Some facts about this massive, dangerous project .
 

WHAT IS LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS (LNG)?

  • LNG is natural gas that has been “supercooled” to around -260°F and condensed
    into its liquid form, for trans-oceanic shipping.
  • After transport, LNG must be warmed up and vaporized, or “regasified,” before it
    can be distributed via pipeline for use by consumers.
  • LNG exporting nations are many of the same that export oil. Russia, Qatar and Iran
    hold almost 60% of global gas reserves.

WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS WITH LNG?

  • LNG is misleadingly described as a “clean fuel.” LNG, like oil, is a finite fossil fuel.
    Burning it emits CO2 and harmful air pollutants, aggravating global warming and
    causing human health problems.
  • Importing LNG means increasing U.S. dependence on foreign countries for our
    electricity, heating and cooking fuels (like our dependence on foreign oil for
    transportation fuel).
  • LNG causes air and water pollution, and harms wildlife and the environment,
    starting from the places where the gas is extracted and liquefied, to the coastal
    communities where it is delivered, processed and sold.
  • If LNG is released by accident or deliberate terrorist attack, it may explode or burn
    at extremely high temperatures. LNG accidents have caused serious loss of life and
    property around the world, including in the U.S.

DOES CALIFORNIA HAVE BETTER ALTERNATIVES?

  • Existing U.S. gas supplies can more than meet California’s needs; U.S. natural gas
    reserves just hit a 20-year high. Investigation by attorney generals from four Mid-
    Western states recently revealed that price spikes for natural gas resulted from
    Enron-style market manipulation and speculation by industry, and were not due to
    domestic shortages.
  • Energy conservation and efficiency could provide California with more than twice the
    energy supplied by one LNG terminal, without increasing our dependence on
    another imported fossil fuel or aggravating global warming.
  • Expanding our use of climate-safe renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar,
    bio-fuels to levels already mandated by California state law would provide more than
    enough energy to meet our State’s projected demand. This would also provide new
    jobs in energy research and development. Using renewables would increase our
    energy independence, instead of increasing our reliance on foreign suppliers.

WHAT IS THE CABRILLO PORT LNG TERMINAL?

  • BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, proposes to moor a massive three
    football field-long, 14 story-high, floating LNG storage facility and processing
    terminal, the Cabrillo Port, approximately 14 miles offshore the Ventura and LA
    County line near Leo Carrillo State Beach and the Malibu City limit.
  • This “Floating Storage and Regasification Unit” (FSRU) is designed to store up to 73
    million gallons of LNG in three large spherical tanks rising more than 160 feet off the
    water and would be visible from Malibu to Oxnard.
  • LNG supertankers would arrive at the terminal about 3 times per week to offload
    their cargo. Once transferred to Cabrillo Port, the LNG would be regasified before
    transport to shore via new sub-sea gas pipelines also proposed by BHP Billiton.
  • The terminal design includes plans for a second berth so it is possible that the
    number of tankers trips per week could increase during the life of the project.
  • BHP Billiton would be the sole owner of the Cabrillo LNG factory terminal and no
    other suppliers of LNG would be able to make deliveries to CA at this facility.
  • Cabrillo Port would be moored off Malibu and Oxnard for at least 40 years.
    However, the license would have no firm expiration date and the floating factory
    terminal could remain moored offshore for decades longer.
  • Once ashore, the natural gas would continue through nearly 15 miles of new high pressure
    gas pipelines, running between Oxnard and Camarillo, before entering the
    existing natural gas infrastructure.

SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE CABRILLO PORT?

  • The California State Lands Commission released a revised Draft Environmental
    Impact Report that admits that the Cabrillo Port LNG factory terminal will cause
    numerous, Class One or “significant” impacts to public safety, air quality, marine
    wildlife and views, impacts that cannot be mitigated. New research reveals that the
    Revised DEIR fails to discuss many other environmental and safety impacts that
    Cabrillo Port will cause, casting grave doubts on BHP claims that Cabrillo Port will
    be “safe” or “clean.”
  • The U.S. EPA has proposed permits under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act
    that fail to protect air and water quality.
  • Despite these impacts, there is no guarantee the imported gas will benefit Oxnard or
    Malibu residents or the state of California with lower prices or a more stable gas
    supply.

