"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
|2016 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2015 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2014 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2013 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2012 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2011 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2010 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2009 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2008 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2007 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2006 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2005 |||Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||
|2003 2004 ||
31 March 2008
The LNG Journal, the world's leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) publication, reports that North America faces an LNG regasification terminal overbuild. According to the publication, the East Coast of North America is facing a significant oversupply of LNG import capacity because of a shortage of supply.
Adam Wilson, deputy project manager for Quoddy Bay LNG, says the overbuild for LNG terminals is true in the Gulf area of the U.S., but there are not a sufficient number of import terminals on the East Coast or West Coast. Quoddy Bay would provide LNG, from its proposed terminal at Pleasant Point, for the New England area, where there is only one import terminal, located near Boston. Wilson believes the New England area could accommodate two additional terminals. [Red emphasis added.] (Mar 28)
Webmaster's Comments: We're glad to learn that Adam Wilson believes only two LNG import facilities besides the one at Everett, Massachusetts, is needed. But, we're surprised that Quoddy Bay LNG's Adam Wilson doesn't know about the three new terminals already finished or being built to supply New England: (1) Excelerate Energy's Northeast Gateway LNG (offshore from Gloucester, MA) that is completed and ready for its first LNG cargo, (2) Suez's Neptune (also offshore from Gloucester) that will receive its first cargo near the end of 2009, and (3) Canaport (Saint John, New Brunswick) that is over 60% complete, due for completion near the end of 2008, that will send most of its natural gas to New England.
Quoddy Bay LNG makes a perfect argument against building their own project and any other LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay.
According to Smith, "FERC is considering the revised tariff of Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline on gas quality specifications and otherwise considering the impact of LNG on pipeline gas quality, including issues such as maximum nitrogen content. These issues may have an impact on our facility, and we believe that monitoring these issues will require additional time before a final position is possible."
According to Marylee Hanley, spokesperson for Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, the company has not submitted any revised tariff requests to FERC. [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Mar 28)
Webmaster's Comments: This is the second time that Quoddy Bay LNG has been caught telling a falsehood about Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (M&NE). The previous time, Quoddy Bay LNG claimed they were in negotiations with M&NE for pipeline capacity. M&NE responded that they had had no communications with any of the Passamaquoddy Bay LNG developers regarding obtaining pipeline capacity.
Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Chief Richard Phillips Doyle wrote, "The Passamaquoddy Tribe has grave concern regarding potential environmental impacts the proposed pipeline may incur, both during construction and while under use. Of special concern is that the St. Croix River has one of the only existing Atlantic salmon runs in the U.S., and any construction activity may impair the movement of the adult salmon from Passamaquoddy Bay into the St. Croix or the salmon smolts returning from the river into the ocean."
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is expressing concerns that the siting of the proposed pipeline route may have impacts on unknown cultural sites through ground disturbance and tunneling activities. (Mar 28)
Webmaster's Comments: Chief Doyle also pointed out that the proposed pipeline would go beneath islands owned by the tribe. Since eminent domain cannot be used against government property, this may require Downeast LNG to come up with yet another a seventh route proposal.
"The governor and I remain concerned about public safety and will review the proposal carefully," said Ian A. Bowles, secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. "It's just too early to say." (Mar 29)
Not everyone approves of the FERC decision. Following the approval, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation filed comments with FERC regarding the final Environmental Impact Statement for the terminal proposal. Incoming New York Governor David Paterson has said he may seek additional time to study the proposal. Three members of the Connecticut state legislature released a report denouncing the proposed Broadwater project. (Mar 28)
The state of Delaware "acted within the scope of its governing authority" when it refused to allow construction of the Crown Landing liquefied natural gas import terminal in New Jersey, the US Supreme Court found Monday.
FERC granted an extension Friday to Corpus Christi LNG for construction and operation of its terminal and pipeline facilities. Cheniere Energy subsidiary Corpus Christi LNG LP cited LNG market conditions, including delays of liquefaction projects around the world, in its application for the extension of time.
On March 3, Pan EurAsian said US imports of LNG in February were the lowest for any February in the last four years. [Red emphasis added.] (Mar 28)
30 March 2008
Since the Energy Policy Act of 2005, what has existed is a heretofore- unrealized balance of power between states and FERC. States have authority that they haven't realized -- a power that can be used when appropriate to deny LNG facilities that threaten human safety. (Mar 28)
Webmaster's Comments: A "white paper" is a statement of policy.
