California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger kept pushing energy-saving messages for this summer in his weekly statewide radio address last weekend, but other news media picked up belatedly on the governor’s comments about liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal siting in the state that he made in response to media questions last Thursday (see Daily GPI, June 24). The governor’s press office stressed that Schwarzenegger is waiting for the regulatory processes to be completed regarding both proposed onshore and offshore LNG terminals.
In his weekly radio address aired Saturday, Schwarzenegger said, “There is no doubt about it — California will face big energy challenges this summer and maybe for years to come.” He also said that a “smart energy plan” is about much more than new power lines and generation plants, it is also about “solar roofs, promoting innovative building designs that save energy, and clean and renewable power supplies that will help our economy and our environment.”
At the same time major news media were reporting that public officials and community activists from Long Beach to Oxnard, CA, expressed concerns about the governor’s comments last Thursday, in which he said his personal preference was for a proposed offshore receiving terminal 11 to 12 miles out to sea from the coastal town of Oxnard, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles. However, Schwarzenegger said he would wait until all of the analyses and review were completed.
The governor stressed that he thought the state ultimately should be able to decide where a LNG terminal is built, and he thought that longer term at least one terminal would be needed in California.
“Project opponents in Ventura County fear the governor’s remarks could give Oxnard the edge,” the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. The news report also quoted Oxnard Mayor Tom Holden as saying he has “strongly opposed” an offshore LNG terminal near his city for some time, and “nothing the governor said has changed that.”
Meanwhile, a Northern California state senator has proposed legislation that would spell out a review process for assessing the merits and drawbacks of proposed LNG terminals, the LA Times reported. The bill (SB 426) passed the Senate and goes Monday to the state lower house Assembly utilities and energy committee. It would give the California Energy Commission (CEC) authority to make the assessment of proposed receiving terminals.
While proponents and opponents of the proposed LNG terminal in Long Beach Harbor told the Times they were unfazed by the governor’s remarks, Tom Giles, the COO for the Mitsubishi subsidiary Sound Energy Solutions that is a joint venture partner with ConocoPhillips on the proposed Long Beach terminal, said he thought Schwarzengger clearly supported LNG and supported waiting “until all the facts are in” to make a decision on the site.
At the same time, the governor stressed in his radio address that state residents and businesses need to raise their thermostats and shut off their appliances whenever they can this summer because if a sustained heat wave hits the Southwest, California electricity consumers could be in for a bumpy ride — particularly in Southern California.
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