Sunday, August 30, 2015

Community Groups Uniting in Opposition to LNG Plants at Port of Brownsville

Liquefied Natural Gas Plant in Nigeria
for LNG Sales to Japan
While it may be too little and too late, several community groups in Cameron County have declared their opposition to the five proposed Liquefied Natural Gas plants to extend from the Port of Brownsville to near the city limits of Port Isabel.

Here are a few comments submitted to this blog:

Laguna Vista called a special meeting and is voting this Tuesday on a resolution to oppose the LNG terminals. They will be downwind from these monster pollution producers. The City of South Padre Island is voting this coming Wednesday on a resolution to oppose the LNG terminals. It would be great if all three cities vote to oppose the LNG terminals, that would prove that the LNG companies do not have community support like they claim they do.

Also, this comment:

On 08-25-2014, the Port Isabel City Commission voted to oppose LNG. David Robledo videotaped the meeting [see it on our saveRGVfromLNG Facebook page]. Also, on 08-26-2016, the South Padre Island Business Owners Association voted to oppose LNG. the board of directors of SPI Business Owners Association, after polling its membership, voted to issue a resolution and send a letter voicing their opposition to the LNG plants being planned for the Brownsville Ship Channel [as reported on our saveRGVfromLNG Facebook page]. And don't forget that > On 08-07-2015 the Laguna Madre Water District voted against LNG! > On 08-17-2015 a Laguna Vista City Council member wrote a letter to FERC opposing Texas LNG! [ http://elibrary.ferc.gov/IDMWS/common/OpenNat.asp?fileID=13967026] > Around 08-17-2015 the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge was approved money for land and conservation easements in and around the refuge! > On 08-18-2015 the South Padre Island Economic Development Corporation

Also:

Director has told us not to say anything about this in regards to the LNG plants. - Emits carbon dioxide when burned - Contains 80-95% methane, a potent greenhouse gas - Explosive, potentially dangerous - Concentrated sources require long distance transmission and transportation - Energy penalties at every stage of production and distribution - Requires extensive pipelines to transport over land - Stored and distributed under high pressure - Requires turbine-generators to produce electricity - Liquefied form (LNG) used to transport over water, in tanker ships is potentially very dangerous - Energy use competes with use for chemicals and fertilizers

Despite these efforts, those knowledgeable within the city tell me the plants are a done deal with agreements being signed a year ago. Much of the impetus for the secretive deal to fund the Tenaska power plants comes from the huge power needs of the LNG plants which will compress natural gas to a liquid for much cheaper export.  The expected huge profits may be very short term as the prioritized customers, Russia and China, are in the process of building their own LNG plants.

Here is a pertinent comment just added by KBRO:

You're sources within the city of Brownsville are lying to you again Jim but it is a very, very close race to beat the Sept 4th deadline with enough petition sigs and messages for FERC to make our voices heard. Other municipalities are finally falling into line after the Port Isabel meet shocked civic leaders. There's no need to appeal to Brownsville city government at this time so in that respect you are correct: It is too late. Brownsville and the Port are to blame for inviting these low-life energy companies here. If the big dogs like Exxon or Mobil were here maybe we would not stand a chance. Natural gas is not in demand as much in Asia anymore. There is a surplus already produced. Many of these export terminals being proposed will not be built if investors shy way from this very speculative market. If you talk to port officials they'll tell you this is the energy of the future and we are sitting on a huge supply of it to make us a global energy power. That is simply not the case. The jobs they say they will bring are temporary construction jobs. Our port can do better to bring industry or jobs that are permanent and for our local citizens or we can do without until they do.

