Would somebody please explain that whole LNG thing?

Okay, here’s the story. We are all familiar with it.

FREDERICTON (CP) – New Brunswick’s senior minister in the federal cabinet says Ottawa views liquefied natural gas as dangerous cargo that can be banned from transport in Canadian waters.

Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson said Friday the federal Conservative government has made it clear to U.S. companies they will not be able to bring large LNG tankers through Canadian waters off the New Brunswick coast.

“Our position is that LNG is dangerous cargo,” Thompson said during a visit to Fredericton to announce innovation funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Thompson, Conservative MP for New Brunswick Southwest, said Ottawa is prepared to fight the LNG proposals all the way to international court, if necessary.

Now, I am very sincere when I say I don’t understand the difference between a Saint John LNG plant and a Maine LNG plant. Why it is ‘completely safe’ when it was presented to Saint John and it is ‘dangerous’ when it’s Maine.

Please advise.

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0 Responses to Would somebody please explain that whole LNG thing?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh you are so CUTE! What naivete! Now, go and play and don’t ask such nasty questions as that and you can have a cookie!

    One word dude-IRVING. How can you have lived in the province so long and not get this?:)

  2. scott says:

    That’s right David. How could you be so darn naive.

    I was walking home today and I tripped awkwardly on a crack in the sidewalk. Some relatives and friends who know me, would attribute this to my spasmodic nature.

    But most others would conclude that the reason I tripped was because there were motions of “action” and “reaction”. Newton referred to the fact that when you push on something(the toe of my running shoe), it pushes back upon you equally, even if it does not move(the sidewalk). Very much like when a bowling ball pushes down on the earth, the earth pushes up on the bowling ball by the same amount. That is a good illustration of Newton’s third Law:

    For every force there is an equal and opposite force.

    Sounds like a good reason for why I fell after hitting the crack on the sidewalk.

    But wait, how naive is that!!! We all know that the reason I tripped was because the Irvings have it out for me. Yeah, that’s right…it’s the bloody Irving’s fault. Always is and always has been.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, we’re still waiting for mister genius to explain to us how Irvings ships carrying natural gas is so much different from american ships carrying it. We’ve got the blog owner, who seems a fairly intelligent guy stumped on a pretty basic question. Of course we’ll field any takers out there. Of course, we can note that such a basic question is NEVER asked in the press owned by….ooops, I better not say, I’ll sound like a ‘conspiracy theorist’.

    Gee, a giant multinational who has ties to Ottawa that gets them into the highest levels.But of course our governments would NEVER stoop to defending the interests of a multinational!

    Irving CLEARLY doesn’t like competition, or haven’t you noticed they own ALL the dailies in the province. That Irving Whale thing with all the PCB’s, that was just a fluke.

    But, nah, it CANT be that. Oh, I have it. It’s called “Irvingtium”. It’s a magical element that was invented by the Irvings and they hold the patents. You see, you sprinkle a little “Irvingtium” on ships carrying natural gas, and it forms a ‘magical barrier’ that is impervious to everything but fairie dust. This magical barrier makes their ships SUPER strong. So you see, it’s only those OTHER ships, the ones which are Irving’s competition, that are dangerous. Thank heavens for “Irvingtium”!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well! I was hoping for a good debate from the above, but no such luck. I thought I would help out ‘the other side’, just to be a good, whatever.

    First, we can note the press version-
    “Residents along the coast fear that increased shipping activity will hurt tourism and the fishing industry.”

    Note that there is no mention of safety, terrorism or health issues. But go to ‘www.savepassamaquoddy.org’ and those two press issues above are hardly mentioned. It is PRIMARILY a safety and health issues as you can see from all their links.

    That coincides with Premier Lord’s version: “”Saint John is a great location, it’s a smart location for an LNG terminal. This is not a smart location for an LNG terminal,” he said. “The concerns that are raised with the Head Harbour passage are real and significant.”

