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


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Passamaquoddy Bay & LNG

2013 July

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2013 July 30


Maine DEP proposes weakening clean air requirement [Press release] (Jul 29) — Natural Resources Council of Maine, ME

PORTLAND—Several of Maine’s leading environmental and public health advocacy organizations today called on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to hold a public hearing on the LePage Administration’s proposal to weaken an important clean air standard on smog pollution from industrial sources.

Maine DEP is proposing to eliminate the review of any major new or modified industrial sources of smog under the Ozone Transport Region (OTR), a regional effort to control cross-border pollution. According to the groups, such a step by Maine could lead to increased air pollution that threatens the public health of Maine people, particularly senior citizens, children, and individuals with respiratory difficulties.

The DEP has faced significant scrutiny in recent months as part of an investigation that appeared on June 16, 17, and 18 in the Maine Sunday Telegram and Portland Press Herald. The investigation revealed a decline during the LePage Administration in enforcement of Maine’s environmental laws, intimidation of DEP employees by senior political officials, failure by DEP to meet a key relicensing deadline, and connections between out-of-state corporations and actions by the DEP to weaken or simply not implement Maine’s environmental laws.

Webmaster's comment: If Downeast LNG ever actually re-applies for state permits, the subject of this article could be critical.

LePage Administration proposes weakening smog regulations (Jul 29) — Natural Resources Council of Maine, ME

The proposed changes seek to exempt some industrial polluters from several measures aimed at reducing ground-level ozone.

The proposed changes would exempt major new or newly-upgraded industrial polluters from several measures which aim to reduce ground-level ozone in accordance with the federal Clean Air Act. Critics say the changes would effectively remove Maine from a 13-state regional effort to control cross-border ozone pollution, undermining a project that has reduced smog in Maine.

The proposal calls for revisions to the state’s air pollution plan so that “major new and modified stationary sources of ozone precursors would no longer be subject to the requirement to obtain emissions offsets and meet lowest achievable emission rate requirements.” To go into effect, it must receive approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

United States

Gangplank to a warm future [Op-ed] (Jul 28) — The New York Times, NY

MANY concerned about climate change, including President Obama, have embraced hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. In his recent climate speech, the president went so far as to lump gas with renewables as “clean energy.”

As a longtime oil and gas engineer who helped develop shale fracking techniques for the Energy Department, I can assure you that this gas is not “clean.” Because of leaks of methane, the main component of natural gas, the gas extracted from shale deposits is not a “bridge” to a renewable energy future — it’s a gangplank to more warming and away from clean energy investments.

[R]ecent measurements by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at gas and oil fields in California, Colorado and Utah found leakage rates of 2.3 percent to 17 percent of annual production, in the range my colleagues at Cornell and I predicted some years ago. This is the gas that is released into the atmosphere unburned as part of the hydraulic fracturing process, and also from pipelines, compressors and processing units. Those findings raise questions about what is happening elsewhere. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new rules to reduce these emissions, but the rules don’t take effect until 2015, and apply only to new wells.

A 2011 study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research concluded that unless leaks can be kept below 2 percent, gas lacks any climate advantage over coal....

We have renewable wind, water, solar and energy-efficiency technology options now. We can scale these quickly and affordably, creating economic growth, jobs and a truly clean energy future to address climate change. Political will is the missing ingredient. Meaningful carbon reduction is impossible so long as the fossil fuel industry is allowed so much influence over our energy policies and regulatory agencies. Policy makers need to listen to the voices of independent scientists while there is still time. [Red & bold emphasis added.]


2013 July 27

United States

Bill introduced to repeal import and export provisions from the Natural Gas Act (Jul 26) — LNG Law Blog

U.S. Representative Ted Poe (R-Tex.) has introduced the "Expedite Our Economy Act of 2013" (H.R. 2771), which would "repeal the requirements under the Natural Gas Act for obtaining authorization for the exportation or importation of natural gas." The bill, cosponsored by John Carter, Ralph Hall and Pete Olson, all Republicans from Texas, was introduced July 22, 2013 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Essentially, this bill would place the hydrocarbon industry entirely in control of what gets imported or exported — removing US public interest from the equation.


2013 July 25


Liberty Natural Gas seeks to build port — Queens Chronicle, Queens, NY

Port Ambrose would receive fuel imports outside New York harbor

While Liberty Natural Gas, LLC thinks a deepwater port about 20 miles from the entrance to New York Harbor is exactly what New York and New Jersey need to keep fuel prices down, residents and environmentalists believe the proposal is outrageous and a scam.

Opponents of the port, including [Jamaica Bay Ecowatch member Dan Mundy Jr], argue that there is no need to import natural gas as domestic production is at an all-time high and prices are lower than ever.

“Our expectation is that we can replicate the Boston experience, where in recent winters new LNG projects reduced the winter price spikes by over 50 percent,” Whelan said.

