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Monday, April 10, 2006 5:17 PM ET
CLF warns against ad hoc approach to LNG terminal siting in Northeast
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Decisions to site LNG import terminals in the U.S. Northeast must be based on a regionwide evaluation of the potential merits and environmental effects of adding one or more additional facilities to the region's energy infrastructure, a staff attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation told FERC.

To date, all proposed LNG project sites in the region have been advanced on a community-by-community basis and are not based on a coherent strategy for evaluating the overall need for additional LNG import capacity in the region or on rigorously defined criteria for identifying the best potential terminal location, CLF Senior Attorney Roger Fleming said at a recent public meeting in Robbinston, Maine, convened by FERC.

"This ad hoc approach has not been efficient or effective and does not provide an adequate basis for decision-making about individual proposals," Fleming said.

FERC organized the March 28 public meeting to discuss the proposed Downeast LNG Project in Robbinston. The project, backed by New York-based Kestrel Energy Partners LLC, would be located near the point at which the St. Croix River meets Passamaquoddy Bay.

In his remarks, Fleming emphasized that an energy supply-and-demand needs assessment should be conducted for the region. "It is essential that this assessment be based on a balanced approach that looks to increased efficiency and demand-side management of gas and electricity and augmentation of existing pipeline and distribution capacity in addition to other supply-side answers like augmenting LNG import facilities," he explained.

FERC should work with other federal agencies, Fleming said, to prepare a regional programmatic environmental impact statement for all of the proposed facilities in the Northeast. "The failure to undertake such a review is among the reasons the Fall River LNG project is currently facing legal challenge," he argued. (PF06-13).


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