LNG plan receives setback

first_imgThat has been disputed by environmentalists who say there is no guarantee the project would do either because the gas could also be sold to other states. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has veto power over the project, but cannot overturn the commission’s decision about the pipeline lease. He has not made a decision on what he’d do should the project move forward. “It would be inappropriate for me to take a position on any application before the review process is complete, but I do believe that liquefied natural gas should be a part of California’s energy portfolio,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement Monday. Opponents have argued the terminal would not meet clean air requirements and could be a terrorist target. A host of celebrities who live in Malibu, including Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry, have protested the proposal. Commission Chairman John Garamendi, who is also the lieutenant governor, said he voted against awarding the lease permit because “serious questions remain about the project’s safety and its potential impact on the environment.” “In today’s world there are many compelling reasons to support the acquisition of numerous and plentiful energy sources for California. … However, no project should be built at the expense of our environment and our quality of life, and no project that is vague on critical safety issues should be approved,” Garamendi said in a statement. The 30-year lease considered by the three-member State Lands Commission would have granted BHP the right to build, operate, use and maintain the pipelines. The plan called for subsea lines, which would be laid about 100 feet apart, to be about 23 miles long but only cross about 4 miles of California land before reaching Ormond Beach in Ventura County. Without the subsea pipelines, the terminal would essentially be inoperable. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We’re ecstatic,” said Susan Jordan, director of the California Coastal Protection Network, which provided the shirts and helped organize the opponents. “This effectively kills it.” Patrick Cassidy, a BHP spokesman said the company was disappointed, “but we remain committed to the process.” He said he didn’t know BHP’s next move, including whether the company would file any legal action. “We’ll have to consider what the options would be.” Under the project, chilled gas brought overseas by tanker would be heated, then piped ashore through two 24-inch diameter lines. From there, Southern California Gas Co. would pump it out to consumers. In all, the facility would process about 800 million cubic feet of natural gas every day. BHP officials have said the terminal would supply an amount equal to 10 percent to 15 percent of California’s daily consumption, bringing more reliability to the state’s energy sources and could ultimately lower prices. OXNARD – The State Lands Commission decided late Monday not to award a lease essential to a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal off the Southern California coast, citing environmental concerns. In the 2-1 vote, commissioners complicated efforts by Australia’s BHP Billiton LNG International Inc. to build an $800 million terminal in the ocean northwest of Los Angeles, about 14 miles off Malibu and about 20 miles off Oxnard. BHP officials have said the facility would provide a reliable source of low-polluting energy. “I … don’t believe this project is going to be in the best interests of the state or its residents,” said Commissioner John Chiang, who is also the state controller. The decision was met with loud cheers by the estimated 900 people who packed the auditorium for Monday’s commission hearing. Many were opponents who wore blue shirts emblazoned with the words “Terminate the Terminal.” last_img

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