LNG Terminal NIMBY

From: Kenneth Piers <Pier@calvin.edu>
Date: Fri May 14 2004 - 07:39:26 EDT

According to an interesting article in the NY Times this
morning(http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/14/business/14gas.html?pagewanted=2&th
the NIMBY phenomenon may be a major obstacle to the construction of additional
LNG facilities in the US (the article has a picture of an LNG carrier and these
things are really HUGE), so it looks like we should get ready to bear the brunt
of increasingly limited supplies of natural gas with all that entails for the
home heating and food preparation sectors of our society.
A couple of quotes form the article:

  "More alarming [than the risk of additional LNG facilities] to federal
officials and executives in the energy and chemicals industries are the
prospects of prolonged natural gas shortages in the United States, because
production in North America is not keeping pace with demand."
 "Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, has spoken in favor of
terminal development. "If North American natural gas markets are to function
with the flexibility exhibited by oil, more extensive access to the vast world
reserves of gas is required," Mr. Greenspan said in a speech in April. ""

It seems clear that NG production in North America will soon become
insufficient to meet demand. Last fall the National Petroleum Council (
http://www.npc.org/NG_Volume_1.pdf ) published a report in which they state
that without a major program of expansion of LNG facilities in this country,
there will be NG supply shortages before 2010.

So indeed there is little good news on the energy front, neither in oil
supplies nor in NG production. But the Senate has passed a portion of the
Administration's energy bill. This legislation contains something like $18 B in
tax incentives to industry mostly targeted toward renewable energy initiatives
(mainly wind, but also solar, biomass, geothermal, etc). It also contains
provisions to encourage the construction of a NG pipeline from the Alaska north
slope to the lower 48 and to encourage the construction of new nuclear power
plants. While I support this legislation, given the sporadic nature of wind and
direct solar energy, it is still difficult to see how these technologies can
form the backbone of an energy system for a modern economy.
ken piers

Ken Piers

"[We are all creaures of faith. As such] we must either choose to be religious
or superstitious; to believe in things that cannot
be proved or to believe in things that can be disproved."
Wendell Berry

Received on Fri May 14 07:40:04 2004

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