"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
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31 January 2008
"A remedy must be found for [Interior's] unrepaired, and irreparable, breach of its fiduciary duty over the last century," Robertson wrote. Interior had argued that it had a workable plan for accounting for the royalties, but that it would be expensive and take years to finish. But Robertson rejected that claim, saying "the time has come to bring this suit [by the Indians] to a close."
Webmaster's Comments: This case has lasted more than a decade, with over 3,000 document filings. It is a shameful demonstration of how contemptuous the Bureau of Indian Affairs/ Department of Interior has been toward the very people of whose rights they were entrusted in the same negligent and contemptible way that they handed over the rights of the Passamaquoddy to Quoddy Bay LLC/LNG.
[C]ompetition is a good thing, and having two major pipelines serving Nova Scotia has the potential of creating an energy storage hub in Nova Scotia. It could have the affect of keeping transmission costs lower, thus attracting new sources of natural gas, not only from Nova Scotia’s offshore but from supplies of liquefied natural gas that land in Nova Scotia. It could also attract natural gas from Newfoundland’s offshore. (Jan 26)
As is, Weaver's Cove Energy already faces a tough battle. The Coast Guard has already ruled that the Taunton River approaching the would-be site of the terminal is unsafe for navigation by massive LNG tankers.
BP extends invitation to LNG neighbors
Sunoco’s 179,000 barrel-per-day Marcus Hook refinery in Pennsylvania is across the Delaware River from a planned BP LNG terminal to be located at Logan Township, N.J. The project is working through the permitting phase and anticipates construction commencing in 2009, with operational start up in 2012.
RICHMOND, Va. - It could be months before a federal appeals court issues a ruling in the legal battle between Baltimore County and the energy company that wants to build a liquefied natural gas terminal at Sparrows Point, near Dundalk, Md.
Tankers for the floating plant, which would be connected to an undersea pipeline and supply LNG to New York and Connecticut, would either pass through Block Island Sound or approach from the north after passing between the island and Montauk, N.Y. (Jan 29)
"They're some of the living, breathing human beings this affects," said County Attorney John E. Beverungen, gesturing to a group of Dundalk-area residents who are opposed to the plant and traveled to Richmond, some leaving at 4:30 a.m., to hear the arguments before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Jan 30)
According to the natural gas workshop report from La Jolla, California on June 28, 2006, hosted by the Institute of the Americas, at the actual rates of production, there is enough natural gas in Canada for the next 57 years.
Webmaster's Comments: And, the LNG import capacity in the United States has already been over-permitted to the point that many of the permitted projects won't be built. Market and investment reality hasn't yet sunk in with LNG gold-rush-drunk speculators.
The purpose of the rally, organizers said, is to provide a venue for residents to demand that Gov. Ted Kulongoski use the full power of state law to stop proposed LNG terminals planned for Coos Bay and on the Columbia River.
At issue is whether the United States and the West in general should rely upon such an essential commodity from nations whose economic and social values may not be in synch with each other. Many say "no." Many others, however, say we have no choice. (Jan 30)
Chapter 5: Plant Siting and Layout
188.8.131.52 The provisions…that apply to adjoining property or waterways shall be permitted to be waived or altered at the discretion of the authority having jurisdiction where the change does not constitute a distinct hazard to life or property or conflict with applicable federal, state and local (national, provinical, and local) regulations. [Red emphasis added.] (2006 edition)
Webmaster's Comments: In other words, LNG terminals must not be located where they provide a hazard to life or property. The proposed Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG terminal projects according to federally-defined hazard and exclusion zones clearly violate the above standard:
- Downeast LNG's proposed terminal "Exclusion Zone" would extend onto US Route-1;
- Quoddy Bay LNG's proposed cryogenic pipeline would pass beneath Maine Route 190, beneath Half Moon Cove, an intertidal zone that's exposed twice per day, and beneath the Old Eastport Road in Perry
All on public property.
30 January 2008
[T]he proponents of LNG claim that their energy source is cleaner than existing ones and will answer the need for more energy. In fact, the overall process of drilling gas from foreign countries with lax environmental regulations, then liquefying, transporting, regasifying, piping and burning it is detrimental to the overall health of the planet and its species, which includes us. Despite the proponents’ claims, recent studies indicate that LNG is in fact not any cleaner than other sources of fuel, especially when considering green house gas (GHG) emissions (Aune et al, 2004: Tan and Culaba, 2002; Bains, K et al.; 2006 (unpublished)). Plain and simple, the benefits of natural gas as a cleaner fossil fuel are lost when it is transformed into LNG. Therefore importing LNG is not a strategy for reducing GHG emissions or being more environmentally friendly. [Red emphasis added.] (PDF, 704KB; Summer 2007)
Boston argues that it has not had enough time to consider the impact that the transition would have on LNG vessel traffic through Boston Harbor and the development of regional LNG infrastructure in the Northeast. (Jan 29)
The bill says the import terminals may not be built within one mile of residences, schools, hospitals and related areas. LNG tankers would also need a 1,500-foot clearance along the shore from those restricted areas. (Jan 28)
[T]he Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider on Wednesday a bill that would designate portions of the Taunton River, including the site of the proposed Weaver's Cove LNG terminal, as "wild and scenic," which may prevent the terminal from being constructed. (Jan 29)
Congressman Cummings is Chair of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, and is senior member of the Committee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.
…I included in the 2007 Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, H.R. 2830, a provision that would prohibit the Coast Guard from approving a facility security plan for an LNG terminal until the service has certified that the Coast Guard sector in which the terminal is located has all of the assets it needs to provide security around the terminal and around LNG tankers serving the terminals when they are traveling in Coast Guard-imposed security zones. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Jan 29)
Webmaster's Comments: Congressman Cummings' bill would prevent all of the proposed LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay, since considering the lack of need for these projects, the inability of these projects to meet LNG industry standards, and Canada's refusal to allow LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay the likelihood of meeting the bill's requirements for these projects brings their probability of success to around zero.
According to some experts, energy companies and local governments nationwide are interested in how successful Baltimore County is at using a federally and state-mandated program designed to protect coastal areas to defeat the controversial LNG project.
Donald Santa, a former member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and president of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, agreed that both companies and local governments will be monitoring the outcome of the federal appeal.
Webmaster's Comments: Here's another case of a former government regulator now being employed by the very industry he regulated. Federal law should require that at least five-years elapse after any regulatory personnel leaves government employment before that person can obtain employment within the industry s/he regulated. The current absence of such law allows for "cozy" relationships between regulators and operators in the subject industry, and at the least gives the appearance of impropriety.
Another example: Richard Hoffmann, who left as Director of FERC's Division of Gas, Environment and Engineering, Office of Energy Products, on 2008 January 21, to become executive director of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) Foundation, Inc.
QUEBEC -- Just when the Quebec government believed all major hurdles had been cleared for the construction of the Rabaska liquefied natural gas terminal near Quebec City, opponents have mounted a major campaign to stop the project in its tracks.
Alaska legislators have been advised that TransCanada Corporation's application for a state gas pipeline license under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act does not qualify under the law because of conditions the Canadian pipeline company placed in its proposal, according to a confidential legal opinion by attorneys under contract to the Alaska Legislature that was obtained by Platts. (Jan 29)
The governor recalled a statement he made to a young person about energy development at a recent forum: "I told him, 'If you do not help me build a bridge, and you have taken everything off the table, then you are telling me that you want the next generation of young Americans to spend their time in the Middle East defending oil fields,' because I think that's what's ultimately going to happen to us if we do not get some rational debate about how we build this bridge to make this country energy independent." (Jan 29)
Webmaster's Comments: Gov. Kulongoski derides "defending oil fields" in the Middle East, but simultaneously promotes importing LNG from some of the same places all while ignoring the LNG industry's own terminal siting standards as they apply to the Oregon proposals. Hypocrisy is alive in Oregon government.
