Tuesday, December 21, 2010

LNG Working Group Files Anti-Hess Resolutions at FERC

There have been a number of positive developments on the fight to end Hess' bid to force its Weaver's Cove LNG terminal in Mount Hope Bay and Fall River.

A recent Boston Globe story, by ace environmental reporter Beth Daley, lists the many political and regulatory roadblocks that stand in Hess' way. Still, the company is doggedly determined to proceed in spite of all the facts and the ever-slimmer probability of necessary permits.

The opposition shows no sign of letting up either. Save The Bay remains committed to fighting this project for as long as it takes. And we are joined by many allies around the region.

Today, I'm featuring the LNG Working Group, a Jamestown-based group that is active throughout the coastal communities around Rhode Island and Southeast Massachusetts.

Recently, the LNG Working Group submitted a filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) including a resolution signed by 15 coastal municipalities in 2 states opposing the Weaver's Cove LNG proposal.

The LNG Working Group is still looking for organizations to sign on to a petition in opposition to the project. It is presented below in full, and can be cut and pasted into e-mail and sent to Gray.LNGwg@gmail.com.

Save The Bay is proud to support the LNG Working Group!



WHEREAS: THE Weaver’s Cove Energy subsidiary of Hess LNG has proposed to build a major berthing and offloading structure for liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers in the middle of Mt. Hope Bay, and to ship LNG numerous times per year through the narrow East Passage of Narragansett Bay, and

WHEREAS: LNG tankers are vulnerable to terrorist attack, a successful attack could result in a high energy detonation or fire jeopardizing the US Naval Station Newport, the Naval War College, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and major bridges and additionally result in a high energy detonation and the release of explosive gas over Newport, Jamestown, and other populous communities on Narragansett Bay, and

WHEREAS: a January 2008 report from the US Government Accountability Office warned that the US Coast Guard is, in some cases, “unable to meet its own self-imposed security standards, such as escorting ships carrying liquefied natural gas”, and

WHEREAS: the Rhode Island Bridge & Turnpike Authority has stated its intention to close the Pell and Mt. Hope Bridges when tankers pass by, and has warned that those closures “will cause safety hazards, including (critical) delays in response times of emergency vehicles” such as ambulances and police and fire vehicles, and

WHEREAS: 140 LNG tankers transits annually through Narragansett Bay will trigger unannounced and strictly enforced prohibitions against all other boat traffic two miles ahead, one mile astern, and a thousand yards to either side of the tankers, and

WHEREAS: these prohibitions will disrupt and make less competitive the local economy which is dependent on revenue from pleasure boating, regattas, cruise ship visits, harbor tours, recreational and other marine activities in the “Sailing Capital of the US”, and the revenue from millions of people visiting Narragansett Bay communities and their innumerable attractions, and

WHEREAS: the Hess assertion that its LNG facility will create hundreds of “direct and indirect” jobs must be weighed against the possibility that an equal or greater number of fishing, boating and hospitality jobs will vanish in the wake of declining tourism, and

WHEREAS: the Hess Weaver’s Cove LNG facility will require a new 4.5-mile pipeline with new and untested cryogenic technology, including dredging for the pipeline and berthing which will disturb 73 acres of winter flounder nursery/spawning habitat and will unleash pollutants entombed in dredged sediment and also along the miles of Narragansett Bay traveled during the estimated 1,000 barge transports of contaminated sediment to a deep ocean dumping site, and

WHEREAS: a cryogenic pipeline buried in the ocean sediment is an untested approach, and super-cold liquefied natural gas (LNG) coming in contact with relatively warm water causes the volume of the LNG to expand instantly from liquid to vapor gas resulting in Rapid Phase Transition, or a physical explosion, and

WHEREAS: in the event of an accident with this unproven cryogenic pipeline, the natural gas vapors surface through the explosion’s water column and begin to look for an ignition source. Hess LNG is proposing to bury this pipeline underwater within one mile of the densely populated neighborhoods of Fall River, and

WHEREAS: the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources stated in November 2009 that “it is unclear to what extent, if any, Weaver’s Cove’s LNG supply is needed either to meet the region’s gas supply needs or to reduce fossil use in the region”, and

WHEREAS: LNG storage capacity in New England has increased 400 per cent in the past 18 months, including the capacity at a newly opened and little-used terminal in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and despite the ample supply of LNG from a New Brunswick (Canada) terminal which is also reportedly operating far below capacity, and

WHEREAS: in contrast, the United States’ national energy security will be strategically enhanced by accessing large and plentiful shale gas field in our Appalachian Basin states (the Marcellus Formation), which already have pipelines in place to New York, etc., thus precluding the need for foreign LNG transits via Narragansett and Mt. Hope Bays in New England, an area with excess and underutilized existing LNG facilities.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we, the municipalities, citizens and organizations, of Rhode Island, and of Massachusetts, collectively and respectfully request that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission deny the application of Hess LNG to build in Mt. Hope Bay a berthing facility for the delivery of LNG because the tanker transits will permanently degrade the character of Narragansett Bay while undermining the economy of the businesses already on its shores and posing major environmental and safety risks while failing to increase the energy security of the Unites States or New England.

Signature: CITIZEN

Street Address

Town, State, Zip Code

Name of City or Town

Town or City Council President’s signature

Clerk attests

Organization: Name

Organization: Officer’s signature

Email resolution to: Gray.LNGwg@gmail.com
Mail to: LNG WG, P.O. Box 208, Jamestown, RI, 02835-0208

This resolution is the research of LNG WG,
a working group composed of citizen-experts analyzing local LNG issues, Jamestown, RI,
with liaison to the Coalition for Responsible Siting of LNG, Fall River and Somerset, MA.

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