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The Fort Lauderdale   Beach   Gas & Oil Field
Calypso Click to Calypso Web Site Calypso
They Tried to Sneak One By

TThe residents of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, the Galt Mile and Lauderdale Beach - and their elected officials - knew almost nothing about the approval and subsequent construction of a dangerous gasworks adjacent to their shoreline until it was close to being a fait accompli. At a Presidents Council meeting in December of 2007, City Commissioner Christine Teel addressed dozens of attending association officials, briefing them about a planned deepwater port and pipeline that was being actualized "below the radar".

Galt Mile Community Association Presidents Council
GALT MILE COMMUNITY ASSN PRESIDENTS COUNCIL
After delivering the sum total of the information she was given by Calypso representatives, she focused on the disquieting prospect that her district - as well as the rest of the city - was disturbingly close to being saddled with a facility afflicted with a host of undisclosed dangers. When asked, since every federal, state and county official admitted never having heard of Calypso, they were unable to shine light on the project, its sponsor or the reason for its placement across from the Galt Mile Beach. In City Hall, other than Commissioner Teel, only Mayor Naugle even heard of the project... the other three City Commissioners were completely in the dark.

Aftermath of the 2004 Algerian Natural Gas Disaster
AFTERMATH OF THE 1944 CLEVELAND LNG DISASTER
In a nutshell, the history for Deepwater Port LNG facilities is paper thin. We will be “beta testing” this strategy for the industry, transforming Fort Lauderdale into a LNG laboratory in which residents serve as lab rats. Ominously, the first onshore LNG facility in America suffered a major accident, incinerating one square mile of Cleveland in 1944, killing 131 and leaving 680 people homeless. Although findings confirm that leaks are mostly absorbed into the atmosphere and dilute to the extent that ignition is unlikely, if a tanker discharged its full cargo, the gaseous “spill” could travel for miles before reaching its ignitable dispersion level. A 1977 Oxnard, California Environment Impact Report determined that a LNG accident in which a full tanker’s contents were released would send an ignitable gaseous vapor cloud some 30 miles before dissipation defused the threat of ignition. Since the energy content of a typical 125,000 cubic meter LNG tanker is equivalent to seven-tenths of a megaton of TNT, or 55 Hiroshima bombs (as per a 1982 Lovins & Lovins Pentagon study entitled “Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security”), any miscalculation inherent in this untested technology could instantly transform Fort Lauderdale into one of Jupiter’s moons.

LNG Tanker
LNG TANKER
The Galt Mile Community Association set out to verify Calypso LNG LLC’s depth of experience with operating LNG Deepwater Port facilities, the consequences of a full-vessel cryogenic liquid discharge, why SENA decided to park their gas pump next to our beach despite the incremental negative environmental impact and whether an onshore wind can carry an ignitable gas cloud 7 miles to the Galt Mile beach and the “Venice of America”.

Several meetings with Calypso representatives and an investigation into the project's prospect for catastrophe clarified the community's disposition. Residents universally agreed that affording a French energy conglomerate improved product distribution was not worth risking a 2000 BTU conflagration capable of completely incinerating the Barrier Island neighborhoods adjacent to the Gasworks.

The articles are in reverse chronological order, with the most recent article on top. Scrolling down the page reveals earlier entries. For a comprehensive understanding, start at the bottom and work your way up!

You can believe a French Energy Conglomerate's marketing spin... Death in Skikda Algeria
OR YOUR OWN EYES!
(Aftermath of 2004 Skikda, Algeria LNG Explosion)

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Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff Spring 2008 Newsletter

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AEDs - Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)



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"How Can We Support That? Its Gone!"

Galt Mile Guts Gallic Goliath

Governor Crist Zaps Calypso
GOVERNOR CRIST ZAPS CALYPSO
February 24, 2009 - On February 18, 2009, residents along the Barrier Island shared a rare mass ebullience. When Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced that local inhabitants no longer had to fear a potentially dangerous gas plant marring their eastern horizon, most of the population was understandably immersed in relief and gratitude. Not surprisingly, Galt Mile residents were also rightfully proud of themselves and their neighborhood. Absent funds and through sheer determination, they defeated a $110 billion corporate goliath with an intimidating history of international depredations. They also thwarted a regulatory bear trap designed to involuntarily force facilities like these down the throats of communities targeted by paying members of the industry “club”. Ironically, most of the “club members” represented by the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) – like Suez – aren’t U.S. corporations.

New Contribution Policy Right now, Suez lobbyists in Washington and Tallahassee are railing at selected lawmakers, questioning whether their “campaign contributions” should be redirected to officials more capable of and willing to “whip the locals into shape.” Others are roaming the offices of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), exclaiming the need to remove the single remaining opportunity available to objecting jurisdictions - the gubernatorial veto. When energy industry lobbyists tied the fortunes of LNG to the industry-friendly Natural Gas Policy Act, they overlooked a provision in Title 33, U.S. Code that provides the Governor of the adjacent state with a small window during which a veto can be exercised. Someone’s neck will stretch for neglecting to neutralize that last democratic remnant from the pre-Bush Administration energy laws!

Awakening to a Nightmare

Commissioner Teel Notifies Galt Mile Community Association Presidents Council
COMM. TEEL WARNS GMCA ABOUT CALYPSO
During the December 3, 2007 Galt Mile Community Association Presidents Council Meeting, Commissioner Christine Teel casually remarked that a French conglomerate called Suez planned to build a gas plant off the Galt Mile beach. Suez was finalizing the federal licensing process required to construct an 18-story Deepwater Port where seawater will be used to “regasify” or return hypercooled liquefied natural gas to a gaseous state. Surprised, members asked GMCA officials to investigate the ramifications of this project.

Rescue Workers Evacuate Corpses after Skikda LNG Catastrophe
CORPSES EVACUATED AFTER SKIKDA LNG CATASTROPHE
Preliminary review of the history of liquefied natural gas (LNG) revealed its potential for catastrophe. Disasters in Cleveland, Skikda (Algeria), Lusby (Maryland), Staten Island and other locations from 1944 through 2006 raised concerns about the efficacy of project safety measures. A massive compendium of documentation from Federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Research Service established that LNG Deepwater Ports were high value terrorist targets. Additionally, evidence of adverse impacts to the surrounding marine environment spurred concern for the health of adjacent beaches.

City Suez GMCA Meeting On request, City Manager George Gretsas, Commissioner Teel and City Engineer Al Carbone invited Suez representatives to meet with GMCA officials Pio Ieraci and Eric Berkowitz in City Hall. The Suez officials, in turn, were invited to make a presentation about the Calypso project to the member associations of the Galt Mile community. They were informed that after their presentation, each association would independently evaluate project benefits and liabilities. A subsequent vote by the membership would determine the GMCA’s official position.

SUEZ Energy North America or SENA At the April 7, 2008 Presidents Council Meeting, Representatives of SUEZ Energy North America, Inc. or SENA, a Suez subsidiary and immediate corporate parent of the “Calypso” project, explained the project variables and responded to questions raised by concerned community participants. After explaining how the Calypso facility could help satisfy Florida’s growing demand for gas-fired electricity generation, the Suez North America representatives were asked about planned safety and security measures for the project, how they would prevent terrorist attacks, whether the facilities would be visible from the beach, the environmental drawbacks and what would happen if the gas ignited.

Coast Guard Confusion When Suez’ Brad Cooley said that the Coast Guard would protect the facility, he was asked to explain a December 2007 congressional report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) exhorting that “the Coast Guard - the lead federal agency for Maritime Security - has insufficient resources to meet its own self-imposed security standards.” Admitting ignorance about safety and security plan details, the Suez officials marginalized the issues as “statistically insignificant.” Disappointed by the Suez officials’ inability to adequately allay community concerns, attending members voted to aggressively oppose the project. In response, the GMCA Advisory Board appointed a committee to develop strategies for implementing the Presidents Council’s decision.

Birth of the No Calypso! Committee

City Suez GMCA Meeting The initial No Calypso! Committee meeting was attended by GMCA President Pio Ieraci and Vice President Eric Berkowitz, Senator Jeffrey Atwater and legislative aide Melissa Francisco, City Commissioner Christine Teel, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Mayor Roseann Minnet, Bill &Terry Claire and Dr. Dave & Barbara Marshall from Plaza South, Playa del Mar’s Fred Nesbitt, a contingent from L’Hermitage I including President Diane Bergheim, manager Patricia Quintero, residents Frances Konstance, Jean Miller, Marilyn Leeds and Ivan Itkin, Irelands Inn proprietor Andy Mitchell, Essex House President Eve Bazar and Ocean Manor President Frank Talerico. Also attending was By The Sea Future publisher Mark Brown. Within weeks, membership swelled to include Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff and legislative aide Aaron Nevins, Central Beach Alliance President Steve Glassman, Oakland Park Commissioner Suzanne Boisvenue, Fort Lauderdale mayoral candidates Jack Seiler and Dean Trantalis, Statehouse candidate Chris Chiari, GMCA Secretary Fern McBride, Playa del Mar’s Linda Eidinger, Lauderdale Beach Homeowners Association President Joe Amorosino and President Brian Donaldson of the Birch Park Finger Streets Homeowners Association.

MIT LNG Expert Dr. James Fay
MIT LNG EXPERT DR. JAMES FAY
Over the next nine months, the No Calypso! Committee enlisted the support of public officials and civic leaders, compiled relevant information, and instituted a campaign of sharing whatever they learned with neighboring communities and local officials. Statements made by Suez representatives during meetings in Dania Beach and the Beach Community Center revealed that security costs would fall to Broward taxpayers. Scrutiny of the Suez Environmental Impact Statement uncovered alarming contradictions between their safety claims and scientific studies by Sandia National Laboratories, Dr. James Fay of M.I.T., Dr. Jerry Havens at the University of Arkansas and other LNG hazard pundits.

Senator Jeffrey Atwater
SENATOR JEFFREY ATWATER
Prior to an August 11, 2008 Calypso Workshop convened by the Broward Legislative Delegation at the Beach Community Center, five months of collected information was compiled into a fully annotated and referenced White Paper summarizing the project’s safety and security pitfalls. Guided by the White Paper, Broward legislators questioned a Suez official about these unaddressed issues. When Calypso representative Brad Cooley said that “Suez doesn’t consider safety and security as relevant issues,” the lawmakers adamantly disagreed. When Cooley refused to explain Suez’ security plan or how it would be funded, Senator Jeffrey Atwater announced “I sent a letter to Governor Crist expressing my opposition to this poorly planned project. It was a mistake to locate this type of facility adjacent to heavily populated neighborhoods.” Statehouse Representative and Majority Whip Ellyn Bogdanoff made a similar announcement during a prior meeting in Dania Beach.

Click to City of Fort Lauderdale anti-Calypso Resolution The Committee transmitted whatever they learned to the Governor’s office to offset unrelenting pressure by an army of Suez lobbyists. Among materials sent to the Governor was the White Paper; anti-Calypso Resolutions by the City of Fort Lauderdale, the City of Pompano Beach, the Town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and a host of Civic organizations; as well as letters condemning Calypso from Federal, State, County and Municipal officials representing the Galt Mile neighborhood and surrounding communities. The Committee also requested an audience with the Governor (or his staffers), either here or in Tallahassee.

Suez - corporate history from HELL Between August 2008 and January 2009, the committee collected evidence that contradicted Calypso claims of a “negligible environmental impact” and compiled a corporate history that identified Suez with worldwide economic depredations marked by bribery, breach of contract, extortion, pollution (toxic), safety violations and fraud.

Click to Navigant Consulting Report The committee also learned that new slant drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies provided access to previously irretrievable gas deposits locked in 24 huge North American shale beds. Responsible for the precipitous 40% mid-2008 price drop for natural gas, the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook forecast that imported natural gas, while accounting for 16% of 2007 U.S. consumption, will drop to 3% - primarily from Canadian and Mexican pipelines. The 842 trillion cubic feet of retrievable gas in domestic shale reserves portends 50 years of energy self-sufficiency at current consumption rates, obviating the need for expensive foreign LNG imports. This also explains why Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG facility, which straddles the Texas – Louisiana Gulf border, only received 3 LNG deliveries since opening in April 2008, instead of the weekly deliveries anticipated in the company’s prospectus.

Special Assistant to the Governor Maureen Jaeger
MAUREEN JAEGER
On February 4th, the Fort Lauderdale Special Assistant to Governor Crist, Maureen Jaeger, contacted GMCA President Pio Ieraci to express the Governor’s interest in conducting a traditional “Town Hall” meeting in the Galt Mile neighborhood. To accommodate the Governor’s tight schedule, Ieraci remained “on call”, awaiting confirmation of the visit.

Beach Community Center
BEACH COMMUNITY CENTER
A few days later, Jaeger told Ieraci that the event would take place in the Beach Community Center on February 18th. Since Crist would arrive at 12:30 PM, attendees interested in posing a question during the meeting would have to register within an hour of the Governor’s arrival, about 11:30 AM. With the Governor’s consent, Ieraci notified the member Galt Mile associations and the No Calypso! Committee about the impending gubernatorial visit. Ieraci also asked each association to post an accompanying hastily improvised notice in some common area venue. A similar announcement was posted on the Galt Mile Community Association web site.

GMCA President Pio Ieraci Introduces Jack Seiler
PIO IERACI INTROS JACK SEILER
Quickly mobilizing, the committee met to ensure that the Governor was apprised of community concerns about the Gasworks. A package was prepared for delivery to the Governor. It contained documented substantiation of the dangers posed by Calypso to beachfront communities, the deliberately undisclosed funding requirement for Broward taxpayers and unavoidable devastation of the local marine environment. A more modest package was prepared for the media and hundreds of Fact Sheets were made ready for general distribution.

No Calypso Committee Prepares for Governor's Arrival at tha Beach Community Center
COMMITTEE AWAITS GOVERNOR'S ARRIVAL
After agreeing on a strategy that maximized furtherance of their objectives, committee members volunteered to assume responsibility for either collecting and/or creating informational materials, developing relevant talking points, distributing buttons and fact sheets at the meeting, communicating with public officials and coordinating with other stakeholders. In consultation with Director Stephanie Smith of the Governor’s External Affairs office, Ieraci was tagged to introduce Fort Lauderdale Mayor-elect Jack Seiler who would, in turn, introduce the Governor.

Showdown at the Beach Community Center

Frances Konstance and Jean Miller setting up in Beach Community Center
FRANCES KONSTANCE AND JEAN MILLER SETTING UP
L’Hermitage I manager Patricia Quintero delivered boxes of No Calypso Fact Sheets to the Community Center while Playa del Mar’s Fred Nesbitt brought the buttons. With the help of Central Beach Alliance President Steve Glassman and Plaza South residents Bill & Terry Claire, L’Hermitage I activists Jean Miller and Frances Konstance managed their distribution, responding to non-stop resident requests - especially for buttons and “Stop Calypso” tee shirts. While holding a large sign opposing the project, Miller told reporters “I’m here because of my serious concerns about Calypso. I hope that the governor will hear the serious concerns of the people. We want him to know we don’t want something in our community which is potentially dangerous, subject to terrorist attack, potentially going to damage not only our beaches and waters but our homes. If there is an explosion we will be annihilated.”

Plaza South's Terry Claire
PLAZA SOUTH'S TERRY CLAIRE
While delivering a box filled with anti-Calypso petitions containing thousands of signatures and hundreds of letters she collected throughout the neighborhood, Terry Claire outlined her motives, exclaiming “It is a safety issue. In a nutshell, it is a weapon for terrorists, and a terrorist threat. It is further dependence on foreign fuel from a foreign country.” Husband Bill Claire added “We have a lot of faith in this governor.” Referring to the petitions, the White Paper, condemning emails and documents from Environmentalists, and dozens of other items assembled for the Governor, he said “I think he will receive all the real documentation and do the right thing.”

Click to GMCA LNG Fact Sheet The Community Center swelled to capacity as three hundred people filed into the main hall and an adjacent anteroom served by a video feed. Residents and public officials wore “Stop Calypso” buttons and each room was awash in “No Calypso” posters and signage.

Mayor-elect Jack Seiler introduces Governor Crist
MAYOR-ELECT JACK SEILER
INTRODUCES GOVERNOR CRIST
Local public officials populating the first row included Congressman Ron Klein, Mayor Jim Naugle, City Commissioners Christine Teel and Charlotte Rodstrom, City Manager George Gretsas, Allyson Love, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Mayor Roseann Minnet and Sea Ranch Lakes Mayor Denise Bryan, School Board member Maureen Dinnen, Sunrise Mayor Roger Wishner, Lighthouse Point City Commissioner and Republican Party Chairman Chip LaMarca, and national secretary Sharon Day of the Republican National Committee.

Congressman Ron Klein
CONGRESSMAN RON KLEIN
Opening with, “This individual is special. This is a leader who crosses party lines,” Jack Seiler introduced Governor Charlie Crist as “the People’s Governor.” Crist visually skimmed the audience, fixing his eyes on Ron Klein. The Governor praised the first term Congressional Democrat “for his hard work” on the federal stimulus package. Risking some Republican political capital by supporting President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan, Crist could receive as much as $12.2 billion over 2½ years for road construction, child care, unemployment checks, job training and Medicaid costs. The $700 million incremental budget abyss that Florida legislators are currently staring into could be handily mitigated when the first $3.2 billion in Federal money hits Tallahassee over the next four months. Turning to Klein, he said, “I’m enormously grateful that it passed, and I know it’s going to help our fellow Floridians in a substantial way. It could not have come at a better time.”

Margaret Gower from Weston
MARGARET GOWER
Instead of adhering to his staff’s planned Q & A format, Crist spontaneously extended the floor to a recently downsized Weston resident who explained “I’m 50 years old I’m well educated. I have an advanced degree from an Ivy League school. Yet I’m having difficulty finding a job.” Crist told Margaret Gower that he’d visited unemployment offices throughout the state “to learn more about this issue and how Florida can help.” Harkening back to the federal stimulus package, Crist told her, “For every $1 billion spent on road construction, 28,000 jobs are created. I’m not suggesting you want to work on a road crew, Margaret.”

The Hammer Drops

Fred Nesbitt Describes Calypso Concerns
FRED NESBITT DESCRIBES CALYPSO CONCERNS
The stage was now set for the hammer to fall. Crist called on GMCA Advisory Board member Fred Nesbitt, who also serves on the No Calypso! Committee. The Playa del Mar resident was charged with expressing the neighborhood’s concern about the French gasworks. After steadying the microphone, Nesbitt took a deep breath and let fly, “Suez Corporation wants to build liquefied natural gas ports right off of our beach. If you could look straight ahead where they’re building there, you could actually see the liquefied natural gas ports... and the tankers will come to the ports and the gas would come through a pipeline into Port Everglades.” Perusing handheld notes, Nesbitt continued, “Many of us in this room, including myself, believe that this is not a good idea. We’re concerned about the safety of our coastal residents, we’re concerned about terrorist attacks, we’re concerned about our beaches, our environment and certainly the tourist industry here in Fort Lauderdale, as well as Florida.” Seeking to actualize the Governor’s experience, Nesbitt added, “All of us in this room would be vaporized. And I’m sorry to say if you were here you wouldn’t be the governor of Florida.”

Governor Crist says 'How can we support that?'
GOV CRIST ON SUEZ LNG TANKERS:
HOW CAN WE SUPPORT THAT?
The room fell silent. Crist smiled and turned back to Nesbitt after a dramatic pause, “I have been studying this and I have been briefed on it a number of times and I don’t think the people who want to do it aren’t well-intentioned, I’m sure they probably are.” A full face smile betrayed any prospect for further heightening the tension. Having absolved the Suez proponents of hypothetical culpability in Nesbitt’s figmental disaster scenario, the Governor delivered the anxiously awaited message “If you think about one of these huge tankers being off the coast of so many of my friends, and so close by, how can we support that?”

Audience Regales Gov Crist with Ovation
AUDIENCE REGALES GOVERNOR CRIST WITH STANDING OVATION
As if simultaneously freed of a 14-month sciatic nerve dysfunction, the audience convulsed, blending cheers with animated expressions of gratitude. Residents rose from their seats in sections, ultimately confronting the Governor with a full house standing ovation. Despite having been briefed about the community’s passionate opposition to this project, Crist was clearly surprised by the magnitude and unanimity of the crowd’s response. Succumbing to the extended applause, Crist patiently soaked up the adulation. Nevertheless, some residents didn’t fully fathom Crist’s answer. Evidently preoccupied with posing her version of the same question, a Fountainhead resident asked if Crist would “put Calypso to bed.” He answered politely, “I think it's already in bed. It's gone.”

Nesbitt Admits Surprise
NESBITT ADMITS SURPRISE
Galt Mile Community Association president Pio Ieraci told reporters, “We’re exuberant. We’re exceedingly happy. We couldn’t be happier.” Nesbitt claimed to be pleasantly surprised, “I was very pleased to hear him say it. Sort of surprised because most politicians sort of dance around and say ‘well, when it comes to my desk I’ll look at it. I’ll think about it.’ But the governor was very firm and very positive today, and we’re counting on him sticking to his word on this issue. If the governor says it’s dead; it’s dead because he has the power to kill it.”

Public officials in the first row Applaud Governor Crist
FIRST ROW POLS APPLAUD GOVERNOR CRIST
Public officials in the first row turned to face No Calypso! Committee members seated in the second row, trading expressions of mutual kudos for having pursued this exasperating effort to fruition. Congressman Ron Klein and City Manager George Gretsas thanked Eric Berkowitz and Fern McBride from Regency Tower and Regency South’s Leah Glickfield for their work on this project. Although Senator Atwater was precluded from attending by his responsibilities as Florida Senate President, legislative aide Melissa Francisco - who attended Committee meetings whenever the Senator was in Tallahassee - hugged Ocean Club’s Rose Guttman.

Dr. Dave and Barbara Marshall
DR. DAVE AND BARBARA MARSHALL
Committee members also embraced Commissioner Christine Teel, who organized transportation to the critical Dania Beach Calypso meeting, solicited the City’s anti-Calypso Resolution and played an integral part in every step of the successful campaign. Not surprised by Crist’s announcement, Mayor Jim Naugle disparaged the Suez decision to locate the gasworks near a heavily populated area. He told the Miami Herald’s Beth Reinhard, “I would have thought that the fact that he had his town hall meeting here, he must have reached that conclusion. It’s good news for the Galt and residents up here. I think having a natural gas facility is a positive thing for Florida but it was the dumbest site.” Committee members L-B-T-S Mayor Roseann Minnet, Bill & Terry Claire and their Plaza South neighbors Dr. Dave & Barbara Marshall shared collective expressions of deep satisfaction.

