Darryl Malek-Wiley

Associate Representative

Grassroots Organizer

Environmental Justice

225-925-8650 Baton Rouge (Mon-Tue)

504-865-8708 New Orleans (Wed-Fri)

504-427-1885 Cell

darryl.malek-wiley@sierraclub.org

 

Back to the Delta Chapter Sierra Club.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 23, 2005

MEDIA CONTACT: 

Briana Kerstein, Gulf Restoration Network 504-525-1528 ext. 208

Charlie Smith, Louisiana Charter Boat Association 504-481-1492

Walter Williams, 559-542-3306

 

 

Louisiana Legislature Passes Resolution Supporting Blanco’s Opposition to Open-loop

Mr. Bill Says “SHELL NOOO!!!”

 

Today the Louisiana legislature passed a resolution, SCR 117, calling on Congress to give states more control over LNG siting and the technology used.  The resolution, sponsored by Senator Walter Boasso (R-Dist. 1, Chalmette), also asks Congress to assist coastal states as more comprehensive planning and analysis is needed in the current federal and state process for siting and approving LNG facilities which use new technologies. 

 

“This is the first resolution of its kind to come from any state legislature,” explains Briana Kerstein of the Gulf Restoration Network.  “One open-loop LNG facility alone will be sterilizing 150 million gallons of gulf water per day, killings billions of fish eggs and larvae.  It is important that we have local control to stop the harm to our fisheries and our local economies.” 

 

“Our Governor, state agencies and now our state legislature have all expressed concern over the impacts from open-loop LNG,” explains Charlie Smith of the Louisiana Charter Boat Association, who helped lead the effort to pass SCR 117.  “Oil and gas companies need to know that Louisiana is open to business, but we’re not open to exploitation.  We won’t allow fisheries in the Gulf to be sacrificed for corporate profits.”

 

Mike Lane, editor of RodnReel.com, has also worked to gain support for SCR 117.  “The thousands of readers of RodnReel.com thank the Louisiana legislature for standing with the Governor to protect our state and our fisheries from the harmful open-loop terminals.”

 

Now that Governor Blanco has indicated her opposition to anymore open-loop LNG terminals in the Gulf of Mexico, attention is being focused on Shell Oil.  The U.S. Maritime Administration has already granted a final permit to begin construction of Shell’s Gulf Landing LNG facility, one of eight open-loop facilities that have been proposed.  Sierra Club, Gulf Restoration Network, and Louisiana Charter Boat Association are asking the federal court to overturn the permit.

 

Mr. Bill Says “SHELL NOOO!!!”

 

“Mr. Bill,” the original Saturday Night Live pop icon turned environmental advocate, has joined the ranks of the Gumbo Alliance, a network of environmental groups, commercial and recreational fishermen and concerned citizens opposed to the construction of open-loop terminals in the Gulf.  

 

Members of the Gumbo Alliance oppose “open-loop” LNG terminals because of the harmful effects they will have in Gulf waters.  One open-loop terminal alone will use between 130-200 million gallons of Gulf water daily, running it over radiator-like coils, destroying fish eggs, larvae, plankton, shrimp, crustaceans and any other organisms contained in the water.  The systems then discharge super-cooled, chlorinated water into the environment, further disrupting fragile marine ecosystems. 

 

Alternatively, a closed-loop system has minimal environmental impact, but would require between 1.3 and 2% of the imported natural gas to warm and recirculate a minimal amount of water.  Open-loop systems have been approved and proposed exclusively in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Members of the Gumbo Alliance express outrage that one of the top four grossing oil companies in the world rejects the safer alternative as being “not economically viable.”  They question why Shell is being allowed to jeopardize Louisiana’s number one industry, seafood, in order to cut costs, pointing out that the cost of the closed-loop system in no way compares to the profits Shell stands to reap from LNG. 

 

Mr. Bill’s creator Walter Williams states “Shell’s profit-driven agenda has nothing to do with Louisiana’s best interest.  Similarly, the canals that Shell and other oil companies cut through Louisiana’s wetlands, are the major culprits of their destruction.  If Shell would invest their money in safer energy alternatives, rather than publicity stunts aimed at pretending they care about Louisiana, then the public might have a better impression of them.”  

 

 

Gulf Governor Opposition to Open-Loop LNG Builds

 

Alabama and Mississippi’s governors have joined Governor Blanco of Louisiana in opposing any more open-loop LNG terminals in the Gulf of Mexico.  In his June 16, 2005 letter to the U.S. Coast Guard, Governor Riley of Alabama stated that “I cannot support the development of terminals using the open-loop system unless there is proof of negligible impacts on the marine fisheries and marine habitat.”  Under the Deep Water Ports Act, Governors are granted a veto power over offshore LNG facilities.

 

In Mobile, Alabama recreational and commercial fishermen, seafood industry representatives and civic, economic and environmental organizations have announced the formation of the Gulf Fisheries Alliance.  This coalition joins the Gumbo Alliance in opposing open-loop LNG terminals.  ConocoPhillips’ has proposed to build their Compass Port open-loop LNG terminal 11 miles south of Dauphin Island, AL.  Also, TORP technology recently announced their plans for an open-loop terminal 50 miles off the Alabama coast.

 

Yesterday, Senator Feinstein (D-CA) introduced an amendment to the energy bill which would have given state’s veto power over onshore LNG facilities proposed in their state.  While the amendment failed, Gulf Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA), David Vitter (R-LA), and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) voted in support of the amendment.  Governors and state agencies across the country believe states should have a greater say because of concerns about possible tanker spills and terrorism.

 

The Gulf Restoration Network is a diverse network of individuals and local, regional and national groups committed to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the resources of the Gulf region for future generations.  Founded in 1994, we have members in each of the five Gulf states.

 

###

 

 

 

 

___________________

Briana Kerstein

Outreach Coordinator

Gulf Restoration Network

 

P.O. Box 2245

New Orleans, LA  70176

504-525-1528 x208

www.healthygulf.org

 

Back to the Delta Chapter Sierra Club.