28 March 2008
Since the Energy Policy Act of 2005, what has existed is a heretofore-unrealized balance of power between states and FERC. States have authority that they haven’t realized -- a power that can be used when appropriate to deny LNG facilities that threaten human safety. (Mar 27)
LNGTSS concludes that, prior to subjecting citizens, communities, states and the federal government to effort and great expense on projects that may be superfluous or even harmful, FERC should be required by Congress to recognize and respect these same issues. "It's time for the public to demand that their federal delegates require FERC to act responsibly regarding need and safety, and to adopt SIGTTO LNG terminal siting standards."
LNGTSS is an advocacy group based in Maine that promotes the position that governments should require the existing SIGTTO LNG terminal siting standards be held as the minimum threshold for local, state/province, and federal application consideration.
SIGTTO is a London-based international body established for the exchange of technical information and experience, between members of the industry, to enhance the safety and operational reliability of gas tankers and terminals. The Society publishes studies and produces information papers and works of reference for the guidance of industry members. It maintains working relationships with other industry bodies, governmental and intergovernmental agencies, including IMO, to better promote the safety and integrity of gas transportation and storage schemes. [Red emphasis added.] (Mar 27)
[California LNG News Editor's note: This article is from the Energy Current news site. While it discusses FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, it does not address the two offshore LNG projects off California that are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Commerce Department's Maritime Administration. The same points apply, however.] (Mar 27)
Glenn Poole, manufacturing support manager at Verso Paper, said he and Bucksport Energy pay a lot more for natural gas than other states. He said he also is in favor of the LNG terminals proposed in Washington County.
Dean Girdis, president of Downeast LNG, said an increased supply of natural gas is the easiest short-term response to energy demands. Regional demand for natural gas is the major reason for his decision to propose a terminal in Robbinston, he said.
Webmaster's Comments: What the article, Verso Paper, and Dean Girdis want the reader to overlook is that demand will already be met by the three already-permitted new LNG facilities: Northeast Energy Bridge off Gloucester, MA, that is ready to accept its first cargo; Canaport in Saint John, NB, that will receive its first cargo around the end of 2008; and Suez LNG terminal off Gloucester, MA, that will receive its first cargo near the end of 2009.
Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG have all been badly beaten in the race to supply LNG to the Northeast so badly beaten that they had lost before they entered the race. In 2005, FERC Chairman Pat Wood stated that only 79 new LNG terminals would be needed, plus expansions. Currently, there are 31 terminals and peak shaving facilities either in operation, under construction or expansion, or permitted. LNG import capability, in operation or about to be, is already way over US market requirements.
And, of course, the proposed projects on Passamaquoddy Bay violate the LNG industry's own terminal siting standards. (See SIGTTO.)
Hess LNG Unit Floats Alternate Plan for Offshore Fall River Berth
Webmaster's Comments: Shades of Quoddy Bay LNG's cryogenic Perry-to-Robbinston plan.
Hess Energy fails to understand that even their new proposed berth violates SIGTTO standards for LNG terminal siting.
The Weaver’s Cove proposal to build the Fall River LNG terminal was conditionally approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2005, despite widespread opposition from elected officials in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well as citizens groups and residents near the proposed facility. But the proposal met a major setback when the U.S. Coast Guard found that it was too risky to allow LNG tankers to traverse parts of the Taunton River because of two bridges that are close together. (Mar 27)
An authorization shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for certain subsistence uses, and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth. NMFS has defined "negligible impact" in 50 CFR 216.103 as "...an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival."(i) any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of natural behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering, to a point where such behavioral patterns are abandoned or significantly altered [Level B harassment]. (Mar 27)
US producer Chesapeake Energy Tuesday put the potential size of its new natural gas discovery in the Haynesville Shale in northern Louisiana at 7.5 Tcf-equivalent-20 Tcfe and said it has identified five unconventional oil plays in four US states that could provide the company with up to 1 billion barrels of crude. (Mar 27)
NIGERIA/USA/GULF OF MEXICO: Cheniere Energy, Inc. reports that the LNG carrier Celestine River vessel has departed from the Nigeria LNG terminal at Bonny Island with the first cargo of liquefied natural gas destined for the Sabine Pass LNG terminal.
Sabine Pass LNG will be the largest LNG receiving terminal in North America by regasification capacity at 4 Bcf/d and will have 16.8 Bcf of LNG storage capacity with two berths capable of handling the largest LNG vessels. It is located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, on 853 acres of land remote from dense population centers and only 3.7 miles (5.9 km) from the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. (Mar 27)
Webmaster's Comments: Asia continue to out-bid US LNG buyers.
