizations with concerns about the LNG plant, and broader energy policy issues, to develop a coordinated strategy.

MCPP is organizing a rally at noon on Wednesday, November 14 at MLA Nicholas Simons' office, to present a resolution that there be no LNG terminal and plant on Texada Island.

The group's next meeting is scheduled for 7 pm on Tuesday, November 20 in the gym at Malaspina University-College. The meeting is open to the public. (Nov 1)

Hearings officer OKs LNG facility — The World, Coos Bay, OR

Submitted Wednesday evening, the officer’s 20-page report advises the Coos County Board of Commissioners to approve a land use application filed by Jordan Cove Energy Project earlier this year. Hearings Officer Anne Corcoran Briggs said Jordan Cove satisfied all the requirements of the county’s zoning and land development ordinance. In her conclusion, she included several conditions, several of which underline the importance the state and federal government have in the review process.

The recommendation now will be taken up by the commissioners, who will deliberate on the matter at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the Coos County Courthouse. Additional public comments will not be taken.

Riverkeeper makes anti-LNG pitch; Gales Creek residents told to organize, contact representatives to stop pipelines — The Hillsboro Argus, Hillsboro, OR

Comparing two proposed liquefied natural gas import terminals to blenders in the middle of the Columbia estuary, Columbia Riverkeeper Executive Director Brent Foster invited concerned residents to organize and fight the proposed compressed natural gas pipelines, which would end at liquefied gas terminals near Astoria.

Energy regulators to study LNG imports — San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA

The California Public Utilities Commission decided on Thursday to look into the issues surrounding liquefied natural gas purchase contracts. The commission will study not only the need for liquefied natural gas but also the rules that should govern contracts between utilities and companies that import the fuel.

Those rules are important, because the utilities may already have financial ties to the importers, raising the possibility that they might buy gas from those importers even if they could get a better price elsewhere. For example, Sempra Energy, which owns the San Diego Gas & Electric utility, is building a liquefied natural gas terminal in Baja Mexico.

Clock stops on NorthernStar plan to convert aging oil rig northwest of Malibu into LNG facility — Malibu Surfside News, Malibu, CA

U.S. Coast Guard Raises Hundreds of Safety and Environmental Issues that Must Be Addressed

A proposal for a liquefied natural gas terminal on a converted offshore oil rig off Ventura County has prompted nearly 400 questions from the U.S. Coast Guard, a “data gap” that could delay the project for months or years. (Nov 1)

California Utilities Commission contemplates evaluation process for long-term LNG procurement arrangements — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

In an effort to ensure adequate natural gas supplies for the California market, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced yesterday that it will institute a rulemaking proceeding to consider the implementation of an evaluation process for requests by California utilities to enter into long-term LNG supply contracts.

House leaders kill bid to give DHS authority over LNG terminals — Platts [Registration required]

Facing bipartisan opposition on the US House Energy and Commerce Committee, congressional leaders have agreed to strip language from a bill that would have required the Department of Homeland Security to sign off on liquefied natural gas terminal projects.

LNG industry officials have argued that authorizing DHS to reject a gas import project would add an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy to the federal permitting process and that Congress, through the Energy Policy Act of 2005, intended for certificate authority to rest with FERC. (Nov 1)

Webmaster's Comments: So, the LNG industry and the House Energy and Commerce Committee…

Maine's US Representative Tom Allen is a member of that Committee; see Allen's website

…think it is better to have Presidential political appointees (FERC) — rather than the nation's security experts — decide whether or not there's a security risk to new LNG terminals.

Add this to the ever-growing list of reasons why the public doesn't trust the LNG permitting process or the politicians who enable that process.

NATS: October imports of LNG to United States lowest for the month in four years — LNG Law Blog, Washington, DC

NATS reports that LNG sendout in October 2007 was 29.3 Bcf, compared with 47.8 Bcf in October 2004. (Oct 31)

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

US Senate panel approves UN treaty backed by energy industry — Platts [Registration required]

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Law of the Sea Treaty by a vote of 17-4. All the Democrats on the panel supported the treaty, while all of the "no" votes came from Republicans. Some Republicans say the measure, which would be enforced by the United Nations, would undermine US sovereignty.

The committee vote Wednesday is the first step in what is expected to be a contentious battle to formally ratify the treaty. In order to take effect, the measure must pass the full 100-member Senate with a two-thirds majority, or 67 votes. Republicans currently hold 49 seats in the Senate.

It was unclear Wednesday when--or even if--the Senate's Democratic leadership would bring the treaty to the chamber floor for a vote. Senate Republican leaders, led by Trent Lott of Mississippi, have threatened to filibuster the measure, saying it would undermine US sovereignty. [Red bold emphasis added.] (Oct 31)

Webmaster's Comments: Despite claims by Senator Olympia Snowe, the US Department of State, and the local LNG developers in Passamaquoddy Bay, the US currently has no rights under the UN Law of the Sea since the US is not currently a party to that treaty. However, even if the US Senate were to ratify the treaty, it doesn't create validity to the LNG vessel "innocent passage" argument related to LNG and Head Harbour Passage, since:


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