28 January 2008
The draft results of a comprehensive plan survey for the towns of Perry and Pembroke were prematurely posted to a "Quoddy" Google group website. The website claim is that "65% strongly oppose LNG project in Perry," but it also says that the survey is "a draft text that may be revised." The website lists Art MacKay, an LNG opponent from St. Andrews, as its editor. (Jan 25)
Webmaster's Comments: The news writer should had written, instead, that a member of the Perry Comprehensive Plan Committee believes it had been released prematurely. For a newspaper to criticize public information access is a contradiction of their purpose.
In any event, the survey respondents indicated a strong opposition to the proposed Quoddy Bay LNG project. Whether or not town officials agree with the survey results is a different matter.
It says, "Attached are the results for the recent survey for the Comprehensive Plan Revision. Take special note of the extremely strong sentiment (about 65%) very opposed to the LNG terminal and the temporary labor camp that is part of the Quoddy Bay proposal."
Webmaster's Comments: Although the text of the released survey results were labeled "Draft," it is unlikely that the results data contained significant inaccuracies, unless the survey, data calculations, or draft report were conducted in an unprofessional manner.
Webmaster's Comments: It is equally possible to demonstrate that a person can go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive, or for a speeding car to successfully leap a row of buses. That doesn't mean it's advisable to do it.
If the above incident had been an LNG vessel and two of the tractor tugs lost power, a decidedly different scenario might have occurred.
"They have ignored the LNG industry's own terminal-siting standards as developed by the world LNG authority, Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators and have not comprehended that Canada, a sovereign nation with rights equal to the United States, will not allow LNG transits into Passamaquoddy Bay."
Noting the Quoddy Bay LNG and Downeast LNG proposals, Godfrey states that, according to industry experts, there is no need for these three additional LNG terminals in the Northeast, world LNG supplies are scarce, and the price of LNG is high because of demand in Asia and Europe. Godfrey notes that a gas industry organization, the LDC Forum-Northeast, says in its 2008-event overview statement, "High prices, supply shortages, controversies about new drilling opportunities, Middle East turmoil, volatility in the financial markets, and the Democratic gains last November all contribute to increased scrutiny of the industry. We will never again be able to fly beneath the public radar." [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 25)
The state should not encourage more methane burners as at the Pine Tree Landfill in Hampden, since methane is a key greenhouse gas. And it should not encourage the importation of LNG on the beautiful Down East Coast, since burning LNG also leads to global warming. (Jan 26)
Long Island homeowners and businesses will benefit from Broadwater only if there is a long-term guarantee of discounted gas to power the plants that generate our electricity. Without a guarantee, there'll be no certainty of supply or price, given the fluctuation of natural gas prices and the volatility of the world's LNG market, where tankers are often redirected at the last minute to the highest bidder. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 27)
In a letter dated Dec. 21, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation said that company submissions for air, water and hazardous material storage permits lacked required details and that the project, as proposed, “presents significant adverse impacts to the Long Island Sound aquatic environment and fishery.” The department also said Broadwater had failed to look at Atlantic Ocean sites as part of a required assessment of alternatives. (Jan 27)
At 4 p.m. Feb. 13, four state and federal agencies will meet in Astoria to discuss the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project permit application. They will take public comments until 8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express, 204 West Marine Dr. (Jan 25)
Burning natural gas to create electricity is acceptable these days because it gives off only about half the carbon dioxide of burning coal. But actually, burning gas to generate power is a stupid thing to do. Once you burn the gas to heat water to create steam to drive generators to power transmission lines to go across country to turn into back into heat for water or space, more than half of the energy content of the original natural gas is wasted along the line. Still, state and national policies push for the burning of natural gas to create power. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 27)
There are four studies in process concerning the port, project manager Terry Buchholz said. She’s based out of Portland with David Evans & Associates Inc., the company the port hired to do the EIS. Those include this channel study, one that looks at land use development of the container terminal, one that ponders land use for the new slip and access channel to a proposed liquefied natural gas facility, and an LNG terminal and pipeline study being done for the Jordan Cove Energy Project. (Jan 25)
25 January 2008
Proceeds from the concert, which will get under way at [7 p.m. AT / 6 p.m. ET], will go towards Save Passamaquoddy Bay which is spearheading the fight against liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments in Passamaquoddy Bay. It was a cause that Sullivan supported. [Bold red emphasis added.] (Jan 22)
Here we have a person who advocates to the public that they can't be harmed by an LNG catastrophe, who was appointed by the head of Homeland Security to advise the Coast Guard on matters that include LNG safety, and who now is a partner in an LNG project that cannot conform to recognized LNG safety standards.
James Lewis has apparently convinced himself by his own parlor tricks, and is now willing to endanger the public with an improperly-sited LNG project of his own -- Lewis's Stupid LNG Trick Number 6. [Bold red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: James Lewis lacks veracity and is embroiled in a conflict of interest. His participation on the US Coast Guard's Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee is entirely inappropriate.
Read about James Lewis's Stupid LNG Tricks 15.
Downeast Pipeline LLC has filed to amend its pending FERC application for the Downeast LNG project to modify its planned pipeline route. The amendment is in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's rejection of Downeast's request to cross the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge with a portion of the pipeline.
Breaking News from NGI's Daily Gas Price Index posted Jan 25, 11:26 AM
Up to 99% of tanker deliveries to Canada's first liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal on the Atlantic Coast will be re-exported to the United States, sending up to a Bcf/d into New England, New York and New Jersey, possibly by late this year, according to new filings with Canada's National Energy Board (NEB).
Breaking News from NGI's Daily Gas Price Index posted Jan 25, 1:02 PM
Alberta-based Alton Natural Gas Storage LP Thursday proposed building a natural gas pipeline between central Nova Scotia and the northeastern United States.
From the governors of New York and Connecticut right down through the attorneys general to Branford First Selectman Unk DaRos, elected officials are furious with FERC’s Environmental Impact Study (EIS), decision calling it “ludicrous,” “absurd,” and a “travesty.” Gov. Rell issued a scathing press release in which she lambasted FERC officials for what she describes as an indefensible decision. “I cannot see how any reasonable person or government agency can come to this conclusion. The Broadwater project would be a travestythe complete destruction of Connecticut’s environmental crown jewel and a total setback to the decades we have spent improving water quality and habitat in the Sound,” said Rell in a press release after the ruling. (Jan 24)
"We are talking about building and operating a massive, possibly hazardous industrial facility in the middle of an important estuary with sensitive natural resources. We are talking about a platform as large as an ocean liner, requiring an unprecedented and untested 950-acre safety and security zone, as well as moving security zones around incoming tankers. Let's not kid ourselves: All of this will change Long Island Sound forever." (Jan 24)
Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), a veteran legislator and the dean of the Suffolk Democratic Assembly delegation, said the project, which would be in New York waters, "has numerous economic, environmental and safety issues" which, he charged, weren't adequately addressed earlier this month in an environmental impact statement issued by the primary federal licensing body for such plants, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (Jan 23)
Breaking News from NGI's Daily Gas Price Index posted Jan 25, 11:32 AM
TransCanada, which has submitted the only Alaska gasline proposal deemed complete by the state, has a $9 billion albatross around its neck when it comes to developing its project, which makes a partnership with North Slope producer ConocoPhillips a "nonstarter," a ConocoPhillips executive told Alaska lawmakers.
