For some reason, the folks behind the last remaining proposed LNG import facility on the East Coast, Downeast LNG, are still pursuing their license from FERC to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on the shores of Passamaquoddy Bay here in Maine. And even more perplexing, FERC is still willing to spend time and resources on a project that the energy market is clearly saying makes no sense, or cents for that matter.
As our friends at Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3 Nation Alliance point out, Downeast LNG has “just become the sole remaining LNG import terminal on the entire continent.” In light of the already overbuilt capacity for importing LNG, the significant amount of domestic natural gas now flooding the market and bringing prices to an all-time low, and the number of import facilities that are now reversing course to become export facilities, the logic for continuing this quixotic adventure eludes us. For that very reason, FERC dismissed the application of the Calais LNG project, also slated for Passamaquoddy Bay and opposed by CLF in 2010. (Find CLF blog posts on Calais LNG here.) If anything, Maine should focus on more infrastructure to deliver gas to businesses and residents but new sources of natural gas supply are not needed now nor for the next foreseeable 50 years.
Perhaps it is time for FERC and Downeast Energy to face the music and realize that while a decade ago, LNG terminals may have been a bridge to a better energy future that used less polluting energy sources, they are now a bridge to nowhere and should meet the same fate as that famous Alaskan boondoggle.