News in Depth/Perspective
Sounds of Silence: Read Transcript of Council Action On Proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal (MOU for discussions of future long-term gas contract and feasibility, development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of gas pipelines to proposed LNG facility & to facilitate marketing potential of LNG facility @ LB)
(May 14, 2003) -- Below is a transcript of what occurred at the May 13, 2003 meeting of the Long Beach City Council -- the legislative body of CA's fifth largest city.
City Hall staff had agendized an item seeking voted Council approval to authorize the City Manager to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Sound Energy Solutions (SES), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation. The firm seeks to build a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal and regassification facility on roughly 27 acres of land at the southern end of the eastern part of the general area where the LB Naval Shipyard once stood (Port of LB Pier T).
According to a City Hall staff report from Long Beach Energy (posted below), the MOU is for the purpose of discussions about a future long-term gas contract and the feasibility and development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of gas pipelines to the proposed LNG Facility. The MOU would also assist SES in its ability to market the potential of an LNG terminal in Southern California to potential customers and to regulatory agencies, the staff report says.
As of the May 13 proceeding, the Council had held no serious public discussion of the proposal.
By our unofficial rough estimate, the area proposed for the LNG terminal at the Port of LB is approximately two miles west & southward of LB City Hall and the "Pike at Rainbow Harbor" and slightly less than this from the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Prior to the meeting, Councilmembers were given a publicly agendized memo from LB Dept. of Energy Dir. Chris Garner, previously posted by LBReport.com. The memo stated in part:
While it is contemplated that the proposed LNG Facility and gas pipelines would not be operational until the end of 2007, SES has requested the MOU to be signed as soon as possible to assist SES in its ability to market the potential of an LNG terminal in Southern California to potential customers and to regulatory agencies.
The following is a transcript (unofficial, prepared by us) indicating what Councilmembers did.
City Clerk Herrera: Item 26, Report from Long Beach Energy regarding the Memorandum of Understanding between Long Beach Energy and Sound Energy Solutions.
[Audible off mike: Move to Authorize. Second.]
Mayor Beverly O'Neill: It's been moved and seconded, but I do think we need a few comments on this. I think Liquefied Natural Gas is of great interest, so there doesn't need to be a extensive report. Mr. City Manager, Gerry Miller.
City Manager Miller: Thank you, Madam Mayor and Councilmembers, and Mr. Chris Garner our Director of Long Beach Energy will provide that brief staff report. Thank you.
Mr. Garner: Thank you. What you have before you tonight is simply a document that we want to enter into with SES, Sound Energy Solutions which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi, that is proposing a Liquefied Natural Gas terminal down in the Port of Long Beach. And what we're looking at doing is negotiating a gas supply deal, long term, somewhere along the line of 20, 30, 40 years with Sound Energy Solutions. And the other component would be the pipeline that would connect the terminal to our pipeline system and to the Southern California Gas Co. pipeline system. Thank you.
Mayor O'Neill: Are there any comments on this?
Mayor O'Neill: This agreement is a good agreement.
Mayor O'Neill: Thank you very much. Please record your vote on item, what were we on, 26.
Clerk: Motion carries unanimously. [9-0, Yes: Lowenthal, Baker, Colonna, Carroll, Kell, Richardson, Reyes-Uranga, Webb, Lerch].
Total elapsed time between Clerk announcing item and motion and second: 1.8 seconds.
Total elapsed time between Clerk announcing item and Council vote: 1 minute, 27 seconds.
The Council action pertained to the MOU and did not grant any permit(s) for the project. As previously reported by LBReport.com, a Port of LB staff memo accompanying a separate May 12 item before the Board of Harbor Commissioners indicates in part, "We anticipate an extended permitting and approval process conducted by FERC [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] in additional [sic] to permitting and approvals required by PoLB [Port of LB] and other governmental agencies."
Proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal Advances at Port...And City Mgt. Seeks First Council Vote