The Bradwood project is clearly not for Oregon consumers. It is for the mother lode of all markets - California. This sort of economic colonialism ravaged rural America in the days of the robber barons.
It is excellent that the National Marine Fisheries Service is speaking the truth so forcefully. We'll not get such honesty from our county commission or county planning commission. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 24)
Breaking News from NGI's Daily Gas Price Index posted Jan 25, 11:26 AM
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand and production may be slowing as a result of price and project cost increases, according to a recent study prepared for Repsol Energy North America (RENA) by Jensen Associates.
Webmaster's Comments: An LNG surplus may be heading to the US. More bad news and bad investment for Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG Project Co.
Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that despite new North American terminal capacity that is scheduled to come online this year, rising LNG demand in other areas of the world may lead to decreased U.S. imports.
Webmaster's Comments: This is yet another industry report that LNG supply and pricing isn't what LNG speculators are telling the public. The LNG projects proposed for Passamaquoddy Bay are ill-thought-out, badly sited projects with no future. More of their investment goes down the drain.
Platts LNG Daily [subscription required] reports that the United States is providing technical assistance to Trinidad and Tobago as part of an effort to improve security for energy infrastructure, including security for the Atlantic LNG facility. (Jan 24)
Breaking News from NGI's Daily Gas Price Index posted Jan 25, 2:30 PM
Approximately 14 major natural gas-producing countries are expected to meet in Moscow in June to discuss forming an OPEC-like cartel to control the price and supply of natural gas on the world market, the Qatari Energy Minister said in a published report.
23 January 2008
Kurt Adams, chairman of the Maine Public Utilities Commission, said even though electricity rates strain home and business budgets, natural gas poses reliability risks and is not necessarily the best choice for the environment. (Bold red emphasis added.)
Webmaster's Comments: Even the chairman of the Maine Public Utilities Commission recognizes that natural gas isn't the best energy choice for the state or the environment.
Having objective standards for where turbines are acceptable and where they are not will benefit both developers, who will know what standards they must meet, and the public, which will gain from a more diverse, cleaner energy supply that protects the truly special landscapes. [Bold red emphasis added.] (Jan 19)
Webmaster's Comments: The Bangor Daily News thinks, appropriately, that objective siting standards are the right thing for wind turbines; however, they apparently don't think objective industry safety standards are the right thing for LNG terminal siting.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay has on multiple occasions urged Bangor Daily News editors and reporters to obtain and read the SIGT TO world-class LNG terminal siting standards, but so far they've either not done so, or if they have, they've written nothing to indicate that they have. And yet, on occasion, they've written in support of the ill-sited proposed LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay. The Bangor Daily News editorial staff needs to take their own advice regarding objectivity.
Rep. Ian Emery (R-Cutler) has created Calais LNG Project Co. [another new name for the project] with partners Arthur Gelber, a Houston-based LNG consultant, and Carl Myers, a retired utility executive from Pennsylvania, according to the Bangor Daily News.
While Gelber told the Daily News that the Calais LNG project "will have the smallest environmental footprint of any of the LNG facilities proposed," a spokesman for Save Passamaquoddy Bay, a group opposed to LNG facilities, called Calais LNG "the absolute worst of the three projects," citing its need for LNG tankers to navigate around St. Croix Island and up the St. Croix River. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 21)
Webmaster's Comments: Gelber previously stated in a Bangor Daily News article that they have a bank investor. No legitimate bank would invest money in even a credible LNG terminal project until a FERC permit to construct were obtained, and Calais LNG doesn't have either one: the permit or credibility.
The Calais LNG project would be laughable if it weren't going to cost the taxpayers so much money to process and reject it.
Environment, Right whale, restoring the St. Croix fishery, and the proposed Maine LNG plants among county concerns
Art MacKay, executive director of the Quoddy Learning Centre and Ganong Nature Park, said the area needs a national voice to fight for the local environment, which provides a living for most of the county. (Jan 14)
Webmaster's Comments: See our map to this event location.
We are particularly concerned that Gov. Rell's pronouncements were made before conducting any meaningful dialogue with Broadwater Energy LLC. The governor's intractable stance on this issue is an even greater cause for concern, given that her State Energy Plan recommends the siting of LNG import facilities to meet future energy needs. (Jan 22)
Webmaster's Comments: "Meaningful dialogue" with the LNG speculator is worthless when the speculator is proposing an import terminal location that violates industry standards standards that, unfortunately, FERC ignores. Broadwater Energy, not the State of Connecticut, needs to look itself in the mirror.
LNG would be delivered to the FSRU by 2 to 3 LNG carriers per week to meet the Project’s planned send-out volumes of natural gas. Inbound carriers from the Atlantic Ocean would first stop at either the Point Judith Pilot Station (primary route) or the Montauk Pilot Station (alternate route). From the Point Judith Pilot Station, carriers would transit Block Island Sound north of Block Island, head generally west to enter Long Island Sound at its eastern end (an area known as the Race), and proceed to the FSRU. From the Montauk Pilot Station, carriers would head generally northwest to approach the Race, and then proceed to the FSRU. (Jan 21)
The squeeze in natural gas supply to New York has sent natural gas prices soaring to a premium of $25 or $30 a million British thermal units to benchmark Henry Hub prices, said Hal Kvisle, chief executive of TransCanada Corp. (TRP).
"This illustrates the bottleneck between the North American (natural gas) market and New York City, and it's going to get worse" since natural gas demand is increasing, Kvisle told reporters at the sidelines of a conference here. (Jan 17)
Webmaster's Comments: Whether or not the Broadwater project would lower natural gas prices is unknown, especially since some industry pundits indicate otherwise, at least for the national natural gas market. If it is so, then it illustrates the distinct financial advantage of local LNG terminal siting, rather than "remote" siting another reason why the Passamaquoddy Bay-area LNG siting proposals are flawed.
The project is the subject of two lawsuits and continues to be reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is also reviewing whether the project meets standards of the Coastal Zone Management Act. (Jan 22)
Eric Richards, of Pascagoula, a member of the Gulf Conservation Coalition -- an organization opposed to the project -- said "Jackson County gets hammered in every respect of economics" with the salt dome project. (Jan 22)
“We thank Qatar for its confidence in us.” [Red and bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Do Energy Secretary Bodman's statements appear to reflect a policy of energy independence and energy security or of a greater dependence on middle east governments?
High on the list is how an area, rich in oil and gas infrastructure but poor in many other ways, will fill as many as 4,500 permanent high-skilled jobs created by the energy projects and more than 20,000 construction jobs needed to build them.
FERC originally granted permission in July 2005 to Ingleside to build and operate the Texas LNG terminal and greenlighted construction and operation of the associated pipeline facilities. The authorizations FERC granted were conditioned on the facilities being placed in service "within three years of the final order." [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 18)
Ingleside Energy LLC and San Patricio Pipeline LLC, units of Occidental Petroleum Corp, asked the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to extend the original July 2008 start-up deadline to April 30, 2011, the letter that was filed showed. FERC licensed the project in July 2005. (Jan 17)
Webmaster's Comments: Poor market conditions are affecting LNG projects' progress.
The proposed project is sited in the Columbia River estuary, which has been described as "the most valuable spawning and nursery area for salmon in the continental United States," NMFS noted in its letter to the Army Corps of Engineers.