However, the two LNG ports outside Boston have been so underutilized that there are plans to close them.

If an import facility is constructed, Liberty would be able to petition the government to convert it without additional environmental review or public input, according to Sean Dixon, a coastal policy attorney from Clean Ocean Action, a nonprofit advocacy group. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Marcellus Shale exports could transform global LNG market — NPR, PA

[B]ecause of wells like these in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale formation, a glut of natural gas has developed nationwide. Domestic prices for natural gas have dropped about one-third, since July, 2008 before the shale boom really took off.

The last time a ship docked at this pier was on New Years Day, of 2011. Since then, the seagulls have moved in and made it home. Hideaways beneath large pipes hold nests with chirping chicks. A nearby dump provides scraps of food, which the nesting birds bring back safely to this deserted pier, leaving the white-washed dock littered with chicken bones and bird poop.

Webmaster's comment: In 2011, Cove Point LNG attempted to get FERC to force an LNG cargo to unload there, simply to keep the facility cold enough to prevent decommissioning.

United States

EIA 2012 Natural Gas Import/Export Report -- text highlights (Jul 23) — AgWeb

In the face of unprecedented levels of domestic natural gas production, net imports of natural gas into the United States fell 23 percent in 2012. Net imports as a percentage of total natural gas consumed decreased to around 6 percent from 8 percent in 2011. A combination of both higher exports and lower imports led to a decline in net imports in 2012. Based on preliminary data for 2012, domestic dry natural gas production increased by about 5 percent to 24,063 billion cubic feet (Bcf). This growth led to greater domestic natural gas supply and relatively low prices in the United States, thus reducing U.S. reliance on foreign natural gas.

Strong natural gas exports and lower imports reduced net imports to around 1,516 Bcf in 2012, the lowest level since 1990. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

US senators want answers on DOE's plans for revoking LNG export decisions (Jul 23) — Platts

Senators Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican and the committee's ranking member, are likely to send a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz asking him to outline the agency's policy on reversing export licenses, sources said Tuesday.

Murkowski, who has pushed DOE to quicken the pace of its export approvals, and Wyden, who has pushed for a more cautious approach, want to know what factors the agency will weigh if it decides to revoke an application, whether there would be a hearing or if it may involve a petition process, sources said.

While the agency has been relatively tight-lipped about how a potential decision like this would be made, a DOE official has said the decision would not be based on price, meaning that the agency would not roll back an export approval if domestic gas prices rocket higher.


2013 July 22


Energy officials say new law will save money (Jul 17) — WCSH, Portland, ME

The energy bill, which became law by an override of the Governor's veto, is supposed to reduce Maine's dependence on heating oil, by increasing funding for energy efficiency and heating system replacement programs. It encourages more use of natural gas for heating both homes and businesses. And it requires the state to become involved in expanding gas pipelines in New England, to provide more gas for generating electricity.

The goal is to have Maine guarantee to buy a portion of the gas that would flow through those pipelines. Federal regulations require pipeline developers to have customers for the gas before the pipes are built. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: The State of Maine is not riding Downeast LNG president Dean Girdis's dead horse.

New England

Neptune deepwater port suspends operations due to market conditions (Jul 17) — LNG Law Blog

The U.S. Maritimes Administration has approved Neptune LNG LLC's (Neptune) request for a temporary five-year suspension of its Deepwater Port license. Neptune, which operates an LNG import facility located approximately 22 miles northeast of Boston and 7 miles southeast of Gloucester, Mass., stated that gas market conditions in the Northeast region had caused the port to be inactive over the past several years, and the port will likely remain inactive for the foreseeable future. [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment:
PDF fileSee the 2013 Jul 16 MARAD approval suspending Neptune LNG import operations (PDF; 180k).

2 costly LNG terminals sit idle (Jan 23) — The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

This is what happens when a bet on energy prices goes spectacularly wrong.

Anticipating that natural gas prices in New England would remain high, two companies spent $350 million to $400 million each just a few years ago to build terminals off the North Shore of Massachusetts to bring imported fuel to local consumers.

Now the companies are stuck with $750 million worth of unused buoys and pipes sitting idle in the ocean.

Located about 13 miles southeast of Gloucester, the Northeast Gateway Deepwater Port cost $350 million and opened in 2008, when natural gas prices were hitting a peak — $12 per 1,000 cubic feet. In its first few years it received some shipments of gas, but none since 2010.

Same too, for the Neptune Deepwater Port, located 10 miles off Gloucester and built at a cost of around $400 million. It opened in 2010 and also received a few small shipments that year, and nothing since.

The Neptune terminal is owned by GDF Suez SA, one of the world’s largest energy companies, with around $121 billion in revenues in 2011. GDF Suez owns a third LNG facility in Massachusetts, the Distrigas terminal in Boston Harbor in Everett.