Seiler Praises Governor Crist to press
SEILER PRAISES GOVERNOR'S DECISION
Although the Governor hosted objections to Calypso by Senator Atwater and Representative Bogdanoff months earlier and his staffers were previously sent supporting documentation by the Galt Mile Community Association, Jack Seiler explained that he also briefed the Governor, exclaiming to reporters “I think it was the right decision. I made clear [to Crist] the concerns of the residents of Fort Lauderdale and the beach area. His comments today put a lot of people in this community at rest.” Crist confirmed Seiler’s input when asked by Reinhard if he selected the Galt Mile venue to announce his views on Calypso, stating, “No, I really didn’t but I was briefed that it might come up.”

As the prolonged demonstration of community approval quelled, the Governor again took control of the meeting. Perceiving the need to ensure that his decision would not be misinterpreted as capricious, the Governor reinforced his answer, “I try to apply common sense when making any decision; whether it’s appointing a judge, vetoing a bill, or saying no to a project. I kind of think about it from a common sense point of view – how can you support that? So I don’t; I don’t support that.”

Governor Crist answers Pat Quintero
GOVERNOR CRIST ANSWERS PAT QUINTERO
With Calypso no longer an issue, the Governor called on L’Hermitage I Manager Patricia Quintero, who complained about delays to the planned beach renourishment and the additional financial burden placed on condo owners when maintenance liabilities from foreclosed units are incrementally assessed to the other owners. Clearly confused, the Governor asked Quintero “Are you asking if the beach renourishment will affect foreclosures?” When Quintero apologetically explained that the two issues were unrelated, Crist turned the microphone over to Mayor-elect Seiler, who characterized the renourishment obstacles as county issues. While acknowledging that incremental assessments resulting from a belabored foreclosure process were inherently “unfair”, Crist opined that keeping people in their homes was a greater priority. Crist referred to a new federal program that will deter foreclosures by forcing banks to modify onerous mortgage terms, explaining, “It will ask banks to wait a little bit longer before they go ahead and create a foreclosure on somebody and encourage them – encourage them very strongly through statutory changes – to renegotiate the mortgage terms so that those of us who are struggling have a better opportunity to be able to meet those terms on a monthly basis.”

Crist Answers Coral Reef Advocate
CRIST ANSWERS CORAL REEF ADVOCATE
After a few more questions, Crist announced that he would take one more, pointing to a woman near the stage. When she complained that a contractor who worked on the south county beach renourishment failed to adequately respect a coral reef, the Governor evidently recognized the questioner. During a May 2003 cabinet hearing to authorize the now completed South Broward segment of the beach renourishment, she participated in staging a demonstration for the cabinet, which included then Attorney General Crist. After shaking up a jar of water and sand, the cabinet was warned that “since this would happen to the beach,” they should reject the project. Unimpressed with the demonstration, then Governor Bush and the Cabinet issued the requested permit. Following his sojourn down memory lane, the Governor smiled and answered, “I guess we will just have to get a better contractor!”

Governor Crist speaks with supporters
GOVERNOR CRIST SPEAKS WITH SUPPORTERS
Following a town hall meeting, the Governor ordinarily poses for a photo op before hitting the road. After the Q & A, Crist remained and spoke with anyone interested in meeting the popular Governor. He spent the afternoon taking pictures with some 180 residents and officials who refused to leave. Sunrise Mayor Roger Wishner pleaded with Crist to replicate a sequel out west. GMCA Board member Rose Guttman arranged refreshments for the event. Unable to pass up this opportunity to administer a lesson in civic economics to the Governor, she announced “I just fed 300 people for less than a thousand dollars, that’s pretty good, don’t you think?”

Miracle on a Shoestring

Alan Silva on Fall River LNG Plant
ALAN SILVA ON FALL
RIVER LNG PLANT
Scores of communities across the country are waging similar campaigns against LNG facilities for many of the same reasons that motivated Barrier Island residents.
Fall River, Massachusetts
FALL RIVER, MASSACHUSETTS
Former Fort Lauderdale interim City Manager Alan Silva recently returned from Fall River, Massachusetts, where he served as City Administrator until his November 2008 retirement for health reasons. While awaiting the Governor’s arrival at the Beach Community Center, Alan explained that Weaver’s Cove Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of Amerada Hess Corporation, proposed building a LNG facility in a densely populated Fall River neighborhood on the Taunton River (almost 10,000 people live within a one-mile radius of the proposed site). Silva noted “This is the only LNG facility ever built in an inner city.” Local politicians and citizens, notably Richard Clarke, the former White House terrorism chief serving Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, have been trying to stop the project for years. Silva said “The city spent $millions to rid itself of this nightmare.” Resisting unrelenting pressure from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) officials, Captain Ray Nash, the New England Coast Guard Southcoast Commander, notified FERC in October 2007 that the Weaver’s Cove LNG facility should not be constructed, citing problems with navigating large tankers through and around the Brightman Street Bridge. Incredibly, despite local protests and the Coast Guard recommendation to NOT build the facility, the plan was subsequently approved by FERC.

Click to GMCA LNG White Paper The Galt Mile LNG White Paper enumerates the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s proclivity for ignoring their own regulations and rubber stamping license approvals for virtually any applicant. Court records document their manipulating data in “Independent Risk Assessments” and basing license decisions on discredited studies. When caught endorsing plans that endanger life and property, their governing legislation - the Bush Administration’s Energy Policy Act of 2005 - recognizes them as the sole appellant authority. FERC is autonomously empowered to decide if and when FERC breaks the law!

Click to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) LNG projects are threatening communities in Ventura County, California; Long Beach, New York; Bradwood Landing, Oregon; Gloucester, Massachusetts, the Long Island Sound between New York State and Connecticut, Pleasant Point, Maine, a half dozen Gulf Coast facilities in Texas and Louisiana, Silva’s Fall River LNG plant, Baltimore, Maryland; Boston and Everett, Massachusetts. These, and dozens of other densely populated communities, have literally spent hundreds of $millions to thwart these plans.

Monitor Suez The Galt Mile neighborhood accomplished this on a shoestring. By thoroughly investigating claims made by Suez and the documentation they created to underwrite those claims, GMCA was able to accurately refute Suez statements marginalizing threats to nearby neighborhoods, the environment, our property as well as our lives. It also revealed the company’s predatory history and the hidden costs to Broward taxpayers. Since the uncovered data is fully documented, Suez response has been limited to characterizing Galt Mile residents as “paranoid” and “naive.” Notwithstanding, on February 18, 2009, the paranoid Galt Mile neighborhood demonstrated that its naive residents are neither “gullible” nor “pushovers”, two attributes that Suez was counting on. As admonished by several “paranoid” members of the No Calypso! Committee, until Suez notifies its stockholders that their resources would be more profitably spent experimenting on some unsuspecting community’s water supply, the Galt Mile Community Association will monitor Calypso, Suez, FERC and the Calypso license application.

Great Job! Stop Calypso Button Our beachfront communities have earned the deep breath they took at the Beach Community Center. The No Calypso! Committee and its parent neighborhood associations – who’ve achieved so much with so little – purchased a truckload of self-respect for every Barrier Island resident. The unquestionably corny prospect of substituting passion for funding, truth for media hype and elbow grease for paid lobbyists is laughable. What made this community campaign unique is that, for once, it worked!

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New Gas Finds Zap need for Foreign Imports

Click to a Brochure that Describes the Calypso Deepwater Port - DWP Tanker & Facility View from the Beach
COMPARATIVE VIEW FROM THE BEACH OF CRUISE SHIP AND
LNG TANKER AT DWP LOCATION (7 MILES OUT)
January 14, 2009 - The
foreign-owned company seeking an additional outlet for its liquefied natural gas (LNG) has contracted with an army of lobbyists and public relations firms. GDF-Suez, the French parent of the Calypso project hired the lobbyists to influence Governor Crist, the only person empowered to veto the 18-story gasworks planned for installation off the Galt Mile beach. Since the Governor has repeatedly demonstrated sympathy for the plight of Florida communities facing the type of fiscal, civic and corporeal threats posed by the Calypso gas plant, they announced in early 2008 their plan to mold public opinion to promote their agenda.

3 Weekly LNG Convoys That Cost Taxpayers $250,000 Apiece
3 WEEKLY LNG CONVOYS THAT WILL COST
BROWARD TAXPAYERS $250,000 APIECE
The multi-million dollar ad campaign created by Bill Rubin’s high end RBB Public Relations firm spewed dozens of full page newspaper advertisements featuring glossy pictures of hypnotically serene oceanscapes suggesting that a fire-belching natural gas plant would naturally complement any thriving marine ecosystem. While claims of compatibility with the surrounding marine environment were superimposed on the pictures, conspicuously absent were tri-weekly convoys of diesel guzzling LNG tankers surrounded by 8 to 10 support vessels plowing through the prime spawning and nursery area for sailfish, marlin, swordfish, dolphin, baby sea turtles, and dozens of other important marine species. After Calypso turns their spawning grounds into a maritime superhighway, visitors will still be able to purchase picture post cards of those species or view monuments to modern taxidermy in the International Game Fishing Association Museum.

Click to the U.S. Office of Pipeline Safety Distrigas Violations The Suez PR spin also contended that LNG plant catastrophes wherein hundreds died from 2000 BTU fireballs were “statistically insignificant”, fines levied by the U.S. Office of Pipeline Safety for a litany of security violations in the company’s only other U.S. LNG plant (Distrigas in Everett, Massachusetts) were “misunderstandings” and residents should take comfort in knowing that the Coast Guard is charged with protecting the French company’s assets - despite sworn Congressional testimony by Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen that the Coast Guard lacks the resources to protect LNG facilities. After learning that Broward taxpayers would be forced to finance the $millions required to protect the assets of the French GDF-Suez conglomerate, Senate President Jeffrey Atwater disparaged Calypso’s parent for not revealing the unfunded mandate on his constituents, exclaiming, “That’s why I recommended to the Governor that he veto this dangerous project.”

Stagnant $1.4 billion Cheniere Energy Sabine Pass LNG facility in Cameron Parish Louisiana
STAGNANT SABINE PASS LNG FACILITY
Major aspects of the Suez PR campaign are summarized on the Suez Calypso web site. It says, “More LNG imports will reduce the impact that rising energy prices are having on American industry and the American consumer.” Their claim that LNG imports will reduce energy prices is patently untrue. A similar $1.4 billion LNG facility built by Cheniere Energy in Cameron Parish, Louisiana in 2007 sat stagnant during its first year of operation. American buyers on the spot market refused to purchase the outrageously expensive LNG imports. When asked whether the LNG handled at the Calypso Deepwater Port would fiscally benefit Broward residents, Suez official Tom Allen answered “It would not,” admitting instead, “It would go to the highest bidder.”

LNG Tanker
LNG TANKER
The LNG industry’s sudden proliferation resulted from a unique marriage of economic, political and technological factors. For years, natural gas was considered an oil industry waste product. It was either burned off at the refinery or pumped into the ground to help pressure more productive retrieval from existing oil reserves. When the technology was developed to freeze the gas to -260 degrees F and reduce its volume by a factor of 600, the liquefied product became economically viable to transport and store. After initially enjoying the fiscal and environmental benefits of this suddenly exploitable source of energy, exporting countries began imposing OPEC-like price controls to maximize their finite reserves.

Gas Prices Skyrocket Simultaneously, domestic sources were drying up. Importing countries faced with energy shortages had to buy LNG despite skyrocketing prices. In 2007, when Japan lost several nuclear plants to earthquakes and Spain lost utilization of its extensive hydroelectric power to a drought, they were forced to replace those resources with high priced LNG imports. Prices soared from less than $2 per thousand cubic feet in 1999 to more than $13 as recently as last July. The United States, facing diminishing domestic energy reserves, had to decide between exploiting reserves in environmentally sensitive areas and bringing in overpriced LNG. Serious consideration was being given to drilling in historically protected ecosystems such as the Florida coast, Rocky Mountain preserves and pristine Alaskan tundra.

Click to December 2007 Government Accounting Office (GAO) Maritime Security report As expressed by Statehouse Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff in her June 2008 Newsletter, tax dollars would be better spent developing alternative energy technologies than either financing weapons stockpiles for oil and gas exporting countries expounding policies hostile to the United States or funding protective umbrellas for foreign-owned LNG fleets and facilities. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Mayor Roseann Minnet said, “If we continue down this path, we will see increased harm to our environment and rising energy costs. Wind, solar and ocean energy are plentiful in our area. Florida’s future is energy self-sufficiency, not continued dependence on foreign fossil fuels.” Referring to concerns expressed by the General Accountability Office (GAO), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Pentagon that Calypso would be of primary interest to organizations like Al-Qaeda, Minnet continued, “Wind turbines and solar panels are not attractive targets for terrorists.” Clean energy proponents first had to resolve a demotivating dilemma. Since energy analysts agree that these green vehicles are a decade from large scale economic viability, what acceptable interim energy alternative would keep our big screen televisions pumping out 600 channels?

Again, technology came to the rescue! American natural gas production is rising at a clip not seen in decades, depressing natural gas prices and reversing conventional wisdom that U.S. gas fields were in irreversible decline. What’s more, this is being accomplished without invading irreplaceable natural resources. The new drilling boom uses advanced technology to release gas trapped in huge shale beds found throughout North America - gas believed just a decade ago to be out of reach.

horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and hydraulic fracturing techniques This energy panacea resulted from widespread application of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and hydraulic fracturing techniques to access previously irretrievable gas deposits locked in the shale beds. Horizontal drilling, or slant drilling, allows producers to drill laterally beneath cities and neighborhoods. An excellent vehicle for accessing moderate yield reserves spread over hundreds of square miles, horizontal well drillers extract natural gas from vertical fractures in the shale, through the shale pores in which natural gas is trapped, and through absorbed minerals and grains in the shale. Large amounts of water and sand are blasted at the shale, inducing a fracture which provides access to the gas when the water is pumped back out. Extracting gas from shale beds is far more productive and less damaging to the environment than the elusive, costly process of crushing shale rock to produce a form of crude oil.

Black and Brown Marcellus Shale
BLACK AND BROWN MARCELLUS SHALE
The trend has significant short and long-range implications for U.S. consumers and businesses. A sustained increase in gas supplies would slow the rise of utility bills, obviate the need for gas imports (including liquefied natural gas delivered in tankers), and make energy-intensive industries more competitive. Energy companies are locked in serious competition for access rights to these abundant new gas reserves, setting off the current sharp increase in leasing and drilling activity.

The Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin
THE MARCELLUS SHALE IN THE APPALACHIAN BASIN
Black or brown shales are types of sedimentary rock, high in organic matter, found beneath millions of acres in the United States. These gas-holding shale beds often span several states. The rock has been known for more than a century to contain gas, but it was considered virtually worthless until a decade ago because standard vertical wells would produce gas for a brief period before dying out. The Barnett shale bed - with reserves of 2.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas, and as much as 30 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas resources (as per the U.S. Geological Survey) - was the first shale field to undergo major development using the new technologies. Its output has increased tenfold since 2001 and currently produces 7% of the nation’s gas supply. Anaerobic bacteria that feed on the former organic inhabitants of what used to be a shallow inland ocean in the Fort Worth basin excrete methane - the primary component of natural gas. It’s just one of at least 24 shale beds in North America. Major shale oil beds in the U.S. include the Chattanooga Shale on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, the Fayetteville Shale of northcentral Arkansas, the Bakken Formation in the U.S. portion of the Williston Basin of Montana and North Dakota, the Woodford in eastern Oklahoma, the Green River Piceance basin in Colorado as well as Utica, Antrim and more than a dozen others. At least two other shale formations, the Haynesville in Louisiana and Texas and the Marcellus in the Appalachian Basin stretching from New York through West Virginia in the Eastern United States, are even larger, classified as super giant fields.

Chairman and Chief Executive Aubrey K. McClendon of the Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK)
CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP
CEO AUBREY K. McCLENDON
“It’s almost divine intervention,” quipped chairman and chief executive Aubrey K. McClendon of the Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK). “Right at the time oil prices are skyrocketing, we’re struggling with the economy, we’re concerned about global warming, and national security threats remain intense, we wake up and we’ve got this abundance of natural gas around us.” Chris Ruppel, an analyst at the institutional brokerage firm Execution, said “Shale is the most significant domestic natural gas find in 50 years, which means the United States will become gas independent, and more industrially competitive versus Europe for gas-intensive industries such as chemicals, fertilizer, smelting iron and aluminum.”

Click to Execution Desk Analyst Chris Ruppel More than half of U.S. homes use natural gas for heating purposes and the cost of oil is substantially higher than it was a year ago. In recent months, however, increased natural gas production - spurred by the addition of shale sources - has actually caused gas prices to decouple from oil. Natural gas prices have plummeted 40% since July of 2008, while the price of crude is down slightly more than 18%.

Deutsche Bank Analyst Shannon Nome
SHANNON NOME
“Production is clearly growing, and the growth is sustainable,” said Michael Zenker, a natural gas analyst at Barclays Capital. A Deutsche Bank report, by the analyst Shannon Nome, recently estimated that production from the eight largest shale fields was likely to hit 6.6 billion cubic feet (Bcf) a day this year, or 11.8 percent of national gas production, and then rise to 14.5 billion cubic feet a day by 2011 — almost a quarter of domestic production. These statistical objectives are within reach right now, and the surface has barely been scratched for domestic shale gas resources. “It’s hard for me to believe we will have more domestic gas production in six years than we have now,” said Chip Johnson, president and chief executive of Carrizo Oil and Gas, a Houston company involved in several of the shale fields.

Click to Navigant Consulting, Inc Click to Navigant Consulting Report Navigant Consulting, Inc. (NCI) is an independent specialty consulting firm that provides professional services to government agencies, legal counsel and large companies facing the challenges of uncertainty, risk, distress and significant change. According to a recent report by Navigant Consulting entitled A New North American Ocean of Natural Gas, there could be as much as 842 trillion cubic feet of retrievable gas in shales around the country, enough to supply about 40 years’ worth of natural gas, at today’s consumption rate or 118 years’ worth at today’s production rate. Paid for by a foundation allied with the gas industry (cleverly spun as The American Clean Skies Foundation - ACSF), the report is a summary of an acclaimed 89-page benchmark Navigant study also funded by ACSF entitled North American Natural Gas Supply Assessment. On point, there is more than enough available domestic natural gas to bridge the gap between production and demand until alternative fuels become economically feasible - even if it takes decades.

Click to Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) web site Since the pipeline to transport this domestic natural gas already exists, we are faced with a simple decision. Until green energy becomes a viable alternative, do we want to purchase overpriced natural gas from Trinidad, Algeria, Iran, Libya and Oman, molest Fort Lauderdale’s maritime resources (the single largest contributor to the municipal tax base), pay $millions in additional taxes to protect the assets of a French company and live with the daily threat of catastrophic conflagration? Alternatively, should we buy domestic energy that isn’t price-controlled by the OPEC-like Gas Exporting Countries Forum that was formed in Teheran in 2001 and last met in Moscow on December 23, 2008? Hmmm… this is a tough one!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California
SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI
Senior Democrats in Congress are getting behind domestic natural gas, portraying it as an alternative fuel for transportation that can serve as a stopgap until renewable sources of energy, like solar and wind power, become economical on a broad scale. During an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, House speaker Nancy Pelosi of California clarified a Wall Street Journal allegation that her investment in a company producing natural gas for automobiles was not a conflict of interests. She stated, “You can have a transition with natural gas that is cheap, abundant and clean. I’m investing in something I believe in.” Curiously, the Wall Street Journal was not particularly troubled by Dick Cheney’s blind trust packed with enough shares of Halliburton to sink a ship while he cleared the way for corporate contract extensions.

The greatest threat to the advancement of alternative energy resources comes from vested political interests that benefit from high oil and gas prices and irresponsible consumption, bordering on abuse. Preventing the passage of another decade marked by little or no developmental progress will require the rerouting of support and resources traditionally earmarked for the fossil fuel industry. On the bright side, improved prospects for a comprehensive housecleaning at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) could pave the way for cheap, clean, abundant energy – a springboard to economic recovery.

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Anti-Calypso Letters and Resolutions

Resolutions

  • Click Here to read the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Resolution opposing Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the City of Pompano Beach Resolution opposing Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the Central Beach Alliance Resolution opposing Calypso - Template (Word Document) .
  • Click Here to read the Galt Ocean Club Condo Association Resolution opposing Calypso - Template (Word Document) .
  • Click Here to read the Playa del Mar Condo Association Resolution opposing Calypso - Template (Word Document) .
  • Click Here to read the Plaza South Condo Association Resolution opposing Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the Las Olas Beach Club Condo Association Resolution opposing Calypso - Click on "View", then "Rotate View", then "Counterclockwise" (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to Download a Condo Association Resolution Template opposing Calypso - Download and/or Print and Complete (Word Document) .

Letters

  • Click Here to read the Galt Mile Community Association’s letter to Governor Crist requesting that he veto Calypso - Template (Word Document) .
  • Click Here to read the Central Beach Alliance’s letter to Governor Crist requesting that he veto Calypso - Template (Word Document) .
  • Click Here to read City Commissioner Christine Teel’s letter to constituents condemning Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read Broward Commissioner Ken Keechl’s letter to Governor Charlie Crist condemning Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read Statehouse Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff's letter to Governor Crist requesting that he veto Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read State Senator Jeffrey Atwater's letter to Governor Crist requesting that he veto Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read State Senator Jeffrey Atwater's 2nd letter to Governor Crist requesting that he veto Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read State Senator Jeffrey Atwater's letter to SUEZ Dan McGinnis disparaging his last minute venue change to Dania (Word Document) .
  • Click Here to read Congressman Ron Klein's letter to constituents opposing Calypso (2007 Word Document) .
  • Click Here to read Oakland Park Commissioner Suzanne Boisvenue's letter to constituents opposing Calypso (Word Document) .

