An energy company was dealt a serious blow to its efforts to build a floating liquefied natural gas terminal off the Southern California coast when a state panel refused to grant a lease for pipelines essential to the project.Environmental and terrorism fears are most often cited by the opponents of the LNG plant.
Under the $800 million 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 to 15 percent of California's daily consumption, bringing more reliability to the state's energy sources, and could ultimately lower prices. The company has said it hopes to get some of its gas supplies from an offshore gas field in Australia it operates with Exxon Mobil Corp.
The plan called for sub-sea lines, which would be laid about 100 feet apart, to be about 23 miles long but only cross about 4 1/2 miles of California land before reaching Ormond Beach in Ventura County.
Without the sub-sea pipelines, the terminal would essentially be inoperable.
I prefer the term "neo-Luddite NIMBYs" to describe the opponents, to whom either the alleged environmental issues and threat of terrorism were not serious threats.