Thursday, January 11, 2007

Latest on Weaver's Cove LNG

Yesterday, the international trade journal World Gas Intelligence reported that the two offshore LNG projects proposed near Gloucester, MA, are seen as leading the Weaver's Cove LNG project for Fall River. While officials from Hess LNG are spinning it to say that the State's support for the offshore projects means they recognize the need for LNG in general, Hess is missing the point everyone else finally seems to get: No one supports the Weaver's Cove project because the environmental and public safety risks are far too great.

While we certainly don't wish an LNG terminal on our neighboring waters, any offshore LNG option makes more sense than putting a terminal in a densely populated city at the top of a congested waterway. Offshore terminals may appear to cost more up front, but it's much easier to permit, safer for the general population, easier to secure, and minimizes any use conflict. Inshore terminals may appear cheaper up front, but when we calculate the costs of dredging and disposal, site remediation and construction, environmental damage and mitigation, and consider the lack of political support and indefinite uncertainty of a number of key permits, who would invest in Weaver's Cove at this point?

If they have any clue, Hess, Poten and Partners, and the other backers of Weaver's Cove will come up with a competing offshore strategy rather than continue to beat this dead horse. -JT

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