Critical Data

  • Click Here to read the No Calypso! White Paper - Comprehensive Compilation of Critically Important Calypso Information (Word Document) .
  • Click Here to access all the Background Information and Official Government Documents relevant to the Calypso Deepwater Port Project and Pipeline
  • Click Here to the Stop Calypso! web site

ALSO
Click Here
to Extensive list of Additional Pertinent LNG Links

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Conservationist Condemns Calypso

Fishing Icon Asks Governor to Veto Project

Fort Lauderdale City Commission
FORT LAUDERDALE CITY COMMISSION
November 5, 2008 - At the
1:30 PM City Commission Conference meeting of May 20, 2008, the Commissioners familiarized themselves with the issues surrounding the agenda items scheduled for the 6 PM Regular Meeting later that evening. After a discussion about replacing the Air-Sea Show with an annual music festival operated by an outfit called Live Nation, Commissioner Christine Teel requested that the Commission consider supporting the Galt Mile’s opposition to the Calypso LNG deepwater port just off the Galt Mile Beach. When Commissioner Teel pointed out that several Galt Mile residents were in attendance, Mayor Naugle asked them to summarize their concerns.

Click to GDF SUEZ Web Site Bill Claire from Plaza South and Fred Nesbitt from Playa del Mar joined Chris Chiari in detailing a litany of reasons why the gasworks represented a catastrophic threat to people living in Barrier Island communities and an unfunded mandate for every local taxpayer. They warned the Commission about a new law that allows municipal resources to be involuntarily pressed into service at the behest of the facility owner – a foreign corporation. The cost is passed on to taxpayers. After remarking, “It’s the dumbest place in the world to put this thing – next to a heavily populated area,” Mayor Naugle invited attending Suez officials to respond.

Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center Executive Director, Dean Richard Dodge
NOVA DEAN RICHARD DODGE
Calypso General Manager Dan McGinnis introduced Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center Executive Director, Dean Richard Dodge, who said “I’ve worked with Tractebel for many years on environmental issues and concerns and find them to be conscientious. They located the deepwater port in the selected area to minimize environmental damage. There would be minimal impairment of the view.” Incredibly, he then remarked, “As to explosions, I would trust their assessment. You should treat them with respect.” Although Dean Dodge is a well-respected academician, Commission eyebrows were raised when he went awry of his field and recommended that the Commissioners blindly believe that a foreign company is more interested in the City’s residents than the Suez balance sheet.

Click to SUEZ Tractebel Web Site Tractebel is the Suez subsidiary that sponsored the Calypso Pipeline Project and planned building the adjunctive deepwater port in Grand Bahama Island. When Bahamians learned about the project dangers, they overwhelmed the government bureaucrats that initially agreed to the LNG facility, forcing its rejection. When Suez was refused permission to build the Bahamian facility, the project was moved here.

Nova Scientist Dr. Amy Hirons
NOVA SCIENTIST DR. AMY HIRONS
Nova faculty member Dr. Amy C. Hirons spoke next. She said she was asked by Nova to investigate the project’s possible effect on zooplankton and ichthyoplankton. From her dealings with Suez, she believes that “they are open, accepting of scientific recommendations, forthcoming and willing to meet the needs of the fishing community.” She said “As the chief scientist, I can say that there is a negligible impact to the hardbottom community, as indicated in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) which we acquired from the Coast Guard.”

Commissioner Carleton Moore
CITY COMMISSIONER
CARLETON MOORE
Commissioner Carleton Moore told her that the EPA sent a team of scientists to evaluate the Wingate Coal plant because it heavily polluted the surrounding area. He asked if Nova filled that role, were they “asked by the government to investigate on behalf of citizens?” She answered, “I’m a completely independent research scientist.” Still curious about her motivation, Moore then asked the source of Nova’s involvement. When Hirons responded, “We were contracted by Suez,” Moore smiled and shook his head, stating “so you are paid by the operator, thank you very much, that’s all I wanted to know.” At the 6:00 PM Regular Commission Meeting that followed, the City Commission passed a resolution opposing the Calypso Project.

Click to RBB Public Relations firm Web Site McGinnis, Dodge and Hirons gave a repeat performance at the May 28th Public Meeting sponsored by Suez at Dania Beach, where the paid Nova officials again extolled the Calypso project’s environmental virtues. The meeting was originally scheduled to take place on the Galt Mile in Plaza South. After the City Commission passed the anti-Calypso resolution, Suez moved the meeting to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Headquarters in Dania Beach - halfway across the county. At the meeting, a Suez lobbyist denied that they moved the meeting to protest the City resolution, contending that holding the meeting at the IGFA imparted environmental credibility to the project organizers. Simultaneously, Suez lobbyists and their high end media firm - RBB Public Relations - flooded the state with advertising spin insisting that Calypso presented no threat to the surrounding marine environment.

International Game Fish Association Headquarters
INTERNATIONAL GAME FISH ASSOCIATION HEADQUARTERS
On October 25th, the former President of the International Game Fish Association, Michael Leech, sent an email to Governor Crist expressing his opposition to the Calypso project. In addition to being the past-president, 49 year-old Leech functions as an ambassador at large for the International Game Fish Association, which monitors world-record catches while sponsoring and sanctioning local and world class tournaments. The IGFA’s 300 international member organizations speak for millions of sports anglers in 90 countries and territories.

Former International Game Fish Association President Michael Leech
IGFA PAST PRESIDENT MICHAEL LEECH
A Rhode Island native who has lived in Fort Lauderdale since 1955, Leech initiated the IGFA’s Junior Angler Program, the Junior World Championship series and the prestigious International Rolex/IGFA Inshore and Offshore Championships. Prior to joining IGFA in 1983, Leech served in the U.S. Coast Guard, held the position of executive director of the Florida Council of 100, and later worked as financial advisor for a major brokerage firm. Leech served as president of the first-ever night swordfish tournament, won the Gold Coast Triple Crown of fishing in 1993, and served on the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. He assumed the lead position of IGFA president in 1992.

Former International Game Fish Association President Michael Leech
WHO ORDERED THE FISH? LEECH
AT IGFA FIGUREHEAD INSTALLATION
While serving the organization for 25 years (a decade as president), Leech helped the IGFA grow exponentially, pursuing an ardently proactive conservation policy as well as establishing its 60,000 square foot, $30 million Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach. In an interview, Leech said, “Until I joined the IGFA, conservation was really not part of IGFA’s mission. Now it’s one of our most important missions.” He added, “Anglers today are faced with huge conservation challenges. The world’s fishery resources are already severely depleted and in many cases still getting overfished.” He was instrumental in starting the IGFA Certified Observer Program (COP), which insures an all-catch-and-release format for big-game tournaments. Leech anticipates “Twenty years from now, I see our international efforts in promoting fishery conservation becoming an even larger part of our mission.” He represents the IGFA as a member of the Recreational Fishing Alliance Board of Directors and the Marine Fish Conservation Network. Leech also currently serves on the Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Governor Charlie Crist
GOV CRIST
Mike’s email to the Governor should reverse the “credibility-by-association” Suez hoped to purchase by convening their meeting in IGFA Headquarters. Governor Crist is well aware that Leech is an environmental ideologue qualified to authoritatively refute the dubious assertion made by Calypso officials and their “paid experts” that an 18-story industrial regasification facility and 3 to 4 incremental tanker convoys per week will have no impact on the maritime environment. In his email, Leech asks the Governor’s Staff, “Please allow the governor to read this urgent letter personally.” Read Mike’s correspondence below. - [editor]

Dear Governor Crist:

Click to IGFA Web Site Many of us in South Florida have grave misgivings about the proposed Calypso Deepwater Port off Ft. Lauderdale. You have veto power for this project. Here are 20 reasons for you to say thanks, but no thanks.

  1. At a time when the U.S. is trying to reduce our dependence on foreign energy, we should not allow this massive French gas import operation.

  2. The U.S. already has a plentiful supply of natural gas. We don’t need to import more from other countries.

  3. Aftermath of the 2004 Algerian Natural Gas Disaster
    27 KILLED IN A 2004 ALGERIAN NATURAL GAS DISASTER
    The proposed location of Calypso Port is in a very active hurricane area with potential huge tidal surge, a potential for disaster.

  4. Calypso officials admit in the case of an explosion, the vapor fire could extend 3.8 miles from the center.

  5. Should the 1100 foot ship be blown ashore by a hurricane or commandeered by terrorists and exploded, the fire ball would envelope tens of thousands of residents in hi-rise condos, hotels, homes, possibly Port Everglades oil depot and even Ft. Lauderdale International airport. A perfect target for terrorists.

  6. The project would be located between the north and south very active shipping lanes, making collisions (and possible explosion) a distinct possibility.

  7. The two mooring systems for the ships will create the world’s largest fish aggregating devices (FADs) in a prime spawning and nursery area for sailfish, marlin, swordfish, dolphin, baby sea turtles, and dozens of other important species.

  8. The study conducted to determine the number of ichthyoplankton and zooplankton destroyed by the average intake of 43.6 million gallons per day admits to 2171 fish eggs and larvae destroyed per million gallons. That’s 94,655 per day or 2.8 million per month! It includes dozens of species of important gamefish and it would continue for at least 25 years. It does not include another estimated 712,421 zooplankton destroyed per day.

  9. Calypso Deepwater Port (DWP)
    CLICK ABOVE TO ENLARGE VIEW OF CALYPSO MOORING LINES
    The ichthyoplankton study is bogus. It was conducted in the open ocean, not in the center of a huge fish aggregating devise where 17 mooring lines will lead to the center of two massive floating platforms where the millions of gallons of sea water will be extracted daily. The destruction of small fish and eggs will be many magnitudes greater in the center of these FADs than in the open ocean.

  10. This facility, if constructed, will not reduce the price of gas which is regulated by supply and demand. Current supply is adequate. The developer will charge as much for their gas as possible in order to earn tens of millions of dollars from U.S. customers. We don’t need more U.S. dollars going overseas.

  11. The construction of this project would close 11 square miles of water for three years in an area where there are close to 50,000 registered boats. It would adversely impact thousands of these boat owners including transient vessels and shipping.

  12. The deep water port is proposed in an area popular with both commercial and recreational swordfish anglers. They would be prohibited permanently from getting close to this prime swordfish area.

  13. The project would cause increased turbidity and ship traffic in an already congested area.

  14. Sea Turtles at Risk There may well be inadvertent spills of petroleum which project officials admit would result in impacts to marine mammals, sea turtles, and birds.

  15. Officials admit LNG and support vessel traffic is expected to cause moderate long term adverse impacts to threatened and endangered sea turtles.

  16. Officials have not answered the questions of when a severe storm is threatening; at what point is the decision made to unmoor the huge ships; how long it takes to unmoor, how fast the ships can move under their own power, and where would they seek refuge? Too many unanswered questions. Remember, The Galt Ocean Mile and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea are directly inshore with a population of about 25,000.

  17. The Bahamas has flatly rejected this project being located in their waters. You, as governor, should do the same.

  18. Fish in Jeopardy During part of the year, Calypso will operate in “open loop” mode, not “closed loop” as widely promoted. During the open loop operation, seawater intake is about 5 times greater than with closed loop and the resultant mortality of fish eggs, larvae, and zooplankton would increase 5 times (see item #8).

  19. The possibility of ship collisions either intentional or unintentional is analyzed in the Environmental Impact Statement. The possibility is very real and frightening.

  20. Calypso officials try to assure us that the possibility of a major catastrophe is unlikely. However, it was unlikely that New Orleans would be submerged, it was unlikely that the World Trade Center would crumble to dust, and unlikely that the Titanic would sink.

I urge you to veto this project.

Sincerely,

Michael Leech

President Michael Leech, Retired
International Game Fish Association

FYI - To “send your thoughts to the Governor’s office” as did Conservationist and World Class Fisherman Mike Leech, you can Click Here to send him an email, call him at (850) 488-7146 or send a Fax to (850) 487-0801. His address is The Capitol, 400 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399. Please take 30 seconds to help stop this nightmare!

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We Care About You!

“You Can Trust Us!”

Background

Suez Aguas Argentinas September 6, 2008 - When companies successfully apply corporate strategies in the pursuit of lucrative contracts, they earn both respect and investors. Stockholders roast directorial boards or corporate executives whose regulatory entanglements and competitive shortcomings shake the share price. However, when companies eat their own customers for breakfast and usurp human rights with such impunity that they begin to consider good will as a luxury they can’t or won’t afford, flags should go up warning prospective customers that involvement will spell disaster. Unfortunately, it appears that we are facing such an institution; one which we neither sought nor approved. Some federal bureaucrat opened the back door, allowing some shady characters a place at the table.

Click to GDF SUEZ Web Site Public service contracts generally embody a formulaic central premise. Companies agree to provide basic services to a jurisdiction in exchange for the opportunity to sell lucrative incremental services to those with sufficient disposable income. Once comfortably protected by contract or political patronage, companies become predisposed to “cherry pick” when afforded the opportunity, neglecting contractual obligations to provide basic services while concentrating solely on delivering expensive products and services promising high profit margins. When cable companies do this, segments of the population are cheated out of watching the “Game Show Network” or the “Hallmark Channel”. When companies providing power, water or sanitation do it, people die. If this happens, the company supposedly pays a price in two ways. They lose “good will”, which is ordinarily an asset critical to attracting more business. Secondly, they risk the uncertainties of a judicial environment if dragged into court.

Suez’ former chief executive Jérôme Monod
FORMER SUEZ CHIEF
EXECUTIVE JÉRÔME MONOD
These service outlets are called public utilities, defined by Merriam-Webster as “a business organization (as an electric company) performing a public service and subject to special governmental regulation.” Government regulation is implicit in the definition because Noah Webster realized, as do most of us, that when left to their own devices, many businesses gladly chalk up any deaths and/or disasters resulting from their corporate strategy as the cost of doing business. Effective regulation balances the needs of shareholders with the needs of customers.

Former French President Jacques Chirac
FORMER FRENCH PRESIDENT
JACQUES CHIRAC
Suez, the parent company of the Calypso gasworks, is a $105 billion French Conglomerate inextricably tied to the French government, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Suez’ former chief executive, Jérôme Monod, was a leading fundraiser for recently deposed French President Jacques Chirac’s party, the Rassemblement pour la République (RPR). A French court in 1994 ruled that a Suez subsidiary had paid millions in bribes to a RPR federal minister in return for the privatization of Grenoble’s waterworks. Once relieved of Suez in 2000, the re-municipalized Grenoble waterworks offered the cheapest water prices in the country. As Mayor of Paris, Chirac handed over the Parisian waterworks to Suez as a gift to Monod, a mistake that the city plans to correct in 2009, when the Suez contract runs out. Monod left Suez in 2001 and joined Chirac directly as an adviser working from the Elysée Palace. Recently, to block an “unfriendly” acquisition of Suez by Italian energy giant Enel, the French government brokered a merger between Suez and Gaz de France (GDF), in which they hold an 80% interest.

Click to the World Bank Web Site International financial institutions (IFIs) - including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - have supported the global expansion of Suez operations by pressing countries to privatize their public utilities as a pre-condition for loans and debt restructuring. By 2002, 80% of the loans made by the World Bank to governments for water projects were conditional on the privatization of their water utility, usually by Suez or Veolia (the world’s 2 largest water monopolies). Monod was also special counselor to the International Monetary Fund’s director, Michel Camdessus, when Monod was Suez’s CEO. A World Trade Organization strategy promoted the inclusion of water services into the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), changing access to water from a U.N. mandated human right to a commodity like running shoes or plumbing parts.

Click to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Web Site When Suez projects do not provide the hoped-for returns and costs are higher than anticipated, Suez uses investment treaties to force governments to compensate them for failed privatization schemes. When governments move to terminate breached service contracts or licenses, Suez threatens to take its claim to the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, a closed-door tribunal run by the World Bank, despite the conflict of interest stemming from the World Bank’s heavy investment in Suez subsidiaries worldwide.

You’ll Just have to Trust Us!

Some Broward Delegates (L to R) - Rep Matt Hudson, Rep Ellyn Bogdanoff, Rep Martin Kiar, Rep Ari Porth, Rep Franklin Sands, Sen Jeff Atwater
SOME BROWARD DELEGATES (L to R) - REP MATT HUDSON
REP ELLYN BOGDANOFF, REP MARTIN KIAR, REP ARI PORTH
REP FRANKLIN SANDS, SEN JEFF ATWATER
At the August 11th Calypso workshop convened by the Broward Legislative Delegation at the Beach Community Center, a Suez official told Broward residents and their State legislators that he was precluded from discussing safety and security issues by a “confidentiality commitment.” However, once licensed, “you can trust Suez to do what they think is right.” An incredulous Senator Jeffrey Atwater exclaimed “I can’t imagine that a security plan is viewed as a post-licensing decision.” General Manager Patricia Quintero of L’Hermitage I Condominium summarized the community reaction to the Suez assertion that residents should trust Suez with their lives, declaring, “You’re asking us to put all our faith in you and just wait and see what you’ll do. That’s not good enough.”

Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey
MASS CONGRESSMAN
EDWARD MARKEY
Residents and lawmakers were already disturbed by the abominable safety record of the Suez Distrigas liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Everett, Massachusetts, where they were fined $220,000 for safety violations from 2002 through 2005. Although their local Congressman Edward Markey stated that from “direct first hand observation, I have seen a facility where security is either nonexistent or woefully lacking,” Suez official Brad Cooley assured the Broward audience that the violations “weren’t so bad.”

Given that Broward residents are being asked to place the lives of their families and the resolution of an unlimited tax burden in Suez hands, the Galt Mile Community Association and the Central Beach Alliance decided to further investigate Suez record for keeping their commitments. Verifying how Suez expanded its water and sanitation services core business is elementally similar to a Stephen King novel.

A Track Record from Hell

Former Argentine President Carlos Menem
FORMER ARGENTINE
PRESIDENT CARLOS MENEM
While Suez nurtures a healthy list of human rights violations, their privatization of the Buenos Aires water and sanitation system is demonstrative of their corporate strategy. In 1993, the government of Argentine President Carlos Menem privatized the Buenos Aires water utility under heavy pressure from the World Bank, the IMF and the U.S. government, relinquishing control to Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux (Suez). Suez created subsidiary Aguas Argentinas (AASA) to deliver water services to 10 million inhabitants of Buenos Aires. Two years later, Suez took over the Santa Fe provincial sanitation company. Although they didn’t pay a cent for either concession, Suez promised to freeze water rates and make investments to improve and expand water and sewage services. The contract also obligated Suez to quickly address the water’s high nitrate content and expand sanitation infrastructure.

Suez had to overcome a vociferous anti-privatization labor union to land the deal. World Bank affiliates circumvented the labor “obstacle” with institutionalized and sanctioned bribery, through the Programa de Propriedad Participada (PPP). When the PPP offered union leaders a 10 percent stake in the new company, union opposition dried up and Suez fired half the union’s 7200 workers.

Click to the ETOSS Web Site Within a year, a rate increase of 13.5 percent asked of the government’s newly established water authority ETOSS was granted in contravention of the original contract. “What was said in 1993, that there was not going to be an increase in rates for 10 years, was not meant in absolute terms,” said assistant director-general Carlos Ben of Aguas Argentinas. “It was to indicate to the bidders that they should not put a speculative number [on rate reductions]. There was not a presumption of a freezing of rates.”

Chief water and sanitation engineer Menahem Libhaber - for the World Bank in Latin America
WORLD BANK ENGINEER
MENAHEM LIBHABER
When the World Bank’s investment arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), purchased 7 percent of Aguas Argentinas, the World Bank became a partner with Suez in the subsidiary they also serviced as a lender. Menahem Libhaber, the chief water and sanitation engineer for the World Bank in Latin America, said “False promises are simply part of the game when it comes to such huge public contracts. You get into the business with low rates or high commitments — all the while telling yourself, ‘When we are in we will renegotiate.’ The public sector has to be aware,” he said, that companies are disingenuously putting their best foot forward. “Sometimes it’s a game to get into the business. ... And they [the companies] have leverage once they are in.”

Suez’ Aguas Argentinas subsidiary To help incentivize a renegotiation of their contract, Suez’ Aguas Argentinas subsidiary delayed the promised construction of a crucial Berazategui wastewater treatment plant while dumping 95 percent of the city’s sewage directly into the Rio del Plata River and cesspools - intensifying already dangerous nitrate concentrations. Although the high nitrate levels increased infant fatalities by reducing available blood oxygen, Aguas Argentinas was saving about $100,000 a day in construction costs – adding $35 million a year in profits – according to an estimate from a 1996 World Bank report.

Anti-Suez Demonstration in Argentina
ANTI-SUEZ MARCH IN ARGENTINA
Suez’ 15-year operation in Argentina is marked by usurious rate hikes and contract violations, for which it was repeatedly fined by regulatory agencies. Although its contract stipulated that rates would be frozen for the first ten years of the concession, Aguas Argentinas raised rates by 88.2% on average between 1993 and 2003, claiming “unforeseen operating losses.” Those who couldn’t pay, the residents living in poorer districts, lost their service as entire neighborhoods were redlined. By the eleventh year of its contract, in 2004, towns in the serviced urban area were still plagued with high nitrate concentrations and the promised additional infrastructure remained undelivered. Moreover, two million people in the concession area had no potable water, and 3 million had no sanitation services (sewers).

Investigate Aguas Argentinas Aware that Suez was preparing to cut bait and leave the country, and that it intended to go to the World Bank’s arbitration board to demand compensation for a claimed breach of contract, the government sent 50 undercover public sector agents into Aguas Argentinas to collect evidence of the company’s misdeeds. The investigators discovered that the company disbursed 25 million pesos annually for no-show “consultants” and paid equally large sums to Suez-linked construction firms for equipment and “repairs” that were never done. The investigation also revealed that the company – just from its day-to-day operations – had more than enough revenue to resolve the drinking water’s excessive nitrate concentrations – in one year’s time.

Former Argentine President Néstor Kirchner
FORMER ARGENTINE
PRESIDENT NÉSTOR KIRCHNER
On March 21, 2006, President Néstor Kirchner signed a decree rescinding his government’s contract with the Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, charging them with breach of contract and negligence. Kirchner explained the next day, “Suez, the majority stockholder in Aguas Argentinas, failed to invest in vital infrastructure and much of the water it provided to 10 million people in metropolitan Buenos Aires was contaminated with unacceptably high concentrations of nitrates. Aguas Argentinas even included warnings on its bills to customers, that children shouldn’t drink tap water because it was unsafe!”

