A Reply to FairPlay
Bob Rings comments

 
October
Responses for Harpswell.info page.
Hope this kindles some interest Burr.

 Comment received October 14

Reply in kind to comments posted

Bob Ring.

 Replies to posts over the last few days, as well as answers and points related to those posts.

 Working back chronologically

 Ms. Duval From FairPlay

Aside from my post Iíve got this to add. The figure you used for 50 jobs is what will be created at the facility for discharge operations, power plant operations, security, line handlers, maintenance and management. What no one has alluded to the volume of work generated peripherally. There will be jobs for Boats/Escorts, Pilots, Logistic Support for the Tankers, Travel and Taxi, Ships Chandlery, Laundry Services, Local Food Services, Electronics Techís ect.ect. all of those jobs would be given to preferably locals.  They are all related to the ships and the terminal. How many jobs are these peripheral positions to entail? I can see at least 200 people finding work in infrastructure related to the facility.

 You stated Fishing Families Count too. Well that is the stance FWLNG seems to be taking. Ask a Portland Harbor Lobsterman if the Portland Pipeline compensates them for lost gear?  They are not given a check for lost gear they are given a Business Card for the Pipeline Attorney/ or the Shipping company.

(Yes, I was there at the Zone F Forum as well sitting in the back listening intently)

 Mr. Bill Connolly,

If the pipeline crews are all local they will not be living on barges, or boated in. They will drive to work. Iíve heard no mention of Dredging in this phase? The pipeline proper will take no more than 30 days weather permitting to snake across the bay.  It will take longer to survey the route & prep the ends on land than to set the pipe.

 The barges mentioned are to bring in all materials to keep road traffic to a minimum on RT123. All building Matíl is to be brought in via Barge.

The projected Construction time is 3 years, which is for the tanks and the rest of the terminal. What takes the most time is the safety testing once the facility is complete. That will take a year (+/-).  How much sound does Curing Concrete make? Something like just under half of  the building materials used will be that. NO you are correct it will be noisy Bill, But Iím sure they are looking at how to keep the noise levels low as to not adversely effect locals. I.E. I donít expect they will be straightening out bent pipes with a pneumatic hammer at 330 in the morning.  Oh, almost forgot. How much noise did they make when they dismantled the Old Depot? How much of your placidly was effected when they tore it all down and removed it by barge?  

Mr. Peter Alexander,

 It shows youíve given this a considerable amount of thought. I like that.

 The Cleveland accident happed many decades ago.  That was also the time that we, as a nation started to regulate the transport of bulk products like LNG, Gasoline & hazardous chemicals. That disaster was the turning point for LNG. Countless regulations were born from that disaster.

 The Cargo Ship S.S. Grand Camp explosion in Texas City in 1947 leveled many more buildings and killed many more people. But you can still buy fertilizer down the street at Agway and you spread it on your lawn. Refer to USCG Report http://ncsp.tamu.edu/reports/USCG/grandcamp.pdf

 Or take your pick of various Chemical disasters over the last 50 years.  These are the USCG reports and inquiries. http://ncsp.tamu.edu/reports/USCG/uscgList.htm

 Or check out this http://www.endgame.org/industrial-disasters.html

Another Endgame link http://www.endgame.org/oilspills.htm

Shows the volume of Oil related incidents over the last 50 years. But Actual Pipeline/Terminal and shipping related LNG incidents are incredibly less than that of Oil.

Some LNG Facts http://www.ch-iv.com/lng/lngfact.htm, again.[Note: try http://www.ch-iv.com/ ]

  http://www.ch-iv.com/int/incid1.htm [Note: try http://www.ch-iv.com/ ] looks at your Incidents on the Cleveland and Staten Island. Staten Island final Conclusion was a Construction Accident The tank was being worked on at the time with a work crew inside. Residual Natural gas collected in a pocket and when a spark from one of the workers ignited the pocket.

 Please adjust your calculations of tank capacity. They donít seem to account for internal concrete separation of the inner and outer chamber. The inner chamber which is primary and the outer which can hold 100% capacity of the inner should there be a leak of the inner.

Also you are not accounting for the properties of LNG. It has a tendency to rise as itís lighter than air. Chemical Make up is CH4- 4 Hydrogen molecules. Hydrogen (remember the German Air ship Hindenburg) is lighter than helium. With any wind at all you will never get a Square Mile concentration. But dispersion down wind. But remember what Iíve said in the first of this paragraph. The tanks are double walled, that is 100% Redundancy.