27 March 2008
Since FERC ignores need in its permitting, and fails to adequately protect human environment, states can use the authority provided by NEPA to establish a permitting threshold. If LNG terminal applicants cannot satisfy SIGTTO LNG terminal siting standards, and prove need, then there is an a priori failure to meet NEPA requirements. States can refuse to allow the applicant to enter the permitting process, or can issue a summary decision against the project. [Red emphasis added.] (Mar 26)
Faced with mounting port security costs and a fiscal crunch, Mayor Carolyn Kirk and Massachusetts senators are pushing for $1 million in federal funds to beef up port security for the city, citing a number of threats to the city's safety.
Fall River Two offices under the state Department of Environmental Protection have rejected a plan by Weaver’s Cove Energy to build a liquefied natural gas terminal, dredge part of the Taunton River and install a pipeline under the river to deliver gas.
Weaver’s Cove “failed to demonstrate that the project serves a proper public purpose that provides greater benefits than detriments to rights of the public,” Wetlands and Waterways Program Director Lealdon Langley said in the decision. (Mar 24)
Webmaster's Comments: Even though FERC issued a permit for the Weaver's Cove LNG terminal, the Coast Guard has rejected it and now, two offices of Massachusetts' Department of the Environment have rejected it.
This demonstrates that, despite FERC's bluster to the contrary, state authority trumps FERC.
"The critical issue is access to long-term, stable supplies," said analyst Ira Joseph at PIRA Energy consultants in New York. "There are not enough suppliers for all the regasification terminals [being planned] around the world." He said most suppliers are targeting the rapidly growing Asian market, where the price for imported natural gas is about 50 per cent higher than in North America.
Webmaster's Comments: This is simply more evidence of what's going on with the LNG industry: too much import capacity in North America, higher-paying customers in Asia.
We just knew it would happen, despite the objections from Connecticut and New York state and the U.S. Coast Guard. [Red & bold emphasis added.]
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday approved a liquefied natural gas terminal for Long Island Sound even though the United States will have almost four times more import capacity than it can use by 2012 because of a shortfall in fuel supply, according to a report from consultant PFC Energy.
“This is a very large overbuild,” said Terrell Benke, manager of the upstream oil and gas group at PFC Energy and one of the authors of the report. “You’ve had regasification terminals that were built without dedicated supply behind them.” (Mar 23)
Webmaster's Comments: Like the multiplying brooms in the Sourcer's Apprentice, FERC is approving LNG terminals as fast as it can, regardless of need, safety, or logic.
A yoke mooring system, which will be incorporated in the bow section of Broadwater's FSRU, will moor the FSRU to a fixed tower and allow the FSRU to pivot, or "weathervane," around the tower and to withstand events exceeding 100-year storm conditions.
The project would include eight LNG storage tanks capable of storing the equivalent of 8 Bcf of regasified LNG, a regasification plant and a 21.7 mile long pipeline extending from the LNG terminal to a subsea interconnection with the Iroquois Gas Transmission System which will bring the gas onshore. (Mar 21)
Most questions, like if the site’s massive electric fans are noisy, won’t be answered until island residents find out for themselves once the site is up and running, Henry said. [Red emphasis added.] (Mar 26)
Webmaster's Comments: After an LNG terminal is constructed is an exceedingly tardy time for the neighboring public to learn about the problems that the terminal will produce.
FREEPORT, Texas, March 25 (Reuters) Freeport LNG import terminal hopes to receive its first liquefied natural gas cargo by the end of April and be commercially open for business by June 1, officials told a kickoff briefing Tuesday.
Webmaster's Comments: Like many other proposed LNG projects in the US and Canada, the project sites on the Columbia River were carelessly selected and cannot pass SIGTTO world-class LNG terminal siting standards.
Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy, told Platts LNG Daily that he believes that Chesapeake's large natural gas discovery in northern Louisiana could lessen demand for LNG imports to the United States. [Red emphasis added.]
In its LNG Week in Review, NATS predicts that as winter weather abates in the Northern Hemisphere, LNG demand in Japan, South Korea, and Spain will decline, which will allow some LNG cargos to reach the United States. (Mar 26)
The report predicts that excess pipeline and storage capacity will divert gas from existing pipelines, changing downstream prices, and that LNG imports in the Gulf of Mexico will increase volatility at Henry Hub. [Red emphasis added.] (Mar 26)
The east coast of North America is faced with a significant oversupply of LNG import capacity which will persist well into the next decade. PFC Energy forecasts that as new terminals are constructed the capacity will exceed the supply available from producers in the Atlantic Basin and Middle East with a gap between regasification capacity and available LNG as great as 90 mmtpa (4.35 tcf) by 2012. This gap will shrink over the longer term, but by 2017 is still expected to be around 50 mmtpa (2.4 tcf). [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Mar 18)
Parent page to the above article: PFC Energy Press & News
Webmaster's Comments: Too much LNG import capacity. On the East Coast. Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG are fighting reality, wasting money on surplus projects.
