"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
2009 Sep 23
Veracity vs. the US Chamber of Commerce
The US Chamber of Commerce's "Project/No Project" website <http://pnp.uschamber.com> complains that NIMBYism ("Not In My Back Yard") is hindering all new energy projects. That is inaccurate, according to an international organization battling inappropriate liquefied natural gas (LNG) development in Passamaquoddy Bay, a bay partially in the State of Maine, but mostly in the Province of New Brunswick, Canada.
According to Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-nation alliance researcher and webmaster Robert Godfrey, "The US Chamber paints all energy projects with the same glorifying brush, ignoring industry best practices when those best practices indicate against the projects. That's the case with the three LNG projects proposed for Passamaquoddy Bay."
"The US Chamber's posturing on energy and its consequences is so extreme that large US corporations are deserting the organization. Pacific Gas & Electric and Nike have recently left the Chamber's membership due to its extreme, wrong-headed views," Godfrey stated. (See the Reuters story, "PG&E Rejects U.S.Chamber of Commerce Position on Climate Change,"
Godfrey recounts his experiences with Project/No Project personnel regarding status of the three LNG projects. "Initially, the US Chamber was willingly communicating regarding the now-defunct Quoddy Bay LNG project that was tossed out by FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission). They initially insisted the project was still proceeding," he said. "But, after considerable effort, and by providing irrefutable evidence from the US Government, the US Chamber eventually listed the project as being dead. And, they honestly seemed appreciative of having the correct information."
That all changed when Godfrey supplied information regarding the Downeast LNG project. "When I submitted information showing that Downeast LNG violates LNG industry best practices, that Canada prohibits LNG transits into the bay, that the US Coast Guard requires Downeast LNG to obtain Government of Canada's cooperation on a project that endangers the safety and economy of thousands of people on the bay, the US Chamber quit all communications. Their final email insisted that information provided by the developer is the whole truth and that I should post further comments using the Project/No Project online forms. However, there is no comment form for the Downeast LNG project. When I emailed the US Chamber about the missing form, my message was ignored; there still is no comment form for this project. The US Chamber is apparently not genuinely interested in listing accurate information or in receiving public comment," he stated.
"If the US Chamber were providing accuracy," Godfrey continued, "they would indicate all three LNG proposals in Passamaquoddy Bay violate industry best practices. That is far from NIMBYism, which is merely the easiest term for the US Chamber to use. If providing accuracy, they would also indicate those same irresponsibly-sited LNG project are opposed by the Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick, due to safety concerns similar to those of the world LNG industry as published by the industry's representative, the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO).
"The US Chamber of Commerce and its Project/No Project website appear to be catering to irresponsible energy developers at the expense of the public, the LNG industry, international relations with Canada and New Brunswick, and at the expense of US energy security. How can that possibly be good for business and the United States?" Godfrey concluded.
For more information about LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay, see the Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance website: <http://www.SavePassamaquoddyBay.org>. For an abbreviated list of LNG industry terminal siting best practices, see the LNG Terminal Siting Standards website: <http://www.savepassamaquoddybay.org/lngtss>.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay (SPB) is an alliance of citizens from the U.S., the Passamaquoddy Tribe, and Canada, who oppose siting LNG industrial facilities in Passamaquoddy Bay, and who advocate adherence to world-recognized LNG terminal siting standards as published by the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO). SPB advocates creative-economy, tradition-based, and tourism-based economic development for the international Passamaquoddy Bay area.