Editor's note: Interspersed in the following opinion piece are readers' comments countering McGinnis's assertion that his liquefied natural gas project wouldn't pose a threat to coastal communities.
Recently, a new energy project that will bring needed clean natural gas to South Florida has been the target of sensationalist attacks that do a disservice to those who care about clean energy, the environment and the future of our natural resources.
The proposed Calypso Deepwater Port, which will consist of an underwater marine offloading buoy and anchoring system located in federal waters approximately eight to 10 miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, is an environmentally friendly solution to help meet Florida's growing energy needs.
Some have suggested that the Calypso project might pose a danger to the safety of local residents. Nothing could be further from the truth. The misinformation and scare tactics of a small group of project opponents should not be allowed to overcome the facts, and the fact is, the proposed project is tested, safe and offers great promise that will benefit all of South Florida.
Reader Comment: A quick google search reveals that Mr. McGinnis didn't tell the truth when speaking of LNG's safety record. It reminds me that "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his job depends on his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair
Here are the results of that quick google search:
LNG Danger To Our Communities - TimRileyLaw.com Tim Riley warns about LNG vulnerability to accident, earthquakes and LNG ..... It was the worst LNG accident since 1975 when about 40 people died in an ...timrileylaw.com/LNG.htm - 177k - Cached - Similar pages
Scientists say LNG review is missing critical studies LNG accident scenarios produced by the Coast Guard,... Cornwell said that his prediction that an LNG tanker accident would result in a small,...www.wildcalifornia.org/pages/page-114 - 22k - Cached - Similar pages
KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana |UPDATE: Trunkline LNG ...Apr 21, 2008 ... We have an update on the conditions of the four contract workers injured yesterday in an industrial accident at Trunkline LNG....www.kplctv.com/Global/story.asp... - 54k - Cached - Similar pages
LNG: The Next Battle Line The LNG industry touts the "safeness" of LNG but defines an LNG "accident" in the narrowest of terms: the ignition of a massive quantify of stored LNG....www.greenparty.org/LNG.html - 13k - Cached - Similar pages
LNG Danger.com The report determined 70000 casualties could result from an offshore LNG tanker accident, but none of the risk assessments even considered acts of sabotage ...lngdanger.com/ - 48k - Cached - Similar pages
BPPWG Documents DOE LNG accident impact presentation, February 2002; Results of LNG tanker and storage tank accident modeling, October 2001, Quest Consultants for DOE ...www.borderpowerplants.org/news_and_events.htm - 29k - Cached - Similar pages
While emotional responses are normal, a review of the facts shows LNG and the deepwater port are safe. The Calypso project will bring liquefied natural gas to Florida via an already constructed pipeline that is miles out at sea.
Reader Comment: Wow, this letter has all the veracity of a Naoooo problema, dudes!, exclamation from the next corporate interest that wants us to ignore the catastrophe awaiting us from importing more foreign energy, both financial, environmental, and in real terms from a hurricane destroying these facilities. Wake up America, we can no longer support economic growth and progress by burning fossil fues, in fact, we are threatening our future survival as the human species with this madness. Demand a green economy revolution or suffer the disastrous consequences!
Independent studies by the U.S. Coast Guard show that any potential risk posed by the deepwater port, however improbable, could not come anywhere close or have any effect on populations on the coast.
Reader Comment: And what did they tell the residents of Cleveland Ohio after they lost a square mile of their city to an LNG explosion??
P.S.. That was just a tiny LNG leak and explosion.. 9,400 gallons.. A modern LNG tanker carries over 33 million gallons!!!
In addition, the LNG shipping industry has an unparalleled safety record. In LNG's 45-plus year shipping history, there has never been a major incident or breach of a cargo tank from an LNG ship.
Gas prices continue to soar, and utilities are moving away from coal and oil and towards natural gas-fired power plants, because Floridians, under Gov. Charlie Crist's leadership, are rightfully demanding protection of precious natural resources. Natural gas is the cleanest, most environmentally friendly of all fossil fuels, with carbon emissions 50 percent less than coal, and 30 percent to 40 percent less than oil. A new supply of natural gas is needed to meet growing energy demands efficiently.
Currently, the state relies 100 percent on Gulf Coast sources for natural gas. Calypso would help prevent the type of gas shortage as witnessed during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. This diversification and much-needed new source of natural gas will also help prices and energy supply without sacrificing the region's beautiful ocean views and precious marine life, or posing any danger to coastal communities.
Some resident have expressed concern about the project's impact on their shoreline views.
The Calypso Deepwater Port location was chosen for a number of safety, environmental and logistical reasons, and was determined with input from many stakeholders and regulatory agencies. And while more than 6,000 ships and tankers call at Port Everglades annually, coming within hundreds of feet of the view of local residents, the Calypso Port and all ships would remain miles away.
A recent poll shows that 72 percent of voters support moving forward on projects that would provide Florida with more energy at less cost. Three of every four persons polled, citing concerns for a secure energy future, wanted to see completion of the proposed deep water port slated for 10 miles offshore Fort Lauderdale.
We need energy to power our homes and businesses, and our supply is running out. If we allow the minority to drown out the voices of the overwhelming majority of Floridians who want a secure energy future and a clean, safe and reliable fuel supply, we will all be left in the dark.
Dan McGinnis is project manager of Calypso LNG Deepwater Port.
Learn more Find out more facts about this project at www. Calypso dwp.com