"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
2012 March 20
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FERC Verbally Abuses Public
On 2011 December 20, Save Passamaquoddy Bay emailed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) webmaster regarding insulting wording on the FERC website (see below). To-date, four months later, no one at FERC has acknowledged receipt of the email, and the offensive wording remains.
FERC's website page on Public Concerns regarding LNG terminal siting (http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/indus-act/lng/public.asp) states:
Most the (sic) controversy deals with:
Save Passamaquoddy Bay researcher and webmaster Robert Godfrey said of the FERC statement, "'NIMBY' is used to insult and marginalize opponents of projects, regardless of project appropriateness. FERC's use of 'NIMBY' in referring to public concerns is patently offensive. FERC forgets that it is working for the public, not the applicants, and owes the public a correction and an apology."
Godfrey went on to say, "Conspicuously absent from FERC's list of public concerns is FERC's and LNG applicant's use of false information. For instance, FERC and applicants claim that unconfined LNG vapor cannot explode, even though the 2004 Sandia (Sandia National Laboratories) Report to the Department of Energy cites research demonstrating such events can occur (U.S. Coastguard China Lake Tests – 1978 [Parnarouskis et al. 1980] [Lind and Witson 1977]).
"FERC did not mention," he continued, "misleading or incomplete information issued by FERC and applicants, such as stating that:
"FERC also did not list as a public concern the fact that LNG terminal applicants inappropriately stamp 'CEII' (Critical Energy Infrastructure Information) or other equally restrictive classification on non-qualifying documents filed with FERC. Doing so keeps those documents from reaching public scrutiny," he said. "However, inappropriately restricting documents as non-public results in no punitive consequences to the applicant, effectively encouraging that abuse. Such treatment by FERC violates the public trust.
"Even the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) terminal siting best safe practices indicate some applicants' sitings are inappropriate, yet 'NIMBY' is applied to public opposition in agreement with SIGTTO best practices. SIGTTO represents virtually the entire world LNG industry. Thus, FERC also marginalizes and insults the industry's own best advice regarding safe terminal siting," he said.
"FERC should represent the facts in a fair and evenhanded manner, and should treat all parties with equal respect. FERC should cease categorizing public concerns as 'NIMBY,' and FERC staff owe the public an apology," Godfrey concluded.
The original email sent to FERC on 2011 December 20:
From: Robert Godfrey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear FERC webmaster,
I noticed on FERC's webpage regarding Public Concerns about LNG...
I point out that NIMBY is a pejorative term used without substantiation in order to insult and marginalize opponents to projects — even when those projects are inadvisable.
NIMBY's use on the FERC website supports the popular belief that FERC is in big energy's pocket. The term's use is inappropriate. Please remove it.
CC: Daniel McAdam, DOE Office of Inspector General
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 best safe practices 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.