2009-11-19 / Editorial

A call to action from Save the Bay


Save the Bay Executive Director Jonathan Stone this week sounded the alarm over the proposed Hess LNG project.

In an e-mail this week, Stone reported that the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Boston has ruled that Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Management Council has no standing in the permitting of the proposed Hess LNG project.

Stone said this news follows the U.S. Coast Guard’s approval of the Hess safety and navigation plan this past summer.

Save the Bay has argued that Hess should not be allowed to build a LNG terminal in Mt. Hope Bay for three reasons:

• The environmental impacts of the project are significant and destructive.

• The project will disrupt recreation, commerce and travel in Rhode Island, jeopardizing this state’s struggling economy. Jamestown will be affected by the tanker traffic, which has been estimated at 140 ships per month.

• Alternative LNG facilities serving New England will soon be online.

Stone said Save the Bay is mounting a campaign to fight the LNG project. He asks that Rhode Islanders consider joining Save the Bay or making a donation to help with the battle, which will be costly.

“We cannot allow the final question of the Hess LNG saga to be ‘Why didn’t we stop this?” Stone wrote.

Jamestown will bear the brunt of the LNG ship traffic. Each time a LNG tanker sails up East Passage, all activity on Narragansett Bay will come to a halt. Traffic will be stopped on the Newport Pell Bridge. Recreational boaters will have to clear the bay. Sailing regattas will be interrupted. This will happen 140 times a year.

There is no doubt that the proposed LNG terminal in Mount Hope Bay will have a serious impact on our daily lives here in Jamestown.

Is that what we want? The new Town Council should reaffirm its opposition to the proposed LNG project so that the upstate politicians are reminded that islanders do not support the idea.

— Jeff McDonough

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