    So, the significant difference is the passage. In other words-location, not health or safety issues. What’s different about a ‘passage’, well, although Lord doesn’t say, there are all kinds of differences between Fundy Bay and Passamaquoddy Bay. So, if you WANT to give the benefit of the doubt-especially if you aren’t remotely aware of the maritime geography of Head Harbour Passage, then you can say “well, it’s because Saint John has deeper waters and fewer obstructions, etc.

    Of course Lord doesn’t say what those ‘real concerns’ are. So obviously the devil is in the details. So we can look at the owners of the terminal and see their comments:

    “I am surprised the premier would come to any conclusion without investigating the details of any proposed facilities,” said Brian Smith, Quoddy Bay project manager. “He has not requested details of our facility, including ship traffic and ship routes. I feel he has come to his conclusion based partly on misinformation, and I would welcome the opportunity to meet personally with the premier to give him factual details of our proposal.”

    Interesting. So the Premier doesn’t even have the details of the plan, yet is strongly against it.

    Here’s where it gets interesting. We can note precedence:

    “Lord recalled Canada’s strong opposition during the 1970s to a proposed $600 million oil refinery in Eastport, Maine, because of concerns about tanker traffic in Canadian territorial waters in Head Harbour Passage. That project was eventually scrapped.”

    Gosh, and WHO had built the largest refinery in Canada and is the largest oil supplier to Maine? Who has oil tankers coming into the Saint John terminal ALL the time? That’s an interesting question….I wonder….

    But there’s more. We can note that the feds are saying ‘we can’t have this..’ and all such bluster..’we’ll take them to the international court’. And why are they saying that? Well, we can pretend they are concerned with our safety (laugh), but we can note how they stayed out of the Bennett deal at the Belledune Port altogether even though Quebec was also protesting.

    We can also note that the US has a LONG history of ignoring the international court when it suits it, in fact Bush formally dismissed the international court and has taken the US out of its jurisdiction. Also, you would think that the feds, if smart, would have argued the specifics of Quoddy Bay and Head Harbour Passage. But they haven’t.

    They’ve said the federal government sees natural gas shipping as ‘dangerous cargo’. So THEY are against the whole idea, but quite obviously can’t argue it in court, because they haven’t said squat about Irvings. In other words, they know damn well they can talk tough, hell even spend taxpayers money taking it to a court the US ignores even on the remote chance it would lose.

    We can note how well organized the ‘save quoddy bay’ers’ are, and the fact that while they have all kinds of info about the far reaching effects and health problems of LNG, THEY aren’t against LNG terminals either. They state “LNG facilities belong in industrial, unpopulated areas, or offshore.”

    So its alright for the dangers to be present in marine ecosystems, rural areas, or ‘industrial areas’. Gee, that’s interesting because from their maps and graphs the health effects are pretty widespread. But its OK for Saint Johners to face them?

    Finally, yes finally, the issue is not quite closed because we can note that in the states the feds are deeply involved in an issue that at the very least recieved the democratic support of locals in a binding referendum. Now, the Coast Guard will conduct an environmental assessment for the FEIS which includes ALL issues including socio-economic, and the people from BOTH countries.

    Now, that is interesting because I don’t remember Canada’s Coast Guard OR the federal government conducting ANY environmental studies on the Saint John gas terminal.

  5. David Campbell says:

    Thank you, now that’s a thorough review of the thing. I can’t help thinking that it’s more about politics than anything else.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Some updates, because I”ve been basically researching this as I go:

    Ocean depth is not statistically different between Quoddy Bay and Saint John.

    “Business Mayor Ban LNG ships in Hub

    Mayor Thomas Menino yesterday demanded a ban of giant tanker ships bearing liquefied natural gas in Boston Harbor, saying that federal and industry officials were playing “Russian roulette” with the city’s safety”


    An environmental impact assessment WAS done on the Saint John Terminal by….oh, gee, it was done by the Irvings themselves! And they found no problems with it, boy that’s a relief!

    Oddly enough, even though environmental impact studies must be released to the public, I can’t find it anywhere online, not even at the government of New Brunswick website.