Rhode Island and Massachusetts coastal communities shouldn’t serve as a “test case” to verify the safety of marine transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch said.

He criticized the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard for their handling of LNG projects, as well as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for furnishing what the DHS later admitted was “incorrect” information about the type of insulation used in LNG tankers.

Lynch questioned whether FERC Chairman Pat Wood could objectively consider the myriad concerns surrounding LNG projects because of his ties to the energy industry. “I think Chairman Wood’s comments indicate that he’s already made his mind up on this extremely important matter of public safety. There are a lot of local officials here in Rhode Island and in nearby Massachusetts that FERC hasn’t worked with to discuss, in a good faith way, the many safety concerns associated with LNG,” he noted.

He urged the Coast Guard to acknowledge that “no scientific basis exists to predict the explosive effects of LNG and the resulting impact on the structural integrity of an LNG vessel.” Lynch also asked the Coast Guard to weigh the many safety concerns before it signs off on any license that FERC may grant for the controversial Weaver’s Cove LNG terminal project in Fall River, MA.

In addition to Weaver’s Cove, other LNG projects are being eyed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including Providence LNG at Fields Point, RI; Brayton Point LNG at Somerset, MA; and Northeast Gateway, offshore Gloucester, MA.

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