2010-06-17 / Front Page

LNG panel organizes for action

By Phil Zahodiakin

The Jamestown LNG Threat Committee, which was recently empanelled by the Town Council, held its inaugural meeting last week. And though the relatively brief June 10 meeting was administrative in nature, the committee members reached a significant decision – to quickly draw upon the acquired knowledge of another local group.

The council has charged the committee with the mission of “gathering, managing and disseminating information pertaining to the planned transport of liquefied natural gas through the East Passage of Narragansett Bay to a terminal to be constructed in Mt. Hope Bay.”

The five local residents selected by the council to serve on the committee are Peter Converse, Martin Keen, Dick Lynn, Lowell Thomas and Dan Wright. The committee elected Wright to serve as its chairman; Lynn, as vice chairman; and Converse, as secretary.

The committee was pleased to learn that the LNG Working Group – a Jamestown-based panel of experts in various fields – had extended an invitation for the Threat Committee to meet for informal discussions on the findings of the existing panel.

Jerry Scott, who was one of several Working Group members attending the Threat Committee meeting as an observer, said that the Working Group hopes to help the committee avoid duplicative work.

“The idea is getting together and helping you with the information we have,” Scott said.

“I think it’s a great offer,” said Lynn.

It was ultimately decided that the Working Group should make its presentation to the LNG Threat Committee on Monday, June 21. In fact, due to the schedules of the Threat Committee members, it was also decided that Mondays would be the most convenient days for the group to meet, going forward.

Wright pointed out, moreover, that “the council expressed an interest in getting things moving relatively quickly, so we should meet every week [for the foreseeable future].”

Although the Threat Committee has a formal charge from the council, the group still intends to craft a mission statement, and it was decided that Lynn would write a draft of that statement.

Additionally, Wright said, “We need to prioritize the other [LNG] groups that we should work with because there are a lot of them out there in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We need to identify the groups we should reach out to.”

The discussion on outside information sources – in addition to the LNG Working Group – will be among the agenda items for the meeting scheduled for June 21. But the dominant agenda item for that meeting, which will start at 6 p.m. at Town Hall, will be the Working Group presentation.

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