Attorneys for the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) indicated Monday that they are reviewing FERC’s denial of rehearing of its decision in the Sound Energy Solution (SES) liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal proposed for the Port of Long Beach, CA. FERC asserted exclusive federal jurisdiction over the proposed LNG receiving terminal (see Daily GPI, June 14). The CPUC has 60 days to make a federal district court filing on the issue.

Meanwhile, representatives from 25 environmental organizations were meeting Monday in Santa Monica to discuss strategies for what they consider three other proposed LNG receiving sites: one other onshore (Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base) and two offshore facilities off the Ventura County coast northwest of Los Angeles. One of the offshore sites is proposed for converting an idle oil drilling platform.

Environmental and citizen groups have expressed concerns about what they perceive as safety questions about LNG shipments in populated areas, and the perceived lack of adequate information on the potential of LNG fires and explosions. The January incident at a liquefaction facility turning natural gas into LNG for shipment in Algeria that killed 27 people has fueled increased concerns.

While California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not taken a public stance on the ongoing FERC-CPUC issue, he is thought to generally favor at least one LNG receiving terminal in the state. Schwarzenegger’s Resources Secretary, Mike Crisman, plans next month to visit Australia’s liquefaction plants on its western coast and to go to South Korea to see a receiving terminal where the LNG is off-loaded and stored for a return to its gaseous state and shipment by pipelines.

FERC reiterated in last week’s order that it provided “uniform federal oversight of siting, construction, operation and safety of facilities used to import foreign LNG,” stressing the LNG trade is inherently foreign commerce, which is subject to federal — not state — control.

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