A proposed natural gas port off northern Fort Lauderdale
passed its final federal environmental review this week, despite
intense opposition in neighborhoods that would face the terminals for
giant fuel tankers.
The results of the review make it more likely the final decision on whether the project gets built will fall to Gov. Charlie Crist.
The Coast Guard issued an environmental impact statement that found
Suez Energy North America’s Calypso Deepwater Port would have minimal
effects on air, water quality, marine life and public safety. But the
proposal has generated deep concern in heavily populated beach
neighborhoods, and foes have vowed to inundate Crist’s office with
phone calls, letters and e-mail urging him to reject it.
Suez, subsidiary of a French energy giant, has proposed two undersea
natural gas terminals about eight and 10 miles off Fort Lauderdale. The
buoys, pipelines and turrets would allow tankers with liquefied natural
gas to dock, heat their cargo back to vapor and shoot it through a
pipeline to South Florida’s power plants.
The project still needs the approval of the federal Maritime
Administration, an agency of the Department of Transportation. And a
public hearing will be scheduled before that. But federal law gives the
governor of the nearest coastal state the power to veto such a project,
and an article in Oil & Gas Journal, a trade publication, says this is the “the 800-pound gorilla” of the approval process.
Crist has not said what he thinks of the Calypso plan, and it’s
difficult to get a sense of what he would do from his record as
governor. He has tried to put Florida on the front line of the fight
against global warming by embracing alternative energy, higher auto
mileage standards and conservation. Because natural gas is a greenhouse
gas, that would be a strike against the project. But Crist also
recently dropped his opposition to offshore drilling, saying the nation
must act to lower fuel prices.
Several public officials have already written to Crist to oppose Calypso, including Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl and U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D- Boca Raton.
“If the pipeline or platform is compromised, it could have disastrous consequences,” Klein wrote.
Neighborhoods along the beach have hired a lobbyist in Tallahassee and
plan next week to start sending letters and other communications to the
governor’s office, said Pio Ieraci, chairman of the president’s council
of the Galt Ocean Mile Association, which represents high-rises in
northern Fort Lauderdale.
The key concern in the neighborhoods is public safety. The Coast Guard
has said there would be no threat to beach residents from even a
worst-case explosion because the ports would be too far away. Each
terminal would have a 1-square mile safety zone, marked and patrolled
24 hours a day. But residents say other studies say these projects
could pose a threat, and that the fuel-laden ships could attract the
interest of terrorists.
“It poses a threat to all of Broward County,”
Ieraci said. “It’s a target for terrorism. The potential fire danger is
extreme. It’s obviously a great threat to our beaches, and to the value
of our real estate.”
Dan McGinnis, vice president of Suez, said the results of the final
environmental review validate the work the company has put into making
sure the project would pose no threat to the environment or the public.
If approvals come on schedule, he said, construction could begin in the
first half of 2009.
Richard Dodge, executive director of the National Coral Reef Institute at Nova Southeastern University,
which was given a Suez research contract for the Calypso project, said
the company has “done a lot of work to minimize the environmental
“Our major concern was the reefs, and they have minimized that a lot,” he said.
Sonar ping the whales, drown the polar bears, club the seals, crap on
the reefs w/ tourist beach resanding silt and crap outfalls, drill the
shelf and run natural gas pipelines into FLA….
Sounds like a perfect plan.
Enjoy the Recession!
Fred Stevie Wonder Quimby
They say if one of these huge ships were to explode, anyone within 1
mile would be burned to death. Sounds like it could be a mini-nuke but
if it can bring gas down a dollar a gallon I am all for it.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Florida Flicker and Flash owns Charlie Christ, they want it, he makes
the call, its a done deal, McCain needs the Campaign money, election
There are risks wayyy beyond any initial explosion/fire. The ever
present gulf stream can shift LNG leaks out of the initial fire zone.
Thus allowing a massive gas clouds to form and drift over the
Subsequent ignition by a lightning strike would incinerate several cities in a Hiroshima sized blast.
both the LNG tanker and port owners will have very limited liabilities.
Leaving homeowner and commercial property insurance to pick up the tab
for the increased risk.
Are you ready to pay another 20 to 50% more for property insurace???
Likewise are you ready for property values to drop by another 10 to 20%??
That’s what this project offers SF residents.
And just how many projects like this have they evaluated, approved, and built? NONE, ZERO, NADA!!
We are the guinea pigs !!!
I do know a lot more about local enviromental conditions than a pencil pusher in Wash. D.C.
