Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
Is there any state “Dumb and Dumber” than Rhode Island? It appears not. Common sense has been traded for political correctness in the case of a LNG project.
A group of politicians from the Rhode Island Politburo are opposed to a plan by utility giant National Grid to construct a very small facility in the state to liquefy natural gas – turn it into LNG. Eight members of the Rhode Island Politburo (all of them apparently socialists) are calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reject National Grid’s plan. Why? You guessed it. Because that facility will accept and liquefy evil, vile nasty “fracked gas” from the Marcellus. And everybody knows fracked gas is causing catastrophic global warming, right? What a group of dunces. Here’s who they are and what they’re claiming.
The gang of eight serve in RI’s House and Senate. They claim that National Grid wants to pass along the cost of the entire project, some $150 million, to rate payers in RI–and that the state will see none of the benefit from the LNG created at this teeny tiny plant.
A group of Providence elected officials have announced their opposition to a proposal by National Grid to develop a new fracked gas liquefaction facility at Fields Point in South Providence.
National Grid submitted a proposal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to develop a $180 million facility to produce Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) directly from a Spectra Energy pipeline that delivers fracked gas from Marcellus Shale to Providence. National Grid would then utilize tanker trucks to export the LNG produced in Providence, primarily to locations in Massachusetts.
On Wednesday, Representatives Joseph S. Almeida (D-Dist. 12, Providence), Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence), Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence), Chris Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence) and John J. Lombardi (D-Dist. 8, Providence) and Senators Juan Pichardo (D-Dist. 2, Providence), Gayle Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence) and Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) — called on FERC to reject National Grid’s application
“No matter how you look at it, this project is a money-maker for the utility at the expense of our community and our state. National Grid is asking us, the rate payers, to foot the $180 million bill for this project, for what? So they can increase their own profits by exporting LNG out of the state! This does nothing to benefit our constituents, and it does nothing to benefit my neighbors on the South Side. All this proposal will do is transfer money from rate payers’ pockets to National Grid’s coffers, and we’re not going to accept it,” said Rep. Almeida.
OK, so we have the claim that National Grid wants to soak taxpayer. Now, it’s time for propagandist to pour on more fuel with the outrageous claim that LNG is “dangerous.” The article continues:
LNG is a stable liquid form and without air is is not flammable. However, any temperature one -260 F it converts to methane gas and expands by 600 times, rapidly pressurizing any sealed container. If LNG spills and mixes with airs, it becomes highly flammable and potentially explosive.
“LNG is a dangerous substance. Just two years ago, an LNG facility in Washington state exploded, causing an evacuation of everyone within a two-mile area. If that were to happen at this site, all of my constituents would be in danger. Why is it always our community that must shoulder the collateral damage and safety risks from these toxic projects?,” said Rep Diaz.
But finally we come to the crux of their argument. The real reason they oppose this teeny tiny LNG facility. Global warming:
The officials also urged that the climate consequences of the expand fossil fuel infrastructure be taken into account.
“The science on climate change is clear. If my generation is to have any chance of inheriting an Ocean State with any state left in it, we need to transition to a clean energy economy as quickly as possible. This proposal would sink millions of rate payer dollars into unnecessary new fossil fuel infrastructure that would be used for decades past our climate’s point of no return, and that is a betrayal of our children. Mayor Elorza and the Providence City Council have taken credit for being leaders on climate and environmental issues. But if the city awards a tax stabilization agreement to National Grid to support this project, then it is our belief that the mayor and council can no longer claim this kind of climate leadership. We hope they will do the right thing and tell National Grid that Providence will not facilitate this wasteful, rate payer-funded, environmentally catastrophic scheme” said Rep. Regunberg…
The Providence legislators reported that they are submitting letters detailing their concerns to FERC, joining a growing list of community members and neighborhood organizations opposing National Grid’s application.
As always, the truth is radically different from what the commie naysayers tell you. We pulled the following from the National Grid website, which explains the project (be sure to watch the video):
For decades, liquefied natural gas has played an important role in providing a safe, reliable source of natural gas for our customers in New England, particularly in winter months when demand for natural gas is greatest. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a critical part of National Grid’s ability to provide safe and reliable natural gas to the homes and businesses we serve. On the coldest winter days, when demand is at its peak, LNG can provide up to 40% of the gas supply for National Grid’s customers in New England.
Without a local supply of LNG there would not be enough gas to heat customer homes and businesses during these coldest days. Currently, LNG is brought into New England from overseas where unforeseen domestic or international events could make our supply of gas less reliable. This makes it vitally important that National Grid have a domestic source for our New England customers as soon as possible.
National Grid is proposing to build a natural gas liquefaction facility at our existing storage facility at Fields Point in Providence, Rhode Island. This facility would be a reliable, safe, cost-effective way to ensure that our customers have the natural gas they need to heat their homes and businesses, particularly when the demand is greatest.
Investing in Fields Point
Our facility at Fields Point is ideal for this proposed Liquefaction Facility for the following reasons:
1 It is already used for LNG storage, so no additional storage needs to be built at the site.
2 It has an existing natural gas supply infrastructure that can be used for liquefaction. No new gas pipelines or expansion of the delivery systems to the site is needed.
3 There is sufficient space within the existing plant to construct the new facility without the need to expand its footprint.
4 The location provides quick and easy access to major highways.
Editor’s Note: Rhode Island is the perfect demonstration of one of my theories. It is that the degree of common sense exhibited by the elected officials is inversely related to how urban it is. Put another way, the more urban a state is, the more out of touch it is with reality and the more politically correct it is. Several years ago a very condescending entitled book “What’s The Matter with Kansas” trashed the eminently sensible voters of that state, claiming they didn’t know what was good for them (letting the author and other urban voters of his ilk decide their future). The far better example would have been Rhode Island, as Jim makes clear.
There’s equally good evidence from a recent piece in the New York Times. As it reports, the state recently attempted to come up with a new slogan. They opted, if you can believe it, for “Rhode Island: Cooler and Warmer.” It was greeted so poorly it had to almost immediately be consigned to the dustbin of history. The Times reported “the debacle has ‘fed the narrative that Raimondo is too in thrall to out-of-staters, whether in New York or Davos.'” I doubt any of us could have said it better with regard to this LNG fiasco either. What’s the matter with Rhode Island anyway?