(June 25, 2005) -- During a recent press event held to promote energy conservation, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger found himself facing questions from reporters about proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) sites in CA, including the proposed Port of LB location.
We thank KPCC (89.3 FM) and reporter Rachel Myrow for graciously providing us with an audio file of the Q & A (she attended the event and we didn't), allowing us to provide a transcript of what the Governor actually said regarding LNG in CA and LB.
During the June 23 press event at the Alhambra HQ of the Independent System Operator, Governor Schwarzenegger urged CA residents to conserve energy (turn off lights, set air conditioner thermostats to 78 degrees, etc.), then invited reporters' questions. We post portions of the Q & A below that dealt with LNG, a subject the Governor first brought up in response to another question...which then prompted more:
Q:: [off podium mike, audibility difficult] Governor, yesterday President Bush suggested that nuclear power is the safest and cleanest form of energy for power generation. How do you feel about that for California, in which we haven't had a nuclear power plant sited in a long time?
GOVERNOR: Well, I think that Californians are not as inclined about that philosophy. I think that we should, you know, have LNG, we should build a terminal, we should get liquid natural gas so we have enough fuel to power our energy plants. I think we should build more energy plants, I think that it is very important.
What we are talking about here today is to conserve energy...
Q:: [audibility very difficult, partial transcript]...LNG proposals, two off the Ventura coast and one off Long Beach. Are you in support of these terminals and...your position...[on] the Long Beach terminal...?
GOVERNOR: Well, again, we are studying all this right now. I think the key thing is public safety on all of this. And I think that we have established -- I think that the one, for instance, Oxnard, where you'd build it out approximately 11, 12 miles off the shore, could be probably the most safest one for California.
Q: [follow-up, audibility very difficult]...you support the Long Beach proposal?
GOVERNOR: Well, like I said, we are looking at all of those various different ideas, and to see which one will be the best, and the safest, and the most cost efficient, and all of those kinds of things. So we are looking at all of that. But in principle I'm for LNG, that we have our own terminal in California.
Q: [audibility partially difficult]...on locating LNG terminals. If they [the federal government] try to force one in California, would you oppose that?
GOVERNOR: Well, we are still going to work on that, because I think it should be up to the Governor to decide where we are going to put that site for LNG, and I think it should be up to the people of California rather than the federal government. So we are still continuing on fighting that, and to make sure that we have the right to make those decisions.
Q: Governor, I know you said that you're studying the issue of LNG, but you did say that Oxnard would probably be the most safe. Does that indicate in your preliminary studies that Long Beach might be dangerous, not the proper place to site it?
GOVERNOR: No. It's just my personal preference is Oxnard. But like I said, after we have studied all this and see the pros and cons, I think we will be able to make a better decision on that.
Q:: There are some environmentalists who argue that California can just conserve its way out of the need for anymore liquefied natural gas. What are your thoughts on that?
GOVERNOR: I think that we need it, and conservation -- as I am a pro-environment person and try to protect the environment obviously, and keep our state clean and make it even cleaner as it is -- but I think we still need LNG as time goes on, because we are really running short on fuel for all those power plants.