2010-10-21 / Letters to the Editor

Hypocrisy rampant in LNG information

Last month at the inaugural “Congress of Councils,” a suggestion was made to select dates in October for the second meeting of this Congress. As we approach those dates, I’d like to take a brief look back at what was truly an exercise in hypocrisy, beginning with the notion that “the public is welcome.”

If public involvement were at all a goal, I could think of any number of times to hold this “congress” that would be better suited to the public than 7:45 on a Wednesday morning. Why not push it to Wednesday night? The fact is this meeting was never about the public interest; they didn’t actually want you there. If they had, the meeting would have been scheduled at a more appropriate time.

Adding to the hypocrisy, Jonathan Stone, of Save the Bay, repeatedly mentioned the necessity of evaluating reserves of natural gas in Marcellus Shale. This begs the question: Why is the executive director of the state’s premier environmental protection organization preaching the need to exploit the environment in Pennsylvania? It’s as if he believes the people there don’t care about their environment, and that they don’t matter.

We also heard repeatedly (from Attorney General Lynch, among others) that “If Hess would just build this offshore, there would be no issue.” Yet, I have an issue: If it were to be built offshore, wouldn’t Hess have to use the same pipe that’s been called untested? Let me get this straight – the solution is to stretch this “untested” pipe out to a length of 10 miles offshore (as opposed to 4.25 miles)? That’s interesting. Additionally, won’t there still be a need for a storage facility to hold the liquid we pipe ashore? See, as long as there are no ships disrupting an afternoon pleasure sail, there is no issue, and it doesn’t matter what happens in Fall River. The blatant hypocrisy here is difficult to stomach.

On a note unrelated to the “Congress,” I discovered a Facebook page created and administrated by LNG Threat Committee member. It’s called “No LNG in the Narragansett Bay.” This page is riddled with misinformation, the most amusing of which centers around photos of the U.S.S. Forrestal under the Pell Bridge, each with the same caption. The caption (as of Oct. 7) asserts that an LNG tanker is three times as wide, and 10 times as tall as an aircraft carrier. The Forrestal is 1,040 feet long, 250 feet wide, and nearly 200 feet from waterline to mast. Does Mr. Lynn honestly believe a vessel 750 feet wide, and 2,000 feet tall exists? This caption demonstrates one of two things: a complete and utter cluelessness on the topic, or a deliberate attempt to mislead the public. Perhaps anger over bridge closures comes from a bizarre belief that for each transit the bridge will need to be dismantled to allow the passage of half-mile tall tankers, then reassembled.

Stop the hypocrisy, intentional creation of misinformation and fear-mongering. Look at the facts.
Sean Ouellette

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