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Shell/Bechtel Vallejo Project, Mare Island, Vallejo, CA

STATUS:  Killed

TYPE: Natural Gas

OPPOSITION:  Environmental groups; Vallejo City Government; local residents


BACKGROUND:  Royal Dutch Shell Group and Bechtel Corporation proposed in May 2002  to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and adjacent power plant on a former Navy shipyard on Mare Island, a peninsula alongside the city of Vallejo, California.  The project $1 billion project would have produced enough gas to satisfy 17 percent of California’s demand, and would have powered a 600- to-900-megawatt gas-fired power plant on the island.  Supporters of the project estimated that over 1,000 jobs in a city that had been devastated economically by the closure of the naval base in 1996.

Environmental groups warned against pollution from the power plant, marine vessels, LNG tankers, and service vehicles.  Citizens raised national security concerns.  Local residents and the Vallejo City Government—including the mayor, city manager and city council—strongly opposed the project and organized against it.  On January 16, 2003, Shell pulled out of the project, prompting an announcement by city officials that the project was dead—essentially claiming that their opposition would ensure that any new partner would also eventually walk away.

SOURCES:  The Business Journals (http://www.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/2003/02/03/story1.html);
Vallejo city government (http://www.ci.vallejo.ca.us/uploads/75/279.pdf);
Vallejo for Community Planned Renewal (http://www.vallejocpr.org/risks-dangers/emissions.html);
San Francisco Gate (http://articles.sfgate.com/2002-07-18/opinion/17553475_1_lng-power-plant-bechtel-and-shell; http://articles.sfgate.com/2003-02-03/bay-area/17478934_1_natural-gas-power-plant-vallejo).  

LAST UPDATED:  November 16, 2010