2015 October 2
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-nation alliance
(US, Passamaquoddy, and Canada)
PO Box 222
Eastport, ME 04631
(207)853-2922 (Old Sow Publishing)
NEWS RELEASE: Downeast LNG Stalls, FERC Suspends Bi-Weekly Phone Conferences
On September 15, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) indicated that it is suspending future Bi-Weekly Telephone Conferences on the Downeast LNG project.* The phone conferences are a regular FERC procedure during its LNG terminal permitting pre-filing process.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance headquarters in Eastport, Maine, inquired of FERC as to the reason for the suspension, according to Save Passamaquoddy Bay researcher and webmaster Robert Godfrey. "Lack of activity" was the reason given by FERC's project coordinator of the Downeast LNG's permitting process, Godfrey said.
"Suspending FERC's normal permitting procedures is very unusual," Godfrey stated, "especially with Downeast LNG lingering in the process for 10 years, and recently adding another whole new layer of required FERC studies, reports, negotiations, and financial demands in their quest to be an LNG exporter as well as an importer. FERC's reason for the suspension seems less than forthcoming, and just doesn't pass the wink test. Therefore, Save Passamaquoddy Bay headquarters has filed a Freedom of information Act (FOIA) request with FERC to learn the actual details behind the suspension."
Reasons why such an unusual decision would have been made by FERC include: Downeast LNG…
- Losing its funding source — FERC dismissed Calais LNG from permitting in 2012 when Goldman Sachs withdrew its financial support after the natural gas market reversed;
- Failure to provide answers to FERC's technical questions — the reason FERC dismissed Quoddy Bay LNG from permitting in 2008;
- Decade-long failure to achieve required permits, including its 2007 failure to obtain Maine environmental permits with no attempt to re-enter the required state permitting process;
- Failure to overcome Canada's prohibition against LNG ship transits to the proposed terminal, with no legal standing to dispute Canada's decision;
- Failure to meet US Coast Guard requirements: Canada's cooperation and a letter of consent from the Passamaquoddy Tribe — both of which have formally filed their objections to Downeast LNG;
- Violating the world LNG industry's own terminal siting best safe practices (per SIGTTO) inherent from the outset in their Passamaquoddy Bay site selection;
- Site selection squarely atop a significant, large Passamaquoddy cultural and spiritual site, to which the Passamaquoddy Tribe has filed its official objections;
- Proposing a trestle and pier that would stretch across the mouth of state-designated Mill Cove Scenic Area; and
- Proposing a pier and trestle extending offshore 3,000 feet farther than Maine permitting allows.
The financial reality is that natural gas has plunged in value, mooting Downeast LNG.
Downeast LNG president Dean Girdis has moved his natural gas interests to Nova Scotia as director of Nova Scotia LNG in Halifax.
"We are eager to obtain FERC's records regarding its suspension of Downeast LNG Bi-Weekly Phone Conferences. We believe FERC's action telegraphs the pending demise of Downeast LNG's ill-timed, ill-sited proposal fraught with insurmountable problems," Godfrey concluded.
* FERC Docket No. PF14-19, Accession No. 20150915-4001 (http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?document_id=14376823)
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.