Thursday, December 08, 2005

Long Beach LNG: Not so Fast!

Early reports of the success of the LNG facility in Long Beach were premature.

A study of a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal at the Port of Long Beach falls short of answering some key questions, such as whether the terminal would be vulnerable to terrorists, prone to accidents or costly for local agencies, Long Beach city officials said Wednesday.

Long Beach city leaders have said they will await a final environment impact report on the controversial proposal before deciding whether to approve it.

However, on Wednesday, in response to a request for comments, the city released a strongly worded critique of the draft version of that report.

The city said the draft neglects some worrisome possibilities of the proposal, such as the chance that terrorists could commandeer a tanker ship full of liquid natural gas, or that gas could be released in a pipeline accident. Nor does the draft sufficiently consider the danger to port workers in the event of an explosion, city officials said.

The city said the police and fire departments might have to buy equipment or retrain employees to prepare for possible accidents or attacks on the facility. The draft study neither spells out these costs nor says who would pay for them, the city said.