Below we noted the rampant NIMBYism that threatens to cripple U.S. energy supplies — and the manufacturing economy– by rejecting Liquified Natural Gas projects. California is particularly shortsighted, as witness the State Lands Commission and California Coastal Commission’s recent votes against an Australian company’s $800 million liquefied natural gas terminal proposed off the coast near Oxnard.
Thankfully, at least some Californians realize you can’t keep saying no to energy supplies and expect basic things, like jobs. Monday’s Sacramento Bee has an editorial well worth reading in its entirety, but the final paragraph makes the essential point:
Let’s review reality: California is on borrowed time. It is importing roughly a quarter of its electricity from states such as Arizona and Washington that will need more power for their growing populations. California will either have to produce a lot more electricity or reduce demand, likely both. If the concern is air pollution, the worst thing for the air would be to say No to LNG plants here, and let Mexico and Oregon build them. (That would just increase transportation and pollution problems.) The environment doesn’t win by exporting the problem to a neighbor. Saying Yes to LNG — as a necessary part of an overall energy strategy that maintains California as a leader against climate change — would be a saner course than saying No and somehow feeling good about it.
Oregon? Really? As a former Oregonian, we have our doubts that the political will exists there either to buck the environmental fear-mongering and utopian wishing. Mexico, on the other hand…
“I think California is a very viable market,” Federal Industry and Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane told reporters at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association conference in Adelaide yesterday.
“The opportunities are there still to export gas.” But he said it might be more realistic to build terminals offshore from Mexico and pipe the gas north to California. US company Sempra LNG is already building such a project.
The law of unintended consequences surfaces again. Environmentalists so intent of preventing any change, eliminating any risk, are effectively pushing projects to a country with less regulatory and environment oversight.
UPDATE (9:45 a.m.) Hope springs.
By learning from other energy companies’ mistakes, Esperanza [Esperanza Energy of San Antonio] is hoping to avoid the security and environmental pitfalls that ultimately doomed other sites.
The Port Esperanza project, as it’s called, attempts to bypass three primary concerns people seem to have with LNG terminals – air pollution, security and aesthetics.
More than two years in development, the proposed Esperanza site would sit near existing oil platforms about 15 miles from Long Beach. The terminal would be no larger than half the size of the petroleum platforms.
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