The Coast Guard’s standing orders dealing with leaks in port based LNG
facilties, is to immediately evacuate all Coast Guard personal from the
Crist wants to sign anything that will give him recognition even at a
cost. This is the worse governor the state of Florida has had…
West Palm Beach, FL
It’s a done deal Charlie is for big oil. Call it his parting gift when
he leaves for the VP job. The one thing that the artical fails to
mention is the pipelines that will be coming from the plant. Welcome to
the selling out of Florida. First it is drilling now gas. What next
toxic waste, work well with the tires as a reef.
you think this well make a difference on the price of electric keep
dreaming. It will be minimum ten years before it gets built. So don’t
expect a break anytime soon.
Makes me sad that I voted for
him. But like all politicians flipping and flopping is part of the
game. The new housing market flip this politian.
While driving up and down Federal Hwy a trillion times over the years,
I’ve often smelled natural gas between SR84 and 595. A few times the
smell was so strong, I was afraid there might be an explosion if anyone
was smoking in their cars. Twice I called 911 over the years and told
them that there was an extremely strong smell of natural gas in the
area. There is “Hot Shack” a hot dog eatery and a Mercedes dealership
nearby where I smelled the gas. Those employees are sometimes breathing
in natural gas all day long and I’ve felt bad for them. It makes me
pause to think they are planning a gas port in the area.
Crist has already decided – guess who paid for the trip to Europe!!
A1ACharles uber alles
Boca Raton, FL
All I have to ask is why is the Osceola Cogen plant not running. There
is a power plant in Pahokee that is already built that has not run
since 1997 because FPL refused to buy electricity from it. It is a 52MW
facility probably capable of producing enough energy for 40,000 homes
using sugarcane bagasse and woodwaste. Before they ever considered
building a coal plant in Loxahatchee, they should have fired up the
Osceola Cogen, but now it sits there a monument to stupidity. With the
state looking to flood where the Okeelanta Cogen currnetly is, the end
of truly green power in Florida may be upon us. One ton of sugarcane
has the eguivalent energy of 1 barrel of oil, annualy we harvest 11
million tons so the potential is there to replace 11 million barrels of
oil with sugarcane power.
Why do you think Crist signed to have us pay triple what that farm land
is worth? Eliminate the competition. If anyone thinks fpl is ever going
to decrease prices you are out of your minds. How long does one need to
live in Florida to realize this?
Ft Laud Bch Patrol
Umm What happens when there is a hurricane last time I checked these
ports were throw all over the place during Katrina in the Gulf.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
At least one 3 million gallon spill occured when a barge hit a submerged rig.
All rigs contain significant amounts of oil products.. when they sink.. those products are released into the enviroment.
Terrorists will also see a nice fat target mored for 4 to 7 days at a
time, unloading volatile cargo. Waiting for the perfect time to inflict
Terrorists can wait for optimal conditions
(early summertime afternoon) before ther launching their attack. Any
small boat will do, dropping a few scuba divers into the water up
current. Drifting with the gulf stream they can easily approach the
mored LNG tanker & facility undetected.
After reaching the target, it’s just a matter of proper demolition technique.
If this project has been turned down by other cities citing concerns,
why would we believe the very people who wish to build the project and
have enormous stakes in the money making prospects. Calypso says,
according to today’s article that the project hasno problems……how
stupid can WE be. We need to stop thinking short term to save a dollar
but rather make plans for a safe future and this is NOT the way to do
that. Look how terrific our Environmental agencies have been to date???
Can we believe them? I don’t think so and neither should YOU!!!
Fort Lauderdale, FL
This facility will be constructed in the middle of gulf stream, with a
strong on shore sea breeze starting up each summer afternoon.
We will be guinea pigs with a bullseye painted on us.
What is this project going do for the residents of South Florida?
I doubt I will see a break on my electric bill.
know I will see more damage done to the already declining natural
reefs! The reefs have declined so much I my lifetime I don’t even
recognize the same place I dove as a kid. Numerous areas are now
completely devoid of natural growth.
Popano Beach, FL
Why is it that South Florida wants to increase its dependence on
foreign fuels, in this case imported LNG? We want to do this because
FPL, who just passes all fuel costs on to us,recently at 16% more,
tells us it is a great project? This is not a domestic energy resource
designed to lead to energy independence, and this resource is far less
“clean” and efficient than a simple offshore natural gas well. What do
you think they burn to bring the LNG here, fairy dust?
see how sincere our dear Governor is about a rational energy future and
energy independence. This is exactly the opposite of allowing rational
development of off-shore domestic resources and emphasizing renewables.
This project has all the environmental, quality of life and safety
concerns of an offshore gas well, and none of the benefits….except to
the LNG developers, the foreign suppliers, and the business geniuses at
FPL. Charlie, are you the genuine article on energy policy, or are you
really just an Empty Suit?
