Monday, August 27, 2007

Oregon LNG PR battle continues

PR fight on LNG pipelines and terminals in Oregon reported as Pipeline battle hinges on need, livability:
Proponents of LNG contend that the gas will stay here. They argue that the Northwest is home to a variety of energy-intensive industries and needs another source of gas to buffer price shocks as supplies from the Rocky Mountains and Canada become constrained. Exports of Canadian gas are expected to decline as its domestic demand heats up for use in separating oil from sands in Alberta. Meanwhile, pipelines are under construction that will carry Rockies gas to East Coast markets, where prices are higher.

“In the absence of additional supply, the Northwest will find itself in a very volatile market,” said Joe Desmond, former chairman of the California Energy Commission, who is now a vice president at NorthernStar Natural Gas, which has proposed one of the Columbia facilities, called Bradwood Landing.

In a study paid for by NorthernStar, University of Oregon business professor Phillip Romero forecast that the addition of a natural gas terminal would increase regional gas supplies by 20 percent and cause gas prices to fall 13 percent.

The economic study is part of a major public-relations offensive that the company has waged in Clatsop County, which is scheduled to rule on the project's proposed zoning changes later this summer. A Bradwood Landing office in downtown Astoria is festooned with the facility's slogan - “Good for the Economy and Good for the Columbia” - as well as a profusion of displays advertising connections to the community, including local schools, Little League teams, 4-H, the North Coast Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, even Clatsop Historical Society.

Opponents of the terminals and associated pipelines, ranging from environmental activists to concerned residents, have their own campaign. They describe the projects as tempting terrorist targets and potential environmental disasters and say the projects threaten not only safety and quality of life for residents but also the local tourist trade.

They pepper their descriptions of LNG with words such as “blast zone” and “vaporized.” And they contend that while investors have tried to put a friendly local face on their projects, they are really wildcatters from Houston and New York.
Good thing the "opponents" aren't trying to use scare tactics.

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