Monday, September 12, 2005

Senate Kills LNG siting Bill

One benefit of the State Senate taking off a day early: it meant the end of a bill which would have added an extra layer of bureaucracy for all state-controlled LNG terminal siting.

A bill that would have required the state Energy Commission to review and rank the various proposals to build liquefied natural gas terminals on or off the California shore survived its toughest vote late Thursday in the Assembly -- but then died when the Senate adjourned before taking the final action that would have been needed to send it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The measure was sought by environmental groups that contend the state needs to take a comprehensive look at the four proposals -- including two off Ventura County -- to determine which one, if any, best meets California's energy needs while also protecting public safety and the environment.

It took several rounds of voting, but the measure ultimately won the support of 41 members of the Assembly -- the minimum needed for passage -- shortly after 9 p.m. But before the bill had been transmitted across the hall, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata abruptly adjourned his session and sent senators home for the year. The bill in an earlier version had been approved by the Senate, but a final vote on the amended version was necessary.