Safe Energy Victory For The Gulf
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals pose a developing threat to marine life in the Gulf. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco and Alabama Governor Bob Riley have opposed the potentially dangerous open-loop process. Their opposition set the stage for Shell Gas and Power to abandon its plans for Gulf Landing, a terminal off Cameron, Louisiana, opposed by fishing and conservation interests.
Oil and gas corporations import natural gas in a super-chilled, liquefied form, warm it to return it to gas form, and then deliver it to the Gulf's plentiful natural gas pipelines. Currently 3 of the 22 facilities proposed for the Gulf are designed to use an open-rack vaporizer, or open-loop system, which would run Gulf seawater through radiator-like racks. One terminal alone could use up to 270 million gallons of Gulf water a day to vaporize the natural gas. The drastic temperature change, chlorination, and physical damage caused by the process would destroy fish eggs and larva by the billions. The cumulative impacts of these facilities would be a significant blow to our fisheries. Open-loop LNG terminals are currently proposed in essential habitat for shrimp, redfish (red drum), king mackerel, red snapper, blue fin tuna, and other important species.
Oil and gas corporations have alternatives: closed-loop or forced-air vaporizer systems, though more expensive to operate, would be significantly less destructive to our fisheries while allowing the oil and gas corporations to profit significantly. The energy industry is important to Louisiana and the Gulf, but so are our commercial and recreational fishing industries, which generate $800 million in commercial landings and $5.6 billion in recreational expenditures annually.
The Gulf of Mexico Is the Exclusive Target for Open Loop
All 8 proposed and approved offshore LNG terminals in the Gulf of Mexico initially wanted to use the open-loop system. Yet, the 36 other proposed and existing LNG terminals across the country use a closed-loop system. This includes one terminal proposed off the coast of Massachusetts and two terminals proposed off the coast of California.
The Deepwater Port License Application for the Neptune LLC Deepwater Port off of Massachusetts states that "although lifetime operating costs would be higher for the closed-loop mode, the environmental considerations related to year-round open-loop operation would be significant and remain as the key discriminating factor in this analysis. Therefore, the closed-loop operating mode is considered the preferred alternative for LNG vaporization."
Citing water temperature and "cultural acceptance," oil and gas corporations have made the Gulf the exclusive sacrifice area for their fish-killing, open-loop LNG facilities.
Tell Excelerate to Flip the Switch
The only LNG terminal in the Gulf currently operating an 'open-loop' vaporizer and jeopardizing Gulf fisheries, Excelerate has an alternative. Using ship-board vaporizers, it is reported the other ships in its fleet use closed-loop, fish-friendly vaporizer technology. Ask Excelerate to send those ships to the Gulf, or to modify its ships to exclusively use this system.
Take action here: Tell Excelerate to Flip the Switch to Save Gulf Fish
Unlikely LNG Alliance
The success of Gulf-based efforts to oppose the development of off-shore LNG terminals utilizing anmarvel girls open-loop or open rack vaporizer technology, hinged on the broad and unlikely coalition developed to oppose the terminals. Both the Gumbo Alliance in Louisiana and the Gulf Fisheries Alliance in Alabama were composed of commercial, charterboat and recreational fishing interests working alongside conservation organizations such as the GRN and our member organizations the Sierra Club and Mobile Baykeeper.
In effectively blocking plans by some of the largest corporations in the world, a clear lesson can be learned about the value of putting aside differences and working together on a unified goal.
Visit the Gumbo Alliance website to see the full list of supporters.
This memo from 2004 provides much of the rational for our concern about the potential impacts of off-shore, open-loop LNG terminals.
Download the NOAA Fisheries Memo
Fish Impacts Peer Review
This peer review of Shell's Gulf Landing fisheries impacts assesment underscores the ongoing concerns about the potential fisheries impacts of off-shore, open-loop LNG terminals.
U.S. Coast Guard, off-shore LNG permitting: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/gm/mso/mso5.htm
U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, LNG permitting: http://www.marad.dot.gov/dwp/deepwater_ports/index.asp
Baton Rouge Advocate Ad to Govenor Blanco
Baton Rouge Radio Ad aired on WJBO and WPYR
Houston Radio Ad aired on CBS Radio
New Orleans Radio Ad aired on WWL
Louisiana Sportsman Ad Thanking Governor
Gumbo Alliance for Safe LNG Website: http://gumboalliance.org