 There are hazardous chemicals utilized on any transportation of bulk products. Hazardous chemicals are present at the hardware store or up at Hannafords in the cleaner isle.

Ships have to confirm to Zero Discharge while in the continuous zone of the United States. Mandated by MAROPL.  Additionally, shipping traffic is subjected to local/state law. For instance in Long Beach, CA a ship may not issue from itís stack at any time, exhaust of a specific density (Itís about the color of a 15% gray screen.) For more than 5minutes out each hour. Fine for this is $50,000 for each occurrence.

 Your experts were careful to use the words ďpossiblyĒ, that is prudent. Diane is Concerned, and I think we all are about the Pipeline. Vibrations will be greatly reduced by the way it will be installed.  It should be relatively flush with the sea floor. That should provide little obstacle for a lobster/crab/scallop. They donít have much of a hard time crawling over rocks and other obstacles on their migration to shallow waters to shed.

 The data you acquired on the pipeline leak scenario is misleading. The pipeline is going to be trenched at sub seafloor level, and encased in concrete.  Leakage is not what Iíd consider ďlikelyĒ and neither is terrorist threat. If itís accepted Iíd imagine that the local fisherman will be hyper sensitive to unknown boats lurking around the area.  In truth if a leak occurs to the pipeline sensors in the control station would notify the operators of this. Shutdown procedures would be immediate.

If you have an exhaust leak in your car and you are exposed to it, it becomes just as lethal to you.

 Your comments in the middle of the statement can be researched by anyone with a computer. Iíll not point out pro or con to them. They were good though.

 Your last paragraph alludes to the safety of all shipped petroleum products.

If the safety of the industry as a whole bothers you, consider your life as you live it now.  Look closely at what you cherish. Your home, your car, your job, and your family.

Everything that you come in contact with has links to the energy industry. I watched a Baseball game last night on a TV that was produced using the power provided by a power company somewhere that used a ship transport itís fuel. The TV it self was put in a container and shipped to the USA, and is made with some of those heavy metals you are concerned about as well as plastics that are a product of petroleum.

I drove to the Store in my truck to by the TV, using fuel to do so, as well as the energy needed to transport the fuel, it took manpower and energy to build my truck. The store where I bought the TV is heated by Natural Gas.  The power plant that supplies the power that I cooked my popcorn with is powered by coal. Take a close look at everything in your life. Consider if we had not allowed Power lines to be run across our lands to give electricity to the homes of Maine. Or we got rid of the telephones donít forget the Roads, Asphalt it a waste product of the refining process. And all this development that everyone seems so dead set against.  Where would we be? Just like Afghanistan is now.

 How safe is LNG? Here is a link to ponder http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2003/09/11/lng_truck_mishap_spawns_a_rush_hour_headache/

Remember itís Boston. And itís a truck. But if LNG Transport didnít provide safe means to move it According to most of the posters on here There would be a big hole where this truck rolled on itís side that morning.

 I see a lot of people with blinders on, please open your eyes.

 This does mean change.

We are all hesitant to allow change; we have always been that way.  

But the benefits are provided there in black and white.

Nothing in life is a sure thing.  From year to year any Lobsterman can tell you that.

But some things are surer than others.


Week of October 6

Reply to ďList of ConcernsĒ Fairplay for Harpswell.

By Bob Ring

I thought it would be a good idea to make sure you had this before I posted any findings Iíve got on your statements from ďList of ConcernsĒ

You have 8 bulleted items.

1.       Secrecy is an issue.

a.           Consider Harpswell Lucky. In truth, most Oil Conglomerates would come to a small town like Harpswell buy up all the property they are interested in and offer the decision makers large sums of money to pass their plans.

                        The reason for the secrecy has to do more with the competitive nature of the business. I know that most everyone thinks ďWhy would Harpswell need to keep this thing quiet.Ē Well, Harpswell may not but Conoco/Phillips does. They are in a business folks. Just like any gas station you drive by to get your gasoline for your car. You go to the one that has the cheapest fuel. Right? That is unless you need some special feature or have a particular fuel credit card. But 90% of us go for the least expensive fuel and that station sells the most gas. That is supply and demand. I hope I donít have to explain that further.

 Conoco/Phillips is in competition with other oil companies to bring cheap fuel to the US quickly, cheaper than the competition.