25 March 2008
"Baileyville has an excellent water supply and I do not want to see anything happen to it. If something should happen, we have nowhere else to go to get a sufficient supply," Gardner Rolfe, manager of the district, said in the March 13 letter. [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: In addition, since LNG pipeline eminent domain cannot be applied to government property, and since the pipeline would pass beneath the Passamaquoddy Tribe's islands against their will, as expressed in comments to FERC by Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Tribal Chief Rick Doyle it appears that Downeast LNG's takeaway pipeline route option 6 is impossible, and the project is once again without a viable pipeline.
[Grassy Point Liquefied Natural Gas Transshipment Terminal, Newfoundland LNG Limited] has submitted an Environmental Protection Plan (EPP) as required by the Minister of Environment and Conservation as one of the conditions of release from the environmental assessment review on January 19, 2007. Public comments on the EPP must be received by April 23, 2008. (Mar 20)
…. Broadwater has been sold to the public on the promise that it would lower prices and fulfill increasing energy demands. Promises aren't enough, however; Paterson needs to get written guarantees. A recent study by a strategic energy firm forecasts that LNG terminals are being overbuilt, and capacity will exceed supply. Such a tight market means that LNG tankers could be diverted to Asia and Europe, where they are more likely to get higher prices. [Red emphasis added.] (Mar 24)
"This decision is an important step forward in bringing new clean, reliable, affordable natural gas supply to a region where prices are volatile and climbing," said John Hritcko, Broadwater Senior Vice President.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal called the terminal an "environmental atrocity" and an "unneeded abomination." He said he would immediately ask FERC to hold a rehearing on its decision and will fight the project all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary. (Mar 20)
Webmaster's Comments: There is evidence to the contrary that this terminal will bring natural gas prices down. Additionally, calling natural gas a "clean" fuel is an overstatement.
Blumenthal said the "fatal flaw" in FERC's order is its "refusal to consider alternatives to Broadwater that would provide more natural gas with less danger to public safety and environmental resources."
With respect to LNG terminals, we are first and foremost a safety agency, we do not balance safety against need. But we are not unmindful of the need for additional natural gas supplies in the Northeast. We examine that need in the course of our environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA. Our environmental review shows that without increased natural gas supplies in the region, consumers will experience higher prices and reduced reliability of natural gas supply. That is certainly the case on Long Island and in New York City and Connecticut.
I regret that this proceeding has been so controversial. I respect public opinion, and we have gone to great lengths to respond to the legitimate concerns raised by the public. Doing so has been made more difficult by the attitude of some public officials in the region, who have chosen to exploit and inflame public fears. These public officials have done a great disservice to the citizens in the region, which is regrettable. [Red emphasis added.] (Mar 20)
Webmaster's Comments: FERC Chairman Kelliher made several misstatements in his opinion statement. If FERC is "foremost a safety agency," then why does FERC repeatedly ignore the LNG industry's own terminal siting safety standards that are more conservative than FERC's? (World-class LNG industry SIGTTO terminal siting standards. As SIGTTO states, the LNG industry doesn't want a disaster that would result in the shutdown of the industry resulting in serious harm to US energy security "Site Selection and Design for LNG Ports and Jetties," SIGTTO, 1997, Witherbys Seamanship International.)
Kelliher's also contradicts his predecessor, FERC Chairman Wood, as well as current LNG industry experts who state that LNG import capacity is now many times greater than needed. In fact including Broadwater there are now 31 US LNG terminal and peak-shaving projects that are operating, permitted, or under construction, plus additional terminals in Canada and Mexico that will be providing regasified LNG to the US.
Plus, there is evidence that the availability of more natural gas via LNG will not result in cheaper natural gas prices, due to higher-paying overseas competitors for the gas.
Keliher's statements simply don't stand up to scrutiny.
Specifically, the firm is seeking to use an existing stub natural gas pipeline, located on the facility's property, to deliver gas to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority's proposed Gasoducto del Sur pipeline, and to construct an additional LNG vaporization system. (Mar 24)
Wrote the RG [The Register-Guard of Eugene, OR]: "Free market competition can be a powerful and productive force. But unless it is harnessed to long-range regional energy planning, it can result in duplication, inefficiency and unwarranted environmental costs. Whether Oregon and the Northwest need more natural gas, and how it should be obtained, shouldn't be decided solely by the companies that are proposing the terminals and pipelines. Federal regulators, working closely with the states, should play a central role."