That plant, too, has experienced a huge drop in imports as domestic supplies have soared. It now has one primary customer, the Mystic Power Station electric plant next door, under a long term contract that does not expire until late next decade. Shipments to the Everett facility arrive via huge tankers that, because of terrorist concerns, require a small navy of Coast Guard ships and other armed escorts. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: There can be no greater evidence that Downeast LNG is moot.


Opponents allege Port Ambrose LNG import terminal actually for LNG exports (Jul 18) — LNG Law Blog

The Sentinel reports that opponents of the Port Ambrose LNG import terminal project proposed for offshore New Jersey and New York voiced their concerns at a recent public meeting that the project will ultimately be used to export LNG, resulting in increased hydraulic fracturing. According to the report, federal officials responsible for approving the project stated that LNG import authorization for the project would not include authorization for LNG exports.

Activists: LNG port will lead to fracking (Jul 18) — Independent, Manalapan NJ

Residents and activists are calling a proposed natural gas import facility off the coast of New Jersey and New York a “Trojan horse” that will ultimately be used to export fuel and ramp up dangerous “fracking” operations throughout the region.

“It’s called an import facility right now. But the economics on their face dictate that this is really, ultimately, for export,” John Burke, a finance professor at Monmouth University, said during a federally sponsored public hearing on the port application in Edison on July 10.

The federal Deepwater Port Act, which governs the application and review process for Port Ambrose, was amended in December to allow the exportation of natural gas from any state. Under the act, an entity granted a conditional license to operate a port can later petition to have any conditions reviewed and possibly removed. According to COA’s coastal policy attorney, Sean Dixon, this means that LNG could switch from imports to exports without applying for a new license or involving public input in any way. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Dem, GOP officials join opposition to LNG port (Jul 18) — Independent, Manalapan NJ

Local, state and federal officials have joined hundreds of residents and activists in their opposition to a proposed natural gas port 24 miles off the coast of Long Branch.

Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long said the proposed port and its 20 miles of sub-sea pipeline would be an unnecessary hardship for Jersey Shore communities still struggling to recover from superstorm Sandy.

Philadelphia an unlikely hub for LNG exports (Jul 19) — StateImpact, NPR

Last week the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that brokers trying to sell Philadelphia Gas Works are marketing it as potential liquefied natural gas export terminal. But if that were to happen, the project would cost billions of dollars and be forced to get in line behind about 17 other proposals now awaiting approval by the Department of Energy.

One of those proposals, Dominion’s Cove Point, Maryland import terminal, would likely take precedence. Dominion’s Chesapeake Bay facility would not have to be built from scratch and is connected to a pipeline system that serves the gas fields in upstate Pennsylvania. Robert Powelson, chair of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission says the D.O.E will likely approve about 8 additional export terminals. Two Gulf Coast export facilities have already gotten the green light.


Oregon agencies oppose conditional FERC approval of Oregon LNG export terminal (Jul 17) — LNG Law Blog

The Oregon Department of Energy and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development filed motions to intervene with FERC in the Oregon LNG export terminal proceedings requesting that FERC abandon its practice of issuing conditional orders approving LNG export projects before receiving authorizations delegated to the states under the Clean Water Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act and the Clean Air Act, and before engaging in consultation under the Endangered Species Act. The agencies termed such orders "arbitrary and capricious," alleging that they do not permit a balance of the public interest under the statutes.

Webmaster's comment: The State of Oregon is asking that FERC wait for states to issue permits to LNG terminal applicants before FERC issues its permits. This issue is important to Maine, since Downeast LNG has publicly stated it does not intend to enter state permitting.


2013 July 16


Activists: LNG port will lead to fracking (Jul 17) — Edison/Metuchen Sentinel, Manalapan NJ

Residents and activists are calling a proposed natural gas import facility off the coast of New Jersey and New York a “Trojan horse” that will ultimately be used to export fuel and ramp up dangerous “fracking” operations throughout the region.

“It’s called an import facility right now. But the economics on their face dictate that this is really, ultimately, for export,” John Burke, a finance professor at Monmouth University, said during a federally sponsored public hearing on the port application in Edison on July 10.

“The export of natural gas is not considered in this application, nor would the authority to do so be included in the license if the application were to be approved,” MARAD Associate Administrator Keith Lesnick said during the hearing.

“If [it is approved], we would also put a condition on the license in there that this terminal in perpetuity would be used for importation of natural gas only. We would strictly forbid any export.”

“The agency could revoke the license if [they] try to export, and then [they] would have to go through the whole application process again,” [Clean Ocean Action’s coastal policy attorney Sean Dixon] said after the hearing. “But what they could also do is decide that a restriction on exports is no longer necessary. And all that requires is written permission.” [Red, yellow & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: This webmaster believes MARAD's Keith Lesnick is being less than forthright with the public. MARAD does not have the regulatory authority, without going through the export terminal permitting process, to determine that a terminal is inappropriate for exporting. Since Port Ambrose is not at this time applying to export, MARAD cannot determine its future use for that purpose.


