Lars Larson on LNG

Hey, if Houston likes those LNG tankers why can’t Oregon warm up to them?

There’s an ongoing fight in Oregon and the rest of the Northwest about not allowing in LNG tankers. You know LNG””Liquified Natural Gas. The fact is, there are a number of people I call them “Luddites”, people who just don’t want to see technology come in.

Let’s give you some facts on the ground. There are an awful lot of people in Oregon and Washington who heat their homes, heat water, and power their industries with natural gas. Just this week a brand new LNG terminal opened in Houston, less than a mile away from some of the most popular birding spots, some real sensitive estuary areas. Yet, they have been able to fit in that LNG terminal and they are bringing energy to the United States for Americans to use.

The Pacific Northwest should do the same thing. We should tell the Luddites to go back to their wood-fired fireplaces and let the rest of us heat things the modern way.
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Posted by at 09:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 16 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post

    You know, since Oregon’s economy is one of the weakest in the country, it can’t afford to render investment irrelevent. LNG is big business and its a product we and other states need. Lets put Oregon out in the fore front on this, instead of sitting on the bench and missing the game……..again

  • dean

    “Luddites?” One wonders if Lars knows anything about the Luddites. Those opposed to the LNG project(s) have not expressed opposition to using natural gas or to technology in general. They are concerned about specific impacts of an unspecific project.

    I’m neither for or against siting an LNG in Oregon. but this is a big project that will have impacts way beyond the port itself. In particular, a lot of rural landowners are worried about condemnation of their properties for pipelines. What we should support is a thorough vetting of the project, filtering out the misinformation from both sides before we buy off on or reject this. If either of the 2 projects are approved, we will be approving a private company condeming other people’s private land for their own profit. The same folks who were so riled about the Kelo decision (like Lars) should think about this before jumping to conclusions.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t you have any opinions of your own or are you just following the rest of the sheep when you quote the stuff you just did?


      Dean, as a Measure 49 supporter I’m surprised you’d care about the rural land owner. Ah, but then again, it may be your land that they want to put the pipeline through someday. Just think of all the good your land might be able to do for the collective 🙂

      Don’t worry, the goverment will let us know what we can do with our land.

      When they came for my neighbor, I said nothing, when they came for my friend I said nothing, when they came for me, there was no one left to say anything.

  • Bob Clark

    I would like to see more natural gas supply added to the Northern Willamette Valley. As it is right now, Portland, which I reside, is heavily dependent on a single pipeline running from the northern reaches of British Columbia down through Vancouver, B.C, through Seattle and the Washington I-5 corridor before heading east out of Vancouver, Wa, through the Gorge enroute to Wyoming. When it gets cold in British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C, eats up a lot of the supply and Seattle then gets dibs. Portland tapping this pipeline in Vancouver, Wa, is at the bottom of the supply chain. Wholesale natural gas prices spike almost every winter now for the I-5 corridor well above national average prices.

    There are three proposed LNG projects for Oregon. Building only one of the three would help supply diversity. Alternatively, there is a proposal to run a new pipeline next to another from Wyoming into Oregon and Washington west of the Cascades. The folks proposing to build the LNG terminals are taking a lot of investment risk because the prices of LNG supplies in world markets have spiked with the recent surge in crude oil prices, potentially making LNG uncompetive with alternative pipeline projects. But the economic risks are largely theirs, and not the Oregon public. The region already has small liquefied natural gas storage facilities, and I can’t recall any major accidents caused by them.

  • John McNary

    Building a giant import terminal so that the United States can link its natural gas market tot the Middle East and Russia sure sounds stupid to me.

    There are huge new deposits of natural has being discovered all across the lower 48, and Alaska is sitting on top of a giant pool of natural gas that it is entertaining proposals for a pipeline to the Midwest on right now.

    Why on earth would any patriotic American want to start buying more fossil fuel from unfriendly nations? The biggest overseas gas deposits are in Russia, Iran and the Persian Gulf.

    It is against the American interest to import more foreign fuel. That;s not being a Luddite, that;’s being an informed American.

    Last week;s Wall Street Journal reported that world LNG costs are up 93 percent, and that speculators in the U.S. arfe just itching to connect the U.S. domestic market to that volatile sector.

    Dumb idea, Lars.

