NorthernStar Natural Gas Corp.'s proposed Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal received support from an editorial in the Longview (WA) Daily News. The newspaper stressed benefits that it says the project offers the region. An 18-mile gas pipeline connecting the terminal on the Oregon side of the Columbia River to the Northwest Pipeline interstate grid is slated to run just north of Longview. "Hydropower won't meet the [Northwest's] future needs," the editorial said. "New dams are not being built. Coal, while plentiful, carries unacceptable environmental costs. LNG is a clean source of energy." The editorial cited a 2007 study by University of Oregon economics professor Philip Romero that concluded that up to 10,000 jobs could be created by the facility, and an increase in the gross domestic product for Oregon, Washington and Idaho of up to $1 billion could be realized. Romero also said the terminal could help cut natural gas prices in the region by 13%. "Politicians do their constituents no favor by stalling this project," the editorial said. "The Bradwood Landing terminal is a net benefit for the region's economy -- both short- and long-term."
More machinations on Wall Street regarding investment banks and insurance companies didn't change anything for a number of outstanding long-term public-sector utility natural gas purchase deals, according to separate announcements Monday by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P). Units of Citigroup Inc. and American International Group Inc. (AIG), the global insurance company, sparked the credit rating reviews. But for now, S&P said the ratings on billions of dollars in bonds to support these purchases remain unchanged, with "negative" outlooks for debt holdings because of the Citigroup and AIG woes. Some of the deals cited by the credit rating agency are $504.5 million in bonds by the Southern California Public Power Authority; $887.4 million in bonds by the Long Beach Bond Finance Authority, the financial arm for that California city's municipal gas utility; $407 million in bonds by the Vernon Natural Gas Financing Authority, another financing arm for a California city-run electric utility; $1.03 billion in bonds by Public Energy Authority of Kentucky Inc. (PEAK); and $2 billion in bonds by the Tennessee Energy Acquisition Corp. All the offerings except for the City of Vernon's and PEAK's drew negative outlooks; those two were classified as "stable." The ratings agencies continue to review these public-sector deals because of ongoing woes of some of the counterparties in these otherwise A-rated bonds.
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