The estuary also is used by numerous marine and anadromous species, including no less than 18 distinct population units or evolutionarily significant units of anadromous fishers, three species of marine mammals, 17 groundfish species, and the northern anchovy. (Jan 22)
Webmaster's Comments: Need for the natural gas resulting from imported LNG is a federal requirement of environmental vetting. Since the Northeast natural gas requirement will already be oversupplied by 400%, once the Canaport and two projects offshore from Glouceser, Massachusetts, begin operating, the extraneous LNG projects' investors in Passamaquoddy Bay should have known four years ago that they were already too late.
Due diligence and the Passamaquoddy Bay-area LNG speculators don't mix.
In comments filed Friday on the federal energy regulators' Web site, the marine fisheries agency said NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc.'s application for a permit for its proposed Bradwood Landing terminal was so deficient that it should submit a new one and that the corps should consider issuing another public notice for comment. (Jan 19)
An article in World Gas Intelligence notes that high bids in Asian and European markets are fueling an intense competitive environment, adding that beyond baseload supplies being delivered to the Everett terminal in Massachusetts, very little LNG came into the United States in January. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Claims by LNG speculators that their proposed terminals will bring down natural gas prices are not supported by industry reports.
Fourteen LNG projects were meant to take a Final Investment Decision (FID) 2007, but only two did: Pluto in Australia and Angola LNG. These two projects had one distinct advantage over the others: a strong alignment in the strategy of the project's partners.
[A]s the LNG industry showed in 2007, it is as important to look at who is in the project as it is to look where the project is located. [Red and bold emphasis added] (Jan 18)
Webmaster's Comments: All three Passamaquoddy Bay-area LNG projects strike out on both the "who" and "where" issues.
NIGERIA: Chevron is understood to have brought a huge new oil production vessel into Nigeria's Agbami field under a veil of secrecy, amid security concerns. Believed to be a billion dollar ship, capable of storing 2.2 million barrels of oil, Chevron is keeping details close to its chest as it fears armed militants will strike if they find out about it. (Jan 22)
Webmaster's Comments: The above story illustrates how energy security can be significantly damaged by the loss of a single vessel. Similarities abound with between the petroleum and LNG industries.
18 January 2008
"They were continuing to drift so they found a better spot for their anchor. They eventually got under way under their own power and were escorted by tug into Eastport. They were picking up cargo in Eastport," Malcolm said.
"In the open ocean you can drift for days but in Head Harbour Passage, if you lose power with winds 25 to 30 knots, in less than 30 minutes it could have gone aground," Malcolm said. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: If the vessel did not actually go aground, it's understandable that witnesses thought it had, considering the noise and activity around the ship. It's also understandable, in light of the pro-big-energy FERC process and the lack of respect the developers and the US State Department have for Canada's sovereign authority, that a coverup would be suspected and that Canada will be investigating the incident.
It's a fact that a freighter slammed into the foggy Eastport downtown pier some years ago, with a pilot aboard even though the pilot demanded that the ship's master not attempt to dock in the dense fog. And, if there hadn't been witnesses to this latest event from the Campobello Island shore, it's unlikely that there would have been any news coverage.
This all begs the question, "What other marine incidents have occurred in Passamaquoddy Bay that have ducked below the public's radar?"
Opponents maintain plea to close Head Harbour Passage to tankers
Although Emery told him this third project would have the least effect on St. Andrews of the three proposals, Mayor Craig said the LNG tankers would still have to go through Head Harbour Passage, which is the only way to get into Passamaquoddy Bay.
The [Government Accountability Office (GAO)] report states, "Highly-combustible commodities, such as liquefied gases, have the potential to catch fire or, in a more likely scenario, explode, posing a threat to public safety." [Red and bold emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: The proposed project's LNG ships would also still pass by Saint Andrews, subjecting the downtown and near-downtown residents, the golf course, the federal biological station, Huntsman Lab, and other residents to the LNG ships' three Hazard Zones (a.k.a., "Zones of Concern"). In fact, the Hazard Zones from the Calais project's LNG ships would engulf more of St. Andrews than would LNG ships from the Downeast LNG project.
It's interesting that the GAO report states that liquefied gases, "in a more likely scenario, explode…." FERC and the LNG industry go to great lengths to say that LNG won't explode, but here we have an independent federal investigative agency saying that explosion is likely. Who would you trust?
Controversy Maine LNG terminal foes say U.S. report more proof projects not feasible
"The message we would like to go out is to the investors backing these proponents," said [Jessie Davis, chairwoman of Save Passamaquoddy Bay/Canada], is that "these projects are highly unlikely to be built. They are wasting their money and should put it into a project that has some chances of success."
"It's a highly inappropriate place for this kind of industrial development. It is dangerous navigation for tankers and impossible to provide adequate security for the tankers to go to the proposed facility," said Davis.
Webmaster's Comments: Offshore LNG submerged buoy receiving terminals are proven technology, are faster to build than shoreside terminals, cost about the same as shoreside terminals, are easier to expand, fare better in bad weather, are more esthetic, have fewer security concerns, and are safer for the public. And, they comply much easier to LNG industry terminal siting standards.
From both sides of Passamaquoddy Bay, opponents of the proposed liquefied natural gas terminals in Maine have been talking this week about the "what ifs" and the "could haves" following a Saturday morning incident where a cargo ship bound for Eastport to pick up wood pulp lost engine power in the much-debated Head Harbour Passage, of all places.
"The real reason we were called was because they broke down and they dropped an anchor they were actually dragging their anchor. There was a fear that they were going to continue to drag an anchor and go aground," said [Chief James Malcolm of the U.S. Coast Guard Station Eastport]. (Jan 17)
Webmaster's Comments: While this incident was handled well by all concerned, it demonstrates that the unexpected does occasionally occur. The ship lost power and the achor dragged. What could have happened if there had been a human error, or worse? What if the tractor tugs lost power while navigating an LNG tanker?
The LNG industry, itself, indicates in their terminal siting standards that Passamaquoddy Bay is inappropriate for LNG transits and terminals. No assurances to the contrary can nullify that reality.
State Rep. Ian Emery [R-Cutler], one of the original partners, has now teamed up Art Gelber and his Texas-based company, Gelber & Associates. Both Gelber and Emery are "development managers" for the Calais LNG project.
"This is a major thing that they cannot get around, that our country has said that they can't get through Head Harbour Passage so saying this again their investors are throwing money away. I think the investors better wake up to the fact that these guys are spending their money and throwing it out the window," [St. Andrews Mayor John Craig] said. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Jan 16)
Webmaster's Comments: Another name for this outfit the seventh! Is the actual name the sixth, the seventh, none, or both? Inquiring minds want to know.
BP Consulting LLC St. Croix Consulting St. Croix Development Calais LNG Northeast Energy
- Calais Maine LNG Import Terminal
- North East Energy Development LLC
Gelber's opinion of Canada's denial to LNG transits into the bay is surprisingly naïve. He says he ‘looks forward to engaging with Canada and hopes to address their issues and have an open dialogue.’ He obviously hasn't been paying attention.
Canada is a sovereign nation, equal in rights to the US not some hick Texas town that can be pushed around with swagger and money. Canada obviously isn't interested in "engaging" with Gelber about his proposal. Gelber's project abuses LNG industry standards (see SIGTTO) just as much, or more, than the other local proposals. Gelber's efforts will amount to no more than spitting into the wind.
