2010-03-04 / Letters to the Editor

R.I. must prevent LNG from happening

Not knowing or having ever met either Lorne Lawless or Greg Landes, I believe that Mr. Landes’ letter to the editor regarding the proposed LNG project misses the mark.

I don’t believe that it was anyone’s goal to disrespect either the captain or the “men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard” in any way, but I do believe that it was Mr. Landes’ goal to disparage Mr. Lawless and to try to redirect attention away from the actual project that many residents in Rhode Island are firmly against. Let us not forget that Mr. Landes is an employee of Weaver’s Cove/Hess, and therefore stands to benefit from the project.

In November, 2009, the Providence Journal stated that, “Offi cials in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including Somerset and Fall River, which stand to rake in big tax benefits if the plan is approved, are strongly opposed to the project.

In addition to traffic issues, there is concern that terrorists might find the highly volatile fuel an inviting target. On an environmental level, passage of the supertankers would require dredging, which carries potential consequences to life in the two bays.”

Weaver’s Cove/Hess’ current proposal approximates 70 deliveries annually, stopping all use of the bay from two miles ahead of each ship to one mile behind, and 1,000 yards on either side of each tanker. In addition, both the Pell and Mt. Hope bridges will be closed.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s role in this project is to assure navigational safety and maritime security. Their positive recommendation does not reflect any position on environmental or aesthetic impact, nor does it address decreased property value of homes on or near the Bay.

We know that the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council, Save The Bay and many other environmental groups are opposed to the project, and even those who may benefit tax-wise are against it.

The Save The Bay website on the LNG project, (which I encourage everyone to read), states, “This proposal would require extensive dredging, permanently destroy critical fish habitat and cost jobs as it disrupts mixed use of the Bay, rendering much of our waterways off-limits to the public.”

In Hess’ own words, one “key unavoidable impact of the project is the permanent loss of potential winter flounder spawning habitat.” They will be gone and they will not return.

Rhode Islanders value their beautiful coast, clean waters and rights-of-way. The thought of long shutdowns of bridges and waterways while supertankers full of hazardous materials come up the east passage 70-plus times per year is simply unacceptable.

Weaver’s Cove/Hess has yet to file a water quality certificate and fortunately, the RIDEM has just informed Weaver’s Cove/ Hess that it needs the certificate, as well as a dredging permit, as a next step. Hopefully, they will not succeed. Hopefully, Rhode Islanders will work together to prevent this from happening.

The Journal also states that the project will only result in 50 permanent jobs. The Weaver’s Cove/ Hess Corporation, of course, stands to make millions.
Matt Hull
Sharon Streif
Jamestown

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