2013 July 15


Environmentalists to rally for shore against liquified natural gas port (Jul 11) — Ruson-Fairhaven Patch, NJ

Port Ambrose would be a deep-water port bordering New York Harbor in "federal waters" roughly 20 miles off New Jersey and New York shorelines. The terminal would deliver an estimated 400 million cubic feet of gas supplying about 1.5 million homes, according to Port Ambrose's description.

The main supplier of the gas would be the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago, which, according to the company, has been a main exporter of liquified natural gas to the United States.

"We don't need to increase our ability to burn more fossil fuel at this time," the Surfrider Foundation said in a released statement. "Foreign imported LNG has a larger carbon footprint than domestic natural gas due to the cooling, transportation and re-gasification required.

United States

Fossil fuels—a new normal — Carnegie Endowment for World Peace, Washington, DC

...The so-called shale gale brought on by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling is overfilling American stocks. A decade ago there were 27 liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals in the planning stages and U.S. LNG imports were forecast to rise from 5 percent to 39 percent by 2010. Today there are 15 permit applications before the U.S. government to convert LNG import terminals to export LNG to Europe and Asia. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Although this article's author is correct about the surfeit of domestic natural gas, mooting any need for additional LNG import infratstructure — and, that there are many unknowns about hydrocarbon formation — the theory presented that natural gas may be in unlimited supply seems pretty far-fetched.


2013 July 11


Critics claim LNG import terminal is really meant for exports — NJ Spotlight

Opponents of plans to build a natural gas import terminal off the North Jersey coast urged federal officials late Wednesday to reject the project, saying the facility was in fact a Trojan Horse for an export terminal for abundant gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale.

“The reality is, this is about exports,” said Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action. “There is too much money in the Marcellus Shale.”

With an estimated 100 years’ worth of domestic shale gas available, and plentiful current supply, there is no need for the U.S. to be importing the fuel from overseas where prices are higher, Zipf and other critics said.

United States

LNG industry sees major changes, globalization — Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX

One of the major changes is the LNG industry moving from importing to exporting due to the abundance of natural gas from the shale plays, which is changing the face of the industry.

Administration permitting delays jeopardize U.S. LNG exports & threaten economic growth [Press release] — PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Twenty applications to build and operate Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export terminals are currently under review by Department of Energy staff, some for as long as two years that could be boosting the U.S. economy by thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity, according to new paper by the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) titled, Liquefied Natural Gas: Why Rapid Approval of the Backlog of Export Applications is Important for U.S. Prosperity.

Webmaster's comment: The energy industry is pressing for higher profits, not for what's best for the US.

Energy, Climate & Sustainability

Can a divestment campaign move the fossil fuel industry? (Mar 18) — Environment 360, Yale University, New Haven, CT

U.S. climate activists have launched a movement to persuade universities, cities, and other groups to sell off their investments in fossil fuel companies. But while the financial impact of such divestment may be limited, the campaign could harm the companies in a critical sphere — public opinion.

Last fall, the climate advocacy group held a series of rallies in 21 cities across the U.S., making the case that combating climate change requires fossil fuel companies to leave a large portion of their reserves in the ground — and that large-scale divestment by their shareholders could help convince them to do so. Since then, four small U.S. colleges have committed to ridding their endowments of fossil fuel investments, and more than 250 other colleges and universities have spawned student- or faculty-led divestment campaigns pushing for action in the next five years.

Many people have compared the fossil fuel divestment campaign to the well-known divestment campaign that targeted the South African apartheid regime in the 1980s. But the fossil fuel initiative may be more akin to divestment campaigns targeting tobacco companies. Just as those campaigns tried to link tobacco companies with the health effects of smoking in the popular consciousness, the current campaign wants to tie fossil fuel companies’ reputations to droughts, rising sea levels, and the obstruction of climate action. The more widespread divestment becomes, campaigners believe, the deeper the association.

The money behind fossil fuel exports (Jul 10) — Sightline Daily, Seattle, WA

Goldman Sachs, Berkshire Hathaway, and Bank of America.

If you follow the debates over coal exports or oil trains or pipeline expansions, you might think you’re watching a contest between local communities and the energy sector. But the truth is that standing right behind the fossil fuel companies is a second Goliath. Some of the financial sector’s heaviest hitters are deeply enmeshed in fossil fuel export plans.


2013 July 10

New England

USA: Two LNG cargoes imported in May — LNG World News

The U.S. imported two liquefied natural gas cargoes in May, according to the U.S. Department of Energy data.

Both of the cargoes were shipped from Trinidad and Tobago and were delivered to the Everett LNG terminal.

Webmaster's comment: The only reason Everett LNG continues to import is their long-term suppy contract to the Mystic Generating Station that is next to the import terminal.


Loud opposition voiced to proposed gas port off Jones Beach — Merrick Patch, Merrick, NY

Vast majority of speakers at public hearing in Long Beach Tuesday speak out against Port Ambrose project.

