Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Energy Bill upsets Long Beach residents

Shifting control over LNG terminals on land to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has Long Beach residents upset over the Federal Energy Bill.

Elisa Trujillo was counting on the state to help stop an energy project she considers dangerous to her and her family.

But President Bush's signature Monday on the nation's new energy bill dashed most of her hopes for beating back the liquefied natural gas import terminal proposed for the nearby port.

"I am so disappointed," the 55-year-old Social Security specialist said.
Trujillo had hoped to appeal to the California Public Utilities Commission to block the terminal. But the nation's new energy law seeks to eliminate the state commission's claim that it has some authority over the project.

The law gives the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission exclusive authority to approve the Long Beach terminal and any other onshore facility for importing the supercooled liquefied natural gas from overseas.

Only one project--the Cabrillo Port--is unaffected by the Energy Bill as it is regulated under the Deepwater Posts Act, which means Californians will still have a say in what happens to the project off the Ventura County coastline.