Saturday, August 11, 2007

Another Blow to Fall River LNG

Weaver's Cove Energy, the group attempting to put a liquified natural gas terminal in Fall River, has been dealt another setback. This time, it's the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, which rejected the company's request to dredge Mount Hope Bay. Weaver's Cove needs the bay dredged because it's currently not deep enough for the huge LNG ships that would need to travel the channel. This is apparently even after the company agreed to use the smaller ships necessary to travel under the Brightman Street Bridge -- necessary after the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation prohibited federal funds from being used in the bridge's destruction. From the Providence Journal:

Along with denying the application because it was incomplete, the DEM said it also found the scope of the project "had substantially changed" and that Weaver's Cove "had failed to provide adequate information to enable the department to determine the exact nature of its project or how the project is viable" following a May 9 U.S. Coast Guard letter "effectively denying the project."
While the company has gotten approval from the Federal Government for the project, state and local officials have consistently opposed the project and the Coast Guard has also expressed skepticism. So far, however, Weaver's Cove has pushed forward despite all the opposition. I can't help but wonder, however, if the company had started the siting process for a different location years ago, when it was apparent that Rhode Island and Massachusetts officials would try to kill this project by any means necessary, that they would be ready to build at a different site. At what point does it become not worth it anymore for Weaver's Cove to keep fighting? LNG opponents will certainly be trying to delay the project until that time.