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    LB Anti-LNG Activists Hold Press Event @ Port of LB, One of Multiple Stops Along CA Coast

    Anti-LNG rally, PoLB 2/16/05(February 17, 2005) -- Activists opposed to siting a proposed 80 million gallon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal within the Port of LB held a Feb. 16 press event at the Port's HQ. posts extended excerpts of salient speakers' remarks below.

    Anti-LNG rally, PoLB 2/16/05Ratepayers for Affordable Clean Energy (RACE), a coalition that includes LB Citizens for Utility Reform, held the LB event as one of several along the coast which disputed claims that new west coast LNG facilities are needed, whether onshore (as in LB) or offshore (as proposed off Ventura-Oxnard and Baja).

    Previous events were held in San Diego and in Ensenada...and on Feb. 17, events were scheduled in Ventura-Oxnard and Santa Monica (the latter, a panel discussion).

    Anti-LNG rally, PoLB 2/16/05Rory Cox (Pacific Environment):...Despite all logic, LNG is being favored over clean energy and over efficiency...Don't believe it when you hear that renewable energy isn't ready and the LNG is a necessary bridge to the day when it is. Even in the face of great odds, our renewable industry has been developing more and more innovative ways to bring renewable energy down in price and to make it more efficient.

    It's ready to go but it's going to take political leadership to make it happen. And it's going to need get subsidized the same way the fossil fuel industry is subsidized now...

    ...With this [CA policy] decision to import more LNG, the state can make the wrong decision, which is to continue business as usual with more fossil fuels, more fossil fuel dependence, more greenhouse gases and more impacts thousands of miles away from here, or we can go with clean energy which will clear the air, create jobs, can create seven times the number of jobs that the gas industry can...

    So we have a choice in this state, and the right choice comes from the wind and sun and other renewable sources. The wrong choice comes from these gas fields thousands of miles away from here...
    Anti-LNG rally, PoLB 2/16/05Bill Powers (Border Power Plant Working Group): ...The real revolution in vehicle emission reduction is coming next year, and that's the introduction of ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel throughout California, June 2006. The following year it's a federal requirement, all diesels sold in the nation will be ultra low sulfur diesel. Once you do that, you can add a relatively inexpensive control system on trucks to tremendously reduce diesel particulate emissions. Once that is done, the potential to reduce diesel emissions, especially in the 710 corridor, will be much greater than simply converting new vehicles, port carriers, to LNG vehicles as a solution...

    ...What's going to happen in 2007 as well is that there's going to be parity between emission standards for diesel vehicles and new LNG vehicles. The only vehicles being proposed to use LNG in these projects are new vehicles. There will be no difference in the emissions from new heavy duty vehicles and the LNG vehicles. The whole debate about LNG being used to clean the air quality in the [LA] basin is a misrepresentation. It is not going to make a significant difference.

    ...The companies are saying, and the state is saying, we need LNG because we're running out of gas. We get LNG it's going to drop the price of gas. The reality is that our demand for natural gas in CA has dropped about 10% over the last couple of years. It's static now and it's really in our control with this Energy Action Plan whether we continue to drive it down or we allow it just ease up over time because we start using more and more natural gas for things that we can replace with efficiency and renewables...

    ...At essentially every level of state government that has some function in whether or not we get LNG is very actively supporting this. Governor Schwarzenegger's cabinet members are actively supporting this. The commissions that really determine whether the rules are realigned to allow LNG to come in are very actively supporting this...

    We are left with the public, getting out and saying this situation is something that we just have to take hold that we get the future that most of us have in our mind is energy efficiency, renewables, drive fossil fuels down, that's what the state is committed to, we can do it, but we have to make a lot of noise...

    Anti-LNG rally, PoLB 2/16/05Bry Myown (LB Citizens for Utility Reform): ...I've been asked to talk about our safety today, and I can tell you about Long Beach's safety regarding this project in two words: it sucks.

    The proposed site is probably the most dangerous place in the country you could put an LNG terminal. It's on manmade landfill that's sunk 27 feet and split into manmade fault blocks no wider than the site from drilling oil out of it. And you know how we take care of that today? It's held up by pumping in millions of gallons of pressurized water to keep it floating.

