Nancy Oden

Op-ed

LNG: Cronyism, Climate Change, & Private Property

by Nancy Oden

March 22, 2005

Let's talk a bit about the LNG pipeline. The LNG gas would have to get from Passamaquoddy Bay to wherever it's going. And just where is that? We know it isn't for Washington County, unless a few people were promised a hookup as part of the offered bribes.

How many miles of whose land and homes would the pipeline tear up?

One developer said the pipeline might go under a railroad bridge they're proposing to build. This is foolish nonsense. LNG pipelines do blow up, sometimes right in the middle of towns, and these explosions have hurt people and burned down their homes.

There is no guarantee of safety when explosive gases are involved, no matter what the moneymen claim.

Another concern is property values. Who would want to live in a noisy, dirty, dangerous place such as near an LNG terminal and its certain expansions? Property values are rising now because Passamaquoddy Bay is unique and beautiful, but if the LNG monster went in there, residents' homes would immediately lose much of their value. People would be stuck there, unable to sell their homes and therefore unable to leave.

Also, when that pipeline looks for its route, likely some of the land will be taken by Eminent Domain. That's when you have to sell to them whether you like it or not. Bangor Hydro did that with its unnecessary power line from Canada, and these people would likely use the power of the State to do that, too.

Another concern not yet mentioned is global climate change. Liquefied natural gas is a fossil fuel, the burning of which leads to turning some areas of the Earth hotter and some areas (ours, for one) colder.

This works because warmer air melts glaciers which then spill fresh, extremely cold meltwater onto the Gulf Stream — the warm ocean current from the Southern Hemisphere (the only thing between us and another Ice Age) — blocking the warmth it brings.

Scientists around the globe are issuing dire warnings that we'd better stop burning fossil fuels and go to clean energy — solar, wind, and (small, local) water power — if we wish to keep Earth's climate stable enough for humans and Earth's other life forms to live here.

Just so you know some of the players here: one attorney working on the LNG pipeline, Jim Mitchell, is Governor Baldacci's cousin. He's also former Senator George Mitchell's nephew.

That same Jim Mitchell is also involved in schemes to turn beautiful Sears Island into an industrial wasteland, perhaps an LNG terminal should Passamaquoddy Bay not work out.

Furthermore, Casella, the garbage man dumping in Old Town who was given a very special deal by Governor Baldacci, and who is turning Maine into Garbageland of the East by bringing in tons of out-of-state garbage, is represented by the law firm of Pierce, Atwood.

Robert Baldacci, the Governor's older brother, is executive director at Pierce, Atwood Consulting, and also, of course, related to above-mentioned attorneys. So these are family affairs, done for their personal enrichment, which is not the same thing as being good for the People of Maine.

But I trust the people of Perry to know a con job when they hear it.

I believe they'll vote to save their beautiful Passamaquoddy Bay so fishermen and others can go about their lives, maybe not with a lot of money, but with the daily knowledge that they saved their beautiful homeland from poisoning and destruction, and did the right thing.

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Nancy Oden lives in Jonesboro and is an independent candidate for Maine Senate. She can be reached at [207-434-6228] or . Her website is http://www.cleanearth.net.

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