SAFETY

  • The Revised DEIR now admits that a “vapor cloud” flash fire from an LNG release
    from just two of the three LNG storage tanks could result in a fire extending 7.3
    miles from the site, engulfing shipping lanes and any humans or vessels caught in
    range.
  • The Revised DEIR fails to calculate the potential impacts and destruction that a true
    worst-case terrorist event involving all three storage tanks would cause.
    Independent experts believe that the fire zone for a 3-tank release would extend
    beyond the 7.3 mile fire zone predicted in the DEIR.
  • The LNG terminal would be located near major shipping lanes, impacting navigation
    by commercial, recreational, and Naval vessels. An accident at the terminal or on a
    tanker could threaten ships, boats and mariners and marine wildlife with
    asphyxiation and burns from a natural gas fire or explosion.
  • The onshore portions of the project would disproportionately impact low income and
    culturally diverse communities.
  • According to the US Geological Survey, the LNG terminal and the proposed gas
    pipelines would overlay a number of seismic fault lines prone to major earthquakes.

AIR POLLUTION

  • According to EPA’s proposed air permit, Cabrillo Port operations would produce
    over 200 tons of smog-producing air pollution per year into the Ventura and Los
    Angeles air basins, exacerbating existing air quality problems and aggravating
    human health problems such as asthma and lung disease.
  • These emissions would give BHP Billiton the distinction of being the largest smog-
    producing air polluter
    in Ventura County.
  • Independent air pollution experts believe emissions from the project are
    understated.
  • The Clean Air Act requires such large sources of pollutants to “offset” or mitigate
    their emissions so that areas like Ventura and Los Angeles can achieve federal air
    quality standards, which they currently do not meet. BHP Billiton claims the project
    is exempt from Clean Air Act requirements to offset their emissions. The LNGfriendly
    Bush Administration has agreed. As a result, BHP Billiton does not have to
    follow the same rules that would apply to any other facility emitting similar levels of
    air pollution in these areas.
  • According to the Revised DEIR, Cabrillo Port would exceed the CEQA “thresholds
    of significance” for smog producing pollutants. In LA County, this threshold is 55
    lbs. per day; BHP Billiton proposes to emit more than 1,268 lbs. per day – 23 times
    higher than the LA threshold!

GLOBAL WARMING

  • The U.S. Coast Guard and CA State Lands Commission fail to disclose the actual
    global warming impacts of the BHP project. According to EDC's and CCPN's
    climate change expert, this project would emit approximately 25,000,000 U.S. tons
    per year of greenhouse gas emissions, a significant increase over emissions from
    domestic gas production which does not require liquefaction, shipment and
    regasification of supplies prior to consumption.

WATER POLLUTION AND MARINE WILDLIFE

  • BHP Billiton plans to install its floating LNG factory terminal in one of the world’s
    richest and most productive ecosystems. The Channel Islands National Park and
    Marine Sanctuary were designated to protect the area’s ocean waters and rare
    wildlife; unfortunately, Cabrillo Port would be sited just beyond their borders,
    meaning the terminal’s industrial operations and pollution will still impact these
    natural treasures.
  • Discharges from Cabrillo Port will degrade ocean water quality. According to the
    Revised DEIR and EPA’s proposed water discharge permit, Cabrillo Port would
    intake millions of gallons of seawater per day to cool its generators, and discharge
    water more than 28.3 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than ambient ocean temperatures.
    These 2.3 billion gallons per year of intake and thermal waste would cause
    serious harm to the surrounding ecosystem, killing zooplankton and small fish
    critical to the survival of marine mammals and fisheries. The discharges would
    violate California’s State water quality regulations designed to protect marine life, as
    well as U.S. EPA’s Ocean Discharge Criteria.
  • The LNG terminal will discharge sewage and ballast water, and heated wastewater
    from LNG regasification operations. Construction of gas pipelines could cause
    harmful spills of drilling fluids and even contaminated sediments into the near shore
    marine environment. Daily vessel traffic from Cabrillo Port also increases the
    likelihood of hazardous diesel, oil or sewage spills.
  • According to marine mammal experts, endangered blue and humpback whales and
    federally protected gray whales migrating north from the calving lagoons of Baja,
    commonly feed and travel through the proposed project site, even though BHP
    Billiton claims that their occurrence there would be “very unlikely.” Consequently,
    these endangered marine mammals will be threatened with asphyxiation and burns
    from surface fires in the event of a significant LNG release at Cabrillo Port,
    increased chance of injury or death from collisions with Cabrillo Port ship traffic, and
    habitat degradation from water pollution.
  • Noise from the tankers, the terminal and pipeline construction will be audible above
    and underwater for miles around these activities. The underwater noise could harm
    these marine mammal species and many others, reduce their ability to communicate
    and find food, or cause them to abandon these traditional habitats and migration
    routes.

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© 2006 CCPN-COASTAL ADVOCATES   •   23852 Pacific Coast Hwy. # 408, Malibu, CA 90265   •    310-230-4210