Our county commission's hastiness and its rejection of a thorough staff study and recommendations is an insult to the collective intelligence of this county. Those who push LNG as economic development miss the negative enormity of what this project represents. [Red emphasis added.]
“The county is already bending backwards to accommodate NorthernStar. This is going too far for a lot of people here. Now we are willing to let them trench across our parks?” says Auerbach, chair of the Northwest Property Rights Groupone of the major backers of a referendum to get the amendment revoked. (Mar 24)
Also, LNG ships would disrupt commercial and recreational fishing and fish habitat would be lost as a result of the construction. Finally, the group suggested the terminal would be a detriment because importing natural gas would not help Oregon meet its goal of having 25 percent of its energy produced by renewable sources by 2025. (Mar 24)
Pandemonium continued as the board struggled to decide how to resolve disagreement between local emergency response agencies and Bradwood Landing project developer NorthernStar Natural Gas Co. on what resources the company should provide to cover the added public safety costs of LNG.
20 March 2008
The terminal, which would employ 40 people, will regasify liquefied natural gas brought to the site by ship. The gas will be carried to North American markets via the nearby Maritimes and Northeast pipeline.
MapleLNG and Keltic haven’t contracted gas supplies for their respective projects, but Mr. Simpkins said potential suppliers wouldn’t enter into serious negotiations until the projects received all the required approvals, including the federal environmental approvals. (Mar 14)
Webmaster's Comments: They haven't contracted LNG supplies, because they don't have their permits. On the other hand, Quoddy Bay LNG's Brian Smith wants the world to believe that Quoddy Bay LNG without any kind of permit needs to delay its Maine environmental permitting because it's negotiating with LNG suppliers, and it doesn't yet know the Btu content of its gas supply.
Proposed LNG import terminals can't determine the Btu content of their imported LNG, since LNG suppliers won't deal with LNG terminal speculators especially those who aren't currently operating any LNG terminal anywhere in the world until they obtain the required government permits.
Liquefied natural gas import capacity along the east coast of North America substantially will outpace available supply from producers in the Atlantic Basin and Middle East, Washington-based consultant PFC Energy said in a new report.
…import capacity will exceed available supply by as much as 4.35 Tcf by 2012. [Red emphasis added.] (Mar 19)
Webmaster's Comments: Industry experts not industry opponents are stating that additional projects, like Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG, are excess baggage.
Supplies of liquefied gas, or LNG, will fall short of the capacity of U.S. terminals to return the fuel to gaseous state by 4.35 trillion cubic feet a year by 2012, Washington-based PFC Energy said in the report issued Tuesday. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated this month that LNG imports will reach 1.62 trillion cubic feet in 2012.
"This is a very large overbuild," said Terrell Benke, manager of the upstream oil and gas group at PFC Energy and one of the authors of the report. "You've had re-gasification terminals that were built without dedicated supply behind them." [Red and bold emphasis added.] (Mar 19)
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's decision Thursday to approve the Broadwater liquefied natural gas import terminal "is nothing short of a disgrace," Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell said Thursday.
The approval "is an insult to the people of Connecticut and New York, a discourtesy to New York Governor David Paterson -- who has been in office less than a week -- and an assault on the most precious environmental asset our two states possess: the reinvigorated Long Island Sound," Rell added.
"In every instance, FERC has ignored common sense; worse, it steadfastly has ignored its responsibility to safeguard the common good," Rell said. "Broadwater is indefensible on any basis but greed -- there is no need for this project from an energy policy standpoint and no need for this project from a market standpoint." [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: Gov. Rell is correct that there's no need for the Broadwater project. The number of LNG import terminals and peak-shaving facilities in operation, with permits, being expanded, and under construction not including Broadwater number 30, plus Canadian and Mexican terminals that will be sending regasified LNG to the US. US LNG import and regasification capacity is already considerably more than is needed even according to former FERC Chairman Wood, who stated in 2005 that only 79 import terminals would be needed, along with expansions.
Broadwater, just like Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG, are indefensible.
Rep. Peter Panaroni (D-Branford) joined the co-chairs of the state's Long Island Sound LNG Task Force, State Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and State Sen. Andrea Stillman (D-Waterford), to denounce the proposed Broadwater project, which would place an enormous floating liquid natural gas (LNG) platform in the waters of Long Island Sound.
"Broadwater and FERC have both failed in their attempts to demonstrate a real energy need requiring the construction of the world's largest floating LNG facility in the middle of one of our nation's most precious and environmentally fragile natural resources. In that respect, the work of this task force has exposed an unsettling truth that the Broadwater project has always been more about corporate greed than about real energy solutions," said Fasano. "It is my hope that the state of New York will heed our warning and reject the Broadwater project."
