Gino DiCaro

SB 426 would slow down new natural gas supplies

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Aug. 25, 2006 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

SB 426 (Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto) would limit the Governor's authority to approve new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals on the California coast.  It requires a study on the need for more natural gas, a ranking and extensive evaluation of alternatives to LNG and requires the Governor to only approve the "highest ranking" projects.

The bill is unnecessary and is deeply flawed. LNG projects are already undergoing lengthy reviews by multiple federal and state agencies to ensure public safety and environmental safeguards.  The projects are funded by private investors, so no taxpayer or ratepayer monies are at risk if natural gas demand does not materialize. And even if additional state oversight were justified, the bill is so poorly drafted that it is unclear how a project would ever be finally approved. Extensive litigation would undoubtedly follow passage of SB 426.

CMTA urges your opposition to SB 426.  The need for new natural gas to fuel our growing economy and fire electric power plants has been documented by the California Energy Commission. Natural gas prices are high and volatile. The recent heat wave in July was nearly a catastrophe - it was the hydro-electric power plants, nuclear plants and the traditional natural-gas fired plants that kept the lights on.  Opponents to LNG argue that conservation and renewable power is all we need.  They are wrong, as shown by years of study, recent power demand events and high natural gas prices.   

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