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BHP Billiton LNG International’s Cabrillo Port in Oxnard/Malibu, CA

STATUS:  Killed

TYPE: Natural Gas

OPPOSITION:  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; Lt. Governor John Garamendi; Congresswoman Lois Capps; Sierra Club; California Environmental Defense Center; California Coastal Protection Network; Pacific Environment


BACKGROUND: In September 2003, BHP Billiton filed an application to build the Cabrillo Port project, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal 14 miles off the coast of Ventura County, California. The project would consist of a floating storage and regasificiation facility and a sub-sea pipeline that crosses federal and State of California waterways.  BHP Billiton completed the initial application for Cabrillo Port in January 2004. 

California state records in 2006 showed a $550 million projected cost for the project.  BY mid-2007, Reuters reported that the project would cost $800 million.  Environmental groups vehemently opposed the project, citing impacts to public safety, air quality, marine wildlife and views.  On April 12, 2007, the California State Lands Commission denied the project a 30-year lease of state waters after a 12-hour hearing.  Sierra Club held a “Terminate the Terminal” rally outside the venue that drew 2,000 supporters, and packed the 700-person hearing room.  By a letter dated May 18, 2007, the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, indicated his disapproval of the project, citing concerns that the project would result in significant and unmitigated environmental impacts to air quality and marine life. Also in May, The California Coastal Commission said the terminal and accompanying pipelines would not meet the requirements of the state's coastal zone management program. A final blow was issued in June 2007 when a Record of Decision disapproving the project was issued by the Maritime Administration.

SOURCES: EPA Region 9 (http://www.epa.gov/region9/liq-natl-gas/index.html);
California Department of Energy (http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/documents/PROJECT_STATUS_CA-BAJA.XLS); 
Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1813733020070519);
Ventura County Reporter (http://www.vcreporter.com/cms/story/detail/?id=4523&IssueNum=119);
Pacific Environment (http://www.pacificenvironment.org/article.php?id=2303).

LAST UPDATED:  November 15, 2010