  • Bob Clark

    LNG is available from a diverse set of foreign countries. Australia is a very big LNG supplier. Alaska also has an LNG export facility. There will be times when foreign LNG is relatively cheap, and when it is, it would make sense to import from even our enemies and conserve domestic supplies for tougher times. Again, it is the project investors who take the biggest ecomic risk, and not the public.

  • Steve Plunk

    President John Kennedy extolled us not to ask what our country could do for us but to ask what we could do for our country. It seems a good portion of America’s lefties have forgotten that call to patriotism.

    Our modern battle in the energy wars calls for all of us to make some sacrifices and compromises yet environmentalists and NIMBYs will not do their part. And yes, it is an energy war. There are those around the world who see their resources as a weapon to dominate the world economy and hurt the United States in particular. Like with other wars the liberals look forward to American defeat.

    The winning strategy in this war is 100 one percent solutions. Exploration, development, conservation, new technologies, they all have a contribution to the solution. The LNG terminal is another one of those one percent contributions. Let’s make it happen.

    • dean

      Steve….patriotic calls are great, but in this case does patriotism mean a few communities and some unfortunate rural landowners are supposed to sacrifice for the “greater good?” When we liberals make that argument on land use (i.e. prevent subdivisions on farm land) we get smacked upside the head with private property rights and individual choice as the highest possible values.

      CD (above,) yes, I supported M49, but so did a lot of rural landowners. It was not a stricly urban-rural divide vote.

      Again…I’m not saying an LNG project should not be built, but I am saying it needs to be carefully vetted and we need to understand the impacts. Especialy since this is a case of a private company condemning someone else’s private land for their own profit.

      • Steve Plunk

        Dean, this illustrates the selective nature of the liberal mind. They seem to pick and choose which issues where the “greater good” is appropriate. In both cases, preventing subdivisions and stopping a LNG terminal, the liberal mindset is making other conform to their vision of what’s right. While there might be some societal arguments for restriction on some land use decisions but the arguments against the LNG seem to be all about NIMBYism and control of others. I can’t buy it.

        Your private property rights argument is all backwards. People are trying to stop the LNG terminal on others people property, not their own. They are trying to impose their will on others. The real sacrifice for the “greater good” here is just letting others do as they wish. Private property rights and individual choice are still preserved. It is the opponents of the LNG terminal who are trying to usurp the rights of others.

        So it appears the standard liberal arguments against this project are failing the tests of logic, common sense, and reasonableness.

  • MichaelO

    Did Lars really say that if Houston did it we can? Bwahhahahah

    Nothing like following one of the nation’s leading polluters on the path to environmental sensitivity.

  • cc

    “Especialy (sic) since this is a case of a private company condemning someone else’s private land for their own profit.”

    The 800 pound straw man here is the misinformation that the pipeline will somehow irreparably damage farmland or threaten the lives of those who live near it. The FACT that the pipeline will be buried seven feet underground is conveniently absent from the discussion of “sacrifices”. Also missing is any evidence that these pipelines regularly expode, leak, or otherwise damage humans, wildlife or flora. The “rural landowners” dean channels are far more likely to fall off their tractor or be struck by lightning than to be injured or even inconvenienced by a gas pipeline under their property. Such disinformation (by omission) puts the lie to claims of unbiased “concerns” on the part of those who, for political, ideological or selfish reasons, simply don’t want gas pipelines and never did. These are the same “reasonable”, “open-minded” folks who, when pressed about what would cause them to reassess their position on AGW, (if they were honest) would tell you: “Hell freezing over.”. Their seemingly rational call for more “studies”, “evaluations” and “vetting” are all just code for delay. It’s just a way to appear less obstructionist – a way to lie. What they mean is they don’t want LNG terminals here and will do whatever works to try to prevent them.

    The transparent ruse of being “…neither for (n)or against… “, while disingenuously calling for interminable delays is a trademark of those whose ideology trumps all. They’re zealots, they’re ruthless and they don’t really care a whit about you if you disagree.

    …and, oh yeah, they are definitely Luddites. The technologies they reject are LNG transport, terminal and pipeline technology.

    Don’t be fooled.

  • MichaelO

    Tell the families of the 27 people in Algeria who were killed in 2004 that these things are safe. Don’t be fooled indeed.

    • dean

      For Steve P up above…and here I thought I was making a point about the selective nature of the convervative mind. Consevatives flipped out over the Kelo decision when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a city condeming private land to turn it over to another private person (developer) for “the greater good.” In the case of the LNG, a private company or companies will be able to condemn many many more acres of other people’s private land “for the greater good” and their own profit. You don’t see a selective view of condemnation power here Steve?

