WHAT IS LIQUEFIED NATURAL
- 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 is misleadingly described as a “clean
fuel.” LNG, like oil, is a finite fossil
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
miles from the site, engulfing shipping lanes and
any humans or vessels caught in
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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!
- 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,
regasification of supplies prior to consumption.
WATER POLLUTION AND MARINE
- 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
- 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
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