Stillman added, "The Broadwater proposal has never been anything more than a poorly conceived, band-aid solution to the comprehensive, long-term energy needs of the region; FERC's shoddy prosecution of the many objections we raised betrays its single-mindedness about Broadwater approval and a contemptible lack of a sound national energy plan. (Mar 19)
“We have reviewed the record in the Broadwater LNG proceeding and have considered carefully the concerns of the many citizens who have commented on the project,” FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher said. “Based on all available scientific facts, we approve the Broadwater project today, subject to rigorous conditions, because it can meet the projected energy needs for New York City, Long Island and Connecticut, and can provide the service safely, securely and with limited adverse impact on the environment.”
Prior to installation activities in Long Island Sound, FERC also will require Broadwater to file the New York State Department of State determination of the project’s consistency with the New York Coastal Management Plan, under the applicable provisions of the Coastal Zone Management Act.
"We expected FERC to operate like this, but the public has a right to expect New York State to protect the public interest," Esposito said. "This means nothing until New York State makes their decision."
"LNG is notoriously expensive. Asian markets are paying much higher prices than we are," Serres said. "EcoNorthwest always makes these blanket assumptions that prices will come down 10 percent and imagine the whole rest of the economy booming. From our perspective, it's economic insanity to start to throw more money toward dead end fossil fuel infrastructure." (Mar 18)
Webmaster's Comments: LNG developers like to make statements about how much economic benefit would come to a community from their project; however, they don't mention the true economic costs to their host community's taxpayers.
Project partners TransCanada Corp. and Williams Cos. Inc. kicked off a process this week to gauge interest from shippers in a pipeline that would stretch 618 miles from gas basins in the Wyoming Rockies to Stanfield in Umatilla County near Pendleton. From there, gas could be pumped onto existing lines to feed customers in western Oregon and California.
Meanwhile, two Houston-based companies, Spectra Energy and El Paso Corp., have proposed building separate pipelines running from basins of the Rockies to the Oregon community of Malin near the border with California. (Mar 19)
Judge James Chalfant said he was acting based on the law, case history, public policy and common sense. "Everything I can think of works against you," said the judge, who rejected arguments by SES' attorneys that Long Beach harbor commissioners made an erroneous determination when they voted Jan. 22, 2007, to shut down the EIR before issuing a final document.
18 March 2008
In comments included with the motion, the BIA asserts that the Downeast LNG project may have an impact on the "cultural and religious interests" of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and "may also have an effect on wetland habitats and may impact the water quality and quantity in the surrounding area." [Red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: All the while Downeast LNG President Dean Girdis has been requesting "fair consideration" of his LNG terminal and pipeline project, he hasn't given fair consideration of Passamaquoddy rights; otherwise, he would have checked into who owned those islands on the St. Croix River before he planned to use them for his personal gain.
14 March 2008
Rell said in a news release Wednesday that the report concludes that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's environmental-impact statement on the project, which favors its approval, is deeply flawed. The task force, which Rell formed 21/2 years ago, reviewed the report and other documents, conducted public hearings and heard expert testimony from scientists.
“My panel has reached three major conclusions,” Rell said. “FERC never performed a serious analysis of the potential environmental consequences; FERC undertook an absurdly limited review of the alternatives to Broadwater; and the alternatives will likely be meeting the energy needs of both Connecticut and New York before the Broadwater project is ever completed and on line.” (Mar 13)
Speaking to reporters in Albany during his first briefing since the resignation of Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Paterson noted that Spitzer had already delayed a decision on the controversial project until April. (Mar 13)
The U.S. Coast Guard yesterday announced in the Federal Register that a draft supplemental Environmental Assessment related to the suitability of the waterway for the expansion of the Cove Point LNG regasification terminal is now available.
Congressman Peter DeFazio and his three fellow Democrats from Oregon are demanding that the federal government consider state concerns about the location of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal.
DeFazio joined fellow representatives David Wu, Earl Blumenauer and Darlene Hooley to warn the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about the "inadequacy" of the process to find a site. (Mar 10)
7 March 2008
Please be advised that according to the Treaty of 1794 between the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, subsequently re-asserted by the Land Claims Settlement Act of 1980 between the State of Maine and the Passamaquoddy Tribe, all islands "lying and being in Schoodic River (re-named the St. Croix) between the falls at the head of the tide, and the falls below the forks of said river where the north branch and west branch parts" (near Baileyville, Maine), being fifteen in number, containing 100 acres or less ...... The said islands, tracts of lands and privileges to be confirmed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the said Indians and their heirs forever." Some of these islands occur in the area of the proposed pipeline placement. The Passamaquoddy Tribe objects to the placement of the pipeline over, on, or under these islands, and demands that an alternative route be found. [Link leads to FERC download page. Subsequent PDF file is 160 KB; red emphasis added.]