The Allegria Hotel’s second floor meeting room was packed with a standing-room-only crowd and the vast majority of attendees who delivered public remarks lambasted Liberty Natural Gas’s Port Ambrose LNG facility proposal that would be situated around 17 miles south of Jones Beach. The project, which is similar to a previous proposal in New Jersey that was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie., would also involve installing pipelines around 2.5 miles from the Long Beach Barrier Island.

In order for the Port Ambrose plan to move forward, it must be approved by the U.S. Maritime Administration, Coast Guard, and the governors of New York and New Jersey.

Environmentalists to rally for shore against liquified natural gas port off Long Branch coast — Long Branch-Eatontown Patch, LongBranch-Eatontown, NJ

It's a battle Clean Ocean Action and more than 100 other environmental groups have fought before and won — the familiar war waged against the installation of an underwater liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal about 20 miles off the coast of Sea Bright, Sandy Hook and Long Branch.

Now, however, the environmental Tsunami of outrage on the subject has again swelled; and Clean Ocean Action is hosting a rally and citizen public hearing of its own on the newly proposed Liberty Natural Gas Port Ambrose project starting at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday at Sea Bright Public Beach.

Company tries again to bring offshore LNG port to NJ coast —, NJ

“We need to stop this fossil fuelishness. LNG not only adds to greenhouse gas and hurts the environment, it is dangerous,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We do not need a facility like this off our coast. Instead we should be investing in clean, renewable energy like offshore wind and energy efficiency.”


FERC grants more time for LNG comments after Wyden's intervention — The Daily Astorian, Astoria, OR

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has extended the comment period on the Oregon LNG project.

Public comments on the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Warrenton and the related pipeline will now be accepted until Aug. 12.

The action comes, in part, after pressure from U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who asked FERC for more time for the public to weight in on the controversial proposal.

United States

Senators push for faster LNG approval — Upstream

In a letter to the Energy Department, a group of 32 senators comprising 10 Democrats and 22 Republicans said at the current rate of approval the 20 projects currently on tap would not get the regulatory go-ahead for at least another year or two.

Moniz has previously said that he does not plan to reconsider the queue of projects it set up in December, which gives preference to projects that have filed for a license from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc).

Begich joins Inhofe, 32 Senators urging DOE to expedite LNG permit applications — Alaska Native News, AK

In the letter, the senators wrote: “We appreciate the attention you have already given this topic since your confirmation last month. However, we are concerned that the timeline for considering these applications may jeopardize our ability to retain a competitive position against other natural gas exporting nations who are also working diligently to export LNG. The fact is there is a global race for market share underway. American competitors have been at a disadvantage for the past year and a half because DOE has delayed action on pending applications. We are hopeful and optimistic that DOE will now pursue a winning strategy that allows the U.S. to compete effectively in this global market.”

Senators urge U.S. to speed LNG export review process — Reuters

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Wednesday called on the Energy Department to speed up its planned review process for proposals to ship U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) abroad.

The Energy Department, which recently approved an LNG export proposal, has signaled it may take about eight weeks to review each of 20 other proposals. The senators warned that the United States could lose out to international competition in the LNG market if the department does not hasten that pace.

Senators tell feds: Hurry up on LNG exports — Fuel Fix

The senators suggested that the Energy Department abandon its case-by-case review of each application and instead make decisions on a bulk of applications at once.

“Will you consider increasing the speed at which you make decisions on these applications?” the group asked. “Will you also consider evaluating multiple permit applications during the next rounds of consideration?”

Obama administration officials have already rejected another proposal advanced by the senators: that the Energy Department do a better job of prioritizing the projects “that have clearly established they are commercially viable.”


2013 July 9


Philadelphia may be marketed as natural gas export hub — WESA, NPR News, Pittsburgh, PA

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the country’s largest municipal gas utility, Philadelphia Gas Works [PGW], may be marketed as a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal.

PGW already produces liquefied gas at its Port Richmond plant, but the facility is designed to store the super-cooled liquid for use on peak-demand days in the winter. LNG export facilities are multi-billion-dollar investments, and much larger than the Port Richmond plant.

The closest proposed export facility to the Marcellus Shale is in Cove Point, Maryland.

Phila. could be marketed as a natural gas hub —, Philadelphia, PA

"There's a lot of money to invest in utilities right now," Paul Dabbar, the JPMorgan banker who is the city's lead broker on the PGW [Philadelphia Gas Works] sale, said Monday. "They're just looking for growth opportunities."

[T]he utility's position along the Delaware River puts it in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities related to the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom that are now beyond its reach as a municipal utility with legal and capital constraints.

"With 20 or more applications in the queue, it would be late in the game," said James Balaschak, an energy expert with Deloitte Consulting.

Webmaster's comment: There are so many applications already in line to export that Downeast LNG would be living on another planet to believe it could export — or to find some other party dumb enough to buy Downeast LNG.

