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California Governor Repeats Support of LNG, State Siting Authority

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said last week that he believes his state eventually will need its own liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal, but only after local citizens decide where it should be sited.

He personally favors an offshore site along the Southern California coast near Oxnard, CA, the governor said, responding to questions at a press conference called to urge the state's businesses and citizens to curb their electricity use during peak-demand times this summer.

"I think we should build an [LNG] terminal, we should get more natural gas so we have enough fuel to run our power plants, and we should build more [electric generation] plants, along with conserving energy, which is extremely important, too," Schwarzenegger said in response to a question at the press conference at the California Independent System Operator's back-up facility in Alhambra, CA. "That is why I urge all Californians to save energy, so we don't have any blackouts or any problems this summer."

The governor said he thinks "big energy challenges" face his state not only this summer, but "probably for years to come."

Despite the conference's theme of businesses and individual residents adopting more energy efficiency and demand response measures, news media kept asking Schwarzenegger questions about LNG in the Q&A session.

"I think the key is public safety," Schwarzenegger said in response to a question about what he thinks of the various proposed onshore and offshore sites."I think the best place may be the one near Oxnard where you build [the receiving terminal] out 10 or 12 miles off the shore," said the governor, but he refused to rule out a proposed site in the Port of Long Beach, saying, "We are looking at all of the different ideas to see which one would be the best and the safest and the most economically efficient.

"We're looking at all of this. I think it is important in regard to LNG that we have our own terminal in California."

In response to a question of whether the state will oppose the federal government trying to "force" a terminal location on California, Schwarzenegger said "it should be up to the governor to decide where we are going to build a site for LNG, and I think it should be up to the people of California rather than the federal government, so we will keep on fighting to make sure we have the right to make those decisions."

As part of his prepared remarks, the governor reiterated three priorities in his energy policy: (i) More conservation and building of new power plants; (ii) Reorganization of the state's energy agencies into one statewide Energy Department, with a cabinet-level secretary reporting to the governor; and (iii) New electric transmission lines.

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