Support the LB businesses you see here:

Bixby Knolls 05 Street Fair logo
Coming Sunday June 26: Bixby Knolls Street Fair. Info, Click Here


Joe Sopo
Joe Sopo, Realtor has his pulse On LB real estate. Click for info
.
Lovelace Feb 05
Wedding Entertainment Planning Is His Specialty. Bill Lovelace Delivers Personalized, Wedding Event Services. Get Info, Click Here

Become A Hero To LB Animals With A $20 Membership. Learn About Us, Click Here.
Friends of LB Animals
Saving Lives Thru Spay/Neuter & Education

Discount
Pollman's Insurance, Full Service, Homegrown Firm Helping LB Area Homeowners & Drivers Save In 2005! Click for info.

Carter Wood Floor pic
Carter Wood Floors, a LB company, will restore your wood floor or install a new one. Enhance your home. Click pic.

Mike & Kathi Kowal
Mike & Kathi Kowal know Los Cerritos, Bixby Knolls, Cal Hts. and beyond. Click to learn more

NetKontent
NetKontent Digital Video Cutting Edge Services For The Internet, Broadcast and Multimedia. Click For Info


Ninos Ristorante: A delicious treasure in Bixby Knolls. Click here if you're hungry or for catering!
3853 Atlantic Ave.

Your E-Mail
Click here

  • Neighborhood Groups/Meetings
  • How To Recall a LB Elected Official
  • Crime Data
  • City Council Agendas
  • Port of LB Agendas
  • Planning Comm'n Agendas
  • E-Mail Your Council member
  • Council District Map
  • LB Parks, Rec & Marine
  • LB Schools
  • LB Airport Watchdog
  • Sacramento
  • Washington
  • References & Archives
  • Lost, Found & Adoptable Pets
  • LBReport.com

    News

    Sen. Feinstein Abandons Bill To Give States Concurrent LNG Authority With Feds, Offers Amendment Giving Governors Veto Over FERC, Cites Letter Received From LB Mayor O'Neill


    (June 21, 2005) -- U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has abandoned a bill she introduced last month to give state regulatory bodies concurrent authority with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in safety and siting decisionmaking regarding Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities...and is instead backing legislative language that would amend the advancing federal Energy bill to give state Governors the power to veto LNG approvals by FERC.

    A release issued by Sen. Feinstein's Washington, D.C. office calls the new language a way to "ensure that each state's Governor has the same authority to veto, approve, or attach conditions to onshore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals as they have for offshore LNG facilities."

    In the release, Sen. Feinstein says she received a letter dated May 24, 2005 from LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill -- previously reported and posted by LBReport.com -- which "explained why it is so important to her community that the State have a significant role in siting LNG facilities." Senator Feinstein quotes Mayor O'Neill's letter in part as stating:

    "LNG ships entering and exiting the Port would cause delays in normal port operations, as the security protocols require authorities to establish safety zones around the incoming ships as they move through the port ...The Port's layout would require these LNG ships to pass by many anchored ships, which significantly increases the risk of a terrorist event. Any attack at the Port of Long Beach would have devastating impacts on the local, state and national economies. A major disruption at the Port is estimated to cost the national economy over $1 billion per day."

    Senator Feinstein's release says the Gubernatorial-veto verbiage is cosponsored by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Susan Collins (R-ME), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Hilary Clinton (D-NY), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), John Kerry D-(MA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).

    Senator Feinstein's office indicates that she intends to offer the language as an amendment to the advancing federal Energy bill on the Senate floor tomorrow.

    Local reaction is pending as we post.

    LBReport.com has obtained an advance copy of the text [caveat, subject to change] which provides that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) shall not approve an application for the "siting, construction, expansion or operation of facilities located onshore or in State water for the importation of natural gas from a foreign country or the export of natural gas to a foreign country without the approval of the Governor of the state in which the facility would be located."...[I]f the Governor fails to submit to the Commission an approval not later than 45 days after the issuance of the final environmental impact statement on the proposed project, the approval shall be conclusively presumed. If the Governor notifies the Commission that an application, which would otherwise be approved under this paragraph, is inconsistent with the authority delegated to the States under federal law related to environmental protection, land and water use, public health and safety, and coastal zone management, the Commission shall condition the license granted so as to make the license consistent with the relevant programs."

