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627 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  4:09:51 PM  Show Profile


---------------- SENDER'S MESSAGE -------------------

I'm not a Bush Basher but I do agree with Bob Marshall on this one.Please note the release. We need to get to our congressmen as they're the only ones the Coast Guard will listen to.


For Immediate Release
Contact: Charlie Smith, Louisiana Charter Boat Association Executive Director
Home: 100 Fairfax Place, New Orleans, and LA 70131
Phone: 504-481-1492 (cell)
504-481-1492 Home/office

Charter Boat Group opposes Offshore Open Loop Plan

The Louisiana Charter Boat Association today announced "total opposition" to a Shell Oil plan to use super-heated Gulf water to enhance the production of Liquefied Natural Gas off the Cameron Parish Coast. Marine biologists estimate the technique could destroy over ten per cent of the Redfish population annually.

In a statement released today, LCBA President Mary Poe of Big Lake Guide Services said, "We're for economic development but not at the expense of our fishery. Not only would the Redfish suffer, but any other species that breeds offshore would have heavy losses. Crabs, plankton, King Mackerel, Snapper, all offshore breeders could be impacted, as well as all the micro-organisms that start the food chain in all our waters."

The group asked that, "All citizens of Louisiana band together to stop this dangerous practice immediately. We are for economic development and would not oppose a system which would not do such irreparable damage to our natural resources. Shell should consider it's options and follow the system which does not damage our fragile eco-system."

The National Marine Fisheries Council has asked that Shell be required to pay over 30 million in mitigation charges if they are allowed to utilize the controversial methodology.
"That's all fine and good for a quasi-governmental agency to get damages," said Poe, "But exactly what help will that be to the 100 Charter Boat families who derive their entire livelihood from the guide business in Cameron. This plan could also impact the five hundred guides in other Louisiana waters as other companies might pursue this same destructive option. Besides, the last time I looked, there were no water barriers in the Gulf; what impacts us in the West will also impact the Central and Eastern fishery."



"If you take the charter boat industry as a whole, our five hundred captains have a very beneficial impact on the tourism industry and, if considered as one company, we would be one of our state's major employers. To chance ruining the fishery for ourselves and the over 300,000 salt water fishermen of Louisiana is a very foolish proposition."

Commenting on the proposal, Kirk Stansel of Hackberry Rod and Gun Club, said, "Look, they say they will kill about ten per cent of the total Redfish population but this is not a one time thing. Ten per cent this year, ten per cent of what remains next year, ten per cent the following year. In less than a decade, we could be out of fish. We have twenty to twenty-five guides working for us year round. What do we do when there's nothing to catch? We already have a dead zone, we don't need to have another one. "

Erik Rue of Calcasieu Charter Service is also concerned. "I am interested in learning more about the science behind these findings of the potential impact on our fisheries. Obviously, if the studies can be verified, this would have a huge negative impact on our area and other Gulf Coastal communities that depend on our fisheries for their livelihood. While I am certain that the offshore plan is a better alternative than having more dredging and erosion of our inshore channels to accommodate the huge tankers carrying the LNG, these new studies suggesting such an impact on our fisheries should be address before any approval of this proposal.

Poe asked that all wildlife groups take a position. 'We'd like the CCA, the Wildlife Federation, the Audubon Society, everyone to take a look at this and help us defeat this plan. This is one area where Crabbers, commercial fishermen, guides and recreational's can make common cause. It will kill us all."
The LCBA is asking all elected officials and concerned citizens to take a stand against the Shell Oil plan. The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to make a decision on allowing the practice in the next few weeks.

"The clock is ticking and greed is first out of the gate. We're not talking spotted owls here, we're talking about he backbone of our fishery. We're talking real dollars and a real economic impact. If government can get upset about underwear plants and football teams, We think they need to help us with this issue as well. " Poe concluded.
Charlie Smith
LCBA




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627 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  4:11:53 PM  Show Profile
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fisheries could be hurt by streamlined regulations
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Bob Marshall
In the next few weeks, the federal government may give a green light to construction of an offshore gas depot that could reduce the annual redfish catch in Louisiana by as much as 11 percent. And that's not all. That permit could well be followed by many others, resulting in an escalating impact.

