Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Add Congressman Lynch to the Cause

In today's Boston Globe, U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch writes an opinion piece calling for, well, LNG solutions for the region.

Lynch notes the region's economy will be hurt over the long term if energy solutions are not found. He particularly notes the need for additional LNG capacity.

Lynch lives in South Boston, and his constitutents see the LNG tankers coming into the harbor on a regular basis. In his op-ed today, Lynch demands future LNG projects be placed in low-population areas. He particularly points to the proposed Fall River proposal as a bad one. The one project Lynch supports in his piece is the proposed terminal on Outer Brewster Island. That project, on the outskirts of the harbor, is generally considered not to hold any safety concerns.

So in the last month, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, House Speaker Sal DiMasi, and now Lynch have all made stands against LNG tankers in Boston Harbor. We're encouraged to see all levels of government now actively engaged on the issue, and we're hopeful they can all work together to get the tankers out of Boston Harbor.


At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congressman Lynch speaks of seasonal LNG storage as though it is a new idea. It's not. That's what the Dorchester tank does. That's what Distrigas used to do before it started importing foreign LNG. Peak shaving facilities are the logical way of dampening out the demand spikes to better match the supply capabilities of the nation's natural gas grid. Most of the time, the pipelines bringing gas into Massachusetts are well below capacity. By liquefying the gas during the low demand periods and storing it in-region, our winter price spikes can be reduced. That does not mean that these facilities can be carelessly sited. Any massive storage of LNG has its attendant risks. Fortunately, they do not need to be near populations and can be economically sited near gas pipeline routes in rural areas.

However, by comparison LNG tankers are especially vulnerable due to their construction and their exposure to so many forms of terrorist attack, not to mention normal marine accidents. In addition, they represent further dependence on foreign energy sources, something most would see as contrary to a rational energy policy. The Everett terminal is a dinosaur and the time has come for its extinction.

At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rep. Lynch, a recipient of campaign contributions from "NStar Advocates for a Better Congress" (what is that?), provides no insight into the LNG terminal problem. His path, to pit people already plagued by LNG delivery risks against people who advocate comprehensive siting decisions, is in the well-worn tradition of dividing the public and diverting its attention from its own best interest. In this case, right now our dependence on LNG is relatively small in terms of our overall energy consumption. LNG importers would like it to become much larger, but they can't easily do that without a place to unload their tankers and store the gas until it goes into the pipeline system for distribution. If we give them that access, will it mean lower energy costs? No. Their entire business model assumes we will pay at least as much or more. While they are working to insure supply, they also do everything they can to promote demand. In this light, why isn't Lynch taking a different path or paths - demanding energy conservation and development of alternative energy sources that help relieve our dependence on foreign-sourced fossil fuels?

At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynch also is a regular recipient of campaign contributions from the president of the Brennan Group, the main lobbyist for AES on House Bill 4500. Check it out at We're supposed to believe that there isn't any connection between these contributions and the congressman's position on the issues. What do you think?

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