2010-03-04 / Letters to the Editor

Project POLL wants to hear from you

This is an open letter to all the residents, businesses and municipalities around Narragansett Bay who may be affected by an accident resulting from the transport/storage of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Fall River, Mass. We must act proactively to protect our lives, property and livelihood should this facility be established and should an accident occur during its operation.

One only has to remember the Exxon Valdez accident (1984, 20 years to settle) or the accident in Bhopal, India (the world’s worst industrial accident, Union Carbide, 1984, seven years to settle) to know how quickly corporations who are responsible for horrific accidents run to the courts to protect themselves from taking full responsibility for and making financial payments to the victims of their corporate accidents.

It is time that citizens in the Narragansett Bay area take steps to ensure that this does not happen to us. Hess Weaver Cove Energy, all owners of tankers steaming up the bay and all parent companies must be forced to take full and total fi- nancial responsibility for any potential accident or terrorist act that could adversely impact our lives, property and livelihood.

An accident caused by a terrorist act is particularly alarming since most, if not all, of our homeowners’ insurance policies explicitly exclude coverage for damages resulting from an act of terrorism. This means that HWCE and its partners must be forced to provide a system of remuneration for any and all victims of an accident should one occur. This system will be established so that victims and their survivors will not have to sue for damages and wait years for a settlement.

If corporations – both American and foreign – want to do business in our neighborhood, they will have to be good neighbors. Good neighbors who will be prepared to take full responsibility for any and all damages they cause to our neighborhood.

Therefore, if you agree with this premise, please write the following statement on a piece of paper:

“I (we) want our legislators to ensure that Hess Weaver Cove Energy and all its subsidiaries and partners have a system of remuneration in place so they are financially able to take full responsibility for any and all damages to lives, property and livelihood should an accident occur as a result of owning and operating an LNG facility in the Narragansett Bay area.”

Then, sign it, print your name, address, city/town, state and zip code. Mail it to me at Project POLL at 200 Gondola Ave., Jamestown RI, 02835.

I will collect the petitions and take them to the legislators, who will work aggressively to enact the necessary legislation to protect all the neighbors around Narragansett Bay.

Spread the word – Project POLL wants to hear from everyone who wants to Protect Our Lives and Livelihood.
Mary Jo Diem

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