When first presented to the Calais City Council in late August 2005, the Calais LNG project was a partnership with BP Consulting, founded by then-Passamaquoddy tribal representative Fred Moore and State Representative Ian Emery [R-Cutler]. Indian Township was also involved.
Webmaster's Comments: North East Development LLC? Calais Maine LNG Import Terminal? What name is it?
The proposed "Calais Maine LNG Import Terminal" (CMLNGIT) is:
- Planned for the most difficult location of the three local speculative LNG projects;
- Would present hazards to more of the Passamaquoddy Bay area on both sides of the border than the other two projects;
- Violates the LNG industry terminal siting standards (see SIGTTO) even more so than the other two projects; and
- Has the same immovable obstacle in the way as do the other two projects Canada's refusal to allow LNG transits into the bay.
Not only is the CMLNGIT a distant third behind the already-mooted Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG projects, it's a pipe dream.
17 January 2008
Just before 6 a.m. Saturday, the Alexandergracht was traveling through Head Harbor Passage off the north end of Campobello Island, New Brunswick, on its way to the Federal Marine Terminal at Estes Head in Eastport when something went wrong, U.S. Coast Guard Station Eastport officials said Wednesday.
Webmaster's Comments: The fact that the ship dropped both anchors and still dragged demonstrates one of the reasons that according to the LNG industry's own terminal siting standards (see SIGTTO) Passamaquoddy Bay is an unfit location for LNG terminals and transits.
Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG/Northeast Energy/St. Croix Development/St. Croix Consulting/BP Consulting (or whatever it is they're currently calling themselves) have exhibited cavalier irresponsibility and indiligence in selecting their project locations. These developers' continuing efforts demonstrate their disrespect for their own industry standards, for public safety, and for US energy security.
The National Energy Board (NEB) has received an application from Repsol Energy Canada Ltd. (Repsol) for a licence authorizing the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) into Canada, and for a separate licence to export natural gas from Canada to the United States.
In its submission filed on 27 December 2007, Repsol applied for an import licence to supply the Canaport LNG Terminal which is currently under construction at Mispec Point near Saint John, New Brunswick. (Jan 16)
Webmaster's Comments: The Canaport LNG terminal, along with the two offshore terminals near Gloucester, Massachusetts, moot the proposed projects for Passamaquoddy Bay. The natural gas capacity will be 400% above the need for the Northeast.
"So far, FERC has utterly ignored the comments of Connecticut officials and countless others who point out that putting an enormous and potentially flammable industrial platform in the Sound amounts to environmental sabotage," Rell said. "Fortunately, there is one voice left to speak out. That voice belongs to the State of New York." [Red emphasis added.]
Broadwater also needs permission from New York State to lease submerged lands in the sound for the yoke mooring system that would anchor the huge platform, as well as permits from the N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation.
Connecticut has among the highest energy prices in America in large part because officials, including Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, consistently oppose reasonable plans to augment supply and improve delivery infrastructure. Case in point: the proposed $70 million Broadwater liquefied-natural-gas platform in New York waters of Long Island Sound, 10.5 miles from Branford.
Webmaster's Comments: Has the editorial staff of The Republican-American taken a look at the LNG industry standards for terminal siting (see SIGTTO), and then compared the standards with the terminal location? Without having done that research, The Republican-American may, itself, be exactly what their headline claims about Gov. Rell and Atty.Gen. Blumenthal.
In response to ongoing concerns related to news of a liquefied natural gas facility proposed for Sparrows Point by AES Corp., a national group of fire marshals presented information Saturday morning information that some of the 50 or so residents at the Fleming Community Center gymnasium in Turner Station said they had already heard before.
The councilman’s son, State Del. John Olszewski Jr. (6th District), said at the meeting he had visited the LNG facility in Massachusetts and that he opposes the siting of an LNG facility at Sparrows Point.
FERC said USCG already has issued a Waterways Suitability Report, which is an appendix in the final EIS. The US Department of Homeland Security service also will review and adopt pertinent portions of the EIS to satisfy its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act and issue a final letter of recommendation with its final determination of whether the project's waterway is suitable for tanker traffic. (Jan 14)
After due consideration of both verbal and written comments provided on its draft environmental impact statement (EIS), further data collection, and its final analysis, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has reaffirmed its conclusions that Broadwater is the most environmentally responsible way to meet the region's natural gas needs in the coming years, given the alternatives. (Jan 14)
While it’s too late to affect the Bradwood project, Congress should review the 2005 energy bill’s sweeping and unwise usurpation of local control. Meanwhile, state and local officials should take every possible step including litigation, if necessary to ensure their concerns are fully addressed before any LNG terminals are sited in Oregon. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 15)
That's the scenario envisioned in a letter from Williams Northwest Pipeline company to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, questioning the need for one of two proposed natural gas pipeline. (Jan 15)
The shipping vessels that travel the Columbia River can cost as much as $60,000 each day to operate, said Larry Paulson, the Port of Vancouver's executive director. The companies that own them, he said, are not fond of delays.
Webmaster's Comments: Likewise, LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay could cost the Port of Eastport and the Port of Bayside. And, there's no way to know if there would or wouldn't be such costs until after FERC issued a permit.
Planning commission bucks staff’s safety warning about Clifton Road hazards
But when the silence at the Clatsop County Planning Commission meeting ended Tuesday, planners had for the third time approved a NorthernStar Bradwood Landing application, and ignored county staff's recommendation for denial.
The vote was 4-3. (Jan 16)
Gulf Gateway is located off the coast of Louisiana…. Its robust design, which was tested and proven with deliveries throughout Hurricane Katrina, provides reliable and ready access to United States markets on both a short- and long-term basis. Northeast Gateway, located off the coast of Massachusetts, recently completed construction and will take its first cargo deliveries in early 2008.
"We are pleased to be working with DB Energy on the downstream marketing of our natural gas deliveries through Gulf Gateway and Northeast Gateway," said Jonathan Cook, Chief Operating Officer at Excelerate Energy. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 16)
Not all of these proposed facilities will get built. The National Petroleum Council, in its report on natural gas supply in the United States back in 2003, estimated that we need somewhere between seven and nine new LNG terminals to meet demand by 2025. That's more of an art form than a mathematical formula. It could be five, it could be 10. And market forces will settle the issue of how many will actually get built. Two obstacles that come to mind are the increasing costs of the raw materials to build these facilities, which are driving the costs exponentially higher, and, No. 2, the ability to secure liquefaction supply. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 16)
12 January 2008
The Bangor Daily News decided not to publish this LNG story online. In the past, Save Passamaquoddy Bay has succeeded in convincing the BDN to subsequently publish omitted online LNG stories that appeared in their printed paper.
Other readers with a similar interest in this topic may also want to contact the BDN regarding this recurring problem. All departments of the Bangor Daily News can be reached at 1-(800)432-7964.
The article by reporter Diana Graettinger indicates that State Representative Ian Emery (R-Cutler) and Texas-based Gelber & Associates (www.gelbercorp.com) still haven't folded their tent. Also, it reports that Canada quoting St. Andrews Mayor John Craig will prevent them, as well as Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG, from transiting LNG vessels into Passamaquoddy Bay. It quotes Save Passamaquoddy Bay in indicating that all of the three local projects' sites abuse the LNG industry's own safe practices standards, and that the Calais project has the worst chance of the three for success.
Brian Smith, Quoddy Bay LNG project manager, says, "If we sign up with a proposed supplier now, it may be possible to scale back on some of the extraneous things in the plan." Smith believes it is more likely Quoddy Bay will not sign up until after the permitting process is completed. [Bold emphasis added.] (Jan 11)
Webmaster's Comments: In other words, Quoddy Bay LNG says they're requesting a delay from the state for something that Quoddy Bay LNG says is unlikely to happen. What's the real reason for the delay?