While I am aware of what a months worth of 110+ degree desert weather
can do to the brain, just where the heck do you think the LNG is from
that will be shipped into this facility? Do you think the LNG sources
are domestic? Rational energy policy is more than just rhetoric, and
alot more than calling everyone else NIMBYs if they have reservations
about the build/bust/build cycle that has invested US electric utility
policy for decades. Just like the utilities in AZ, here in Florida we
have a whole bunch of utility mangers who shift all the financial risk
from such projects to captive consumers, and this one is right in their
sweet spot. More of the wrong kind of energy, especially if we recieve
it at an open-ended price, just like oil, is true maddness. Fact do
West Palm Beach, FL
Crist is trying so hard to get that VP spot that it may wind up costing him his entire political career.
No way we can trust this decision to “Good Time” Charlie, he’s already tried to sell us out to offshore oil drilling.
about a vote by the people of Broward County for or against this plan,
since we’re the ones who stand to lose the most if this thing gets
We don’t need a floating gas bomb off the coast of Ft.
Lauderdale, Port Everglades has enough fuel on hand to wipe out most of
Southeast Broward already if a conflagration starts.
West Hollywood Dissident
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Do you really think any economic gain will ever reach our pockets? It
will never happen. Remember Wilma? If FPL used the money we pay them
every month the way they were suppose too (we get charged for “pole
maintainence”) many of us would not have been without power for weeks.
The port will get built and they will continue to find ways to increase
our bills. Probably upcharge us for port maintainence. Bills will stay
the same or go up while the boating, diving & snorkling industry
will plummet while this monstrosity is being built. It’s easy to
support it when you live in Miami. I live 4 blocks due East of the
I agree that we won’t be the #1 target for terrorist, however terrorism
is not the only way this port could be damaging. It will tear up the
reefs and scatter sea life for YEARS while it is being built. The
underwater vibration will ruin the tourism on the coast. The reef on
the south side of the pier is said to be the nicest reef in the
Continental US. So much of our coastal economy depends on ocean
activities. I would hate to see the Mom & Pop SCUBA shops go out of
business while this thing is built. Too think they could survive is
Never Happen 1234
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Why in heavens name would any of you think this project is in FPL’s
consumers’ best interest? Why is the transport of LNG half-way across
the globe, AND the construction of a new off-shore, off-loading
facility AND construction of an off-shore pipeline a least cost way to
provide electricity 4 or 5 years from now? After all, these FPL folks
have done such a great job of planning, and controlling fuel costs,
recently. Be advised, as a consumer of FPL’s monopoly service, if this
monster is built, even if it costs twice as much as the next most
expensive alternative, and four times the cheapest, we will get to pay
for it all in our electric bills.
West Palm Beach, FL
Energy companies socialize the costs and capitalize the profits.
Some people still believe that neocons are incapable of socialism.
A1ACharles uber alles
Boca Raton, FL
I live on the Galt Mile and viewing the two ports that are about 17
stories high is the least of why I oppose this Deepwater Port.
article discusses the fact that the Liquefied Natural gas is
transported at -260 degrees and must be heated by using ocean water to
return it to its gas vapor state. Returning freezing water back into
the environment causing a marine disaster. There will be no attraction
to the deepwater port by FISH as was posted here. There will be a
security zone surrounding the two docks/ports with one boat patrolling
two docks separated by more that two miles apart. Oh I feel real safe
with that security. NOT! Liquefied Natural Gas is extemely explosive
and flammable when it travels over water.
A controlled test of 2500
gal. of LNG released over water ignited in 34 seconds! Each tanker
holds Millions of gallons! Suez reported the tankers will deliver 800
million cubic feet of natural gas per day at risk . A 2007 Government
Accountability Office (GAO) report confirms that LNG tankers face
“suicide attacks from explosive-laden boats,’Standoff’ attacks with
weapons launched from a distance and armed assaults” resulting in a
“severe threat to public safety,environmental consequences and
disruption of the energy supply chain.” This is not a “Liberal”
Democratic issue but an issue of safety and both Democrat and
Republican elected officals are opposed to the DANGER. The Coast Guard
by appoving this is violating their own studies “the Coast Guard -the
lead federal agency for Maritime Security – has insufficient resources
to meet its own self-imposed security standards”
Florida does not need more IMPORTED FOSSIL FUEL we need to develop WIND, SOLAR, and HYDRO power.
“The Governor should approve this Natural Gas import station, and he
should ignore all the Nimbys, environmental wackos and panicked fools.I
live on A1A in LBTS – the “view” issue is a phony, as is the explosion
Have you attended one meeting to get
the facts? If it blows and you are in 30 miles of the beach I’m sure
you will be singing a different tune.
Senate Leading Republican Jeffrey Atwater is against this LNG deepwater port. Is he a wacko too? Get the facts before you speak!