Click to Argentine Water and Sanitation Company (AySA) Web Site Responding to the nationwide anger and frustration bred by Suez, Kirchner underscored his government’s rationale. In view of such negligence and “appalling” service, “the Argentine State decided to take control of the company, to make the investments so that water can be given back to Argentines ... and that it return to being a social asset, rather than something available only to a very few.” The Argentine President noted that Suez had been in the country for 15 years and walked away with hundreds of millions of dollars, “but we had to beg to get just a drop of water.” Kirchner signed a second decree on March 21st, establishing the new state company – Argentine Water and Sanitation Company (AySA) – and authorized 400 million pesos to immediately build the necessary infrastructure while closing down contaminated wells.

Click to International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Web Site Risking exposure of his government’s questionable ties to Suez, French President Jacques Chirac expressed his anger over the rescinding of Suez’ contract through his Foreign Ministry. While ignoring Suez’ exploitation of millions of Argentineans, Chirac instead disparaged the lack of “juridical security” for the company’s French stockholders.

World Bank water director Jamal Saghir
WORLD BANK WATER
DIRECTOR JAMAL SAGHIR
Suez sued Argentina for damages in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), an arm of the World Bank charged with jurisdiction over certain international investment matters. Since the World Bank owned 5 percent of Aguas Argentinas through its affiliate IFC, the court was clearly conflicted. Also, a senior World Bank water and sanitation specialist for Latin America, Ventura Bengoechea, served as the main rate negotiator for Aguas Argentinas. Asked if the bank would be in conflict of interest as the case proceeded, World Bank water director Jamal Saghir said, “I cannot make a judgment. I don’t make a comment on that.”

Suez Aguas de Illimani Suez has a long and sordid history of looting on behalf of the private banking interests it represents. In the developing sector, although it has focused primarily on water privatization, it engages in electricity piracy as well. Metaphoric characterizations of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and George P. Shultz’s Bechtel Corp. as “the Suezes of America” aren’t without merit given the worldwide economic depredations with which these companies have become identified.

Water Riots in La Paz
WATER RIOTS IN LA PAZ
In Bolivia, residents of El Alto and La Paz organized massive pressure to terminate a government contract with Suez subsidiary Aguas de Illimani. The contract guaranteed Aguas de Illimani a 13% rate of return while leaving 200,000 (1 out of 3) El Alto residents without access to water. Suez instituted a sky-high connection fee of $435 (US) for a private home to access the water supply. In a country whose yearly per capita GDP is $915, the fee represented a cost almost eight times the monthly minimum wage in Bolivia or six month’s wages for the average Bolivian. By depriving almost half the population of water, Suez precipitated a popular revolt. When the Bolivian Government walked away from the Aguas de Illimani contract because Suez failed to fulfill its contract obligations, Suez brought the case before the World Bank’s rubber stamp International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Since The World Bank is a major investor in Aguas de Illimani, owning 8 percent of the company, the ICSID performs primarily as a collection agency for client corporations. On May 1, 2007, the government of Bolivia withdrew from the World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, citing the court’s admitted conflict of interest.

Click to MAYNILAD Water Services, Inc. Web Site In Manila, Philippines, after seven years of water privatization under a Suez company contract (Maynilad Water), water rates increased in some neighborhoods by 400 to 700 percent. Philippine Government reports confirmed that company negligence resulted in cholera and gastroenteritis outbreaks that killed six people and severely sickened 725 in Manila’s Tondo district.

Suez comes to America

Click to United Water Resources Web Site Calypso is part of a Suez corporate strategy to penetrate the North American market. Veolia and Suez, the world’s two largest water companies, moved aggressively into the American market in 1999. Veolia spent $6 billion to acquire the nation’s largest water company, US Filter. Suez, which already owned a third of United Water Resources, a private firm based in Harrington Park, N.J., spent $1 billion to buy the entire company. In 2003, Germany’s RWE AG purchased American Water Works Co., based in Vorhees, N.J.

Click to Center for Responsive Politics Web Site The European companies touted their size, financial wherewithal and expertise to cultivate friends in city halls, state legislatures and Congress. They promised to provide solutions for cities struggling with aging pipes, tight budgets and tough environmental regulations. Over the last decade, major water firms have made more than $4 million in federal campaign contributions, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The industry also has given generously to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Click to U.S. Conference of Mayors Web Site The mayors’ conference helped spark the industry’s growth by lobbying the Clinton administration to strike an Internal Revenue Service rule that limited municipal utility management contracts to five years. The 1997 rule change cleared the way for 20-year deals. Suez claimed that long-term contracts allow them to spread capital improvement and operating expenses over decades and provide lower-cost service. With the IRS change, the number of “public-private” water partnerships in the United States rose from about 400 in 1997 to 1,100 in 2003. In pursuit of contracts, water companies have lobbied hardest at the local level, treating office holders to dinners, sports tickets, free trips and campaign contributions. Former Suez Director During justifies Suez’ ambitious spending to achieve corporate objectives, “We are here to make money. Sooner or later the company that invests recoups its investment, which means the customer has to pay for it.”

Former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell
FORMER ATLANTA MAYOR BILL CAMPBELL
In 1999, the City of Atlanta responded to promises made by the European conglomerates that they would control costs and help the city comply with a federal consent decree aimed at stopping sewage overflows into the Chattahoochee River. Suez subsidiary United Water stocked its management team with former city officials and political fundraisers for then Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell.

Once the City Council approved the $428 million, 20-year contract with Suez and its United Water subsidiary, the companies shifted hundreds of city water and sewer workers onto their payrolls. Campbell called it “a great victory for the people of Atlanta,” predicting that “every city in America will go to privately run water systems.”

Bill Campbell on Paris Holiday
BILL CAMPBELL ON PARIS HOLIDAY
A few months later, Suez bankrolled a $12,000 holiday for Campbell and paramour Marion Brooks (former WSB-TV/Channel 2 anchor) in Paris, where the mayor posed for snapshots at Napoleon’s Tomb and the Arc de Triomphe. Although Suez executives later claimed that Campbell’s visit was intended as a legitimate business trip, Campbell only met with company officials for 2 1/2 hours out of the five days Campbell and companion spent on “holiday”. Shortly after the Suez takeover, Atlanta residents began complaining of brown, brackish drinking water and unresponsive service, peaking in the summer of 2002.

President Gordon Certain of the North Buckhead Civic Association
PRESIDENT GORDON CERTAIN
NORTH BUCKHEAD CIVIC ASSN
Gordon Certain, president of a north Atlanta neighborhood association, said poor maintenance and equipment failures caused recurrent water main breaks and boil-water alerts, at times producing tap water “the color of very well-brewed tea.” It was soon revealed that 400 maintenance staffers initially assumed by Suez from the city were immediately fired according to a corporate strategy aimed at showing stockholders inflated profits early in the project.

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin
NEXT ATLANTA MAYOR
SHIRLEY FRANKLIN
After succeeding Campbell in early 2002, Mayor Shirley Franklin said United Water and Suez neglected basic repairs, violated federal drinking water standards, failed to regularly flush impurities out of the system and billed the city for work not done. Blaming the violations on old pipes and power outages, company officials said that since haphazard city records had made it impossible to calculate how much it would cost to run the system before they signed the deal, they planned to quickly renegotiate. The two sides agreed to terminate the 20-year contract in 2003, after four years. By then, FBI investigators were focusing on Campbell’s relationship with Suez.

Attorney Billy Martin Defends Campbell in Federal Court
ATTY BILLY MARTIN DEFENDS
CAMPBELL IN FEDERAL COURT
In February 2006, during Campbell’s corruption trial in federal court, United Water executives testified that they spent $4,500 on Campbell’s hotel suite and another $4,500 for a limousine during the Paris holiday they gifted to the former Mayor. A handwriting expert testified that Campbell had signed secret amendments to the contract that would have been worth as much as $80 million to Suez over the life of the deal. Campbell denied signing the documents or otherwise approving the $80-million increase. In March, a jury convicted him of three counts of tax evasion.

Executive Director Wenonah Hauter of industry watchdog Food and Water Watch
WENONAH HAUTER OF
FOOD AND WATER WATCH
Suez officials say that their dealings with Campbell were proper and that he did not receive favors for helping the company on its contract. According to Executive Director Wenonah Hauter of industry watchdog Food and Water Watch, “These contracts are usually awarded not through competition but through some kind of shady dealings. In the case of Atlanta, Suez, through its U.S. subsidiary, gave campaign contributions to the mayor’s brother in South Carolina, even though they didn’t have any operations there. It’s legalized bribery.”

Atlanta runs its own water system again and is spending $3.9 billion to upgrade the water-sewer infrastructure. Costs are down and the water is clean. However, they are not unique in regretting their dealings with Suez.

Click to Wisconsin Attorney General Web Site United Water’s operation of Milwaukee’s wastewater system has been marked by repeated sewage spills. A 2002 state audit uncovered that the Suez subsidiary caused 107 million gallons of untreated sewage to be discharged into streams and Lake Michigan. The audit also confirmed that the company triggered a series of overflows by deliberately shutting off sewer tunnel pumps during hours of peak electricity demand, saving itself $515,000. A lawsuit by Wisconsin’s attorney general blames inadequate maintenance for an even bigger discharge in May 2004, when more than a billion gallons of sewage gushed into local waters.

Jersey City officials discovered that United Water picked the pockets of local taxpayers when they diverted $1.2 million worth of the city’s water to other communities in New Jersey without remunerating Jersey City.

Suez Aguas Argentinas Residents of Toms River and Camden, N.J., complained about a lack of accountability after United Water admitted it had failed to warn customers that their drinking water was contaminated. In Toms River, the company neglected to notify some customers for six months of their exposure to elevated levels of naturally occurring radium in the water. In Camden, the company delayed reporting high readings of TCE (trichloroethylene), an industrial solvent that causes cancer and liver damage. New Jersey regulators fined the company $4,000 in Camden and $64,000 in Toms River.

United Water Vice President of Communications Richard Henning
RICHARD HENNING - OOPs
Rich Henning, a United Water spokesman, said the reporting failure in Toms River was the result of confusion over a change in testing protocols. Henning conceded that privatization deals have disappointed customers because, in the push to win contracts, Suez takes on too much risk. “We were kind of hitting each other in the head to get that next contract,” explained Henning.

Officials in Laredo, Texas cancelled their contract with Suez subsidiary United Water when the corporation demanded more money than was agreed to in the contract. Within one year of securing a contract, Suez asked the city for an additional $5 million to cover unexpected expenses plus an annual increase of $3 million.

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, the regional government cancelled its public private partnership contract with Suez subsidiary, United Water. The corporation led a consortium that spent five years negotiating a contract to operate sewage treatment plants. United Water was sent packing after the consortium refused to assume the risks associated with running the sewage treatment system. When Suez insisted that the city accept responsibility for sewerage pumped into the harbor by the corporation in violation of environmental laws, the region’s mayor finally admitted that remaining public will save millions of dollars.

Trust Us – Part II

SUEZ official and Calypso Assistant Manager Brad Cooley
SUEZ OFFICIAL BRAD COOLEY
The Broward Legislative Delegation’s Calypso workshop afforded Broward residents and State legislators an opportunity to ask Suez official Brad Cooley about the planned Calypso security provisions. During his opening presentation, Cooley surprised the audience with the proposition that “Safety is not an issue for this project.” Delegation Chair Jack Seiler disagreed, pointing out to Cooley that the primary community objection to the project stems from Suez demonstrated inability to adequately address public safety. Senator Jeffrey Atwater responded skeptically to Cooley’s statement, admonishing “Safety is the most important issue!”

Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti
B.C. SHERIFF AL LAMBERTI
Serving as Suez North America’s Assistant Manager for the Calypso Deepwater Port project, Cooley proclaimed that Suez filed a security plan that was created in cooperation with local authorities. Seeking to verify Cooley’s statement, Senator Atwater asked Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti if Suez consulted with his office at any time to formulate these security measures. Lamberti answered, “No, I have not been consulted on this project.”

Senator Jeffrey Atwater
SENATOR JEFFREY ATWATER
When Representative Seiler asked the Sheriff about Calypso’s security impacts, Lamberti complained “We’re already pressed for resources to deal with our day-to-day responsibilities in Port Everglades. Where will the money come from to deal with additional needs? What will happen in case of a catastrophic event? We must have the capability to fight anything that might happen in the port as a result of this project. Where will the resources come from for preparation and readiness, not just response? We were already a terrorist target before this project. This will just add one more target that we’ll have to prepare for.”

Representative Jack Seiler
REPRESENTATIVE JACK SEILER
Asked by Seiler to explain the inconsistencies in his statements, Cooley asserted that the need for confidentiality accounted for his contradictory equivocations about the security plan. Senator Atwater inquired, “Who will be responsible for funding the ‘additional security’ that will be required, local governments?” Cooley told the Senator “We plan to work with local governments at the appropriate time and we would consider shouldering some share of the burden.” Frustrated by Cooley’s nonresponsive replies, the Senator chastised the company for refusing to address security issues until after they received a license.

GMCA Advisory Board Members Frances Konstance and Jean Miller
FRANCES KONSTANCE AND JEAN MILLER
Dozens of residents that addressed the lawmakers during the course of the workshop were similarly disturbed by Suez evasive responses to questions about public safety and security. When Sheriff Lamberti belied Cooley’s contention that local authorities participated in developing a security plan, Cooley altered his statement, promising instead to consult with local authorities at a time deemed appropriate by Suez. After the meeting, Senator Atwater expressed doubts about Suez paying for the safety and security shortfall that was described by Sheriff Lamberti and previously admitted by the Coast Guard.

Residents Discuss Calypso with Panel
RESIDENTS DISCUSS CALYPSO WITH PANEL
Atwater, Representatives Seiler and Bogdanoff as well as Broward Sheriff Lamberti were angry about the Suez decision to “surprise” Broward residents with an unfunded mandate that they would have to continuously pay on their future tax bills. When asked about the resources Suez planned to commit towards security costs, Cooley repeatedly intimated that Suez would contribute what Suez thought appropriate. Senator Atwater said “Since Broward is already facing a shortfall, where will the resources come from? This is the reason I recommended to Governor Crist that he veto the project.” Given Suez long history of sacrificing the needs of local populations to increase their bottom line and elevate their share price, relying on this company to voluntarily contribute resources once they’ve secured a license is delusional.

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The Broward Legislative Delegation

Click to Calypso Web Site

Workshop

Background

Click to The Broward Legislative Delegation August 20, 2008 - On August 11, 2008, the Broward Legislative Delegation convened a “Calypso Workshop” at the Beach Community Center. Initiated by Oakland Park Representative Jack Seiler and Executive Director Sandy Harris in response to the hailstorm of antipathy and confusion about the planned gasworks off the Galt Mile beach, the event drew about 250 residents from surrounding neighborhoods. Comprised of State legislators elected from Broward County, the Broward Legislative Delegation organized the workshop to edify members about an issue that stirred blistering controversy in eastern Broward County, the installation of a Deepwater Port for the offloading of liquefied natural gas off the coast of Fort Lauderdale.

Broward Legislators at Beach Community Center Workshop
SOME BROWARD DELEGATES (L to R) - REP ARI PORTH, REP FRANKLIN SANDS
SEN JEFF ATWATER, REP JACK SEILER, REP JIM WALDMAN
With Election Day around the corner, the area’s Tallahassee representatives realized some “added value” in the well-attended event, a fact not lost on some of their more obscure opponents, some of who also attended the workshop. Attending members were Senator Jeffrey Atwater, Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff, Representative Jack Seiler, Representative Perry Thurston, Representative Jim Waldman, Representative Ari Porth, Representative Martin Kiar, Representative Franklin Sands, Representative Matt Hudson and Representative Joe Gibbons. While the legislators were ostensibly there to learn, the residents were there to express their concerns to delegates and hopefully to Governor Charlie Crist. Scores of locals lined up to share their anger and fear with the attentive politicians, enumerating a litany of reasons why such a dangerous facility should never have been located near heavily populated beachfront communities.

Beach Community Center
BEACH COMMUNITY CENTER
The controversy started last December, when Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Christine Teel gave her usual update to Galt Mile Association officials attending a monthly Presidents Council meeting convened to share information about association operations and community developments. Her brief description of a planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) installation a few miles east of the beach surprised the incredulous audience. Unable to conceive that either State or local government would consent to allowing an 18-story fossil fuel plant to scar such an important local asset, confused attendees requested that Association and City officials elicit clarification of this disconcerting news. After wading through the colorful marketing hype and scare tactics on either side of this issue, the unsettling proposition that the gasworks placed the adjacent population in grave danger became an inescapable conclusion.

Commissioner Christine Teel
DISTRICT 1 COMMISSIONER
CHRISTINE TEEL
Until recently, natural gas was treated as waste, an unwelcome byproduct that plagued refinery operations. Instead of burning it off at the refinery, technology was developed to liquefy the gas at extremely low temperatures (-260° F), allowing for economically viable storage and transport. While natural gas burns more cleanly than many other hydrocarbons, LNG actually contributes volumes of the carbon dioxide and methane responsible for global warming at a rate comparable to other fossil fuels. Processing natural gas into its extremely low temperature liquefied state releases huge concentrations of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The hundreds of tankers constantly transporting the LNG leave toxic deisel trails in both the ocean and the atmosphere. When the incremental pollution impact from liquefaction, trans-oceanic shipment, and regasification is added to combustion emissions, the "clean-burning" advantages of natural gas disappear. Understandably, this information is not central to the marketing campaigns of companies engaged in liquefying, transporting and regasification activities, LNG imdustry proponents and paid lobbyists.

Full House Discusses Calypso with Delegation
FULL HOUSE DISCUSSES CALYPSO WITH DELEGATION
The Calypso Project’s parent is a $110 billion French company called GDF SUEZ, a huge conglomerate filling newly privatized energy, water and waste management niches in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East. Its corporate subsidiaries face worldwide charges of human rights violations (i.e. Aguas Argentinas, in which SUEZ is the majority stockholder, was thrown out of Argentina for selling polluted water). Currently pursuing a merger with French natural gas powerhouse Gaz de France, SUEZ is under fire from European Union regulatory authorities for flagrant anti-trust violations. To obtain EU monopoly clearance for the delayed merger, SUEZ is divesting certain assets such as its Distrigas LNG plant in Massachusetts, whose suitors include Gazprom, the Russian gas utility and Sonatrach, its Algerian counterpart. (Consider the unenviable security implications.)

GMCA Advisory Board Members Frances Konstance and Jean Miller
GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
FRANCES KONSTANCE AND JEAN MILLER
Calypso is their third foray into the American LNG market, having built the Distrigas of Massachusetts LLC LNG facility in Everett, Massachusetts that was cited by the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for safety violations from 2002 through 2005. They are about to open another Massachusetts LNG plant called Neptune near Manchester and Salem. Offering proof that the Everett plant was a danger to the local citizenry, the Mayors of Everett and Boston closed the SUEZ Everett facility with an injunction that was later vacated when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) forced the issue into a friendly federal court using subsequently discredited documentation that the plant was safe – over the objections of local Police and Fire Departments in Boston and surrounding communities. A similarly engineered “Independent Risk Assessment” purchased by SUEZ is currently being used to promote that the Calypso plant is also safe. The workshop revealed that neither the local residents nor their representatives believe that SUEZ is remotely concerned about their safety.

Click to RBB Public Relations firm Web Site A week before the meeting, Delegation Chair Jack Seiler called Bill Rubin from the RBB Group, a well compensated SUEZ lobbying firm responsible for the brazen media distortions falsely intimating that the plant would either lower gasoline costs or make energy more readily available to Broward residents (both assertions were flatly denied by SUEZ personnel at a Galt Mile Presidents Council meeting). After refusing Rubin’s request for a half hour to make an opening presentation of their client’s Calypso gasworks, Seiler finally agreed to a 15 minute presentation.

Click to SUEZ Web Site When the workshop was originally announced in early July, residents interested in speaking at the event were given the opportunity to “sign up” online. Another chance to address the panel was made available as people entered the Beach Community Center auditorium, wherein they could add their names to a list of speakers.

The Main Event

SUEZ official and Calypso Assistant Manager Brad Cooley
SUEZ OFFICIAL BRAD COOLEY
SUEZ official and Calypso Assistant Manager Brad Cooley first addressed the panel, opening with “I’m here to tell you that the project is safe. We wouldn’t build it if it put anyone on shore at risk.” After stating “We don’t view an LNG tanker as a potential terrorist target,” Cooley enigmatically said, “We’re concerned about a terrorist attack. We’re putting plans together to mitigate an attack. Suez will provide its own resources for an emergency response, including rescue vessels. We filed a draft security manual with the Coast Guard. If resource shortfalls occur, we will make up for them.” Cooley contended that the project was located across from the Galt Mile Beach “to minimize impacts to the local hard bottom environment.” Winding up, Cooley stated that “Under no circumstances would a vapor cloud ever reach shore. The ignitable part of a vapor cloud will only extend 3.8 miles. However, with the Coast Guard involved, there is no reason to worry about this ever happening. The Coast Guard put together a security plan in cooperation with local authorities. Safety is not an issue for this project.”

L-B-T-S Mayor Roseann Minnet
L-B-T-S MAYOR ROSEANN MINNET
The panel then extended courtesy invitations to attending local public officials, affording them the first opportunity to either respond to the SUEZ statements or express any concerns about or support for the project. City Commissioner Christine Teel read the content of a resolution passed by the City of Fort Lauderdale asking the Governor to deny the dangerous project. Mayor Roseann Minnet of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea informed the panel that her municipality also passed a resolution opposing the Calypso gas plant as did the City of Pompano Beach. Minnet stated, “If we continue down this path, we will see increased harm to our environment and rising energy costs. Wind, solar and ocean energy are plentiful in our area. Florida’s future is energy self-sufficiency not continued dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Wind turbines and solar panels are not attractive targets for terrorists.” Commissioner Suzanne Boisvenue of Oakland Park also spoke against the construction of this life-threatening fossil fuel way-station.

