Friday, July 20, 2007

Anybody Wanna Talk About LNG?

Here's a little raw meat for a Friday...

The LNG lobby is gearing up for another fight, this one over SB 412, the bill that seeks to require the CEC to do another study to assess the need for LNG in California.

The Center for LNG, an industry trade group, argues—predictably-- that the study is unnecessary because, “In their 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report, The California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission determined that California needs LNG to ensure the state has enough affordable natural gas supplies to meet growing demand.”

Proponents of the bill argue—also predictably—that the California can do just fine without LNG and the study is absolutely necessary.

If the bill passes, the study must be completed by November 2008.


This is a fool’s errand, make no mistake. There is simply no way this document doesn’t get politicized to the point of becoming irrelevant (politicized by both sides, mind you).

The simple fact is, we need more clean burning energy in California, but how do you answer the question, “Do we need LNG, per se?” without injecting a point of view into the conclusion?

Obviously, I think LNG is a net-positive. My noble adversary JJ and the rest of the spear-throwing chorus, disagree vehemently.

So we’ll get another study that will either validate the 2005 analysis, in which case, nothing has changed, or it will do a 180 and say we don’t need it, in which case the document will reek of politics and, still nothing will have changed.

Practically speaking, the LNG war is going to continue to be fought at the regulatory and procedural level, not the policy level. The Coastal Commission and the State Lands Commission and any other agency with even the remotest slice of jurisdiction over a given project will be ground zero for this brawl, not the Senate.

So, sure, spend the money and time to do the report, at least it will give us all something to argue about…

Center For LNG: California Bill Seeking LNG Study is Redundant and Wasteful [Press Release]