Connecticut will "fight this reckless decision every step of the way," said Rell, a Republican. "Today I am directing the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to go over this EIS with a fine-toothed comb, identifying every flaw and faulty conclusion. I know the Attorney General's office will be happy to support us in this endeavor." (Jan 11)
The Broadwater project would be a travesty the complete desecration of Connecticut's environmental crown jewel and a total setback to the decades we have spent improving water quality and habitat in the Sound," Gov. M. Jodi Rell said. "Connecticut will fight this reckless decision every step of the way."
The Coast Guard has said the project can be safely operated and protected, given the right conditions. This includes establishing broad security zones around the facility and the tankers that would supply it. But whether that agency has the resources for the job is in question.
Courtney, D-2nd District, fellow Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, and U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., said in a news release that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should halt its review of Broadwater's application because of the safety and security concerns raised in the report. Written by the Government Accounting Office, it was released publicly this week, but an earlier version containing sensitive security information was completed in March, according to the report. (Jan 11)
In an attempt to set the record straight on the dangers of LNG, the National Association of State Fire Marshals will hold a informational meeting with the Turner Station community on Saturday, according to Peter O’Rourke, a spokes-man for the association.
“Baltimore County was unaware of this [meeting],” wrote Jonas Jacobson, a senior advisor for the county, in an e-mail to Sharon Beazley, president of the St. Helena-based LNG Opposition Team, on Tuesday. “In fact, we talked to the State Fire Marshal, who was also unaware of the event and is upset that [the fire marshals group] is coming to Maryland without coordinating with the state.”
11 January 2008
Memorial concert will raise funds for Save Passamaquoddy Bay
The Jenna L. Sullivan Memorial Concert will be held Saturday, Jan. 26 in the Van Horne ballroom at the Fairmont Algonquin starting at 7p.m. [AT / 6p.m ET] and all proceeds will be donated to Save Passamaquoddy Bay (SPB). The group is spearheading the fight against liquefied natural gas developments in Maine. It's a cause Sullivan supported.
Sadly the young woman was killed when her car was in collision with a school bus, west of Saskatoon, as she was travelling across Canada, and she never got to see the finished calendar. [Bold and red emphasis added]
10 January 2008
[The transcription below is from the Jan 10 MPBN news sound file. When a permanent link is available, it will be posted here. Links to the actual GAO report are contained in the following Webmaster's Comments.]
"The Coast Guard lacks the resources to adequately protect tankers carrying liquefied petroleum or crude oil from a possible terrorist attack. A report from the Government Accountability Office says the Coast Guard is stretched too thin, in some cases, to meet its security duties, including escorting ships carrying liquefied natural gas. The report also says some ports visited by government auditors didn't have the resources needed to promptly respond to a terrorist attack on a crude oil or LNG tanker. The GAO report says past incidents overseas have shown the fuel-carrying tankers are significant terrorist targets, with the biggest concern being suicide attack." [Coast Guard story begins 32 seconds into the newscast, ending at 1 minute 13 seconds into the broadcast.]
Webmaster's Comments: The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report can be downloaded here:
Maritime Security: Federal Efforts Needed to Address Challenges in Preventing and Responding to Terrorist Attacks on Energy Commodity Tankers
GAO-08-141, December 10, 2007
HOUSTON, Jan 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard expects to finish by the end of January preparations for start-up of Excelerate Energy's offshore liquefied natural gas terminal near Boston, a Coast Guard official said Wednesday.
The [Massachusetts] Senate … approved an amendment from Sen. Joan M. Menard that would ban a new LNG facility within one mile of a school, hospital or nursing home. If adopted by the House, it would put another road block before a proposal to build an LNG terminal in Fall River. [Red emphasis added.]
Sempra Energy has delayed construction of a liquefied natural gas receiving terminal in Texas, perhaps indefinitely, although a spokesman for the San Diego energy goliath said yesterday the [Port Arthur] LNG facility “remains in our plans.”
[Bill Powers, chairman of the Border Power Plant Working Group,] said there is little need for more LNG gasification terminals because of a relative abundance of natural gas in North America, increasing energy conservation “and too many import terminals and not enough liquefaction plants.”
Webmaster's Comments: It's permitted, but is not going forward. There are already too many terminals to make a profit. Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG are wasting their investors' money.
USA/GULF OF MEXICO: Sempra Energy continues to negotiate with potential liquefied natural gas (LNG) suppliers for supply and capacity agreements for its LNG terminal proposed for construction at Port Arthur, Texas. The proposed facility, which will be capable of storing and regasifying up to 3 Bcf/d of gas, has been fully permitted since 2006.
Webmaster's Comments: Fully permitted for over a year, but still no supply. More bad prospects for Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG investors.
[James Diemer of Pace Global] noted that, in addition to increased LNG imports, a tightening credit market and the regulatory review process will likely prevent an "overbuild" of storage capacity. (Jan 9)
Webmaster's Comments: Diemer apparently isn't familiar with the official US policy, "let the market not the regulators decide" what LNG facilities get built.
Contango Oil & Gas Tuesday said it has agreed to sell to an unidentified "major Asian utility company" its 10% stake in a liquefied natural gas import terminal near Freeport, Texas, for about $68 million. (Jan 9)
The answers were not reassuring to those with concerns about LNG (liquefied natural gas), nor was the manner in which the booklets were distributed. They were mailed to all Van Anda addresses, but none were sent to Gillies Bay. Why didn't WestPac send its material to all residents of the island? Was the mistake deliberate? Was it an oversight? Or does WestPac not know there are two communities on the island?
WestPac contradicted itself about the explosive nature of LNG. One response reads: "if natural gas vapour at the right gas:air ratio ignites over a pool of spilled LNG, it would continue to burn until the LNG is depleted," while another reply maintains "LNG is not explosive. LNG is also not flammable and cannot burn."
Webmaster's Comments: Would WestPac also tell the public that gasoline doesn't burn or explode, and expect credibility? Like gasoline, LNG won't burn in its liquid state; however, once exposed to ambient termperatures and air, both can burn and both can explode. LNG vapors require either confinement, certain percentages of hydrocarbons other than methane, or detonation from a confined vapor explosion or some other explosive event, in order to detonate, but explosion is still a possibility once released into the environment.
As the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project advances through the federal approval process, a quiet disagreement between local emergency response leaders and project developer NorthernStar Natural Gas Co. is getting louder.
Recent filings with FERC indicate local and state governments aren't too pleased with the federal approval process for Bradwood's emergency plan, either, as it … grants approvals to the company before local jurisdictions are assured they'll get the resources they need.
Part of the reason the Astoria Fire Department hasn't signed an agreement with NorthernStar, Jackson said, is because the department's needs could change as officials learn more about LNG facilities and as negotiations with other jurisdictions proceed. (Jan 9)
Webmaster's Comments: Since the Emergency Response Plans aren't developed until after FERC issues the LNG terminal permit, FERC forces communities to negotiate "blindfolded" with the LNG developer over emergency response cost sharing. Such is also the case with the Passamaquoddy Bay developers, Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG.
FERC facilitates an unfair advantage to LNG terminal developers to the detriment of local taxpayers and emergency responders. And yet, Maine's federal delegation, Sen. Olympia Snowe, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Mike Michaud, and Rep. Tom Allen don't think they should do anything about it, but continue to sit on the fence, just watching.