To offset the marketing materials distributed by SUEZ to support Cooley’s presentation, civic leaders armed delegates with a 33-page White Paper explaining the issues and diagnosing in detail each of the reasons for asking the Governor to veto the project. Fully annotated with source citations, the White Paper was referenced by panel members in developing questions for Mr. Cooley.

Representative Ari Porth
REPRESENTATIVE ARI PORTH
Panel members questioned Mr. Cooley about the statements he made during his presentation. Representative Ari Porth asked Mr. Cooley “why the project was not built in the Bahamas, as originally intended almost 10 years ago?” Once the Bahamian Government investigated the dangers of placing a liquefied natural gas facility in an urban environment, they refused to approve the SUEZ license application. Several relevant events influenced the Bahamian freeze. In 2001, the White House counter-terrorism office announced that al Qaeda operatives were entering the U.S. aboard Algerian LNG tankers making deliveries to the SUEZ Distrigas facility in Everett, Massachusetts. More importantly, despite SUEZ promises that LNG safety technology was foolproof, a similar LNG processing facility in Skikda, Algeria suffered a catastrophic explosion in 2004 when a vapor cloud ignited, killing 23 and maiming 72. The deadly conflagration occurred shortly after Dick Cheney’s Halliburton completely rehabilitated the Algerian gas plant, declaring it a model of safety. Matters worsened when the SUEZ Everett facility was cited for serious safety violations for failing to properly train plant security employees, maintenance staff, and fire protection personnel as well as failure to monitor corrosion control (rusted valves were found).

Residents Discuss Calypso with Panel
RESIDENTS DISCUSS CALYPSO WITH PANEL
Mr. Cooley downplayed what transpired in the Bahamas, stating “We applied for a license many years ago. For some reason, the Bahamian Government never responded to our application. Although we do not know why we haven’t heard from them, we became tired of waiting. We decided to finally move the project closer to the U.S. mainland, which would also save a lot of money.” In addition to characterizing the Bahamian refusal to grant them a license as a mystery of life, Cooley also neglected to mention that the SUEZ decision to relocate the facility immediately followed passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, wherein changes in the law removed local populations as well as local and State governments from the licensing process. Since FERC, newly empowered as the unilateral LNG licensing authority, could be counted on to do whatever benefited the company (as mandated by a White House Executive Order), SUEZ concern about local opposition by impacted communities threatened with incineration disappeared. They expected an uneventful approval.

Broward Legislative Delegation Members
BROWARD LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION MEMBERS
Several Legislators asked Cooley about the citations SUEZ received in 2002, 2003 and 2005 for safety violations at their Distrigas LNG plant in Everett Massachusetts. Cooley admitted that the Office of Pipeline Safety fined SUEZ $220,000 for safety violations. He stated that the violations were minor and SUEZ subsequently claimed that the charges were baseless. Cooley also mentioned that the fine was reduced.

Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey
MASS CONGRESSMAN
EDWARD MARKEY
On July 23, 2002, Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey, a member of the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security, described the plant’s lack of security to the House of Representatives, stating, “The Distrigas LNG facility in Everett is owned by a Belgian-based energy affiliate of the French conglomerate, Suez. Unfortunately, I have found that security at this facility is sorely inadequate. Both from whistleblower reports and from direct first hand observation, I have seen a facility where security is either nonexistent or woefully lacking.” When initially served with the violations in 2002, SUEZ mounted a $multi-million legal campaign aimed at exploiting regulatory loopholes. While every charge was admittedly true, a few were withdrawn due to statute of limitations protections and legal challenges claiming that the relevant regulations were drafted in a confusing manner. Markey disparaged Distrigas’ reaction to the violation notice, “While Distrigas says it is improving its security procedures, it has also said that the company would fight the Department’s proposed fine.” Markey angrily insisted that SUEZ should redirect the resources they committed to exploiting legal technicalities to instead providing the mandated security originally promised to the endangered Boston area. He added, “Only time will tell whether the situation on the ground in Everett will change and whether the companies’ European corporate parents will provide the funding and support to allow a ‘security first’ philosophy to truly take hold at Distrigas.”

Senator Jeffrey Atwater
SENATOR JEFFREY ATWATER
Senator Jeffrey Atwater told Cooley that he was disturbed by his statement that SUEZ thinks that safety is not an issue. The Senator declared “Safety is the most important issue!” Atwater asked Cooley, “Who will be responsible for funding the ‘additional security’ that will be required, local governments? Since Broward is already facing a shortfall, where will the resources come from?” Cooley told the Senator “We plan to work with local governments at the appropriate time and we would shoulder some of the burden.” Atwater turned to Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti, who was observing from the back of the room. Referring to Cooley’s original statement that a plan was developed by the Coast Guard in cooperation with local authorities, the Senator asked, “Did Suez consult with your office on additional security measures at any time during this process?” The Sheriff shrugged and announced, “Personally, no, I have not been consulted on this project.” Visibly irked, the Senator told Cooley, “I can’t imagine that a security plan is viewed as a post-licensing decision.” Atwater informed the SUEZ official, “I sent a letter to Governor Crist expressing my opposition to this poorly planned project. It was a mistake to locate this type of facility adjacent to heavily populated neighborhoods.” Atwater’s response was roundly applauded by the audience.

Representative Jack Seiler
REPRESENTATIVE JACK SEILER
Delegation chair Jack Seiler also expressed disappointment at Cooley’s statement, contending that public safety was at the heart of the community’s objection to this project. When Seiler asked him to outline the SUEZ security plan, Cooley said “Our draft security plan is on file with the Coast Guard. However, the details of the plan are confidential.” Seiler clarified, “We’re not asking to reveal the plan’s details, we want to know that it’s capable of responding to prospective threats.”

When Representative Seiler asked the Sheriff about the project’s security impacts, Lamberti complained “We’re already pressed for resources to deal with our day-to-day responsibilities in Port Everglades. Where will the money come from to deal with additional needs? What will happen in case of a catastrophic event? We must have the capability to fight anything that might happen in the port as a result of this project. Where will the resources come from for preparation and readiness, not just response? We were already a terrorist target before this project. This will just add one more target that we’ll have to prepare for.”

GMCA President Pio Ieraci
GMCA PRESIDENT PIO IERACI
Galt Mile Community Association President Pio Ieraci was among the many complainants who challenged Cooley’s claim that the danger from a pool fire is limited to a 3.8 mile range, as estimated in the “Independent Risk Assessment” paid for by SUEZ. Contrary to Cooley’s statement, the study was not performed by the Coast Guard, but by Houston based Risknology, Inc., a firm that specializes in helping oil and gas companies tailor risk assessments to elicit regulatory approval. Studies from December 2004 through May 2008 by Sandia National Laboratories, the recognized benchmark for LNG hazard assessments, offer examples of ignitable vapor clouds spanning distances of 7.3 to 7.9 miles. Cooley also neglected to mention that the Sandia studies and the Risknology study commissioned by SUEZ warn that an additional minimal cushion of 1 2/3 miles is required to survive the thermal radiation from the resulting 3000° fireball. The total survivable distance from the LNG plant is therefore between 9 and 10 miles. The planned Calypso facility starts only 7.7 miles from Galt Ocean Drive and 7.9 miles from A1A. You do the math. Ieraci pleaded with panel members, “We beckon you to speak on our behalf to Governor Crist to ensure he hears our concerns. Suez cannot guarantee our safety. The Coast Guard cannot guarantee our safety. They can’t protect us against a terrorist attack. This is further dependence on foreign fuel.”

GMCA Advisory Board Member Fred Nesbitt
GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER FRED NESBITT
GMCA Advisory Board member Fred Nesbitt quoted from a December 2007 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Maritime Security report stating that liquefied natural gas (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,” and - most importantly - that “the Coast Guard - the lead federal agency for Maritime Security - has insufficient resources to meet its own self-imposed security standards.” He continued, “If a tanker is breached, the 20 billion gallons of released natural gas would be ignitable by a spark and have the force of a small nuclear bomb. The resulting fire is not suppressible. Local police and fire units have neither the funding nor training to contend with the effects of such an attack.”

Fisherman David Neilsen
FISHERMAN DAVID NEILSEN
Referring to damage that the project’s anchoring system will afflict on the seabed, local fisherman David Neilsen said “You’re going against some of the strongest currents in the world. The chains will hurt the bottom of the ocean. A couple of good strikes of lightning, god knows what will happen.”

Plaza South's Bill Claire
PLAZA SOUTH'S BILL CLAIRE
William Claire of Plaza South Condominium accused SUEZ of locating Calypso outside local jurisdictions to avoid accountability. Claire also said it may not matter how far Calypso claims that a vapor cloud can travel. “Piracy has tripled in recent years and LNG tankers are susceptible to being commandeered and steered into Port Everglades before being breached and ignited.”

General Manager Patricia Quintero of L'Hermitage I Condominium
L'HERMITAGE I MANAGER PATRICIA QUINTERO
General Manager Patricia Quintero of L'Hermitage I Condominium also expressed distrust for Cooley’s unsubstantiated assurances that SUEZ will somehow protect the neighborhood from tanker breaches. Quintero declared, “You’re asking us to put all our faith in you and just wait and see what you’ll do. That’s not good enough.”

Playa del Mar’s Linda Eidinger
PLAYA DEL MAR’S
LINDA EIDINGER
Seemingly overwrought, Playa del Mar’s Linda Eidinger explained that after paying her dues, she moved here to enjoy the fruits of a lifetime of sacrifice and hard work. Addressing the panel, she lamented, “I don’t want to live the next 25 years being stressed out wondering whether or not we will be killed in an explosion.”

Fort Lauderdale resident Chris Chiari
FORT LAUDERDALE RESIDENT
CHRIS CHIARI
Fort Lauderdale resident Chris Chiari told the panel that he became familiar with the project while serving on the Broward County Marine Advisory Board. Chiari contended that Calypso has continuously misled people about the project throughout its history. “They didn’t simply become impatient with the Bahamian Government and decide to move. The opposition to their project became insurmountable for good reason. The Bahamian Government showed real leadership. They decided to protect their citizens from a potential catastrophe. The SUEZ campaign to hide the serious dangers and the additional cost to taxpayers while creating false impressions that this project will lower energy costs has proven that they aren’t trustworthy.”

GMCA V.P. Eric Berkowitz
GMCA V.P. ERIC BERKOWITZ
Regency Tower resident Eric Berkowitz notified the panel about an amendment (H.Amdt. 1024 by Rep. Steven LaTourette [R-OH]) to the Coast Guard Bill in Congress (HR 2830) that allows the Coast Guard to use state or local government resources to assist in enforcing security plans for LNG sites. The amendment makes local taxpayers financially responsible for their own protection and the protection of facilities owned by foreign-based corporations. Berkowitz told the panel “In a July 21, 2008 Washington Times Commentary, Admiral James A. Lyons Jr., commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (the largest single military command in the world), laments how the Coast Guard’s budget and resources shortfall from their LNG security responsibilities will be filled by local law enforcement agencies. The Admiral complains that, in addition to being an ‘unfunded mandate on local governments and reducing their resources for traditional community law enforcement protection, they are not trained for this mission. You must have specially trained personnel such as counterterrorist SEALs to defeat a determined terrorist attack.’ Furthermore, Admiral Lyons wonders why taxpayer-funded Coast Guard resources are being used to finance security for foreign-based private companies.”

Why the Workshop?

Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff and Senator Jeffrey Atwater
REPRESENTATIVE ELLYN BOGDANOFF
AND SENATOR JEFFREY ATWATER
Following the workshop, residents continued speaking with legislators about their concerns. Senator Jeffrey Atwater said that this workshop accomplished two important objectives. In addition to providing legislators with an opportunity to learn about the project’s inherent dangers; they learned first-hand how the people living in adjacent communities feel about being forced to live with these very real threats. “The issue is not whether you are for or against natural gas, but whether dangerous facilities should be allowed in heavily populated areas.” Atwater also disparaged the unfunded mandate on Broward taxpayers forced to underwrite an open-ended security burden.

Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff agreed that the workshop was critically important. “Senator Atwater and I have each spoken with the Governor about why this project should not go forward, explaining that the neighboring communities are understandably vehemently opposed to living under a daily catastrophic threat. Since the workshop has edified some of our colleagues about the project’s downside, more legislators will support our request that the Governor veto this project.” Bogdanoff also said that we should take this opportunity to “prevent additional bleeding of energy dollars to foreign governments, many of whom are openly hostile to our interests.” She asked, “Is there any reason that we want to send more American dollars to Algeria, Iran, Libya or Yemen?”


Information Links RE:

Broward Legislative Delegation Workshop

  • Click to Stop Calypso! web site Click Here to the Stop Calypso! web site
  • Click Here to read the No Calypso! White Paper (Word Document) .
  • Click Here to read City Commissioner Christine Teel’s letter to constituents condemning Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read Broward Commissioner Ken Keechl’s letter to Governor Charlie Crist condemning Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the Fort Lauderdale City Commission’s Resolution opposing Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the City of Pompano Beach Resolution opposing Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read Senator Atwater's letter to SUEZ Dan McGinnis disparaging his last minute venue change to Dania (Word Document) .
  • Click Here to read Senator Atwater's letter to Governor Crist requesting that he veto Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read Congressman Ron Klein's letter to constituents opposing Calypso (2007 Word Document) .
  • Click Here to read the December 2007 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Maritime Security Report entitled “Federal Efforts Needed to Address Challenges in Preventing and Responding to Terrorist Attacks on Energy Commodity Tankers” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the May 2007 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Maritime Security Report entitled “Opportunities Exist to Further Clarify the Consequences of a Liquefied Natural Gas Tanker Spill” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the March 2007 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Maritime Security Report entitled “Public Safety Consequences of a Liquefied Natural Gas Spill Need Clarification” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the February 2007 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Maritime Security Report entitled “Public Safety Consequences of a Terrorist Attack on a Tanker Carrying Liquefied Natural Gas Need Clarification” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the May 15, 2008 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress entitled “Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Import Terminals: Siting, Safety, and Regulation” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the January 9, 2007 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress entitled “Maritime Security: Potential Terrorist Attacks and Protection Priorities” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read H.Amdt. 1024 to the Coast Guard Bill HR 2830 by Rep. Steven LaTourette [R-OH]) that empowers LNG operators to access local and State resources when formulating a LNG Security Plan
  • Click Here to read the November 2, 2005 “Final Order” for Violations, Penalties annd Compliance served on the SUEZ Distrigas of Massachusetts LLC LNG facility in Everett, Massachusetts by the Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Office of Pipeline Safety from 2002 through 2005 (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read June 17, 2002 Department of Transportation News article announcing SUEZ Distrigas Safety Violations - “U.S. Department of Transportation Seeks Penalty Against Distrigas for Security and Safety Violations”
  • Click Here to read about SUEZ Worldwide Human Rights Abuses - “Backgrounder: Suez corporate abuses and violations of the human right to water”
  • Click Here to read a July 21, 2008 Washington Times Commentary - “LYONS: LNG port security” - by Admiral James A. Lyons Jr., commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (the largest single military command in the world), about how the Coast Guard’s budget and resources shortfall from their LNG security responsibilities will be filled by local law enforcement agencies paid for by local taxpayers
  • Click Here to read the December 2004 Sandia National Laboratories Report entitled “Guidance on Risk Analysis and Safety Implications of a Large Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Spill Over Water” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the January 2006 Sandia National Laboratories Report entitled “Review of the Independent Risk Assessment of the Cabrillo LNG Deepwater Port Project” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the May 2008 Sandia National Laboratories Report entitled “Breach and Safety Analysis of Spills Over Water from Large Liquefied Natural Gas Carriers” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read 11-year White House Counterterrorism Chief Richard Clarke's “LNG Facilities in Urban Areas” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read 1982 Lovins & Lovins Pentagon study entitled “Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read an address by Lord Peter Levene, Chairman of Lloyds, the world’s second largest commercial insurer, who told Houston business leaders that a terrorist attack on an LNG tanker “would have the force of a small nuclear explosion.”
  • Click Here to access all the Background Information and Official Government Documents relevant to the Calypso Deepwater Port Project and Pipeline

ALSO
Click Here
to Extensive list of Additional Pertinent LNG Links

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Rep. Bogdanoff’s Spring Newsletter

Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff, District 91

Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff
REPRESENTATIVE
ELLYN BOGDANOFF
June 17, 2008 - Last December, an
article posted on the GMCA web site and reprinted in the January Galt Mile News about an obscure project with the typically tropical designation of “Calypso” was met with a combination of concern and disbelief. As Galt Mile residents learned that a $79 billion French Energy conglomerate called SUEZ, through its United States subsidiary Suez Energy North America (SENA), intended to build a Deepwater Port across from the Galt Mile Beach for the offloading of liquefied natural gas (LNG), they sent hundreds of emails to the Galt Mile Community Association requesting more information. Along with a Florida energy perspective by the Florida Public Service Commission and an overview of the project rationale by Calypso LNG LLC, information was presented summarizing the concerns exhibited by several other communities that faced the construction of similar installations. Projects with exotic and maritime names like Cabrillo, Pelican, Neptune, Broadwater and Dolphin drew staunch local opposition in locations from New England to California. When the residents of these sites learned about the dangers undisclosed by the project operators, they suffered the same shock and disbelief experienced here.

Click to Calypso Web Site Shortly after confirming that a breach in the project’s delivery system would release an ignitable vapor cloud capable of a 2000 BTU conflagration, far beyond the suppression capabilities of any local Fire Department, and that the cloud could span the distance from the installation to their homes, residents wondered why their public officials would expose them to this danger. Further investigation revealed that many Security organs of the Federal Government, including the Government Accountability Office, the Department of Homeland Security, the Congressional Research Service and the Pentagon, identified LNG facilities and transport tankers as extremely high value targets for terrorist strikes. Surprise quickly turned to anger when they learned that local communities and their governments were cut out of the approval process by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, a $33 billion gift to the energy industry that placed sole authority for facility licensing approval into the hands of a federal bureaucracy staffed by current and former energy industry executives, spokespersons and stakeholders - the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). However, Title 33, Chapter 29 (Deepwater Ports) of the United States Code § 1508 (b)(1) states “The Secretary shall not issue a license without the approval of the Governor of each adjacent coastal State. If the Governor fails to transmit his approval or disapproval to the Secretary not later than 45 days after the last public hearing on applications for a particular application area, such approval shall be conclusively presumed.” An “adjacent coastal State” is defined in Title 33, U.S. Code § 1508 (a)(1) as “any coastal State which (A) would be directly connected by pipeline to a deepwater port as proposed in an application, or (B) would be located within 15 miles of any such proposed deepwater port.” That means Governor Charlie Crist is the only human being in the State of Florida empowered to stop Calypso.

Commissioners Keechl & Teel
COMMISSIONERS KEECHL & TEEL
Although every public official, civic organization and local government has expressed opposition to the project or is in process of doing so, they have no direct input into the approval process. Letters from City Commissioner Christine Teel, Broward Commissioner Ken Keechl, and Senator Jeffrey Atwater as well as Resolutions by The City of Fort Lauderdale and the Town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea expressing unconditional opposition to the placement of Calypso adjacent to the heavily populated Galt Mile beach were sent to the Governor. Petitions distributed to the twenty six member associations of the Galt Mile Community Association are being filled out, retrieved and replaced with new ones on a regular rotation. Thousands of individual letters, emails, phone calls and faxes have been sent to the Governor since April, asking that he reject Calypso’s license. While this is a testament to the residents’ universal apolitical position on this issue, it is only useful to the extent that the Governor is willing to support that position.

Florida Senator Jeffrey Atwater and Statehouse Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff
REP. ELLYN BOGDANOFF AND SEN. JEFFREY ATWATER
The Galt Mile neighborhood is fortunate in that regard. Our State Senator, Jeffrey Atwater, is the President-elect of the Florida Senate. Our State Representative, Ellyn Bogdanoff, is the Majority Whip in the Florida Statehouse. The Governor is therefore predisposed to heed our concerns as voiced by these legislative leaders. Supporting their constituents, they both expressed opposition to the project at the "bait and switch" Calypso meeting in Dania Beach. They’ve also met with concerned Galt Mile residents at several venues to organize a coherent strategy to engage the Governor.

Crist, Rubio & Ellyn Strategize
CRIST, RUBIO & ELLYN MAKE POLICY
In her Spring Newsletter to constituents, Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff briefly describes the project and the regulatory licensing process. She also confirms a statement she made at the Dania meeting; she has engaged the Governor - as promised. Following her discussion with the Governor, GMCA officials were contacted by his office staff, requesting information enumerating and supporting local concerns. The Majority Whip also advises constituents to contact the Governor directly, supporting her contention that neighborhood opposition is apolitical and overwhelming.

While a healthy percentage of the declared opposition is rooted in the direct threat it poses to life and property, the regulatory framework that incorporates local resources (funded by local taxpayers) into the project’s security plan and the operator’s regulatory immunity to catastrophic damages restitution (the victims pay the tab), Representative Bogdanoff also focuses on an underlying reason for skyrocketing energy costs - continued energy dependence on foreign fossil fuels.

Whether motivated by the preference to save money and/or the environment, Representative Bogdanoff intimates that supporting additional infrastructure designed to increase energy dependence guarantees unsustainable energy costs. She recognizes that the health of our economy and environment will in large part depend on whether we increase “the production and use of alternative energy” or continue to send “billions of dollars in oil profits overseas.” Interpreting this crossroads as an opportunity that can be realized over the next decade, she redefines the issue as deciding between expensive dirty fuels that help finance threats to national security or clean abundant cheap energy - a classic no-brainer! Read On! - [editor]

“Dear Neighbor:

With gas prices going up every day and the cost of electricity rising too, Florida needs to make some important decisions about our energy future. This year in Tallahassee, I worked hard to make Florida a leader in creating an innovative energy policy that protects the environment and helps us control our energy future.

Click to Calypso Web Site Over the past month or two, I have seen an increasing concern about a Deepwater Port being proposed offshore from the Galt and I share those concerns. As this issue developed I began to do some research and I would like to share with you what I know:

Click to Florida Public Service Commission Web Site According to the Florida Public Service Commission, all of our natural gas in Broward County is piped from the gulf coast through the Florida Gas Transmission Pipeline. This pipeline runs along roughly the same path as the Florida Turnpike.

