Weaver’s Cove respects citizens input
For once, Weaver’s Cove agrees with many of the points raised by Jamestown Town Councilwoman Ellen Winsor in her May 6 letter to the editor.
We agree with Ms. Winsor that the public should be encouraged to comment on our project: Citizens and regulatory agencies have been making filings and commenting in the FERC record for nearly 10 years now. FERC has listened to and weighed each and every stated concern against the facts and scientific evidence in the public record and has addressed those concerns. The record now runs tens of thousands of pages and is available on FERC’s website.
We agree that the public will have 60 days to file comments on the Environmental Impact Statement for the Weaver’s Cove Project: The 45-day minimum comment period will most certainly be extended to a 60-day minimum. Weaver’s Cove is not aware of any LNG marine import terminal application where FERC has refused to accept comments after the 60-day period closes. During the last round of FERC reviews, FERC staff accepted comments almost up until the time the final environmental impact statement went to press.
We agree that the U.S. Dept. of Transportation has said that our pipe-in-pipe transfer system must satisfy a particular section of the regulatory code. We disagree with DOT’s interpretation of the code. That said, our application demonstrates that we designed our facility to meet the code, even though we thought the code did not apply.
We agree that the three new LNG terminals constructed in Canada and New England have not had a major impact on peak winter gas prices and electric prices. These new LNG facili- ties connect into the existing interstate pipeline grid at locations where they cannot deliver their full capacity into the market when the gas is needed (this is why we did not propose our project at those locations when we started our development about 10 years ago). These newly operational LNG facilities are located in areas where permits are more easily secured, but they are also located on the wrong side of key delivery bottlenecks in the existing pipeline delivery infrastructure. Our project is much more favorably located. This is why we continue to develop our project even though these other projects have become operational.
Once operational, our terminal will employ 50 highly paid fulltime employees. We will also spend significant sums of money maintaining our facility using contract staff. Our direct payroll and fees paid to contractors will ripple throughout the economy. According to the respected economic forecasting firm Global Insight, our terminal will create around 400 direct and indirect jobs, and will produce an annual economic benefit on the order of $100 million per year.
Weaver’s Cove respects the input of citizens like Ellen Winsor, and we hope that she and other members of the public continue to participate in the permitting process – a process designed to listen to community concerns and respond with answers based on facts and the best available scientific evidence.