Yet the entire permitting process, including environmental review, has taken little more than a year and gained very little attention.


From Our Advertiser




The story of how we got here should be of particular interest to anglers driving around with "Sportsmen for Bush" bumper stickers. A constant in President Bush's political philosophy is his desire to "get government off the back of business," claiming the cost of regulation hurts business profits and the econcomy. He's been doing this by reducing environmental regulations and especially "streamlining" the permitting process. He also thinks some environmental regulations should be voluntary, with businesses policing themselves.

Here's how that ideology has worked for Louisiana's fisheries.

On Nov. 3, 2003, a Houston company applied for a permit to build a facility 38 miles south of Cameron that would take liquefied natural gas from tankers and convert it back to gas for shipping via pipelines across the U.S. The facility would be owned by Shell U.S.

Gas is liquefied by cooling it to temperatures as low as 260 degrees below zero. To convert it back to gas, it must be heated. The facility would accomplish this by pumping hundreds of millions of gallons of Gulf water daily into a radiator-like warming system, a so-called open-loop system. A closed-loop system that needs much less water can be used, but would be too costly, the applicant said, because a significant percentage of the gas being imported would have to be used as a heat source.

In the open-loop system, marine organisms will become trapped against the cooling intake screens, sucked into the system and crushed or killed by the 20-degree drop in temperature of the water coming out of the system, or by the chemicals used in the process.

That became an immediate concern at National Marine Fisheries Service because the plant is just the first of many planned for an area known to marine scientists as the "Fertile Fisheries Crescent." It is, according to the agency, "the most biologically productive area in the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem."

Among the species using the area for breeding grounds, nurseries and foraging areas are redfish, Spanish mackerel, white and brown shrimp, speckled trout, flounder, menhaden, mullet and blue crabs. Because of that, the NMFS has listed the area as "essential fish habitat," which, by law, it is required to protect.

Most Americans assume our environmental regulations would ensure close protection of such vital resources. They are wrong.

This permitting process, recently streamlined, is not in the hands of environmental agencies. In 2002, Congress amended the 1972 Deep Water Port Act with an eye to national security. In the process, it transferred the permitting process from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the U.S. Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration, neither with much experience in conducting environmental reviews of sensitive areas.

The applicant is still required to supply a draft environmental impact statement, which is sent out for public comment. But that document is not written by government agencies or scientists. It is produced by the company seeking the permit.

And (surprise, surprise) this document presented to the Coast Guard last February said there would be little negative impact on the surrounding marine environment.

Fortunately, under the National Environmental Protection Act, the NMFS is required to provide its own comments on projects that could affect marine fisheries. And, when the NMFS looked at this environmental impact statement, it didn't like what it found.

The NMFS said the company used incorrect models for many of its assessments, in one case underestimating impacts on fish by 500 percent. One example: although the applicant concluded mortality to juvenile redfish would be insignificant, the NMFS calculations placed the average kill at 86,000 to 432,000 fish per year.

The agency summed up its problems with the document in this unambiguous broadside: "Throughout the draft environmental impact statement, conclusions are made that the facility will have no significant impacts on essential fish habitat, fishery stocks, and the coastal environment. . . . These conclusions are not supported by hard scientific data and rely on much speculation."

The NMFS said only closed-loop systems should be used. That conclusion was shared by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council and the Gulf Marines Fisheries Commission.

End of the story? Not under this system.

The final impact statement was released Dec. 3, and nothing had been changed. Apparently the Coast Guard is standing by the conclusions of the company-produced impact statement.

The NMFS has fired off a final letter detailing the long list of problems in the impact statement, as well as the terrible threat posed by the growing number of these facilities planned for the Gulf, one of which would be within 20 miles of Venice. And the Gulf Council has claimed the annual loss to Louisiana's fishing industry in redfish mortality would be $34.2 million.

