TYPE: Natural Gas
OPPOSITION: Rhode Island state government; City of Providence; environmental groups; local residents
BACKGROUND: KeySpan Energy (now National Grid) first announced in 2003 a proposal to expand its existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and receiving facility in Providence, Rhode Island into a terminal that would receive LNG deliveries from tankers. The expansion would have cost $100 million to construct; the terminal would have a sendout capacity of 500 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Environmental groups and state officials mounted significant opposition to the proposal. They were concerned about what might happen in the event of a terrorist attack or an accident aboard an LNG tanker, as well as the potential disruptions that regular tanker shipments would cause to other Bay traffic. Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch was the most vocally opposed to the project, although Governor Carcieri, Rep. Patrick Kennedy and others also joined in opposition.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected KeySpan’s proposal in 2005. KeySpan appealed the decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but new owner National Grid dropped the lawsuit in October 2007. National Grid then shelved the KeySpan expansion project.
SOURCES: State of Rhode Island (http://www.ri.gov/GOVERNOR/view.php?id=110);
Providence Journal (http://www.projo.com/news/content/bz_keyspan_drops_appeal03_10-03-07_AD7BN1I.25d8cae.html);
Providence Phoenix (http://www.providencephoenix.com/features/top/multi/documents/04657662.asp);
Save the Bay (http://www.savebay.org/Page.aspx?pid=458)
Last Updated: December 1, 2010