Most people seem to see them as a nameless company that has too much money but these companies are in the business to make money. They have stock holders like you and me who earn dividends on the money made or lost by their actions. They are part of the S&P 500 (under Phillips Petro) so their success and failure is part of the key indicator of how our Nation does financially as a whole.

Keeping the information secret or with limited people to know is standard business practice. They needed to get everything in place to make the offering.

There are competitors out there trying to beat them to the goal of additional LNG supply to the USA.

Those affected will be Irreparably Harmed. Many others will have their lives Changed for the worse. Potential good worth so much harm to so many residents.Ē

b.                   How many will be affected? Numbers please. How will they be irreparably harmed? How many peoples lives changed for the worse? Who gauges ďWorseĒ? The last statement is what really tweaks me especially the ďworth so much harm to residentsĒ part.   Come on they want to build a 77 Acre Re-gasification Plant with an extended dock in Harpswell on a location that previously housed a JP5 (Jet Fuel) terminal with little or no alteration to the property.  No one lives on the property currently. No one currently derives their living from the property. ( I know what the fisherman are thinking at this point. Iíve not forgotten your side) Itís soil has Jet fuel entrained in it from spills of leaky tanks and connections over the 50 years it was in operation. The jet fuel depot was on the verge of harming many local residents if it had kept on operating it was a matter of time before someoneís well became contaminated.

c.                   What is your definition of ďHarmĒ? I Look at ďIrreparably HarmedĒ, and wonder your definition as well. It is true that some people will have a marvelous view of this new facility. Some 20 years ago there was far much more to look at within the site area. It didnít irreparably harm you then how can it now?  Well I donít argue the fact that you wonít like it. It is not about like and dislike for me. Itís about benefit and determent based on a wide range of people that it will effect.

            90 fisherman, approximately fish the back bay and approaches to projected site.  This includes those from Cumberland, Portland, & Harpswell Ect. After all Mitigation money is meant for all fisherman affected within the operations zone. FairwindsLNG knows its going to affect that gear in advance. Iím sure that studies have been done and the accountants have calculated how much gear can be expected to be lost and how much new gear it will cost to be replaced.  That does not sound like Irreparable Harm to me. 

                        Some one tell me how many residents lives will be changed for the worse?  And how many are year long residents and how many are summer residents.  Now I can already hear the din of those of you yelling that ďwe are residents too!!!Ē Well in fact you are not.  In truth I AM NOT.  You spend less than Ĺ of your year in Harpswell.  You live primarily in another location. That could be anywhere but there. You pay taxes, yes but you live somewhere else and pay taxes there as well. One is your primary residence. You vote for elected officials in one place not both. Should you be allowed to vote in both? On certain topics I think it would be advisable to allow it but Iím not your elected official.

                        Overall I believe that the whole statement in line 2 is a bit slanderous and can be allowed under ďfree speechĒ but barely. It totally is ambiguous it needs numbers. Iím sure there are some who live in the projected area that are not totally opposed to this.

2.           The question of Safety of LNG, Extend time for Town approval. They are extremely          well funded. L

Ok the safety of LNG is not in question. Itís the safest petroleum product that can be shipped and worked with. It is also the cleanest Petrol product burned and consumed by private homes and industry.  The US has been using and shipping it for over 50 years. In the last few years cleanliness has become more of an issue. As well as fuel demand and energy costs. Itís the demand for the fuel that drives the decision to put in a terminal in Harpswell now. Itís the prime site for such a facility on the east coast.  Iíll provide 3rd party documentation of itís safety and the other statements from anyone other than Conoco/Phillips (FairwindsLNG).

Extend time for town Approval.

    Well this wonít work they are on a schedule to make this work. Every day they sit and are not moving forward itís a day they are not making money.  Itís called Downtime. Fishermen are familiar with it. Itís like thick Fog and a slew of other issues including weather, and mechanical failures. As Iíve said before they are a business and there are competitors out there.  A stall means withdrawal. They have to get this done and  if they donít get it approved here they will need to have the time to go somewhere else to  complete any other project within the time frame  (Do I know this for a fact? NO, but I can relate to the way my industry does business.  Think of them as buying a house or any other property. If you are the seller and waffle the buyer goes some where else. FairwindsLNG needs to have the basis for a facility in progress by middle of next year. If Harpswell turns them down they need to move on to the next most viable location and attempt it there.)

They are extremely well funded.