Calypso Deepwater Port (DWP)
CLICK ABOVE TO ENLARGE VIEW OF CALYPSO DEEPWATER PORT (DWP)
The proposal (Calypso) calls for two buoys to be submerged and anchored approximately 8 to 10 miles due east of Oakland Park Blvd. The buoys are connected to an undersea pipeline that will be dug under three coral reefs, makes landfall in the port and connects to the Florida Gas Transmission system. Two ships, designed to receive and re-gasify liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from foreign sources and inject it into the pipeline, will be permanently-moored (other than during a hurricane) to the underwater buoys.

Click to Maritime Administration Calypso Web Entry The Coast Guard is the lead permitting agency and the U.S. Maritime Administration is the lead administrative agency that will issue the final Deepwater Port License. In order for the Maritime Administration to approve a deepwater port license application, approval must be obtained from the governor. The governor can veto the project, however if the governor does not respond within 45 days after the final public hearing on the license application, approval is deemed given under federal law.

Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff Updates Crist, Rubio about House Plan
REP. ELLYN BOGDANOFF & HOUSE
LEADERS CONFER WITH GOV. CRIST
I have talked to the Governor personally about this project and he understands the community’s concerns and has committed to engage his staff and learn more about the issue and your concerns. I urge you to send your thoughts to his office.

Whether you think that we need to stop importing so much foreign oil for national security reasons or you want to do something about climate change, I think we can all agree that it’s time to change the way we deal with energy and fuel.

Clean Energy In the next ten years, I believe the energy business is going to be reinvented. We have an emerging industry right here in Florida, which converts citrus waste and sugar into clean energy. This growing industry will help us stop sending billions of dollars in oil profits overseas to countries that are hostile to our nation. I think we all can agree that increasing the production and use of alternative energy will benefit our state now and will bring great rewards for Floridians in the future.

Green Energy We are working hard to encourage clean energy innovation in Florida. The legislation I supported this session makes a significant step of moving our state to the national forefront in energy conservation and environmental protection. Thousands of jobs are going to be developed in clean energy technology in the near future and I want Florida to be at the center of that new industry.

Over the next few months I will be out and about in the community where I will keep you posted on this issue and many others that our community will address in the coming months. Please do not hesitate to call my office at (954) 762-3757. Our office hours are 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, and I am always available by email. If you would like me to add you to my email list and receive weekly updates from the Capitol, please let me know by emailing me at Ellyn.Bogdanoff@myfloridahouse.gov or by calling our office.

Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your representative in Tallahassee.

Until next time,”


Ellyn Bogdanoff
Majority Whip
Florida House of Representatives – District 91

FYI - To “send your thoughts to the Governor’s office” as recommended by Representative Bogdanoff, you can Click Here to send him an email, call him at (850) 488-7146 or send a Fax to (850) 487-0801. His address is The Capitol, 400 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399. Please take 30 seconds to help stop this nightmare!

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Click to Calypso Web Site

Bait Switch

The LNG Meeting Dania Beach at Dania Beach

Commission Votes to Create Anti-Calypso Resolution
CITY COMMISSION VOTES TO ISSUE
RESOLUTION OPPOSING CALYPSO
June 8, 2008 - Two days after the City Commission meeting, GMCA President Pio Ieraci contacted lobbyist Tom Allen from SUEZ North America to confirm a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 28th, at Plaza South prior to notifying Galt Mile Associations that concerned residents would have the opportunity to hear a Coast Guard Security plan for Calypso. Despite assuring the City Commission that they intended to allay the fears of Galt Mile residents at this Plaza South meeting, SUEZ decided to “bait and switch” the venue to the IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) building in Dania, halfway across the county. When Commissioner Teel checked her emails on Friday morning, May 23rd, she found an announcement from the RBB Public Relations firm entitled “Public Notice to the Broward County Community” welcoming the public to an “Informational Open House.”

Click to RBB Public Relations firm Web Site Since Monday was Memorial Day, Calypso set a new standard for intentionally dissuading public access, cancelling the Galt Mile meeting and announcing the replacement public event with one business day’s notice. Ieraci asked why SUEZ was moving the location of the meeting after pledging to address the concerns of those frightened Galt Mile residents living closest to the LNG facility. Tom Allen said “We decided that we would need a much larger space.” Given their history of poorly attended Calypso meetings due to nearly invisible notice, it became clear that their nine lobbyists (5 for the Calypso Deepwater Port, 2 for the Calypso Pipeline, 1 for SUEZ Energy North America and Judy Stern in Broward) planned to pack the hall with supporters - not unlike the paid scientists who testified at the City Commission meeting.

International Game Fish Association Headquarters
INTERNATIONAL GAME FISH ASSOCIATION HEADQUARTERS
The meeting was rescheduled for 7:30 PM at the International Game Fish Association Headquarters auditorium at 300 Gulf Stream Way in Dania Beach. The notice stated, “An outside moderator will introduce speakers from the U.S. Coast Guard and SUEZ Energy North America, and then facilitate a question and answer session for attendees so any and all issues and concerns can be addressed. We look forward to your attendance.”

GMCA Engages State Representatives

Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff and Senator Jeffrey Atwater
REPRESENTATIVE ELLYN BOGDANOFF
AND SENATOR JEFFREY ATWATER
GMCA President Pio Ieraci contacted our Tallahassee representatives, Senator Jeffrey Atwater and Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff, to apprise them of the machinations SUEZ resorted to after asking the Galt Mile Community Association to arrange a meeting in Plaza South with concerned Galt Mile residents. Senator Atwater immediately agreed to alter his plans and meet with the group of residents that initially fueled the opposition to Calypso. The next day, Saturday morning, the Senator met with GMCA officials Pio Ieraci and Eric Berkowitz, GMCA Advisory Board member Fred Nesbitt, Plaza South residents Bill and Terry Claire, Dr. Dave and Barbara Marshall, Ivan Itkin from L’Hermitage, City Commissioner Christine Teel, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Mayor Roseann Minnet and journalist Mark Brown.

Calypso Project Manager Dan McGinnis
SUEZ V.P. DAN MCGINNIS
Upon learning about the “bait and switch” tactic deployed by Calypso lobbyist Tom Allen and SUEZ V.P. Dan McGinnis, Senator Atwater surmised, “It sounds like these people (SUEZ N.A.) hope to create the appearance of holding a public meeting – only without the public. By moving the venue across the county to Dania on such short notice, it is fair to assume that they mean to discourage participation by the folks most affected by their project.” The residents explained to the Senator that although SUEZ has been actively pursuing a license for this deepwater port for several years, three out of Fort Lauderdale’s five City Commissioners knew nothing about Calypso. When Commissioner Teel learned about the project’s potential for disaster, she informed constituents that she intended to recommend that Governor Crist VETO the project. While Mayor Naugle was admittedly aware of the project, he said that he knew little about its dangers and drawbacks. Two weeks later, the City Commission voted to issue a resolution opposing Calypso. Senator Atwater recommended that we attend the Dania meeting. “I don’t think we should give SUEZ the opportunity to mislead the public – and the Governor – by packing the hall with supporters and then announcing that attendees were satisfied that the project was safe and sound,” said Senator Atwater. “It’s important that our voices are heard at this orchestrated event. It’s also important to engage the neighboring communities and their public officials such as Mayor Minnet, as they are all affected by this threat. The Governor needs to understand that this is an apolitical neighborhood issue.”

Commissioner Christine Teel
DISTRICT 1 COMMISSIONER
CHRISTINE TEEL
Stymied by the short notice and the Memorial Day holiday weekend, GMCA officials asked Commissioner Teel if she would help arrange a bus to transport concerned Galt Mile residents to the IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) building in Dania for the Wednesday night meeting. On Wednesday evening, about 50 Galt Mile residents joined Senator Atwater and Commissioner Teel at the bus, despite having been given only one business day’s notice. Another 100 residents from the Galt Mile and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea arranged private car pools to the meeting. District 91 Statehouse Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff and District 4 Broward Commissioner Ken Keechl were already at the IGFA building when the bus arrived.

Act I in Dania Theater of the Absurd

As the meeting convened, the SUEZ panel was comprised of Project Manager Dan McGinnis, SUEZ Energy North America Representatives Fred Staible, Brad Cooley, and Tony Galt, three Coast Guard officials and Bill Cooper, introduced as an independent expert on liquefied natural gas (LNG). The Coast Guard was represented by Captain Karl Schultz (Commander, Coast Guard Sector Miami), Mark Prescott (chief of deep-water ports standard division for the U.S. Coast Guard) and Commander Brian Gove (USCG Chief, Prevention Operations).
Lobbyist Bill Cooper, SUEZ Energy North America Representatives Fred Staible, Brad Cooley, Tony Galt, Project Manager Dan McGinnis
(L to R) LOBBYIST BILL COOPER, SUEZ ENERGY N.A. REPS FRED STAIBLE
BRAD COOLEY, TONY GALT, PROJECT MANAGER DAN MCGINNIS
The meeting was also attended by groups with which SUEZ had financial dealings, such as several contracted scientists from Nova Oceanographic Institute. Citing deference to the attending local politicians, the SUEZ-appointed moderator called on Broward Commissioner Ken Keechl. After asserting that SUEZ’ decision to locate this facility across from a heavily populated area was insupportable, Commissioner Keechl exclaimed, “I have a personal problem with you. I resent your implication that my constituents who are alarmed by the project are ‘acting irrationally’. Other than the expansion at the South Runway at the Airport, I’ve never seen an issue create such dissention so quickly,” referring to the controversy surrounding the Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport expansion. “From what I’ve learned recently, their concerns are very real,” said Keechl. Commissioner Keechl subsequently sent a May 30th letter to Governor Charlie Crist expressing his vehement opposition to the Calypso Deepwater Port.

Broward Commissioner Ken Keechl
BROWARD COMMISSIONER
KEN KEECHL
Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Christine Teel echoed Commissioner Keechl’s objections, contending that the City agrees that “the public concern is justified.” She proceeded to read an official resolution opposing the project passed at the May 20th City Commission meeting. Speaking next, Senator Jeffrey Atwater said “It would have served everyone’s best interests if SUEZ had addressed the threats posed by their project directly with those most affected by those threats in a calm environment. While I appreciate your efforts in securing attendance by the Coast Guard, many of those residents who harbor the greatest concerns are elderly and were unable to travel to Dania on such short notice. While it is important that SUEZ be accorded the opportunity to explain their project, it is equally important that they address the legitimate concerns of Galt Mile residents and other communities along the shore.” Addressing SUEZ N.A. Vice President Dan McGinnis, Atwater said, “I urge you to arrange another meeting at the Galt Mile right away,” since SUEZ’ questionable decision to switch the meeting at the last minute spoke to their credibility as an organization.

Senator Jeffrey Atwater
SENATOR JEFFREY ATWATER
The day before, on May 27th, Senator Atwater sent a letter to Dan McGinnis expressing his disappointment with SUEZ’ actions, explaining that McGinnis’ decision to move the venue functionally prohibited participation by many concerned residents. Atwater wrote, “It is imperative that the residents of Galt Ocean Mile have the opportunity to have their voices heard! Their concerns and questions are valid, as this project has the potential of seriously impacting their community.” Insisting that the meeting scheduled to take place on the Galt Mile should have been important to SUEZ, Atwater closed with, “I do look forward to hearing from you shortly as to the time and location of a meeting that is convenient to the residents of the Galt Ocean Mile and surrounding communities.”

District 91 Statehouse Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff Contacts the Governor
REP. ELLYN BOGDANOFF
District 91 Statehouse Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff also served notice on the SUEZ panel that she had already started familiarizing herself with the project and its impact on her constituents, having recently been made aware of the strong neighborhood aversion to Calypso. Doubtless aware of her position as Majority Whip in the Florida Statehouse, Bogdanoff sent a discernible chill through the SUEZ panel when she announced that she had already contacted the Governor about this issue. Digressing momentarily, she intimated the wisdom of SUEZ reconsidering their project and/or its location given the explosive opposition stridently expressed by a sizable and rapidly growing community plurality. Her tone hardened when she described the Governor’s reliable sensitivity to community concerns when weighing an issue’s adverse impacts. After the meeting, she exclaimed “The Governor is looking into what’s happening here. He should discover that this is not a political issue, but a grassroots demand for peace of mind.” Other government officials from Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Coral Springs and Dania Beach registered opposition to the project as well.

After extending the floor to every identifiable politician, the “Independent Moderator” assigned by SUEZ to control the meeting spent the next next 1½ hours “moderating” a discussion between panel members. As they asked one another a seemingly scripted set of irrelevant questions, a Galt Mile resident interrupted, stating, “We’ve been here for almost 2 hours and you still haven’t taken any questions from the Galt Mile residents for whom you supposedly arranged this meeting.” Receiving a nod from Dan McGinnis, the flustered moderator called on GMCA Advisory Board member Fred Nesbitt.

Galt Mile Residents Target Panel

GMCA Advisory Board member Fred Nesbitt from Playa del Mar
GMCA ADVISORY BOARD'S FRED
NESBITT OF PLAYA DEL MAR
Quoting from a December 2007 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Maritime Security report, Playa del Mar resident Fred Nesbitt said that liquefied natural gas (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.” Nesbitt pointed out that the GAO report admonishes that “the Coast Guard - the lead federal agency for Maritime Security - has insufficient resources to meet its own self-imposed security standards.” Responding to a newspaper article in which Dan McGinnis claimed that local opponents to Calypso were overreacting to “myths more than anything,” Nesbitt asked the Coast Guard representatives if they consider GAO reports to be myths. When they failed to answer, Fred asked the officers if they considered terrorism a threat. A SUEZ representative intervened, stating “If the Coast Guard thought that this project was dangerous, they would say so.”

GMCA VP Eric Berkowitz
GMCA VP ERIC BERKOWITZ
GMCA official Eric Berkowitz answered, “Dozens of counter-terrorism authorities have warned against the establishment of LNG facilities in densely populated areas. In a January 9, 2007 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress entitled “Maritime Security: Potential Terrorist Attacks and Protection Priorities”, Admiral Thad W. Allen, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, stated that “there is a significant threat by vessel-borne improvised explosive devices” and that “vulnerability to small-boat attacks stood out during a 2006 threat assessment.”

Richard Clarke testifies at 9/11 Hearings that Al-Qaeda Operatives infiltrated U.S. on LNG Tankers
AL-QAEDA INFILTRATED LNG TANKERS
Berkowitz continued, “Former White House counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke wrote a report entitled LNG Facilities in Urban Areas in May of 2005 warning that ‘As LNG imports become a more important sector of our economy, terrorist organizations like al Qaeda will become more interested in attacking them. In addition, LNG tankers, which often travel in close proximity to metropolitan seaports, are undoubtedly attractive high casualty targets for al Qaeda planners. In a recently released document known simply as the National Planning Scenarios, DHS (Department of Homeland Security) indicated that a potential terrorist attack on a chemical or gas tanker is the number six ranked doomsday scenario for the United States government. As a result, DHS is expected to spend at least an additional one billion dollars to secure against this form of terrorist attack. However even those within DHS believe that the United States is a long way away from true preparedness.’” Berkowitz informed the panel that Richard Clarke served 11 years as White House National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism for Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H. Bush.

Click to Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security As his three-minute opportunity to address the panel expired, Berkowitz said “You have made mention several times at this meeting that irresponsible residents have spread an inflammatory rumor that an ignitable vapor cloud resulting from a catastrophic full discharge of a LNG tanker has the energy equivalent of 55 Hiroshima bombs. After investigating the source of this admittedly frightening analogy, I discovered that it wasn't, as you infer, some anti-LNG 'spin' manufactured to elicit unwarranted opposition to LNG facilities, but a direct quote from a 1982 Lovins & Lovins Pentagon study entitled Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security. On page 88 of this report, Lovins contends that “An LNG fireball can blow through a city, creating a very large number of ignitions and explosions across a wide area. No present or foreseeable equipment can put out a very large [LNG]... fire. The energy content of a single standard LNG tanker (one hundred twenty-five thousand cubic meters) is equivalent to seven-tenths of a megaton of TNT, or about fifty-five Hiroshima bombs.” If I'm wrong in assuming that you are already familiar with this study, links on the Galt Mile web site to the original documentation will provide you with confirmation. Now that you are aware that this is not some dramatic metaphor meant to scare up opposition, but reliable information solicited by Armed Forces energy directors in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, perhaps you will better understand the depth of our concerns.”

Coast Guard Captain Karl Schultz
CAPTAIN KARL SCHULTZ
Plaza South resident Bill Claire referred to a statement by Lord Peter Levene, Chairman of Lloyds, the world’s second largest commercial insurer, who told Houston business leaders that a terrorist attack on an LNG tanker “would have the force of a small nuclear explosion.” Claire also reviewed Congressional Research Service concerns about the prospect of a tanker being commandeered by terrorists. Claire asked what the Coast Guard could do if a hijacked LNG vessel were guided into Port Everglades or beached on the Galt Mile shore and ignited. The SUEZ representative again interjected that the scenario was too remote to address. When Claire pressed for a response by the Coast Guard officers, Captain Schultz admitted that “any such terrorist threat should be taken seriously.”

Fort Lauderdale resident Chris Chiari
FORT LAUDERDALE RESIDENT
CHRIS CHIARI
Responding to Dan McGinnis’ claims that SUEZ has been publicizing the Calypso project for ten years, Oakland Park resident Chris Chiari clarified that the Calypso Pipeline was originally designed to transport natural gas from a Regasification facility in the Bahamas to Port Everglades. Explaining that his familiarity with the Calypso Pipeline and the subsequent Deepwater Port license applications derives from his participation on the Broward County Marine Advisory Board, Chiari asked “What happened to the Bahamas gas plant?” SUEZ’ Brad Cooley answered, “For some reason, they still haven’t approved the license.” Chiari retorted, “When the Bahamians rejected this dangerous facility, you moved it to our beach. The project you claim was in the works for ten years was a different project. The current Deepwater Port license application is two years old and nearly no one is aware that it exists, much less the danger it poses to adjacent neighborhoods.”

Deus Ex Machina - Orchestrating the Desired Result

Senator Jeffrey Atwater and L-B-T-S Mayor Roseann Minnet Join Galt Mile Residents at SUEZ Presentation
SENATOR JEFFREY ATWATER AND L-B-T-S MAYOR ROSEANN MINNET
JOIN GALT MILE RESIDENTS AT SUEZ PRESENTATION
A Coral Ridge resident asked if an ignitable vapor cloud could travel from the Calypso facility to the heavily populated Galt Mile beach. A SUEZ representative contended that their Independent Risk Assessment (IRA) determined that the cloud could only travel 4 miles, 3 miles short of the beach. He said that Sandia National Laboratories participated in the Calypso IRA. Residents pointed out that another Sandia report commissioned by the Coast Guard in January of 2006 stated that the ignitable vapor cloud could travel 7.3 miles, extending a potential holocaust passed the Intracoastal Waterway into Coral Ridge. The same Sandia study refers to the minimum distance from the fire required to survive the attendant 2000 BTU heat flux, a conflagration beyond the suppression capabilities of most municipal fire-rescue units. An additional cushion of 2640 meters, or 1.64 miles, will expose residents to 5 kilowatts per square meter, the maximum survivable heat flux, extending the mortality perimeter well passed Federal Highway. Additional authoritative reports have been issued claiming the deadly cloud can travel up to 30 miles. Ivan Itkin, a Galt Mile resident whose field is nuclear physics, accounts for these statistical variances among risk models by considering the assumptions that the risk assessors were given by the company.

L'Hermitage resident Ivan Itkin
L'HERMITAGE RESIDENT
IVAN ITKIN
For example, the Calypso independent risk assessment considers 5 cases of accidental breach. In each case, a LNG tanker is aligned on a North-South axis and a colliding vessel is positioned perpendicular to the tanker. The size of a breach is determined and the amount of LNG that will pour through the breach is calculated. In each of the 5 cases, only one tenth of the amount of spilled LNG is considered when the ignitable effect is measured. Why? Because the experiment assumes that the colliding vessel will plug the hole it creates in the tanker, reducing spillage by 90%. In alternative studies by the same risk assessor, cases were considered wherein the breaches were 90% plugged, 50% plugged or not plugged at all. Of course, the resulting ignitable vapor cloud traveled a lot farther given the additional gas counted toward the pool size. Itkin said, “By controlling the assumptions, the operator can elicit almost any desired result.”

Lking Under the Covers

Lobbyist Bill Cooper
LOBBYIST BILL COOPER
PRESIDENT OF CLNG
During the course of the meeting, SUEZ representatives repeatedly referred questions to a gentleman named Bill Cooper, introduced as an independent expert on liquefied natural gas. When suspicious residents asked Mr. Cooper if he was a lobbyist, he responded by saying he was the President of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG). When pressed, he admitted that he was a registered lobbyist. A quick trip to the CLNG web site revealed that “The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG) is a trade association of LNG producers, shippers, terminal operators and developers and energy trade associations.” SUEZ attempt to misrepresent Cooper’s objectivity backfired. He was on the payroll – albeit indirectly.

GMCA President and Chairman, Presidents Council Pio Ieraci
GMCA CHIEF PIO IERACI
Following the meeting, the Galt Mile activists again boarded the bus and returned home. When GMCA President Pio Ieraci opened his email later that night, he found a message from SUEZ lobbyist Tom Allen asking to arrange another meeting with the Galt Mile residents who expressed concern about his project. Mr. McGinnis had apparently received a correspondence from Senate President-elect Atwater that reinforced his constituents’ concerns and disparaged SUEZ attempt to engineer public perception of its project by manipulating the meeting venue. Ieraci informed Mr. Allen that he would contact the GMCA Board and the activists to convey the SUEZ proposal. Leery of Allen’s motives in view of SUEZ recent actions, Ieraci inquired “How can we know whether you will even show up?”

DWP Standards Chief Mark Prescott
MARK PRESCOTT DWP
STANDARDS CHIEF
FYI: The doubt expressed by Playa del Mar’s Fred Nesbitt upon quoting from a GAO report that “the Coast Guard - the lead federal agency for Maritime Security - has insufficient resources to meet its own self-imposed security standards,” was vindicated the next day. After stonewalling Nesbitt’s concern about the GAO report, chief of the deep-water ports standard division Mark Prescott stated in a Miami Herald interview that if the deep-water ports are approved, it is unknown to what degree the site would be guarded. “It may be full time, random, or on an escort basis. Frankly, we may not have the resources to protect it.” Prescott added dogmatically, “But we may be given the resources to protect it,” referring to Calypso’s regulatory right to include local resources in their security plan – funded by local taxpayers - YOU!!!

