1 Pleasant Street, Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 761-5616 Fax: (207) 773-6690
February 23, 2004
The Honorable John E. Baldacci
Office of the Governor
1 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0001
Re: LNG Facilities Siting
Dear Governor Baldacci:
On behalf of Sierra Club's Maine Chapter, with 4500 members in the state, we are writing to urge that you take immediate steps to assure Maine citizens that 1) your administration will provide a transparent, thorough, and responsible evaluation of identified concerns, issues, and impacts associated with the proposed location of iiquened natural gas (LNG) facilities on Maine's coast, and 2) public participation in siting decisions will be provided for at all stages of the decision making.
As you are aware, the proposals for locating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Harpswell and Sears Island have provoked controversy and alarm among local residents and many others statewide. We believe that the time is ripe for your administration to update a comprehensive plan for siting-these facilities- and head off a situation that pits our coastal communities against one another.
It is interesting to note that a major incentive to Maine's early coastal planning and management was the strong, continued interest of major oil companies in locating facilities on the coast. In response, the 103rd Maine State Legislature established a State Planning Office in late 1968, and in 1969 a Comprehensive Coastal Development Plan was started.
In 1971 the Governor's Task Force on Energy and Heavy Industry on the Maine Coast was appointed by then-Governor Kenneth M. Curtis. The. following year the Task Force reported that "the essential quality and beauty of the coast should not be sacrificed to short lived advantages of particular resource, technological, or locational features." The report went on to say that "our principal finding is that for the most part future heavy industries should locate in two designated zones on the Maine coast..."
In our view, these principles still apply. Decisions about the siting of energy-related facilities can only be made in the context of sound over-all land-use planning, should not proceed unless a definitive need for them has been demonstrated, and should be located as close as possible to load centers and on land or water that has little other productive value. Trade-offs should be discussed explicitly so that the public is fully informed. This is not happening now.
We are therefore asking that you appoint a special task force and initiate a public process for addressing what could be a turning point in public confidence regarding this issue. We also urgently request that you meet with us at your earliest convenience.
20 Arnold Road Freeport ME 04032
P.O. Box 388
South Thomaston ME 04858 207-594-7534 email@example.com
Co-Chairs, Conservation Committee