Environmental Coalition sends key climate reports for Federal review of proposed LNG export terminal on Chesapeake Bay — eNews Park Forest, Park Forest, IL

First-of-its-kind facility on east coast would hurt Chesapeake and hasten nearby fracking—impacts exacerbated with climate change

In May, the coalition—Sierra Club, Patuxent Riverkeeper, Potomac Riverkeeper, Shenandoah Riverkeeper, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper—filed public comments and a motion to intervene in the proceedings to FERC, calling on the agency to conduct a thorough environmental review of the proposed Dominion Cove Point LNG facility. Represented by Earthjustice, the groups are objecting to the environmental impacts posed by the terminal located in Lusby, MD, and argue that development of the facility would result in major damage to the Chesapeake Bay, coastal forests, and the local economy, which currently support more than a trillion dollars in economic activity from the seafood and tourism industries.

LNG plan still unacceptable [Editorial] — Daily Record, Parsippany, NJ

They’re baaaaaacck!

Liberty Natural Gas, in a remarkable display of chutzpah, last week announced public meetings to discuss building a deepwater natural gas port 27 miles off Long Branch. It is similar to a plan submitted two years ago, which was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie. The same fate should befall this revised proposal.

And while the company maintains that Port Ambrose would be used strictly for importing natural gas, there is no reason to believe that if the project is approved, it won’t turn around and use the facility for exports. The license the company is seeking would allow for both.

LNG may have another issue to deal with: the lagging market for the import of liquified natural gas. Two terminals built off the northern shore of Massachusetts a few years ago — the only such terminals off the East Coast — haven’t received a drop of imported oil in more than two years due to lack of domestic demand, according to The Boston Globe. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: It is remarkable the amount of money the hydrocarbon industry is willing to throw away on nonstarter projects such as Liberty Natural Gas's Port Ambrose and impossible Downeast LNG.

United States

Correct your course on natural gas, Mr. President [Blog] (Jul 8) — Green, The Huffington Post

We know that natural gas is a dirty, dangerous fuel that is bad for the climate. Every day the evidence of this becomes clearer. We look forward to a day when the administration sees fracked gas for what it is: a dirty, dangerous fossil fuel of the past and a threat to public health. The same yardstick for KXL must also be used with fracked gas.

A Presidential Climate Action Plan that doubles down on clean energy cannot also continue our reliance on natural gas. Deepening investments in natural gas will hamper, not assist, transforming our energy system and tackling the daunting climate task ahead.

We urge President Obama to rethink the role of natural gas. It's a fuel of the past, a threat to our communities and our health. It's clearly not a climate solution.

Developing a global market for U.S. gas is premature. We must have an open and informed national conversation to determine whether exports are truly in the public interest. We must fully understand the economic, environmental, and health impacts that increased fracking will have on our communities and our economy. Deciding whether and how to move forward with LNG exports is among the most pressing environmental and energy policy decisions facing the nation. Let's not do this blindly.

Asian gas prices will drop fast in response to US LNG exports: analyst — Platts

Speaking on a BNP Paribas Commodity Markets conference call on the role of shale gas in the US energy transformation, [Rice University fellow Kenneth Medlock ] said the margin for LNG export profitability is "razor thin" and that prices abroad, particularly in Asia, the primary market for exports, will "soften dramatically.

Webmaster's comment: Just as it did with import projects, the LNG industry is hysterically clamoring to build export projects, hopeful of huge profits. Reality has not yet settled in at company headquarters.


2013 July 8


Environmental groups gear up to fight liquefied natural gas terminal off N.J. coast — NewsWorks, NJ

More than two years after Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the project, Liberty Natural Gas has submitted an application for a new design.

"We're trying to rebuild. We're trying to restore, and they are on a fast track," [the executive director of Clean Ocean Action Cindy Zipf] said. "This project is moving faster than anything I've ever seen, and they're doing it at a time when we're trying to restore our communities. So we're doing the best we can to fight back."

...[New Jersie Governor Chris Christie] said offshore liquefied natural gas poses unacceptable risks to the state's natural resources, economy, and security.

One hundred and thirty organizations ask for more time to assess proposed LNG port — The Paramus Post, Paramus, NJ

One hundred and thirty environmental and public advocacy groups sent a letter to the federal Maritime Administration asking that the public be given more time to consider and comment on a propose liquefied natural gas (LNG) port that would be constructed in the waters off Long Island and the Jersey Shore. After the application was announced on June 14, the project sponsor subsequently released fifteen hundred pages of a four thousand plus page application that federal agencies have found to be still incomplete in more than one hundred and fifty specific areas. Despite the length, technical complexity, and incomplete nature of the material, the public is required to read, analyze and meaningfully comment on the application by July 23.