      As for cc…he or she has this amazing ability to read my mind. And an even more amazing ability to insult rural landowners, most of whom are anything but liberals or luddites in my experience, and most of whom know how to safely handle a tractor.

      Did I say “interminable delays?” No. But careful vetting would mean taking some time with this. Big projects that have potentially big impacts deserve careful scrutiny, whether these are unprovoked wars or large energy projects (or throwing money at corn based biofuels). Questions should be asked and satisfactorily answered before passing go.

      Everyone opposed to or concerned about this project is automatically labled a “zealot?” Whatever.

      Some issues, believe it or not are neither conservative nor liberal. In Montana very conservative ranchers are alligned with very liberal environmentalists to stop energy projects of the Bush Administration that will harm both interests.

      This LNG project may be wise or unwise, good or bad, or someplace in between, but I don’t see that it has anything at all to do with traditional conservatism (meaning economic caution, support for slow, incremental changes, suspicion of too much government power over property rights,) and traditional liberalism (meaning environmental caution, support for progressive change, suspicion of too much government power over civil rights).

      Stop being knee-jerk for once.

    • cc

      “Tell the families of the 27 people in Algeria who were killed in 2004 that these things are safe.”

      To the terminally literal-minded, NOTHING is safe.

      To anyone who wants to look at relative safety, LNG/CNG technology is statistically safer than bicycle riding, tractor driving, cooking in your kitchen, and on and on.

      To the faux-neutral, faux-earnest, righter-of-wrongs-to-rural-landowners dean, every position he takes is reasonable, and those with whom he disagrees are knee-jerk. However, if one has the fortitude to wade through his swamp of disingenuousness and self-serving term-definition, every position he takes is liberal and every position with which he disagrees is conservative. He could save himself lots of time and obfuscation and just post a link to BO or LO for his positions on the issues. He’s talking about the “selective nature of the conservative mind” as a way of distracting from a factual discussion of the safety issues of LNG/CNG. He defines “conservative” and “liberal” to suit his response to me and an implicitly different definition for Steve P. A mind-reader I’m not, but one doesn’t need to read dean’s mind – its contents, sadly, are splattered all over the internet. Whatever.

      He invokes Montana ranchers, ethanol, Iraq and pushes the “Bush adminstration” button to figuratively wave his hands and point at distractions. I believe he’d call for “investigations” on whether there’s really a need for ANYTHING not provided by government and which might profit a corporation. He’ll talk all day about anything but the subject at hand. He accuses me of insulting “rural landowners” when I cite the relative safety of tractor-driving versus buried natural gas pipelines. Although he, apparently, IS a rural landowner, I don’t recall him being elected their representative recently. It’s just another mask he puts on when convenient. It’s pathological.

      dean’s smokescreen doesn’t really obscure much since there isn’t much of substance to obscure, but it sure pollutes the blogosphere.

      And so close to Earth Day…

      I will, however, apologize if I implied dean was a “zealot”. Zealots actually *believe* in something.

      • dean

        cc….I believe in something. I believe in actual facts intelligently analyzed and objectively vetted. And I believe it is wise to have at least a smidgen of caution when it comes to big projects, whether these are put forward from my left (biofuels, light rail lines) or your right (drilling in ANWAR, regime change). I accept eminent domain as a sometimes necessary last resort, but I expect 1st, 2nd, and 3rd resorts are tried in earnest before eminent domain is exercised. Especially when it is being used to further a private party objective.

        Lots of reasonable people (my neighbors) reasonably disagree with me, and at times it sometimes turns out (they will tell you) I end up agreeing with them. “Knee-jerk” is reserved for those who jump to a position that fits their bias before hearing alternative arguments. I admit to at times being knee-jerk myself. But I usually manage to recover and am normally open to being persuaded otherwise by intelligent argument backed by observable reality.

        What you offer does not address actual issues and concerns. You dismiss arguments because of who made them, or because they don’t fit your world view, and you then project your belief about someone’s motives to draw whatever conclusions suit you. But hey…if this is what floats your boat, be my guest.

        I don’t think I have ever claimed to represent anyone other than myself, though people often accuse me of representing this or that interest.

        Rural landowners who have seen the maps showing proposed pipelines across their properties can and do speak for themselves. All I’m saying is we should not dismiss their concerns out of hand, or refer to them as “zealots” for wanting to protect what is important to them.

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