Yet the final decision due Feb. 16 will not come from any agency charged with protecting our natural resources. It will come from the Department of Transportation, which houses the Coast Guard and the Maritime Admininstration, the same agencies that found no problem with an impact statement produced by the company seeking the permit


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n/a
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627 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2005 :  05:38:36 AM  Show Profile
HEY PSYCHO...HOPE YOU ARE DOING WELL. AS YOU KNOW I AGREE WITH YOU ON THE OPEN FLOW /LNG ISSUE...SO THAT YOU WIN THE ARGUMENTS/DISCUSSIONS AND YOUR CREDIBILITY IS NOT QUESTIONED...I READ THE REPORT AND IT IS 11.5 OF LANDINGS GULF-WIDE...NOT OF THE TOTAL POPULATION AND NOT ALL IN THE LAKE CHARLES AREA...THE "OTHER" SIDE WILL USE MIS-STATEMENTS AS A "SEE, THEY EXAGGERATE TO MAKE THEIR POINT". IT IS STILL TOO MANY BUT I'M JUST TRYING TO HELP EVERYONE ON OUR SIDE BE CAREFUL IN THE "PR" BATTLE SO WE WIN! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! BARRY.



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627 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2005 :  05:39:16 AM  Show Profile
CHARLEY,

Please look at my earlier posting about the 11.5 percent number.

Looks like the news media got it wrong.

It is 11.5 percent of Louisiana landings of redfish; NOT 11.5 percent of all redfish. It is in Shell's application.

11.5 percent of LA landings is about 8 percent of total Gulf landings.

Still a lot of redfish -- worth what the Council suggests as mitigation just for the redfish.

Suggest you correct and say it is still a big bad impact.



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n/a
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627 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2005 :  05:40:28 AM  Show Profile
Captain Barry thanks for the e-mail'
Cheers even at 8.5% lets do a little math, thats 91.5% this year and then 8.5% of 91.5 % next year and so on and so on. That's one rig and there proposeing 4 rigs/terminals just like that one. Pretty soon we're right back where we were before the gill net ban, except one thing, they won't remove those terminals from the gulf.
Also it's not just REDFISH people it's, TUNA, COBIA, TROUT, RED SNAPPER, SHRIMP, ETC, ETC. Hopefully now you can see a clearer picture.



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n/a
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627 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2005 :  05:41:19 AM  Show Profile
Your posting was very informative and I agree with your assessment of the permitting agency's and their cloudy findings and their crooked permitting system. You know we have heard from the Republicans and the Oil Industry,which is the Republican's cash cow,that the Democrats and their tree huggers have imposed such strict environmental regulations on the Oil industry that they haven't been able to construct a grass roots refinery in the USA in over 20 years. They claim this has led to increased dependence on foreign oil, etc. However,it has only been about a year ago that we started hearing about a Natural Gas shortage and the need for these LNG plants to be built. Does it surprise anyone that it has taken only about a year until the first LNG plants are going to start construction because maybe the Republicans are in power.I am for jobs and prosperity in our country but I am not for destroying our fast fading habitat just because of greedy businessmen wanting to make big profits. Enough damage has been done in the past and we should learn from the past. If you have read this far thanks a lot, I could go on for a long time but I am going to bed.



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n/a
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627 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2005 :  05:58:59 AM  Show Profile
TO EVERYONE THAT IS SENDING ME E-MAILS!!
Please post a copy in the reports when you send it. This is a subject we need alot of support on. My next question is.
WHERE IS THE CCA, EPA, LWDF, PETA NOW?
WHERE ARE THE OFFSHORE CHARTER CAPTAINS?
THE INSHORE CAPTAINS, SHRIMPERS, CRABBERS, ANYONE WHO MAKES A LIVING OFF THE SEE?
WHERE ARE THE SPORT FISHERMAN?
Apperently most people don't understand this and what's going on, I've done a little research and will do more but don't like anything I see.
I guess we'll here from them when they start WHINNING about no fish, canceled charters, going out of buisnee. If this goes through we won't have to worry about GATED CANAL'S , there will not be any fish behind them to CRY about.



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n/a
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627 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2005 :  08:49:07 AM  Show Profile
Gulf heats up as site for cooled gas
Another LNG project proposed
Thursday, January 20, 2005
By Stewart Yerton
Business writer
Marking what would be the company's second such project in the Gulf of Mexico, ConocoPhillips Co. plans to develop a liquefied natural gas terminal in the Gulf, due south of the Texas-Louisiana border, company executives said Wednesday.