The GAO report said past incidents overseas have shown that fuel-carrying tankers are significant terrorist targets, with the biggest concern being a suicide attack. The report noted the 2002 suicide boat attack on a tanker off the coast or Yemen, for example. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 9)
WASHINGTON The Coast Guard lacks the resources to meet its own security standards to protect against terrorist assaults at American ports, even as the nation is to dramatically expand imports of liquefied natural gas, the Government Accountability Office has found.
[C]aptured terrorist training manuals have cited seaports as potential targets. … And terrorism trainees are instructed to try to obtain surveillance information on ports for use in a possible attack.
The Coast Guard has to provide assurances that it can provide adequate security for a new facility, [Bill Cooper, executive director of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, a Washington-based trade group] said. And if it cannot, "the project won't go forward." [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 9)
Webmaster's Comments: Despite what the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas spokesperson Bill Cooper stated, even when the Coast Guard says "no" to an LNG project as with the FERC-permitted but Coast Guard-denied Fall River Weaver's Cove Energy LNG terminal that won't keep the LNG speculator from disregarding safety to civilians and the industry, and from wasting taxpayers' money by continuing the attempt to ram the project through the permitting process.
Although significant steps have been taken both internationally and domestically to protect liquefied natural gas (LNG), refined product and crude oil tankers from terrorist attacks in recent years, major challenges still exist as the LNG tanker traffic into the United States grows, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 9)
8 January 2008
The first film, "Sharing the Waters: A Conversation with Saint John Fishermen," examines the effects of industrial development on Saint John's inshore fishery. The film begins with a brief introduction to the history of the inshore fishery and projects some of the impacts that the Irving LNG terminal and other industrial projects under construction or expected are likely to have on those who currently fish the waters near Saint John. Local fishermen share their concerns and the many efforts they have made to work with project proponents, harbour officials and other user groups on sharing the waters. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 1)
The U.S. Coast Guard announced today in the Federal Register the establishment of two temporary 500-meter safety zones, effective through May 7, 2008, around Excelerate Energy's Northeast Gateway Deepwater Port.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, a fellow Democrat and a staunch Broadwater opponent, says he spoke about it with Spitzer about a month ago. "I know Eliot is wanting to show through specific actions that he is in tune to the needs of Long Island," said Levy. "And this [rejecting Broadwater] would certainly be a way of doing that. But I don't expect him to do it for political reasons. He has a number of sound reasons to come to the conclusion that Broadwater is not right for Long Island Sound." (Jan 7)
Blumenthal claims the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act mandates the consideration of safer alternatives such as BlueOcean Energy, which would be located in the Atlantic Ocean, and must therefore reject Broadwater since it would provide similar service.
Broadwater would devastate pristine, untouched areas in Long Island Sound and endanger the lives of countless recreational and commercial sailors, the BlueOcean Energy project would be located 20 miles off the coast, away from crowded areas," Blumenthal said.
Webmaster's Comments: The same would be true for the proposed Passamaquoddy Bay projects: Canaport and the two offshore projects from Gloucester, Massachusetts are safer alternatives that will more than adequately supply northeast New England; therefore, the Passsamaquoddy Bay LNG projects must be rejected.
The proposal appears intended as a way to ensure shippers a minimum wellhead value for gas moved on the 4.5 Bcf/d pipeline. 'The arrangement would provide shippers with the certainty that their netbacks will never fall below a specified level because of pipeline toll requirements," the application said. (Jan 7)
Gov. Sarah Palin has announced that only one of the five applications submitted for the exclusive right to build a natural gas pipeline to transport North Slope gas to market will advance to the next round of public scrutiny. (Jan 4)
"I think they (FERC) are set up to rubber stamp these proposals," said Wyden in explanation of why he wanted a FERC commissioner to visit the proposed LNG sites and get a feel for the local stance on the proposals. "Until we have a fair process, I'm not behind it." (Jan 7 )
Webmaster's Comments: Perhaps Maine could convince Oregon US Senator Ron Wyden to move to Maine and run for office, to embarrass the state's federal delegation Senator Olympia Snowe, Senator Susan Collins, Representative Michael Michaud, and Representative Thomas Allen into taking responsibile leadership and action on the LNG issue here.
State officials aren't satisfied with federal regulators' steps to deal with a potential conflict of interest posed by the same environmental consulting firm working on two projects: a Columbia River terminal for liquefied natural gas and a pipeline that would ferry the imported gas to market.
- Highly hazardous conditions similar to those found at the BP refinery in Texas City are in other U.S. refineries.
- There is great potential for future disasters.
- The industry's response since the Texas City incident has been slow.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) process safety standard passed in 1992 remains unfulfilled.
- Inadequate staffing and poor work organization contribute to the risk of major accidents.
- Refineries are not prepared for emergencies.
Webmaster's Comments: And yet, federal regulators say, "Trust us. We'll keep you safe."
Webmaster's Comments: Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG are both moot projects, according to Credit Suisse, the company from which Quoddy Bay LNG intended to receive its financing.
Approximately $20.8 billion is scheduled to be invested in North America to expand the liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure. There are 39 active projects with an average capital value of $533 million each still on the books. This is down from the all-time high of 60 active proposals during 2005. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 4)
Webmaster's Comments: LNG doesn't promise to be as big a player that it was once hyped it to be, and is still being over-built, according to industry experts and then-FERC Chairman Wood.
4 January 2008
Work has been completed on a controversial liquefied natural gas port 13 miles off Gloucester, and the $200-million facility will begin off-loading tankers as soon as the Coast Guard issues an operations permit.
When demand for natural gas is high, North Shore communities such as Gloucester get "what's left" after it is tapped on its way from sources in Canada and the Gulf of Mexico and pay a premium. With the closer source … some of that pressure could be eased.
Webmaster's Comments: Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG keep falling farther and farther behind from their already-late start. Their projects, according to the industry, are being mooted by the two Gloucester terminals and the Canaport terminal.
Webmaster's Comments: This story contains confusing terminology regarding project completion. All construction phases have been completed.
View details about the Northeast Gateway offshore LNG terminal project on Excelerate Energy's website. This is the world's second deepwater LNG import facility built by Excelerate Energy, using 20-year tested offshore terminal technology from the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, and Timor Sea. Excelerate built the world's first offshore deepwater LNG port, Gulf Gateway, 116 miles offshore from Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. It went into service in March 2005, and withstood regasifying and offloading an entire LNG cargo during Hurricane Katrina.
Read about Excelerate Energy's turnkey contractor for their Submerged Turret systems, Advanced Production and Loading, AS (APL), that builds the state of the art submerged buoy equipment. This is the technology that some LNG speculators, in attempting to justify their poorly-sited shoreside terminal projects, claim is "unproven."
Cook Inlet contains potentially 13 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, considered by industry as a very substantial amount. The agreement provides an additional market for the gas, and therefore incentive for companies to develop it, said Kevin Banks with the state Division of Oil and Gas.
Webmaster's Comments: The company will continue to export LNG to Japan, while FERC, the natural gas industry, and the LNG industry claim that the US needs to import more LNG. What's wrong with this picture?
The Nikiski plant, called the Kenai LNG Facility, opened in 1969. It processes about 40 percent of Cook Inlet's produced natural gas and exports the equivalent of about 150 million to 200 million cubic feet a day to Tokyo Electric Power Co and Tokyo Gas Co.
Webmaster's Comments: The reporter should have written "cleaner than coal new source of electricity," since natural gas is not the mythical "clean" energy that the natural gas industry tries to portray.