10 comments:

  1. The LNG companies have agreements to lease at the port. Those are only valid if they get the required federal permits. It is not a done deal.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're sources within the city of Brownsville are lying to you again Jim but it is a very, very close race to beat the Sept 4th deadline with enough petition sigs and messages for FERC to make our voices heard. Other municipalities are finally falling into line after the Port Isabel meet shocked civic leaders. There's no need to appeal to Brownsville city government at this time so in that respect you are correct: It is too late. Brownsville and the Port are to blame for inviting these low-life energy companies here. If the big dogs like Exxon or Mobil were here maybe we would not stand a chance. Natural gas is not in demand as much in Asia anymore. There is a surplus already produced. Many of these export terminals being proposed will not be built if investors shy way from this very speculative market. If you talk to port officials they'll tell you this is the energy of the future and we are sitting on a huge supply of it to make us a global energy power. That is simply not the case. The jobs they say they will bring are temporary construction jobs. Our port can do better to bring industry or jobs that are permanent and for our local citizens or we can do without until they do.

    ReplyDelete
  3. not a done deal, only options to lease if they get approved. someone needs to get to the why. I'll bet you LNGs are dropping a bunch of money to get this through.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Not at all a done deal! The only thing that the LNG companies signed a year ago is an _option_ to lease with the Port of Brownsville. Right now they are starting on the 2+ year environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act. As a part of this process the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is accepting scoping comments in order to determine the environmental and economic issues that they need to look at in their review. The comment period ends Sept 4. Then they will prepare an environmental impact statement, which takes more than a year. Then a draft is issued. Then the public comments on it. Then these comments are considered and a Final Environmental Impact Statement is issued which relays FERC's finding. If FERC issues a permit 2 or more years from now, then the companies will make a final investment decision, which is when they actually decide whether to move forward. They will only do this if they have contracts and investors. If the price of gas is still low, and there's still a glut in the global LNG market like there right now, then they won't move forward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What we need to do in the meantime is to get rid of those people at the Port of Brownsville for either stupidity, incompetence or malfeasance. They tried to sneak these LNG polluting plants through the public by calling them something bland like a "terminal" or an "exporting facility" and hiding the ugly details, like how they have to release tons of chemical dust in order to liquefy the gas that's being "piped in" (via a 150 mile pipe to be paid for by PUB taxpayers) from Alice, Texas. Brownsville taxpayers, supposedly among the poorest in the nation, are getting screwed by a handful of patronage politicians (Oliveira, Lucio, Vela) and pioneer hybrids like Hilts, Cowen and Reed who love those fact-finding trips to Colombia, Panama, China, New York, London, Rio etc. They were doing fine as long as they did nothing, but now they're behaving like crack heads after they've sacked grandma's home of all her possessions and the only thing of value left on her are her gold fillings and they're wondering how to get at them without her noticing.

      Delete
  5. The free market will take care of these guys. There will be no liquid gas market for them (see below) as the price for natural gas will remain low for decades. They cannot compete. Also, they have "invested" almost nothing other than "options" to lease, a joke.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34102656

    ReplyDelete
  6. Whatever happens, keep in mind that the process would never have gotten even this far but for our friends on the navigation district board. They are elected and will run again for their current board positions or other elected positions. One is already running for another office. These are people who have not acted in the best interest of the county. They have shown us that they are short-sighted and not worthy of support or re-election. Of course, port administrative staff will eventually be in a position to report to whoever makes up the board in the future that they have brought new business to the port and they will expect to be rewarded with pay increases or bonuses or both. What will be the eventual pay-off for navigation district board members? Let your imagination run wild. If these plants are constructed and the city or county waives a single dollar in taxes, fees or any other costs there should be a loud and adamant reaction from the community. Remember, these are not charities. They are multi-million dollar corporations and they are doing what they are doing to make money. They don't care about you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Here's the link to a 7 min podcast discussion on down trend for natural gas. This is why they are desperately trying to get approval quickly so they can get investment dollars. Thanks for posting Jim. http://www.hardassetsinvestor.com/media/Hard_Assets_Investor_04132015.mp3

    ReplyDelete
  8. These plants should not be built in populated areas. Who would be there to help if there was an accident. Surely the people would suffer while everyone was making up their mind whose problem it was. The day to day contamination of the air would also be a problem for people with health concerns. Even though they say it is safe can we really be sure. I am against this plant being built in this community. We do not need this unsightly plant and the problems it will surely bring to all.

    ReplyDelete

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