BHP Billiton challenged Phil Angelides, California State Treasurer and Democratic Party candidate for governor, on his opposition to Billiton’s plans for an LNG receiving terminal 12 miles off the Pacific Coast from Oxnard, CA. Angelides is proposing a tough, detailed state review of all LNG projects.

When BHP’s proposed Cabrillo Port LNG facility is built and operating, “air quality in the region will be improved,” said BHP Billiton spokesperson Kathi Hann. “The facility’s location, design and technology employed will provide for a resource that will comply with all applicable requirements of the Clean Air Act and will improve the environment in the safest manner possible.”

On Friday, Angelides announced his coastal protection plan, called “Coast Guard,” that will fight what he said are pro-energy development policies of the Bush administration and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Included in the six-point plan is a call for requiring “comprehensive state planning before approval of any LNG terminals and desalination plants” along California’s coast.

Hann said both the California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) have pointed to the need for “a thorough environmentally sensitive evaluation process” to determine where the best place for an LNG receiving terminal might be. And for Cabrillo Port, she said, both federal and state agencies have undertaken an environmental review process.

BHP Billiton has agreed to mitigation measures, and the operations at the terminal will employ “the best available control technology,” which the developer said would “dramatically” reduce the proposed facility’s emissions. The efficiency of the project in turn will help the state meet its goal of limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions down to the 1990 levels by 2020.

Hann said the large Australian-based global resource company is committed “to protecting the quality of the air, the oceans and pristine views of California’s coast.”

Meanwhile, Angelides hammered away at a political theme voiced in his political advertising, stressing the ties between Schwarzenegger and Bush while avoiding the governor’s continuing differences with the White House on fighting global warming. He said Billiton’s proposed offshore receiving terminal was backed by both the president and California’s governor.

“As California’s governor, I will veto this Bush-Schwarzenegger LNG terminal,” Angelides said. “I will not allow our coastline to be tarnished. I will not put our health and our children’s health at risk. And I will not allow this plant, a sitting duck for a terrorist attack, to be located just off our shores.”

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