Information Links RE: Dania Meeting

  • Click Here to read City Commissioner Christine Teel’s letter to constituents condemning Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read Broward Commissioner Ken Keechl’s letter to Governor Charlie Crist condemning Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the City Commission’s Resolution opposing Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read Senator Atwater's letter to SUEZ Dan McGinnis disparaging his last minute venue change to Dania (Word Document) .
  • Click Here to read the December 2007 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Maritime Security Report entitled “Federal Efforts Needed to Address Challenges in Preventing and Responding to Terrorist Attacks on Energy Commodity Tankers” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the January 9, 2007 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress entitled “Maritime Security: Potential Terrorist Attacks and Protection Priorities” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read 11-year White House Counterterrorism Chief Richard Clarke's “LNG Facilities in Urban Areas” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read 1982 Lovins & Lovins Pentagon study entitled “Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read an address by Lord Peter Levene, Chairman of Lloyds, the world’s second largest commercial insurer, who told Houston business leaders that a terrorist attack on an LNG tanker “would have the force of a small nuclear explosion.”
  • Click Here to read the January 2006 Sandia National Laboratories Report entitled “Review of the Independent Risk Assessment of the Cabrillo LNG Deepwater Port Project” (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to access all the Background Information and Official Government Documents relevant to the Calypso Deepwater Port Project and Pipeline

ALSO
Click Here
to Extensive list of Additional Pertinent LNG Links

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City Commission Opposes Calypso Deepwater Port

Votes for Fort Lauderdale Anti-Calypso Resolution

Fort Lauderdale City Commission
FORT LAUDERDALE CITY COMMISSION
May 27, 2008 - On May 20th, the City Commission of Fort Lauderdale held 2 meetings, a conference meeting at 1:30 PM to review agenda items and a regular meeting at 6 PM at which the Commission addresses issues affecting the city. Several of our Galt Mile neighbors made it their business to attend the May 20th meetings. Playa del Mar resident Fred Nesbitt and Bill Claire of Plaza South were among them. The motivation for their appearance was not some vague political objective. Along with several other Galt Mile residents, they were there because they were afraid.

LNG Tanker
LNG TANKER
They recently learned about plans to install a deepwater port called Calypso across from the Galt Mile Beach wherein liquefied natural gas will be transferred from tankers called Transport and Regasification Vessels (TRV), vaporized and pipelined to Port Everglades. Despite that the facility operator’s (Calypso and SUEZ North America) licensing efforts have been underway for more than two years, they never informed the local residents that an error in judgment, a hurricane mishap, an equipment failure or the substantially increased prospect of a terrorist attack could precipitate a holocaust spanning several neighborhoods.

Lloyd's Chairman, Lord Peter Levene
LLOYD'S CHAIRMAN
LORD PETER LEVENE
SUEZ Energy North America, Inc. is a subsidiary of a French energy utility management and service conglomerate called SUEZ. One of their businesses is bringing natural gas harvested overseas to the United States for distribution. Specialized tankers transport the gas in a liquefied state at -260 degrees Centigrade to facilities that store and vaporize the liquefied natural gas (LNG) in preparation for pipeline distribution. Gas companies have been applying for LNG facility licenses in coastal communities all over the United States. When these communities learn about the risks associated with these installations, their residents invariably band together in staunch opposition. If a serious breach occurs at any link of this fossil fuel’s chain of transport or storage, igniting the ensuing vapor cloud “would have the force of a small nuclear explosion,” as expressed by Lord Peter Levene (Chairman of Lloyds, the world’s second-largest commercial insurer).

City Commission Conference Meeting

Click to Live Nation web site At the 1:30 PM City Commission Conference meeting, the Commissioners familiarize themselves with the issues surrounding the agenda items scheduled for the 6 PM Regular Meeting. After discussing replacing the Air-Sea Show with an annual music festival operated by an outfit called Live Nation, Commissioner Christine Teel requested that the Commission consider supporting the Galt Mile’s opposition to the Calypso LNG deepwater port just off the Galt Mile Beach. When Commissioner Teel pointed out that several Galt Mile residents were in attendance, Mayor Naugle asked them to summarize their concern.

Plaza South resident Bill Claire explained that the dangers attendant to liquefied natural gas facilities were catastrophic. He related that several square blocks of East Cleveland were incinerated when a LNG vapor cloud was inadvertently ignited and that a LNG deepwater port would be a prime target for terrorists. He said that since the Act that regulates licensing was designed to bypass local approval, the armies of SUEZ lobbyists – locally and in Tallahassee – have completed two years of the licensing process under the radar. He said that he first learned about this project and its inherent dangers from articles posted on the Galt Mile Community Association web site in December and the Galt Mile News in January. Christian Chiari from the adjacent Coral Ridge neighborhood added that energy companies have applied for dozens of licenses across the country, anticipating approval of a small minority. He said, “Although the Galt Mile has 15,000 residents, only 3200 are registered voters,” intimating that SUEZ selected a location unlikely to mount unified opposition. Galt Mile Advisory Board member Fred Nesbitt of Playa del Mar warned Commissioners that “no benefit accrues to the City for assuming a risk threatening such catastrophic consequences.”

Commissioner Christine Teel
DISTRICT 1 COMMISSIONER
CHRISTINE TEEL
Mayor Naugle remarked, “It’s the dumbest place in the world to put this thing – next to a heavily populated area.” After discussing whether they should wait until the June 10th Commission meeting to consider the Project, Commissioner Teel stated, “We would be best served to act on this tonight.” SUEZ lobbyist Judy Stern said that since this company wants the Galt Mile to feel safe, “SUEZ has scheduled the Coast Guard to meet with the Galt Mile residents who’ve expressed concerns on May 28th at Plaza South.”

City Commission Regular Meeting

Click to SUEZ Energy North America Web Site Prior to the 6 PM Regular Commission meeting, four local residents and four representatives from SUEZ registered to address the City Commission. Calypso Project Manager Dan McGinnis told the Commissioners that there will be an acute need for natural gas in the next 5 years. He claimed full compliance with the Deepwater Port process and having met with the Galt Mile residents and many other citizens to explain the project. He called contentions that the project was dangerous “unqualified, unfounded and flat wrong.” He continued, “This project has been deemed safe by the Coast Guard. We will meet next week with the Galt Mile residents to address their concerns.”

Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center Executive Director, Dean Richard Dodge
NOVA DEAN RICHARD DODGE
Following McGinnis, Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center Executive Director, Dean Richard Dodge said “I’ve worked with Tractebel for many years on environmental issues and concerns and find them to be conscientious. They located the deepwater port in the selected area to minimize environmental damage. There would be minimal impairment of the view.” Incredibly, he then remarked, “As to explosions, I would trust their assessment. You should treat them with respect.” Actually, Tractebel is the company that sponsored the Calypso Pipeline Project when the company planned to build the deepwater port in Grand Bahama Island. When Bahamians learned about the project dangers, they overwhelmed the government bureaucrats that agreed to the LNG facility, forcing its rejection. When SUEZ was refused permission to build the Bahamian facility, the project was moved here.

Nova Scientist Dr. Amy Hirons
NOVA SCIENTIST DR. AMY HIRONS
Nova faculty member Dr. Amy C. Hirons spoke next. She said she was asked by Nova to investigate the project’s possible effect on zooplankton and ichthyoplankton. From her dealings with SUEZ, she believes that “they are open, accepting of scientific recommendations, forthcoming and willing to meet the needs of the fishing community.” She said “As the chief scientist, I can say that there is a negligible impact to the hardbottom community, as indicated in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) which we acquired from the Coast Guard.”

Commissioner Carleton Moore
CITY COMMISSIONER
CARLETON MOORE
Commissioner Carleton Moore told her that the EPA sent a team of scientists to evaluate the Wingate Coal plant because it heavily polluted the surrounding area. He asked if Nova filled that role, were they “asked by the government to investigate on behalf of citizens.” She answered, “I’m a completely independent research scientist.” Moore then asked the source of Nova’s involvement. When Hirons responded, “We were contracted by SUEZ,” Moore smiled and shook his head, stating “so you are paid by the operator, thank you very much, that’s all I wanted to know.”

GMCA Advisory Board member Fred Nesbitt from Playa del Mar
GMCA ADVISORY BOARD'S FRED
NESBITT OF PLAYA DEL MAR
GMCA Advisory Board member Fred Nesbitt from Playa del Mar conveyed that “the General Accountability Office (GAO) stated in a December 2007 report that Calypso was a perfect target for a terrorist attack and it further states the Coast Guard had insufficient resources to protect a LNG deepwater port.” He warned the commission that although they have no input into the licensing process, the City Police and Fire Departments will have to respond to any catastrophe resulting from a breach. To graphically demonstrate the scope of this issue, Fred pointed out that the 33 million gallons of liquefied natural gas carried by one LNG tanker will vaporize into 20 billion or a vapor cloud of 800 million cubic feet, threatening a major holocaust if ignited. He complained “When I asked SUEZ representatives how they would protect the facility from terrorist attack, they responded that a boat would patrol the area and report suspicious activity to the Coast Guard, ignoring the GAO finding that the Coast Guard can’t adequately secure the installation.”

Click to USCG Deepwater Ports Web Site The controversial Energy Policy Act of 2005 saddled the Coast Guard with an inherent conflict. They are charged with approving the LNG license and providing security for the facility, forcing a federal bureaucracy to make an unbiased evaluation of its own capabilities and objectively pass judgment on itself. The Act contains many instances where checks and balances were replaced with Patriot Act-style agency self-regulation.

Oakland Park resident Chris Chiari
OAKLAND PARK RESIDENT
CHRIS CHIARI
Oakland Park resident Chris Chiari informed the Commission that this project “dates back 10 years, with a planned Bahamian LNG facility connected by pipeline to Port Everglades until it was rejected by the Bahamians as unsafe.” The current Deepwater Port plan is a two year old replacement for the ill-fated Bahamas facility. Chris said “These companies are applying for licenses in scores of locations, hoping to achieve success in a few. Now that the Galt Mile is actively engaging SUEZ, we may avert a terrible mistake.” As a participant on the Broward County Marine Advisory Board, Chiari said, “I’ve heard SUEZ’ contention that this gas was desperately needed when they were planning the pipeline years ago. Simply replacing our need for foreign oil with foreign gas is foolish. A recent New York Times article spoke to huge new gas deposits in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In any event, this type of dangerous facility doesn’t belong here.”

N.Y. Governor Paterson - no to LNG
N.Y. GOV PATERSON
NO TO LNG
Dr. David Marshall from Plaza South cut to the chase, exclaiming, “We are scared! You should also be scared. We are being asked to live with the possibility of a huge fireball blowing across the beach.” He referred to Governor Patterson of New York, who recently opposed a similar facility in the Long Island Sound. Another Plaza South resident, Bill Claire, waxed poetic. “When I look out my window, I see a magnificent ocean environment ideal for recreation and the tourist economy that feeds the state. Florida’s wealth begins at the water line.” He insisted that LNG facilities should never be located near densely populated areas, “where lives are at risk.” Claire asserted, “We know what their paid lobbyists and paid scientists are going to say. They think that the old retirees along the Galt Mile who are half asleep anyway will take a nap, and when they wake up, the port will be there.” He admonished that when more people find out what’s going on, the opposition will expand exponentially. He said, “When I ask my neighbors about Calypso, they think it’s a dance program.”

President Barry Heimlich of the Florida Energy Imperative
BARRY HEIMLICH
Last to speak was Barry Heimlich, who identified himself as a retired Chemical Engineer and Petroleum Industry executive who is now the President of the Florida Energy Imperative, a Hollywood corporation he shares with his wife, Ellyn. Although he prefers solar and wind power, “natural gas is better than polluting coal or nuclear energy which produces deadly waste.” He maintained that “We do not have adequately reliable sources of power and we should trust SUEZ since the Coast Guard will protect us.” When asked if he works for SUEZ, he claimed that the Florida Energy Imperative is a non-profit independent environmental advocate that has been closely following the SUEZ Company’s activities for years. Enigmatically, it appears that the corporation was only formed on May 24, 2007, a year ago.

Commission Votes to Create Anti-Calypso Resolution
CITY COMMISSION VOTES TO ISSUE
RESOLUTION OPPOSING CALYPSO
While Mayor Naugle expressed a preference for postponing a resolution opposing the Calypso Deepwater Port as presently located, Commissioner Moore disagreed, exclaiming “I’m a policy maker representing thousands of City residents and I know nothing about this project right in my back yard.” Although the Mayor admitted some familiarity with the project, he said that SUEZ never inquired as to the City’s needs or input. Moore concluded “Since they’ve shown us no accountability, I will allow them none. They ignored city government. If this is such a good thing, why hide it?”

Vice Mayor / Commissioner Charlotte E. Rodstrom
VICE MAYOR/COMMISSIONER
CHARLOTTE E. RODSTROM
Commissioner Teel proposed issuing the resolution immediately, claiming that nothing will change the fact that its location is unacceptable. She said “the Galt Mile has responded first, but South Beach and Central Beach residents are also affected, depending only on the prevailing winds.” Echoing Moore’s sentiment, Teel intimated that while not obliged by the process to request the city’s input, SUEZ actions can only be interpreted as “trying to sneak one by.” Commissioner Rodstrom said “Since I favor no additional growth, their statement that this facility will fuel growth turned me off. I think the resolution is good for the community.” On calling the motion, the resolution passed 4 vs. 1, Naugle dissenting absent Coast Guard input.

Check below to personally verify what transpired at the Fort Lauderdale City Commission Meetings on May 20th, to read Commissioner Christine Teel’s Letter to constituents condemning Calypso and/or see the Resolution issued by the City Commission.

  • Click Here to watch a video of the May 20th 1:30 PM Conference Meeting (2 hours, 26 minutes)
  • Click Here to watch a video of the May 20th 6:00 PM Regular Meeting (2 hours, 45 minutes)
  • Click Here to read Commissioner Christine Teel’s letter condemning Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader
  • Click Here to read the City Commission’s Resolution opposing Calypso (Adobe PDF File) Click to Adobe Web Site to download free Acrobat Reader

Calypso Meeting “Bait and Switch”!

Click to RBB Public Relations firm Web Site Two days after the City Commission meeting, GMCA President Pio Ieraci contacted lobbyist Tom Allen from SUEZ North America to confirm a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 28th, at Plaza South prior to notifying Galt Mile Associations that concerned residents would have the opportunity to hear the Coast Guard Security plan. Despite assuring the City Commission that they were going to allay the fears of Galt Mile residents at a meeting in Plaza South, SUEZ decided to “bait and switch” the venue to the IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) building in Dania, halfway across the county. When Commissioner Teel checked her emails on Friday morning, May 23rd, she found an announcement from the RBB Public Relations firm entitled “Public Notice to the Broward County Community” welcoming the public to an “Informational Open House.”

International Game Fish Association Headquarters
INTERNATIONAL GAME FISH ASSOCIATION HEADQUARTERS
Since Monday was Memorial Day, Calypso set a new standard for fraudulent public access by covert notice, cancelling the Galt Mile meeting and announcing the replacement public event with one business day’s notice. Ieraci asked why SUEZ was moving the location of the meeting after pledging to address the concerns of frightened Galt Mile residents living closest to the LNG facility. Tom Allen said “We decided that we would need a much larger space.” Given their history of poorly attended Calypso meetings due to nearly invisible notice, it became clear that their nine lobbyists (5 for the Calypso Deepwater Port, 2 for the Calypso Pipeline, 1 for SUEZ Energy North America and Judy Stern in Broward) planned to pack the hall with supporters - not unlike the paid scientists giving testimony at the Commission meeting.

Governor Charlie Crist
Governor Charlie Crist
The meeting is now scheduled for 7:30 PM at the International Game Fish Association Headquarters auditorium at 300 Gulf Stream Way in Dania Beach. The notice states, “An outside moderator will introduce speakers from the U.S. Coast Guard and SUEZ Energy North America, and then facilitate a question and answer session for attendees so any and all issues and concerns can be addressed. We look forward to your attendance.”

To insure that Governor Crist (who is empowered to VETO the Calypso debacle) isn’t informed that no one opposed Calypso at the “public meeting”, it is critical that Galt Mile residents attend the event since SUEZ is likely to limit direct notification to financially engaged supporters. We understand that by surreptitiously moving the meeting to Dania, SUEZ has deliberately made attendance inconvenient for those most affected by its planned LNG deepwater port – Galt Mile residents.

To assist those residents who want to attend the meeting, a bus has been reserved for free conveyance to and from the IGFA HQ. The bus will disembark from in front of the Galt Ocean Club at 3800 Galt Ocean Drive (across the street from Winn Dixie). All of our concerned neighbors are invited. Passengers will receive a "fact sheet" summarizing project issues. Boarding will start at 5:45 PM and the bus will depart at 6:30 PM. Following the presentation, passengers will again board the bus at IGFA for the return trip. Since there are a finite number of available seats, please call (954) 489-9430 to reserve a seat on the bus. After 5:30 PM, call (954) 564-4329. YOUR PRESENCE IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT! See you at the bus!

Calypso Meeting Information

Where

  • International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Headquarters
  • Auditorium
  • Click to Interactive map of IGFA location 300 Gulf Stream Way
  • Dania Beach, Florida 33004
  • IGFA Telephone: (954) 927-2628

When

  • Wednesday, May 28, 2008
  • 7:30 PM

To drive there, take Oakland Park Boulevard to I-95 South. Drive about 6.6 miles to Griffin Road (Exit 23) and take right fork to Griffin Road (SR 818) going west. After a quarter mile, turn left on Anglers Avenue. After a fifth of a mile, turn left on Gulf Stream Way. Continue about a half mile to 300 Gulf Stream Way. BINGO! YOUR HAVE ARRIVED!

For an interactive map, Click Here.

To reserve a free seat on the bus to the event, please call (954) 489-9430. After 5:30 PM, call (954) 564-4329. YOUR ATTENDANCE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE! See you at the bus!

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The Galt Mile Presidents Council Considers
Calypso Click to Calypso Web Site Calypso
Members Register Strong Objection

Energy Generation By Fuel Type (Fla)
FLORIDA ENERGY GENERATION
May 15, 2008 - On April 7th, a meeting of the Galt Mile Presidents Council was convened to inform Association officials about the planned placement of a Deepwater Port for the offloading of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) 7 to 10 miles from the densely populated Galt Mile beach. Representatives of SUEZ Energy North America, Inc. or SENA, developer of the “Calypso” project, were invited to explain the project variables and respond to questions raised by concerned community participants. SENA’s parent, SUEZ Energy International, is a subsidiary of SUEZ, a $73.2 billion (€47.5 billion) French conglomerate that addresses Public Utility needs for electricity, natural gas, energy services, water and waste management. Articles in the Galt Mile News and the Galt Mile Community Association web site that explained the project’s underlying rationale also elicited serious safety concerns by depicting the tragic consequences that plagued similar installations. The meeting was also attended by City Commissioner Christine Teel, who was instrumental in securing participation by project organizers. Changes in the laws governing LNG facility licensing procedures eliminated the requirement for local approval, making such meetings voluntary. The sponsors were afforded the opportunity to make an objective presentation with the understanding that association representatives would transmit what they learned to their association constituencies whose feedback would determine whether the project would encounter community support or opposition.

Galt Mile Community Association Presidents Council
GALT MILE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION PRESIDENTS COUNCIL
The Suez North America representatives opened by explaining how the Calypso facility would help satisfy Florida’s growing demand for gas-fired electricity generation. The Calypso Deepwater Port (DWP) is a planned transfer station, enabling tankers carrying liquefied natural gas to dump their load, vaporize the liquid fuel into a gaseous state and send it through a pipeline (the Calypso pipeline) towards Port Everglades where it will be introduced into the Florida Gas Transmission Pipeline System for distribution across the region. Reminiscent of Florida’s dependence on oil during the 1970s, natural gas-fired energy is expected to comprise 45% of total energy generated in the state by 2015. The Calypso U.S. Pipeline is designed to supply 832,000 MMBtu of natural gas per day or two thirds of the incremental amount required to meet the state’s projected 2014 demand of 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (as estimated by the Florida Public Service Commission).

Calypso Deepwater Port (DWP)
CLICK ABOVE TO ENLARGE VIEW OF CALYPSO DEEPWATER PORT (DWP)
Deploying large storyboards as visual aids and smaller handouts distributed before the presentation, project personnel described the operational components of the proposed regasification facility, stating, “The Calypso DWP is a submerged offloading buoy and anchoring system that will reside approximately 120 feet below the ocean surface when not in use and serve as an offshore delivery point for natural gas. The westernmost buoy (West Buoy) would be sited approximately 7.7 miles from shore in 805 feet of sea water (FSW) and would connect to the sea floor with eight mooring lines, using six suction piles and two gravity anchors. The easternmost buoy (East Buoy) would be sited approximately 10.3 miles from shore in 932 feet of sea water (FSW) and would connect to the sea floor with nine mooring lines, using six suction piles and three gravity anchors. Using the submerged unloading buoy system, the DWP will be capable of servicing two types of LNG vessels simultaneously; a storage and regasification ship (SRS) and a transport and regasification vessel (TRV).”

LNG Tanker
LNG TANKER
Enumerating factors impacting proposed project traffic, they continued, “Except during severe weather conditions, to perform maintenance or for inspection, the SRS would remain moored ‘semi-permanently’ to the East Buoy. Conventional LNG carriers would call on Calypso DWP and transfer LNG to the SRS approximately every two days. TRVs would call on Calypso DWP and moor to the West Buoy every 4 to 7 days (averaging once every 5 days).”