    It's right in the middle between the Palos Verdes and Newport-Inglewood earthquake faults. It's in a flood zone in a liquefaction area...and 27 earthquake faults and two offshore tsunami faults within a 100 miles...and it's surrounded by the busiest maritime traffic in the nation...

    ...Safety studies would like you to believe that if you're within a mile and half away, you're fine. Let me start by saying our 25,000 employees who work in these ports: there's not open water in this port that LNG can spill on. There's narrow channels that tunnel right downtown where we'll have 20,000 residents by the time this is built and where we have 25,000 daytime employees trapped in high rises.

    What's the buffer zone that protects them from this site? Nine petroleum terminals and all of their liquid bulk storage.

    Does the nation care about our safety? I don't think so, so let's talk about economics. Our ports move half the nation's container cargo...the GDP contribution is a trillion dollars annually, they want to triple that in 15 years...If anything closes down these ports, we lose 288,000 jobs that are directly trade related in Los Angeles County alone. We shut down the nation.

    What does that make us? Well it makes us a target, because the bridges to the freeways, the rail loading facilities are all within less than two miles of this project, and what's their buffer zone? Liquid bulk petroleum...

    ...Do we need this? No. We're standing right now on what was once the biggest oil and gas field in the nation, and Long Beach believes there's an even bigger oil and gas field at 14,000 feet underneath it. It's already permitted for drilling, we're already drilling, and our city chose to get in bed with Mitsubishi instead of exploring it.

    Our local activists have a PV [photo voltaic] solar manufacturer that wants to locate in this city. That would employ the unions that will build this facility for years to come and it would give us all cheap, clean electricity.

    ...Is safety the only issue? Of course not. It grabs our attention because unless you're the Long Beach City Council, most of us have a self-preservation instinct. It's what might buy us a little bit a time in Congress because other people care about safety.

    But we have no intention of being pitted against each other, and going up and down the coast and saying, 'oh it should go here,' or 'it should go there.' We don't need it or want it anywhere in California...

    Congress is making this into a red and blue states issue but we have the support of coastal Republicans. We've got Massachusetts, we've got Maine, we've got Alabama, we've got Washington, we've got Oregon. The only thing we don't have is anybody standing up for California's 840 miles of coastline.

    And the reason we don't have that is because they think Long Beach wants this. So we need your help.

    Kick Long Beach out of the way. Take this to Dianne Feinstein. Take this to Barbara Boxer and take it to Arnold Schwarzenegger and tell him: stop being the girlie man for the oil and gas industry. [applause]

    Anti-LNG rally, PoLB 2/16/05Bob Hattoy:...I wasn't supposed to be talking, but Diana Mann (LB ECO-link) asked me to do it, and when she asks, I say yes.

    ...I used to run the Sierra Club in this region. I've worked on environmental issues for over 25 years on coastal activities, and I'm currently serving as a member of the CA Fish & Game Commission but we don't have any authority over this, otherwise I'd be urging a "no" vote on LNG, especially here in Long Beach.

    The problem I think is that the LNG companies see the CA coast sort of as the new gold rush. They're kind of poised out there like hungry dogs on the regulatory leash, ready to be unleashed if they're allowed to, from Baja all the way up to Oxnard. There's seven different proposals right now that I know of for LNG facilities.

    We don't need that. It's ridiculous...

    We can and will stop this Mitsubishi project. The Port of Long Beach isn't just the headquarters for the industry that's here, it's also the regulatory agency that needs to represent the people of Long Beach and the people of southern California.

    ...I think staying together, working hard, organizing and realizing that this is part of a bigger picture is going to go a long way to stop Mitsubishi here in Long Beach.

    Other speakers included John Rumbiak, a West Papua human rights activist; Atossa Soltani of Amazon Watch; and Aaron Quintanar of Wildcoast.

    Among the signs, buttons seen:

    Anti-LNG rally, PoLB 2/16/05Anti-LNG rally, PoLB 2/16/05 maintains a link on our front page to a compilation of our LNG coverage. To view it, click here.

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