   OK No question there. Phillips Petroleum is a majority player in the Aleyeska Pipeline which can be related to your commodities pages under the oil heading as North Slope Crude. Conoco is into so many concerns that it would be hard to list them all in a brief paper as this. But yes, no question they are EXTREMELY well funded. Since when is that a crime? Or a rationale for detrimental approval of a construction project? To me that is a benefit. They have the funds to deliver on what they say they are going to.

OK here is the proof of LNG Safety.

http://www.dom.com/about/gas-transmission/covepoint/lng.jsp  Cove Point MD. Related articles.

http://www.marathon.com/Our_Business/Marathon_Oil_Company/Integrated_Natural_Gas/
Tijuana/Tijuana_Regional_Energy_Center/Natural_Gas  this one is interesting, Marathon is a partner with Conoco/Phillips in the Alaska Market. If you poke around on this site you might infer where they might be planning to bring the LNG from when it potentially comes to Harpswell.

 http://www.otd.nt.gov.au/dcm/otd/publications/oil_gas/bayu_question_fsheet.pdf

This is a Phillips document but I find it enlightening that they take the same approach that they have in Harpswell. 

http://www.shell-usgp.com/lngmain.asp Shellís reply

http://www.energy.uh.edu/LNG/LNG_introduction_10.asp   This is most likely the best source of info I could find and itís impartial. No Oil company name on it.

www.netl.doe.gov/publications/proceedings/ 02/ngt/Quillen.pdf

http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/commissioners/matthews/gaschallenges/gasmarkets.pdf

4.         This will probably affect the surrounding towns detrimentally, are we good neighbors?

The key to this statement is the ďProbablyĒ. You are right here not to state it ďwillĒ because you will end up with egg on your face if it didnít. Iíd like to know how it is remotely going to affect other towns poorly?  Aside from the pipeline ideas they have running across Back Bay, I see no detrimental effects, just positive ones.  Number one is the potential lower energy costs for the STATE of Maine by providing LNG for Cousins Island Power plant to burn.  This would be less expensive and cleaner than coal or heavy fuels. That seems like a benefit to me.

If you are saying you want to share the potential tax benefit with our Neighbors fine you can send a check equivalent to your benefit to the town of your choice. Iím sure they would appreciate it.

5.           Environmental Impact.

OK the process does not require us to approve anything environmental; the process requires us to agree or disagree to have the facility here or not.  The environmental process is conducted by the appropriate agencies of the Maine State Government and US Government. If findings come to light during that process, Senatorial,  Congressional and or Governor intervention can be implemented to put the reigns on it.  That is what happened at the Sears Island facility in Searsport.  The environmental issues will be decided by experts in that field. If there is a significant environmental impact there will be no facility. The town can not vote on that. That is the job of the EPA. And DOT. Why would the Town pay for a study that the government will conduct any how? That is a waste of money.  If you donít trust the government to come up with the ethical reply to this then your issues are not with the FairwindsLNG folks but with the government.

6.        Whoís paying for the lawyer.

OK lets look at this.

The town needs a lawyer to process the legal aspects of the project. The burden is on the town. The FairwindsLNG does not want an undue burden on the town so they provide the legal fees for a lawyer of the towns choice.  Ethics again intervene that a lawyer can not slant his or her advice to the side of the party paying but to the side of the party that has employed them.

Related item. The Fisherman are going to go to the town to have it provide council for them in this matter. It sets up that the fisherman do not trust the town to make the decisions for them but they are willing it seems to have the town pay for council to advise and council them on that matter. Again Ethics intervene. The legal Council will make the decisions based on the benefit of the party that is employing the legal councilor.

  1. Many property owners not here to voice their views.

This is an age of technology. Not the 1800ís. Iím sure that many of the residents of seasonal influence are well aware of the issues at stake.  I understand that seasonal residents are unable to vote in this matter anyhow.  If they were Iím sure they could no matter where they were. Iíve voted Absentee several times from all over the world.

  1. Final pipeline route not set.

Ok you set this down as a reason to be against it. As Iíve mentioned prior the Environmental impact has not been conducted yet. There are 2 years on the schedule to conduct these studies by local and federal EPA.  That is the key reason stated why the pipeline has not been nailed down.  The environmental impact is not the responsibility of the Town or its people; it is the responsibility of the EPA.  For example, The town approves yes or no to the location. If itís not safe for the environment the EPA will veto it. And thatís as far as it gets.