    We post Senator Feinstein's statement in full as contained in her office's release:

    Given the sensitive nature of LNG facilities relating to security, I truly believe that States should have a say where these facilities should be built. LNG has an important role in our nation's energy future. But it is imperative that States be able to ensure that citizens are safe and protected from hazard.

    Let me clearly state that the problem is not whether to site these LNG terminals, but where. To give a remote federal agency control when states are concerned about the safety of residents near a proposed site is a mistake. This energy bill would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission exclusive authority over siting onshore LNG facilities. Our amendment would provide each state's Governor the same authority to veto, approve, or attach conditions to onshore LNG facilities as they have for offshore LNG facilities.

    This amendment does not require that the applicant duplicate the application process, nor does it add additional time and money to the entire application process. It simply states that Governors will have 45 days to approve, veto, or attach conditions to a project after FERC issues its final environmental impact statement.

    Increased demand for natural gas means that we need new natural gas supplies, and liquefied natural gas is one of the options available to us. I recognize the probability that at least one or perhaps more new LNG facilities will be placed either onshore or off the coast of California.

    The United States holds less than 4 percent of total world reserves, and California produces less than 15 percent of the natural gas it consumes. Additionally, California is actually located at the end of the nation's natural gas pipeline network. That is why Governor Schwarzenegger, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Energy Commission all agree that the State needs new natural gas supplies and that LNG terminals may help put downward pressure on increasing natural gas prices.

    However, we disagree on how to accomplish the goal of bringing LNG terminals online. The Chairman and Ranking Member of the Energy Committee believe that FERC should have the final say over siting LNG terminals. On the other hand, I agree with the Governors of California, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Delaware who stated in a letter dated May 25, 2005 that:

    'Based on current and previous siting controversies, there is little reason to believe that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is willing or able to address legitimate, long-standing state and local concerns with the siting of on and offshore projects. The provisions in H.R. 6 entrust FERC with 'sole authority' for the permitting of LNG and other energy facilities, and regulate state and local agencies, which currently play a strong role in the process, to after-the-fact consideration and unreasonable timelines. Without state jurisdiction there is no guarantee a project will be consistent with the homeland security or environmental requirements for a particular locality, or whether the project adequately addresses the energy demands of the respective state or region. We support legislation that would provide for concurrent state and federal jurisdiction over LNG and other energy facilities.'

    The States will be responsible for the safety of these facilities for a long time after they are sited. That is why it is so important to preserve the rights of the States to participate in the process to determine where these facilities should be located. For LNG facilities that are being sited offshore, the Governor has the right to approve or veto a project. Yet the State has less input for facilities that are located onshore, in our busy ports and near closely-packed communities. That is completely illogical to me.

    Under the pending energy bill, the Governor would have no veto authority for siting onshore LNG terminals. In other words, if the Governor of California were to decide that an LNG terminal posed too great a safety risk to the 400,000 people living close to the Port of Long Beach, the only proposed onshore project in California, then the Governor would have no authority to veto that project. But if that same project were located offshore more than three miles away from the port, the Governor would be able to veto it.

    That is why my colleagues and I are offering this amendment -- to provide States with a real veto authority if a project were to violate the State's environmental protection, land and water use, public health and safety, and coastal zone management laws.

    In this post-9/11 world, I also think we also have to look a little differently at the siting of all facilities, and especially the specific risk that LNG terminals pose. A December 2004 report by Sandia National Laboratories concluded LNG tankers could be a potential terrorist target. If the worst case scenario were to occur, a tanker could spill liquefied natural gas that, in about 30 seconds, could set off a fire that would cause second-degree burns on people nearly a mile away. That is why this amendment is so important-States must have a role in siting LNG facilities in order to protect the welfare of their citizens.

