The White House thinks you should put up with 200 to 400 tons of smog-causing pollutants including nitrogen oxide exhaust equal to 60,000 to 120,000 daily car trips to have Australia’s BHP-Billiton (BHPB) import liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the United States.
Now is the time to let the BHPB LNG permit decision-makers know your opinions. Governor Schwarzenegger has until May 20 to veto the LNG port; his Director of Finance, Michael Genest, will vote on it April 9 with Lt. Gov. John Garamendi and State Controller John Chiang of the State Lands Commission. See www.coastaladvocates.com for contact and hearing information.
BHPB port smog will be blown typically from Oxnard to Pacific Palisades into Los Angeles and the valleys. Smog causes asthma, eye irritations, increases in respiratory infections, lung and heart disease. Diesel components have been linked to cancer. When this smog is combined with our Catalina eddy fogs, the harm will probably rival the killer fogs of London. Do we really have to be sicker to meet California and US energy needs?
BHPB’s smog originates in Ventura County where no net increases in air pollution are allowed. Congressman Henry Waxman has found no scientific justification for having the EPA exempt BHPB’s smog.
$15 billion is at stake from this port for the Australian economy. If a North American market for LNG can be gotten, the ante is raised to $60 billion. Prime Minister Howard has lobbied Gov. Schwarzenegger, and BHPB’s campaign includes political fund-raisers, advisers, lawyers, PR experts and lobbyists familiar with the Governor, his wife and other decision-makers.
In 2003-04, LNG seemed better than coal or oil. Our Governor was advised LNG was a good way to avoid rolling electric blackouts in order to expand California’s economy.
But adding up all CO2 pollution from BHPB’s natural gas extraction, freezing, 6,000 mile freighter transport, docking and re-gasification will increase California’s global warming pollution by 10 percent.
We Can Do Better with Natural Gas
Upgrading electricity-generating plants will reduce natural gas use by about 30 percent;
Expanding natural gas pipelines from Alaska to Canada will minimize environmental damage;
Having the best air, water and CO2 pollution controls for the Sempra LNG facility;
Implementing new extraction methods rather than burning off natural gas in oil fields;
Motivating consumers/suppliers to reduce electrical and water use.
We Can Do Better Energy-Wise
Subsidizing research and use of clean wind, solar, biochemical and physical energy sources;
Developing air and CO2 pollution recapture for coal use;
Converting nuclear waste from a pollutant to an energy source;
Now is the time to insist on energy-wise progress in California.