Webmaster's Comments: From this filing from Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Reservation to FERC, it appears that Downeast LNG is once more without a workable pipeline route. It's beyond time for Dean Girdis, Rob Wyatt, and their investors to pack up and go home.
The United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has filed a Motion to Intervene in the federal regulatory proceedings for the proposed Downeast LNG terminal project. In comments included with the motion, the BIA asserts that the Downeast LNG project may have an impact on the "cultural and religious interests" of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and "may also have an effect on wetland habitats and may impact the water quality and quantity in the surrounding area." (Mar 5)
GUYSBOROUGH, March 07, 2008 On behalf of the Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the Honourable Peter Mackay, Minister of National Defence today announced that the proposed Keltic Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Facilities and Marginal Wharf project in Nova Scotia is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. The Minister referred the project back to the responsible authorities, Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, for appropriate action.
Webmaster's Comments: Read the Minister of the Environment's Environmental Assessment Decision Statement.
The Canadian National Energy Board (NEB) rejected portions of the proposed route for the Emera Brunswick Pipeline project, which would transport gas from the Canaport LNG terminal in Saint John to the Canada-United States border. The rejected portions of the route would have transected property owned by Galbraith Construction and Galbraith Equipment. (Mar 6)
The Rabaska Inc. consortium announced yesterday that it has received a regulatory green light from the federal government for its plans to build an $840-million liquefied natural gas port in Lévis, across the St. Lawrence from Quebec City.
The channel leading to the Rabaska port, beneath the power lines, narrows to 305 metres and water depth is 12.5 metres at low tide - a tight fit for the 315-metre-long tankers, drawing 12 metres of water, that will supply Rabaska. The liquefied natural gas will come from Gazprom, the Russian gas giant, with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his chosen successor Dimitry Medvedev. (Mar 5)
Even as controversy continues over the Broadwater liquefied natural gas terminal proposed for Long Island Sound, one of the companies behind the project is taking steps to sell the natural gas that would be delivered through the terminal.
Shell Energy North America said Wednesday that it will begin discussing future sales with gas distribution companies, power plants and large commercial and industrial users in Long Island, New York City and southern Connecticut.
"Shell has claimed there is a strong existing demand and market for an LNG facility in the Sound, but now 'seeks expression of interest for Broadwater natural gas sales.' In reality, Shell is seeking to invent a market, rather than respond to one," [Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal] said. [Red emphasis added.]
"Since the plant was reactivated in 2000, we've received well over 200 cargos without incident," [said Bill Baerg, spokesman for El Paso]. "The crux of the expansion is to meet the energy need. Natural gas is needed in this country to fuel a growing economy."
Webmaster's Comments: "Without incident"? On 2006 March 14, while the LNG tanker Golar Freeze was unloading its cargo while the tractor tugs were IMPROPERLY POSITIONED and the LNG docking pilot on watch on the bridge of the Golar Freeze was ASLEEP a passing freighter's wake caused the Golar Freeze to break its moorings and it's LNG connection. That's called an "incident." (See, "River is no racetrack," Savannah Morning News, 2006 Dec 24.)
At around 1:00 AM in early June of 2006, a sailboat anchored at one of the terminal's slips, remaining unnoticed until sometime after it left at 7:00 AM violating terminal security. That's also called an "incident." (See, "How much Elba security is enough?" Savannah Morning News, 2006 Jun 6)
In December of 2007, a crippled container ship was allowed to dock at the LNG terminal, violating appropriate security practices another "incident." (See, "Disabled ship's 24-hour stay at LNG terminal raises security questions," Savannah Morning News, 2007 Dec 8.)
While no catastrophe occurred, the above three incidents exemplify Elba Island LNG terminal's SIGTTO LNG terminal siting standards violations due to its proximity to the ship transit fairway, to its vulnerability to other ships' wake, to its proximity to civilians, and to its lack of appropriate security procedures. The terminal was constructed prior to establishment of world LNG terminal siting standards; however, that is no excuse to expand the terminal, creating an even greater risk to area residents.
Last week, Clatsop County staff highlighted numerous problems with the 300 pages of fact findings that justify approving the project's land-use application. On Wednesday, the board of commissioners directed staff to make some changes to the supporting documents. The board will conduct a second reading of those documents prior to their final vote March 18.