Sean Dixon, Coastal Policy Attorney at Clean Ocean Action said, “This LNG port will adversely impact the economies and ecologies depended upon by millions of Americans and the public deserves the opportunity to give it careful consideration.” Dixon noted that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed this proposal in 2011 (and reaffirmed it in 2012) because, according to the Governor’s original veto (attached to this press release), it “ would present unacceptable and substantial risks to the State’s residents, natural resources, economy and security… stifle investment in renewable energy technologies by increasing our reliance on foreign sources… [and] create a heightened risk in a densely developed region, including potential accidents or sabotage disrupting commerce in the Port of New York and New Jersey.” Dixon notes that “this application is for the same port that was wrong for the people and economies of New York and New Jersey last year, and the year before that; Liberty may be back, but nothing has changed.” [Red & bold emphasis added.]

N.Y., N.J. eco-groups fighting LNG export deep-water port [Press release] — Akron Beacon Journal Online, Akron, OH

Long Beach, N.Y. - Environmental groups from NJ and NY including upstate NY, will show their strong and broad opposition to plans to build the “Port Ambrose” Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) deepwater port at a press conference at the Allegria Hotel (Third Floor Conference Room) 80 West Broadway, Long Beach, NY on July 9, 2013, 5:15 PM. The press conference will take place prior to the Public Scoping Hearing on the proposed project to build the port, which will take place in the 2ndFloor Ballroom from 6PM to 8PM.

This controversial project was vetoed in 2011 by Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey who cited, “unacceptable risks to the State's residents, natural resources, economy and security.” After being banned from the waters of New Jersey, the project’s organizer, Liberty LNG, is now seeking permission to build the port proposed locating off the coast of Long Beach, NY.


2013 July 7


Public hearings on LNG port July 10, 11 (Jul 4) — Atlanticville, Manalapan NJ

The U. S. Maritime Administration has scheduled a public hearing on the [Liberty Natural Gas's Port Ambrose offshore LNG import terminal] application in New Jersey on Wednesday, July 10, at the N.J. Convention and Exposition Center, 97 Sunfield Ave., Edison. An open house will take place between 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. followed by the hearing from 6 – 8 p.m.

The next day, Clean Ocean Action (COA) announced it will host a grassroots “citizens hearing” on Thursday, July 11, at the Sea Bright Municipal Beach on Ocean Avenue. “The Rally Against LNG” will take place from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. and a hearing will follow 6-8 p.m.

[New Jersey] Gov. Chris Christie vetoed LNG’s [Liberty Natural Gas's] previous proposal in 2011, citing unacceptable and substantial risks to the state’s residents, natural resources, economy and security. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Like Downeast LNG, here is another unnecessary wacko LNG import project. The long-term solution to New York accessing additional supplies of natural gas is pipeline infrastructure access to the US's plentiful natural gas resource in the nearby Marcellus Shale field, not importing costly overseas LNG that makes the US more reliant on foreign energy and creates a greater foreign trade imbalance.

Coast Guard and MARAD to prepare Environmental Impact Statement for Port Ambrose deepwater port application (Jul 2) — LNG Law Blog

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration issued a notice of their intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for Liberty Natural Gas's application to own, construct, and operate Port Ambrose, a proposed LNG import terminal located in the federal waters off the coasts of New Jersey and New York.

Webmaster's comment: The LNG industry cannot find enough dumb ways to waste $millions.

Fight looms over proposed LNG port off Long Island (Jul 2) — Long Island Press, Long Island, NY

Long Island lawmakers and environmental advocates are voicing concerns over a proposed liquefied natural gas port that would be located in the Atlantic Ocean, 19 miles south of the South Shore.

Liberty Natural Gas is seeking approval for “Port Ambrose,” a so-called deep-water port that would re-gasify fuel shipped from the Caribbean before pumping it through a 22-mile underwater pipeline supplying New York City and LI.

Clean Ocean Action, an NJ-based environmental group, said the port would discharge 3.5 million gallons of chemically-treated seawater used for pipe tests, generate significant underwater noise pollution and dredge up more than 20 miles of seafloor.

British Columbia

Potential Kitimat industrial projects raise pollution concerns (Jul 2) — The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC

Government lacks necessary information on LNG-related proposals, say critics

[C]ritics are taking aim at Clark's government for not knowing how many facilities can be approved in Kitimat - a key export hub for LNG - before local air pollution from the energy-intensive plants significantly harms human health.

"You cannot do this thing in an ad hoc way, and you cannot do it on a first-come first-served basis. You've got to be serious about these matters," said Douw Steyn, professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University British Columbia.

Liquefaction plants require massive amounts of electricity, and current government policy means companies may look to generate that power by burning natural gas. Concerns have also been raised about the emissions from increased tanker traffic needed to ferry the resulting LNG out of the Douglas Channel.