    Out of 40 proposed LNG terminals in the nation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission believes that only a dozen will actually be built. Since Governors have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of their constituents, it makes sense to me to allow the States to have a significant role in siting these facilities. If there are other options besides putting these facilities in busy ports, or near population centers, they should be sited where they pose the least danger to people, not just where they make the most economic sense.

    I visited the proposed LNG terminal at the Port of Long Beach in February. On its own the Port of Long Beach is the second largest port in the nation, but combined with the Port of Los Angeles it is the largest port in the nation and the third largest port in the world. In addition, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the largest container ports in the country, moving 40 percent of all goods imported into the country through their gates. Not only are these ports the backbone of the American economy, they are located in a densely populated area.

    In a letter to me dated May 24, 2005, the Mayor of Long Beach, Beverly O'Neill, explained why it is so important to her community that the State have a significant role in siting LNG facilities. In addition to the risk to public welfare, Mayor O'Neill stated the following:

    "LNG ships entering and exiting the Port would cause delays in normal port operations, as the security protocols require authorities to establish safety zones around the incoming ships as they move through the port ...The Port's layout would require these LNG ships to pass by many anchored ships, which significantly increases the risk of a terrorist event. Any attack at the Port of Long Beach would have devastating impacts on the local, state and national economies. A major disruption at the Port is estimated to cost the national economy over $1 billion per day."

    Having the least impact on public safety should be a major consideration for where these terminals are located. Unfortunately, FERC's primary responsibility is to ensure that these facilities make economic sense, not to ensure the public's safety.

    That is why we offer this amendment today -- to provide the Governor with a veto authority over a project that will jeopardize public safety. If a state can have input in the location of an LNG terminal more than three miles offshore, it should certainly be able to weigh in on the site of a terminal in the midst of its communities.

    This amendment will not prevent LNG facilities from being built -- it will just ensure that they are built where they pose the least risk to the public."

    As referenced in the Senator's release -- and previously reported by LBReport.com -- in May CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger co-signed a letter with the Governors of New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware and Louisiana, opposing federal LNG preemption.

    However Gov. Schwarzenegger has not stated his position on the 80+ million gallon onshore LNG facility proposed by a Mitsubishi subsidiary within the Port of LB, roughly two miles from downtown LB.

    On May 20, Sens. Feinstein and Snowe introduced S. 1090 calling for concurrent federal and state authority over LNG terminal siting. At the time, Sen. Feinstein issued a statement on her website, reciting, "Given the sensitive nature of LNG facilities relating to security, I truly believe that States should have an equal role with the Federal government in determining where these facilities should be built."

    LB City Attorney Bob Shannon has said that although the Port of LB would retain ultimate authority as landlord over whether to lease the site (part of Pier T) for use as a proposed LNG facility, the Energy bill offers the Council no guarantee it will retain appeal oversight (for sufficiency) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the LNG project.

    Lawyers for the LNG project proponent, Sound Energy Solutions (SES), dispute City Attorney Shannon's view of the bill, saying it doesn't change the Council's EIR appeal authority and even if it did, it doesn't matter because SES has publicly declared it will seek EIR approval from the Port of LB subject to Council appeal authority.

    As previously reported by LBReport.com, FERC has used SES' LB LNG application to assert exclusive jurisdiction over LNG terminal siting nationwide. That assertion is being contested by the CA Public Utilities Commission and Californians for Renewable Energy, Inc., in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

    The federal Energy bill -- which incorporates provisions sought by FERC -- would effectively trump the outcome of the litigation.

    The LB LNG facility would be located roughly two miles from downtown LB, which includes high rise residences, office buildings, a convention center and tourist attractions (including the Queen Mary and Aquarium).


    Return To Front Page

    Contact us: mail@LBReport.com

     

     


    Copyright © 2005 LBReport.com, LLC. All rights reserved. Terms of Use/Legal policy, click here. Privacy Policy, click here