Senate hearing on LNG permitting

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Oct. 14, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee will conduct an informational hearing on the permitting process for liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals on Thursday, October 27 at 10 a.m. in the State Capitol.
 
Among those testifying will be representatives from agencies that play a role in the permitting process, project applicants and other stakeholders.
 
The committee chair, Martha Escutia (D-Whittier), has taken a keen interest in the LNG issue, and is the author of SB 1003, a bill that would significantly slow down the permitting process for LNG terminals.  Escutia's bill, which was put on hold late in the 2005 legislative session and will be taken up again when the Legislature reconvenes in January, is likely to be significantly amended.  It had been joined with another very similar bill, SB 426 (Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto), which narrowly passed the Assembly on the last night of session and will also be taken up again next January.
 
Both measures require the California Energy Commission (CEC) to conduct a needs assessment study to determine the number of LNG terminals needed to meet the state's future natural gas demand, and to rank the proposed sites.
 
CMTA opposes both bills.  California's demand for natural gas is expected to grow significantly within the next decade. California's power plants rely on natural gas and our state only produces 16 percent of what we consume. To help meet that demand, LNG can play a larger role in the state's energy supply mix.
 
The proposed LNG projects are presently undergoing extensive public review by multiple federal and state agencies. Each project should have the opportunity to meet federal and state requirements and acquire a permit without the CEC choosing winners among them. 
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