Commissioner Roberts said she doesn't trust the federal LNG approval process to protect county concerns and isn't confident that NorthernStar is telling the truth about its plans to use a 36-mile pipeline to Washington rather than the proposed 120-mile Palomar Transmission line, which would cut through valuable county forestland. (Mar 5)
Patrick Hester, associate general counsel for Spectra Energy, told an audience at a Law Seminars International conference that offshore LNG import projects are becoming more attractive to investors due to heavy opposition to onshore facilities that could delay or prohibit the projects, especially on the eastern coast of the United States. [Red emphasis added.] (Mar 5)
5 March 2008
Webmaster's Comments: Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG Project Co. all terribly miscalculated the odds when they invested in their projects. First, they were too late when they entered the race. Now, even those who've won the race find themselves in difficulty obtaining supply.
The news continues to get worse for Downeast LNG's Dean Girdis and Rob Wyatt; Quoddy Bay LNG's Don and Brian Smith; Calais LNG Project Co.'s Ian Emery, Arthur Gelber, Carl Myers, and James Lewis; and all of their investors.
4 March 2008
U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez, has determined that it is necessary to receive additional information before deciding on Weaver's Cove LNG's consistency appeal under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) and, as a result, has stayed closure of the decision record until May 5, 2008.
…As the Coast Guard report makes clear, LNG shipments are no trivial security threat. Piloting a tanker loaded with 217,000 cubic meters of liquefied gas so far up the bay's channel is altogether different from shipping LNG to the existing Cove Point facility in Southern Maryland, where ships have ample room to maneuver and need not travel so close to so many residential areas along the route.
"As you know, we have repeatedly expressed our opposition to the proposed LNG site in Baltimore County, Maryland, due to our concerns about the safety and security of the surrounding areas," said the February 28 letter to FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher. (Mar 3)
Norway's StatoilHydro ASA announced on March 1 that it has signed a binding Heads of Agreement (HOA) to provide Algeria's Sonatrach with long-term access to the Cove Point LNG terminal expansion. (Mar 3)
The federal Energy Information Administration says the United States can currently process about 5 billion cubic feet of imported LNG a day, which is more than double its current imports. [Bold red emphasis added.] (Mar 2)
Webmaster's Comments: There's a lot of unused capacity already, with more on the way as the permitted LNG import terminals are constructed and go online. Previous FERC chairman Wood predicted that only a few more terminals would be needed. LNG industry experts are saying that LNG projects that aren't already permitted or being constructed will never see the light of day.
LNG speculators can hype all they want, but the realities are that Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG were beaten in the race, even before they arrived Downeast.
LNG allows Alaska's gas access to the North American West Coast or Pacific Rim markets, with the option to obtain the highest global value for Alaska's gas. Asian LNG prices are projected to offer an average premium of more than $3 per million Btu higher than the Alberta market price in the coming decades. (Mar 1)
Webmaster's Comments: Obtaining the highest global value for Alaska's gas via LNG means shipping it to Asia, not the US West Coast.
The zero-sum game ideology reflected by RACE shows a complete disregard for the economic consequences to consumers. It also violates the basic principles of responsible energy planning and risk management. Californians would be wise to reject its radical agenda. (Mar 2)
Webmaster's Comments: The above item's author, Northernstar Natural Gas senior vice president Joe Desmond, may have over-emphasized the economic benefits of his own project, since there's a good argument that California doesn't need the additional natural gas.
With new ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, on average new diesel vehicles now have near equivalent or lower emissions compared to LNG vehicles, which cost nearly twice as much to purchase and require new multi-million dollar fueling station infrastructure," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Forum, which has offices in Sacramento, California and Washington D.C.
"It is reasonable to suspect that the economics behind this decision will substantially delay cleaner air for the surrounding communities, since for every LNG truck ordered, nearly two clean diesel trucks could be on the road today," said Schaeffer. (Mar 3)
Webmaster's Comments: This is even more evidence that Downeast LNG, Quoddy Bay LNG, and Calais LNG Project Co. are unnecessary.
Pan EurAsian said in the report that Japan, South Korea and Spain imported 83% of worldwide LNG production and that both South Korea and Spain have significantly stepped up their imports of LNG this winter.
Webmaster's Comments: How unsettling should it be to Americans that the US State Department has invited Russia to invest in US energy infrastructure, and that Gazprom has expressed interest in owning US LNG facilities especially considering that Russia has, for a second consecutive winter, either entirely cut off or significantly reduced natural gas supplies to the Ukraine?
Now that Gazprom's president will be Russia's new president, does the State Department actually believe that natural gas won't be used as a political weapon against US interests, once Russia gets a strong foothold here?