The announcement marks the latest in a series of projects announced by major oil and gas firms and independent producers, which are flocking to the Gulf to build offshore ports to receive shipments of the supercooled, highly concentrated fuel from overseas markets. Among those that have proposed facilities are Shell, ChevronTexaco and McMoran Exploration Co.

Advertisement






Commonly called LNG, liquefied natural gas has been used for decades as a fuel source in some locales, most notably Japan.

Although many gas-producing nations have much more natural gas than they can use, it is expensive to ship. The gas must be liquefied overseas, which dramatically shrinks the volume. It is then transported by tanker and ultimately turned back into a gas for use in homes, factories and power plants.

Only recently have natural gas prices reached a level that justifies using LNG widely in the United States, which is increasingly hungry for natural gas.

In June 2003, before a House of Representatives energy committee, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan bemoaned the shortage in the United States of natural gas terminals, which he said were needed to help stabilize the natural gas markets in the United States. Since then, there has been a rush to build new facilities, including several in the Gulf.

Steve Lawless, a manager for shareholder relations with ConocoPhillips, said the company is basing a big part of its growth strategy on LNG. For 35 years the company has operated a liquefaction facility in Kenai, Alaska, producing fuel shipped to Japan, Lawless said. The company also has obtained regulatory approval to build an onshore facility in Freeport, Texas. And it is seeking approval for facilities near Mobile, Ala., and Long Beach, Calif.

ConocoPhillips has requested regulatory approval from the Coast Guard to build the newest facility, known as Beacon Port. The facility would have the ability to process 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, making it the largest of the terminals proposed by the Houston-based energy giant, which was formed in 2002 by the merger of Conoco Inc. and Phillips Petroleum Co.

Lawless declined to say how much ConocoPhillips plans to invest in Beacon Point. However, he said it is likely to cost more than ConocoPhillips' proposed port south of Mobile, which has been estimated to cost between $500 million and $800 million. Lawless said the permitting process would likely take 13 to 15 months and that the terminal could be ready to accept deliveries in 2010.

The Beacon Port terminal would turn the stored liquid back into gas and send it by pipeline 46 miles to an above-water riser platform. The platform would be 29 miles south-southeast of Johnson's Bayou. From the platform, the gas could be shipped through any of three existing pipelines, all of which go to Louisiana.

Environmental concerns have popped up lately because vast quantities of fish eggs and other tiny life forms could be flash-frozen to death by LNG terminals. That's because the terminals use sea water to warm LNG, which is stored at about 260 degrees below zero. The LNG must be warmed to turn it back into a gas before it is shipped through pipelines.

Lawless said any impact would be minimal. The water intake would be positioned at a depth with few life forms, he said, and screens would filter out most of what could get sucked up. He said the company is conducting a two-year study by outside scientists to help it find ways to minimize impact.

ConocoPhillips also is developing liquefaction facilities in a number of overseas locales, including Nigeria, Qatar and Venezuela, which could serve as the source of fuel delivered to the Beacon Port facility, Lawless said.

. . . . . . .


Stewart Yerton can be reached at syerton@timespicayune.com or (504) 826-3495.



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furduknfish
Advanced Member

628 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2005 :  11:51:17 AM  Show Profile
Somebody mentioned the dead zone... Maybe that's where they should build the friggin thing?

Just to clarify, the intake is what will do most of the killing. The water coming from out of the loop will be cooled (I think someone mentioned 20 degrees), which is the opposite effect most plants/terminals have in the gulf.

The reasoning behind these statistics are still confusing to me since we are talking about a 100 square yard column of water 200ft in depth. Hope Al comes up with something better than the sensationalized media figures, like what assumptions are made on catch rate/propogation success/growth rate and the like...

In the end, the only way to make them use the closed loop system is by making the mitigation cost higher than the price difference (closed - open = savings). Screw making it worth damages to the economy/environment, that's just an oppurtunity cost to companies.

Just remember that when your gas bill goes up next year. Life is full of scarafices, I mean compromises...

Later,
Fur

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