United States

Isn't this global market supposed to be growing? (Jul 4) — The Motley Fool

LNG exports! LNG exports! It has such a ring to it, and it is on the mind of almost any person in the energy space. So, how is it that this industry that is poised to explode actually shrank by 0.9% in 2012? Well, it just goes to show you the nascent form this industry is in. One of the biggest reasons why global LNG trade is down is, in large part, because the U.S. no longer needs it. Our LNG imports are down 78% from what they were five years ago, and shrank by half between 2011 and 2012. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: The entire country, with the exception of Downeast LNG and Liberty LNG, know that building additional LNG import infrastructure is a fool's errand.

A surprising source of demand for US natural gas (Jul 4) — Christian Science Monitor

The US natural gas market is on the verge of a big swing, Forest writes, but it doesn't have to do with liquid [sic] natural gas. Instead, there's an interesting and unexpected source of demand for US natural gas.

Mexican imports of U.S. gas have skyrocketed 92% since 2008. And with export capacity projected to grow to over 7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), Mexico could start taking 10% of U.S. production—in a very short time frame, with very low capital costs compared to the LNG boom unfolding.

No volume limits planned for U.S. LNG exports to non-FTA nations (Jul 2) — LNG Law Blog

Kyodo News International reports that U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Moniz recently said in an interview that DOE is not planning to impose volume limits on U.S. LNG exports to nations without a Free Trade Agreement with the United States.


2013 July 1

New England

Everett LNG terminal at the crossroads (Jul 2) — Power Magazine, Houston, TX

The surge in natural gas production in the United States as a result of the shale boom has reversed long-standing assumptions about the nation’s energy future and the need for imports. Facilities such as Cove Point in Maryland and Sabine Pass in Louisiana that were built to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) over the past few decades have fallen idle, and their owners are now moving rapidly to convert them to export terminals. The possibility of large-scale LNG exports has seized the nation’s attention, leading to multiple congressional hearings and extended debate about their impact on the domestic energy market.

The [Mystic Generating Station, adjacent to Everett LNG,] is primarily gas-fired (it has some dual-fuel capacity), and in an interesting and unusual arrangement, the Everett terminal is the plant’s only source of gas. The gas is procured under long-term contract through 2027, meaning the plant operates under very different economics from others in the area. While it is insulated from the seasonal gas price spikes that have plagued ISO-NE for decades, it is also completely dependent on LNG deliveries to Everett. Last year, when unrest in Yemen disrupted LNG exports, authorities had to scramble for contingency plans in case the plant was forced to shut down due to a lack of fuel.

Despite Everett’s key role in the region, its attractiveness as an LNG destination has faded in recent years. Between 1971 and 2003, Everett received about half of the total LNG imported into the U.S. Since opening, it has received more than 1,000 LNG shipments, and as recently as 2009, Everett saw about 60 ships a year, receiving more than 183 Bcf.

But as natural gas prices in the U.S. have plummeted, volumes have fallen, and 2011 saw only 135 Bcf come through Everett. LNG spot prices in the Atlantic basin during the winter of 2012–13 ranged from around $10/MMBtu to $12/MMBtu, well above hub prices in the U.S. For most of the year, only LNG purchased under long-term contract comes to Everett. [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Everett LNG, has a long-term contract as the sole source of natural gas to the Mystic Generating Station. That is the only reason Everett LNG continues to import.

Natural gas — A bridge or a minefield? — Conservation Law Foundation (CLF)

Like most things in life, natural gas itself is neither all good nor all bad. True, natural gas is a relatively clean-burning fuel with fewer emissions than coal or oil. And currently natural gas prices are lower compared to oil. As a source for electricity, gas can be quickly brought on and off line and so fills a useful niche to balance intermittent renewable sources like solar and wind. But these benefits are only part of the equation.

Natural gas is still a fossil fuel. It contributes to climate change in very significant ways. The main component of natural gas is methane, a greenhouse gas 25 to 75 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its ability to warm the Earth’s atmosphere.

Regionally across New England, momentum is developing to expand or build new gas pipelines. But rushing to build bigger pipes is not the answer. We can do better than throw up our hands and blindly accept expensive and environmentally damaging new pipelines at a time when we should be moving away from fossil fuels. Recognizing the impacts and providing offsets for any expansions that do occur is a must.

Natural gas will play an important role in our energy supply over the next decade, but let’s make sure it is a role that leads to a cleaner and healthier planet.


New Duke study again finds water well methane near PA shale wells — NGI's Shale Daily [Paid subscription]

Concentrations of methane, ethane and propane were found in higher levels in drinking water for homes within a kilometer of shale gas wells in parts of the Marcellus Shale in northeast Pennsylvania, according to a study released Monday. It was the third such study by Duke University's Robert Jackson, a professor of environmental sciences. [Red emphasis added.]

United States

PDF fileNatural Gas Monthly — US Energy Information Administration, Washington, DC

Total 2013 Jan–Jun LNG imports are just 61% of the volume imported during the same period in 2012 (down 39%). [Red & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster's comment: Reality keeps getting worse for Downeast LNG.


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