Monday, March 5, 2007

A BIG STEP FORWARD IN STOPPING THE INSANE
COLUMBIA RIVER LNG TERMINAL PLANS

March 5, 2007

Dear Mr. X :

In light of your interest in the proposed LNG terminal at Bradwood Landing, I thought you would be interested in a press release I sent out today regarding this issue.

Congressman Baird Opposes LNG Terminal Project

Washington, D.C. - After careful and thoughtful review of the Waterway Suitability Report (WSR) for the Bradwood Landing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal project, released last week, Congressman Brian Baird (WA-03) has come out in opposition to the plan. Below is his statement:

"After reviewing the WSR, I believe there is enough compelling evidence to oppose t he proposed LNG project. While there may be local benefits to the project, including job creation and additional gas production, the overall negative impacts on the entire river system are too great for me to support. There are three main areas of great concern to me: the safety and security measures that would need to be implemented to make the Columbia River suitable for LNG and the associated negative impacts on existing river commerce; the impact on the environment; and, the effect the project would have on private property owners.

"In order for the Columbia River to suitably accommodate this project, a number of measures will need to be implemented to manage navigation, safety, and security risks. Among these are: increased navigational aids, se curity boardings , and changes to emergency communications systems. The report does not outline what the impact of these new security measures will be on the Coast Guard or local law enforcement agencies, but, the burden for paying will fall on the likely fall on the local taxpayers.

"While we are still awaiting the results of the Environmental Impact Study, I have a number of concerns about the project's impact on the environment. Even if all of the safety and security measures are taken, the impact on t he environment and economy remains unknown. Both commercial and recreational fishing industries could be adversely affected, the long-term impact of dredging and tunneling on endangered and threatened fish species, including salmon, is unknown, and there could be significant ramifications if a leak or spill occurred.

"Finally, I am concerned about the project's impact on private property owners. I have repeatedly met with the people whose property would be affected by the terminal or pipeline construction and I respect their position. For those living on Puget Island , or who may have a gas line running through their property, ensuring a safety and security must be the highest priority.

"The WSR did identify current security concerns and resource gaps, but the costs economically, to the environment, to those living in the community, and to the river itself are just too much to justify moving forward on this one project. After thoughtful consideration of all these issues, I oppose the proposed Bradwood Landing LNG site."

Congressman Baird recognizes the final decisi on remains up to state agencies and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, however, at this time he feels it is important to state his position publicly to best serve his constituents on this matter. Copies of the Congressman's position statement are be ing sent to FERC, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other interested parties and officials.

Columbia Riverkeeper

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As Jim Hightower explains it, is that “the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans possess more net worth today than the bottom 90 percent of us combined. Worse, these privileged few and their political henchmen have structured a new economic ‘normal’ of long-term joblessness, low wages, no benefits or worker rights, miserly public services, and a steadily widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us.” We must restore sanity to this nation.