Stu Leson, president of Westpac LNG, states it's understandable at this point that people are opposed to the Texada Island liquefied natural gas (LNG) project ["Island petition has signatures of most citizens," December 19]. And he further states the company needs more information. The Texada Island petition has signatures of most citizens. (Jan 3)
At issue is a proposal from the Australian-based company to station two LNG ships in local waters, and use them to ferry cargoes of the hazardous material from trans pacific carriers that would then transfer it farther offshore and upwind of the bay. The twin ships would regasify the LNG at buoys in the bay, and send the gas into an ocean-bottom pipeline that would come ashore and cross Los Angeles International Airport. (Jan 3)
DALLAS Earth Biofuels, Inc. today announced that its subsidiary, Applied LNG Technologies, Inc., has begun receiving regular deliveries of the output of renewable liquefied natural gas ("LNG") produced from a landfill site in Orange County, California.
Solid waste landfills produce a 50% methane gas as a result of the decomposition of organic materials within the landfill. The Bowerman production facility is the first of its kind in the U.S. to commercially produce renewable vehicle-grade LNG from landfill gas. (Jan 3)
SEATTLE Prometheus Energy Company ("Prometheus"), an alternative and renewable energy company, announces its Landfill Gas ("LFG") to Liquefied Natural Gas ("LNG") production facility located at the Frank R. Bowerman Landfill in Irvine, California, has met and exceeded design capacity targets. The plant is currently running at over 70 percent of the design capacity of 5,000 gallons per day, and has exceeded design capacity for a number of periods. (Jan 3)
Kerry Beal was taken aback when he discovered last March that many of his fellow security guards at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania were taking regular naps in what they called "the ready room."
When he alerted the regional office of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, regulators let the matter drop after the plant's owner, Exelon, said it found no evidence of guards asleep on the job. [Bold red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: This is an example of why the public can't simply take industry's and government's word that industrial facilites that present hazards to the neighboring public will be operated safely and securely; that government and the free enterprise model will "take care of us." In the above instance, the federal government allowed lax security at a nuclear power plant, while the plant operator and its security contractor ignored warnings of the ongoing laxity. In its desire to increase profits, security personnel standards, training, and vigilance were lowered or absent to the point of negligence. Greed overtook responsible action, even when multiple notices of negligence were given.
Should we trust the word of Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LNG that their imagined projects that could harm the surrounding public would be safe and secure, since FERC requires it? Should we feel secure, even though SIGTTO LNG-industry standards indicate that the proposals are for inappropriate locations, but FERC might allow them? Should we trust Sen. Olympia Snowe, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Mike Michaud, and Rep. Tom Allen, who dodge taking leadership and responsibility on the issue by professing, "if the community wants it, then it's okay"? When it's our lives at stake, versus corporate greed and government irresponsibility, such trust is misplaced.
3 January 2008
Though the energy plays in Saint John are varied from liquefied natural gas to nuclear power there is one main reason why all this development is happening in this particular city. It is the powerful Irving family. Irving Oil Ltd., wholly owned by the descendants of K.C. Irving, set everything in motion three years ago when it proposed converting a brownfield site into a liquefied natural gas regasification plant. Competing against two other proposals in Nova Scotia, the Irving project was the first and so far only project under construction with a named supplier of natural gas. (Jan 2)
Distrigas proposes to abandon the service it has provided under Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act and convert the terminal to a Section 3 terminal, which Distrigas states is in keeping with FERC's Hackberry Policy and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct). (Jan 2)
USA: The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) concluded that Broadwater Energy's liquefied natural gas (LNG) project proposed for siting in Long Island Sound would have serious adverse environmental impacts and its permit applications will not be approved unless the company can demonstrate how these impacts will be mitigated, the Suffolk Times reported.
The agency noted that the Broadwater facility and the international carriers that will supply it with LNG will withdraw 28.2 million gallons of seawater per day from Long Island Sound. All aquatic life passing through the facilities' screens will be entrapped and killed, either by impingement in the screens themselves or by being exposed to chlorine, which will be used to treat the intake water, DEC said. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 2)
Webmaster's Comments: Similar death to aquatic life would occur in Passamaquoddy Bay, resulting from the Quoddy Bay LNG and Downeast LNG ships' ontake of ballast water and engine cooling water. Each LNG ship would extract 1320 million gallons of water for ballast, plus more for engine cooling totalling as much as 50 million gallons per ship. The impact isn't merely an environmental issue, it's an economic issue the fisheries of Maine and New Brunswick depend on the Passamaquoddy Bay marine nursery. The negative economic impact would also spread to tourism, affecting whalewatching and deepsea fishing businesses.
WestPac pushed back the scheduled start date for the project to 2014 from 2013. The environmental assessment process would have been triggered if WestPac had gone ahead with its original plans to file its project description this past fall. The company will file the project description in early 2009.
The project, slated for Texada Island in the Strait of Georgia, is one of 10 proposed LNG projects in Canada, which have generated interest as domestic natural gas supplies are drying up. There are about 60 proposed LNG projects in North America.
A spokeswoman said WestPac has decided to put off filing its project description - which would have triggered the environmental assessment process - until the company has a better sense of new greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations that may come into effect. (Jan 2)
An Alberta-based company announced in the summer it had plans to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility and natural-gas fired electrical generation plant on the north end of the island. The proposal included transporting LNG in super-tankers, a fact that didn't escape the notice of residents up and down the Strait of Georgia.
USA: Opponents of the plan to build the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on Coos Bay, Oregon's North Spit have filed an appeal protesting the land use application for the project, Coos Bay World reported.
COQUILLE, Ore. It's out of their hands for now after the Coos County Board of Commissioners gave their final approval on the last condition needed to be met in order for the LNG facility to move forward on their end.
Webmaster's Comments: The Jordan Cove Energy project location violates SIGTTO terminal siting standards. The LNG carrier route and the terminal location are all in close proximity to the residents of Barview, North Bend, and Coos Bay. In addition, the terminal berth would place North Bend Municipal Airport into "Zone of Concern" (Hazard Zone) #1, which, in the case of a catastropic LNG spill on water, would subject the airport and surrounding community to the following hazards: freezing, burning, asphyxiation, and explosion. The same LNG transit route Hazard Zone would apply to numerous households in the above-named communities.
The reason that the LNG industry enjoys its current safety record is because of observance of SIGTTO standards. The current rush in the U.S. to site LNG terminals anywhere and everywhere, and to then justifying their locations because the industry has such a good safety record, is circular, self-defeating logic, leading to greater probability of disaster. [Red emphasis added.] (Dec 21)
Such high netback values for Trinidad compare extremely favorably with sales to US markets, which would fetch a FOB price of just $6-plus/MMBtu, with US Henry Hub gas prices in the region of $7/MMBtu, the trader added.
SPOT PRICES EXCEED OIL PARITY
At $18/MMBtu, spot LNG prices have exceeded the oil parity level, traders said. Assuming a $90/barrel oil price and that a barrel of oil is equivalent to 5.8 MMBtu, the oil parity price for LNG is around $15.50/MMBtu. [Red emphasis added.] (Jan 2)
Webmaster's Comments: This demonstrates the fallacy being promoted by LNG speculators that more US LNG import terminals will mean lower natural gas prices for consumers. With Asia paying two-to-three times the spot-market price for LNG than US, expect more supply to go to Asia, and for US prices to increase as US natural gas demand goes unfulfilled. This also demonstrates the urgent need for alternative sources of energy.