Click to a Brochure that Describes the Calypso Deepwater Port - DWP Tanker & Facility View from the Beach
COMPARATIVE VIEW FROM THE BEACH OF CRUISE SHIP AND
LNG TANKER AT DWP LOCATION (7 MILES OUT)
Questions were fielded during and after the presentation. Several members asked about the visibility of the impending structure, aspiring to determine whether it would mar the ocean view. Tom Allen of Suez North America explained that the deepwater port apparatus remains submerged until pressed into service by the arrival of a transport and regasification vessel (TRV). Pictures of vessels comparable in size to the two specialized tankers were taken as they passed 7 miles and 10 miles from shore and featured on presentation storyboards. Appearing significantly smaller than cruise ships that ordinarily traverse a traffic lane closer to the beach, the pictures confirmed that the vessel traffic would represent little more than a minor impediment to the view from the beach

An Ocean Club director asked whether a damaged vessel could blacken the beach with organic leakage. Tom explained that natural gas is transported and stored in a liquefied state by maintaining containment temperature at -260 degrees Fahrenheit. When “regasified”, the colorless, odorless gas dissipates into the atmosphere. When asked about the familiar distinctive scent that is generally associated with natural gas, Tom explained that the odor is chemically induced to help locate and identify gas leakages. He said that since the gas evaporates when the temperature increases above -260 degrees, there are no residual pollutants of the type that are ordinarily associated with oil spills.

As the presentation drew to a close, a Playa del Mar director started asking more incisive questions about the prospective danger of gas explosions. Bradley Cooley, another Suez representative, exclaimed that the gas didn’t explode when ignited, but rather burst into flame. He stressed that an ignited gas cloud burned at fiercely hot temperatures, quickly incinerating almost anything caught in the conflagration. Referring to project dangers enumerated in a Galt Mile News article about the Calypso project, another attendee asked about whether a gas cloud could travel the seven miles from a damaged vessel to the beach. While claiming ignorance of any authoritative studies indicative of the distance that an ignitable gas cloud could travel, Brad expressed confidence in the 7 mile “cushion” separating the facility from landfall.

Click to Calypso Web Site When asked about the risks associated with the project’s prominence as a target for terrorism, Mr. Cooley said “In addition to being the licensing agency, the Coast Guard is charged with the responsibility of protecting the installation and the transport vessels while they are discharging.” When a GMCA official expressed concern about the substantial volume of authoritative reports and studies that define LNG facilities as indefensible, the Suez spokespersons referred to the project environmental impact statement that described planned security measures.

Click to SUEZ Energy North America Web Site While adequately expanding on operational, procedural, licensing and some environmental issues, questions about prospective terrorist infiltration and the potential catastrophic ignition of lethal gas (as occurred in Cleveland in 1944 and Skikda, Algeria in 2004) were answered with casual generalizations, leaving many in the audience with lingering concerns about these marginally addressed threats. Following the meeting, Suez personnel politely answered dozens of additional questions by members dissatisfied with vague project safeguards.

In the weeks following the meeting, the residual trepidations felt by many of the attending Council participants were imparted to friends and neighbors, spreading epidemically throughout almost every association. Galt Mile residents took the time and trouble to weigh claimed improvements to the State’s energy delivery system against the possible actualization of a mind-bending holocaust. Emails poured into the Galt Mile Community Association expressing fear and anger over being confronted by potential incineration. A set of exploratory links following an article about Calypso on the Association web site suddenly experienced an explosion of incremental hits.

Anti-LNG Activist Tim Riley
ANTI-LNG ACTIVIST TIM RILEY
One link entitled The Risks and Danger of Liquefied Natural Gas by California Attorney Tim Riley offered an acclaimed DVD presentation of the issue, focusing on dangers and drawbacks understandably ignored by LNG facility license applicants. The web site also details the manipulative government and industry tactics implemented to negate the necessity for local approval. Fed up with problematic licensing delays from individuals and local governments opposed to dangerous but lucrative energy facilities, the Administration engineered the amendment of federal oversight laws and created executive orders to ostensibly “fast-track” energy facilities licensing procedures. To legitimize the ejection of protective licensing components considered “dilatory”, a “White House Task Force on Energy Project Streamlining” recommended an inter-agency cooperation order requiring every federal agency to mutually support one another’s efforts, effectively dispensing with independent review.

A few months later (November 2004), Congressional supporters of the Administration’s effort to pre-empt local licensing obstacles covertly inserted controversial language into the conference report for a massive appropriations bill (H.R. 4818) that was in neither the House nor Senate versions – without a vote or hearing – that undermined the ability of states and local communities to participate in the approval process. Later, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (H.R. 6) finally actualized President Bush’s Energy Policy, radically limiting the ability of states to have adequate jurisdiction over the permitting and siting of LNG facilities. Title III (Oil & Gas), Subtitle B, Section 311 (Exportation Or Importation Of Natural Gas) (e)(1) states that the Federal Energy Regulatory “Commission shall have the exclusive authority to approve or deny an application for the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of an LNG terminal.” (b)(11) “‘LNG terminal’ includes all natural gas facilities located onshore or in State waters...” States are only allowed to “consult” on permitting, rather than exercise unique regulatory authority to protect their communities.

Click to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) In addition to being designated as the “lead” agency, the language directs that Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) alone “shall establish a schedule” for all federal and state LNG proceedings and maintain the “exclusive record” of the proceedings. The language only requires FERC to “consult with the State commission of the state in which the liquefication or gasification natural gas terminal is located” – so if a state disagrees with FERC procedures and/or rulings, FERC can simply ignore the state’s concerns. While the Act allows states to “conduct safety inspections”, this is permitted only AFTER the facility has been approved by FERC and built. After providing written notice to FERC of its intentions, since the state can only conduct such safety inspections under FERC guidelines (rather than those of the state’s public utility commission), if a state has tougher safety standards than the federal government, only the weaker federal standard could be enforced. The language is clearly aimed at a July 2004 lawsuit filed by the State of California (challenging the placement of an unwanted LNG facility) claiming that FERC illegally ruled in a March 24, 2004 declaratory order that states have limited jurisdiction over the permitting and siting of LNG facilities inside their borders.

Click to National Governor’s Association Letter to Senate In June of 2005, the National Governor’s Association wrote the U.S. Senate urging them to support the bi-partisan amendment to the energy bill protecting the ability of states to have adequate say over the siting and permitting of proposed LNG facilities. Under White House pressure, the Senate rejected the National Governor's Association’s request. On June 22, 2005 the US Senate voted 52 to 45 (3 not voting) to reject an amendment to the energy bill that would have provided Governors the right to veto proposed LNG projects. Earlier, the House struck down an amendment by a 237 to 194 vote that removed language giving the federal government exclusive jurisdiction over LNG permitting and siting. Now that the industry-composed Energy policy is law, with permission of either the Coast Guard or the Maritime Administration, any solvent company can build a LNG facility (or a nuclear reactor) in your swimming pool. Fortunately, in certain circumstances, the Governor of each state can still exercise veto power over some of these projects.

For the $17,495,044 in direct contributions to key legislators and the $112,289,825 spread around by lobbyists, the Energy Industry bought $6 billion in Oil & Gas subsidies, $9 billion in Coal subsidies, $12 billion in Nuclear Power subsidies, $2 billion in Electric Power subsidies and across-the-board regulatory rollbacks exempting compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Coastal Zone Management Act. Laugh it up… half of these giveaways were incentives to build facilities that already existed. Finally, the Act codified the elimination of local licensing approval for LNG facilities. Based on discredited trickle down pipedreams, instead of lowering energy prices, allowing energy industry lobbyists to write the bill is having the predicted effect of sending fuel prices and energy costs through the roof.

Click to USCG Deepwater Ports Web Site Upon recognizing the full extent of this threat, Plaza South residents Bill and Terry Claire spontaneously commenced efforts to organize effective opposition, inviting residents to attend viewings of Riley’s video. When angry residents from Plaza South, Ocean Club, Royal Ambassador and L’Hermitage contacted GMCA officials, they discovered that they were the tip of the iceberg. The Galt Mile Community Association Board of Directors voted unanimously to oppose the project. The vote authorized the creation of a letter to the Governor expressing our concerns and recommending a project veto. To authorize the broadening of several individual efforts into a more effective community-wide campaign, the GMCA Advisory Board voted unanimously at the May 15th meeting to universally oppose the project. On May 7th, City Commissioner Christine Teel wrote to constituents, “I fully support those who oppose this project and will continue to express my opposition to the State and Federal government officials who will ultimately decide the fate of the Calypso Project. As additional information becomes available, including the details of the public hearing, I will share it with the Galt Mile Community Association so they may disseminate it to its members.”

Click to December 2007 Government Accounting Office (GAO) Maritime Security report Dozens of counter-terrorism authorities have warned against the establishment of LNG facilities in densely populated areas. A December 2007 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Maritime Security 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 Congressional Report by the GAO exhorts that “the Coast Guard - the lead federal agency for Maritime Security - has insufficient resources to meet its own self-imposed security standards.”

Click to Richard Clarke's LNG Facilities in Urban Areas Report On April 24, 2008, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill (HR 2830) by a vote of 395 Yeas vs. 7 Nays making the Coast Guard enforce security zones around eight LNG terminals and any arriving tankers – all potential terrorism targets – despite a threatened Administration veto. Acknowledging the Coast Guard’s admitted inability to meet its own security standards, the White House supported an amendment (H.Amdt. 1024 by Rep. Steven LaTourette [R-OH]) that allows the Coast Guard to use state or local government resources to assist in enforcing any security zone when deciding on security plans for LNG sites. In sharing the enormous security burden with local jurisdictions, the amendment acts as an unfunded mandate on the potential victims of a security breach. By making local taxpayers responsible for their own protection, the Administration could deflect media notoriety from a security failure while relieving the Coast Guard of a task it is admittedly incapable of fulfilling.

Former White House counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke
FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNTER
TERRORISM CHIEF RICHARD CLARKE
Former White House counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke wrote a report entitled LNG Facilities in Urban Areas in May of 2005 for Attorney General Patrick Lynch of Rhode Island warning that “Both the proposed urban LNG off loading facility and the proposed LNG tanker transit through 29 miles of Rhode Island have security vulnerabilities that are unlikely to be successfully remediated.” Citing the consequences, he stated, “Many fires could exceed the 2000 BTU limit for the employment of fire fighters, necessitating a ‘let it burn’ approach to many structures. There would be both prompt and delayed fatalities.” Speaking to the economic aftermath, he said, “The financial cost of compensating victims and rebuilding damaged or destroyed facilities following a catastrophic attack on the urban LNG facility and/or LNG tanker would likely exceed any insurance carried by the owners and operators of the LNG facility and tanker.” Clarke continued, “In the absence of adequate insurance to pay victims and rebuild damaged or destroyed facilities, the LNG operators would be transferring the financial cost of the risk they would be creating either to the victims or to governments, or to some combination of both. Governments would also bear costs for greatly enhanced security and consequence management, including mass trauma and burn capabilities.”

Richard Clarke testifies at 9/11 Hearings that Al-Qaeda Operatives infiltrated U.S. on LNG Tankers
AL-QAEDA INFILTRATED LNG TANKERS
Serving as terrorism chief under Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton until retiring in 2003, Clarke admonished that senior Bush Administration officials knew “that al-Qaeda operatives had been infiltrating Boston by coming in on liquid natural gas tankers from Algeria” prior to the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Having also held national security posts under Presidents Reagan and George H. Bush, 11-year White House veteran Clarke advises clients about corporate security risk management, information security technology, counterterrorism and dealing with the Federal Government on security and IT issues as Chairman of Good Harbor Consulting.

Institute for the Analysis of Global Security Policy and Strategic Planning Director Anne Korin
IAGS POLICY & STRATEGIC
PLANNING CHIEF ANNE KORIN
LNG terminals are “a terrorist attack waiting to happen,” said Anne Korin, director of policy and strategic planning at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C., that focuses on energy security issues. Korin said the type of attack conducted against the double-hulled French oil tanker Limburg, in which a boat loaded with explosives rammed into the ship, and penetrated both hulls, could be a disaster when directed at an LNG tanker. Chairman Peter Levene of Lloyds, the world’s second-largest commercial insurer, told Houston business leaders that a terrorist attack on an LNG tanker “would have the force of a small nuclear explosion.”

30 Mile Vapor Cloud From Oxnard Environmental Impact Report
30 MILE VAPOR CLOUD FROM OXNARD
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
Upon breach of its container, Liquefied Natural Gas rapidly becomes an ignitable vapor cloud that will drift downwind (on shore). Once the gas dispersion levels reach from 5% to 15% of gas to oxygen, ordinarily innocuous sources such as cell phones, cigarette lighters, light switches, engine spark plugs – even a static carpet spark – could trigger ignition. While the gas doesn’t explode upon ignition, it bursts into a wide-spread super heated inferno beyond the suppression capabilities of most fire departments. When asked by local residents about the area endangered by a prospective coherent gas cloud, project representatives contended that there are no studies that demonstrate how far a gas cloud can travel while remaining sufficiently coherent to ignite. In fact, there are.

Aftermath of the 2004 Algerian Natural Gas Disaster
AFTERMATH OF A 2004 ALGERIAN
NATURAL GAS DISASTER - 27 KILLED
In March 2005, the U.S. Coast Guard requested that Sandia National Laboratories review the Independent Risk Assessment of the Proposed Cabrillo Port LNG Deepwater Port Project off the coast of Malibu, California. Released in January of 2006, the Sandia Report considered the worst credible intentional or accidental event release of 53 million gallons (200,000 m3) from two tanks of LNG. It was determined that a wind speed of 2 m/s (4.5 mph) resulted in the “worst case” in which the flammable vapor cloud extended about 7.3 miles (6.3 Nautical Miles or 11.7 km) downwind from the proposed offshore LNG Floating Storage and Regasification Unit. The planned placement of the proposed deepwater port is 7 to 10 miles from the Galt Mile beach.

Aftermath of the 1944 Cleveland Natural Gas Disaster
AFTERMATH OF THE 1944 CLEVELAND NATURAL GAS DISASTER
A 1977 Environmental Impact Report by Socio Economics Systems, Inc. for a proposed LNG Facility in the City of Oxnard, California calculated a Vapor Cloud/Population Risk Scenario. Based upon an off shore LNG carrier collision in the Channel traffic lane (125,000 cubic meter spill, five tank rupture), an ignitable vapor cloud could spread 30 miles before dissipating, placing at risk a local population of about 70,000. Since the energy content of a typical 125,000 cubic meter LNG tanker is equivalent to seven-tenths of a megaton of TNT, or 55 Hiroshima bombs (as described at the bottom of the second paragraph on page 88 of a 1982 Lovins & Lovins Pentagon study entitled Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security), any miscalculation inherent in this untested technology could instantly transform Fort Lauderdale into a Kuiper Belt Object – not unlike Pluto.

Aftermath of the 1944 Cleveland Natural Gas Disaster
131 KILLED, 680 LEFT HOMELESS, 225 INJURED
Ominously, the first onshore LNG facility in America suffered a major accident, incinerating one square mile of Cleveland in 1944, killing 131 and leaving 680 people homeless. At least 27 people were killed and 72 injured when a 2004 explosive blaze ripped through a liquefied natural gas plant in Skikda, Algeria. Although initially attributed to a defective boiler, documentation presented by plant owner Sonatrach demonstrated that a large amount of liquid gas escaped from a pipe and formed a cloud of highly flammable and explosive vapor that hovered over the facility until ignited by an unknown flame source.

Firefighters Retrieve one of 131 Corpses
FIREFIGHTERS RETRIEVE ONE OF 131 CORPSES
In 1973, 40 Staten Island workers repairing an out-of-service LNG tank were incinerated when liquefied natural gas that had leaked through the tank liner into the surrounding soil and tank wall berm was ignited by a spark from one of the irons or vacuum cleaners used during the repair. Every one of the more than 2 dozen LNG incidents that occurred during the past 50 years was preceded by corporate assurances of adequate safety and security precautions. Not surprisingly, the second factor shared by these incidents is their corporate immunity to damages restitution. Through regulatory slight-of-hand, the governing laws provide the offending corporate perpetrator with a get-out-of-jail-free card, passing the fiscal punishment to the victims and their local governments.

Aerial View of Riverfront Facility Destruction
AERIAL VIEW OF RIVERFRONT FACILITY DESTRUCTION
All LNG vessel owners are protected by The Limitation of Vessel Owner’s Liability Act, 46 U.S.C. §181, et seq., a law enacted by Congress in 1851 to provide U.S. ship owners a chance to be competitive with foreign-flagged vessels whose liability was limited under European seafaring codes. The Act limits the owner’s liability to the post-disaster value of the vessel and its cargo contents. Since the U.S. Supreme Court has long held that the sinking of a ship marks the termination of both the voyage and the vessel’s value, the vessel owner’s financial liability in an LNG tanker disaster is severely limited. Notwithstanding prospective widespread damage to property or infrastructure in the $billions, the ship owner’s property exposure (outside the ship and cargo) is ZERO and loss of life and bodily injuries would be limited to just $420 per vessel ton. The Deepwater Port Act similarly limits the financial liability of an LNG deepwater port facility operator to $350 million. The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) amended the Deepwater Port Act (DWPA) of 1974, 33 United States Code 1501, et seq., to include natural gas. The damages limitation was created for offshore oil ports contemplating sufficient liability for an oil spill and cleanup costs, not LNG storage and regasification facilities capable of incinerating entire communities. Bottom line: the losses are passed to the victims and their local governments’ taxpayers.

In addition to threats posed by terrorist activity and human error, the area’s increased exposure to hurricanes heightens the potential danger. The Great Lakes and the Florida Straights are littered with vessels snapped like twigs by devastating storms. Such an event would instantaneously release a tanker’s full complement of LNG into the surrounding ocean. In addition to an incipient vapor cloud, the immediate ocean habitat would experience an environmental holocaust.

Click to South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Calypso Brochure
CALYPSO SITE MAP - OFF GALT MILE BEACH
In an earlier meeting with project representatives, GMCA officials questioned the placement of the deepwater port off the Galt Mile beach instead of a location closer to the pipeline’s Port Everglades landfall. Apparently, environmental impact studies indicated that the hardbottom seabed environment of locations closer to Port Everglades were more worthy of protection than the Galt Mile site. While discussing placement parameters, they said that they would have preferred installing the deepwater port 40 or 50 miles from the populated shore. They said that the Miami Escarpment, an undersea geological feature about 10 miles from the Fort Lauderdale shoreline in which the sea floor drops precipitously rendered that alternative structurally unfeasible. Since the gas is transported by pipeline from the deepwater port to the shore, consideration should have been given to offshore sites unaffected by this underwater cliff. The deepwater port’s proximity to Fort Lauderdale is obviously unnecessary since the project’s original license placed the regasification structure in the Bahamas, with the gas traveling by pipeline to Port Everglades. By providing a 40 to 50 mile cushion between the installation and the densely populated Broward beachfront, a similar open ocean placement anywhere along the coast would sufficiently insulate the population from any catastrophic ramifications.

Project representatives plainly expressed their reliance on the Coast Guard for protection against terrorist attack. Given the Coast Guard’s stated inability to effectively perform this function due to inadequate resources, the threat assumes unacceptable proportions. Despite representations by officials of Suez North America and Calypso LLC that they will do all in their power to protect against a holocaust, our thousands of neighbors living along the coast are understandably unwilling to risk their lives to provide these companies with more efficient product distribution. In view of the horrific consequences attendant to a security oversight, an error in judgment or hurricane damage, no prospective benefit to the State can justify the potential loss of life and property.

Information and Response Links

  • U.S. Coast Guard Calypso DEIS Executive Summary
  • To review the rest of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), enter “26009” in the Docket ID Box on the Advanced Search - Docket Page (Regulations.gov web site) and click “Submit”. Click on the single entry - USCG-2006-26009. There are nine pages of relevant documents. The DEIS documents start on the 4th page, in the sequence USCG-2006-26009-0084 through USCG-2006-26009-0112.1. (Its much easier than it sounds!)

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Death Traps, Tripping Hazards and a
Floating Gas Station

December 9, 2007 - On December 3, 2007, City Commissioner Christine Teel addressed a meeting of the GMCA Presidents Council at L’Hermitage I. Dozens of attending association officials were briefed about several previously expressed concerns relevant to the neighborhood’s well-being. Among the issues undertaken by our District 1 City Commissioner were repairs to sidewalks along Galt Ocean Drive, properties long-frozen in a dangerous state of disrepair and the city’s consideration of Calypso – a mysterious project designed to enhance and diversify delivery capabilities for natural gas while protecting energy accessibility during catastrophic weather events. Enthusiasm for the project is somewhat belabored by its potential for city-wide obliteration.

Galt Mile Community Association Presidents Council
GALT MILE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION PRESIDENTS COUNCIL
The sidewalks framing Galt Ocean Drive have been structurally decimated by FP&L, Comcast, AT&T (Bellsouth), landscape contractors, Teco Energy (Peoples Gas), catastrophic weather impacts, Broward Water, municipal maintenance projects, and developer demolition. Component to the Galt Mile Improvement Project, the Galt Mile’s main thoroughfare was lined with pink aggregate sidewalks underwritten in full by a resident assessment. Under agreement with the city, in exchange for having the project funded by its resident beneficiaries, the City would maintain the improvements in a “Disney-like manner,” alluding to the meticulous efficiency with which the Kissimmee theme park is preserved. Over the past few years, the sidewalks have been seriously neglected. Demolished panels were either replaced with a randomly tinted variety of incompatible materials or left in disrepair, resulting in a patchwork quilt fraught with tripping hazards. The effects of weather damage and natural deterioration have been summarily ignored.

GMCA Advisory Board member Roslyn Greenspan from L’Hermitage I has spearheaded efforts to focus municipal attention on properly maintaining the sidewalks. In response, Commissioner Teel agreed to investigate the maintenance hiatus and hopes to resolve the issue amicably.

Dislodged Aggregate Panel Rising Above Grade
DISLODGED AGGREGATE PANEL - TRIPPING HAZARD
The serial hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 wrought havoc across the entire state. During the past two years, associations and private homeowners were enmeshed in struggles with contractors and insurance carriers to repair damages and recover the associated expenses. Some property owners declined to repair damage to their structures. Unfortunately, many of the neglected properties have become a blight on the community. Ranging from eyesores to deathtraps, these structures have stimulated the Building Department into taking an active part in enforcing their compliance with safety codes.

Where is the Other Half of Mr. Kelley's Roof at 3365 Galt Ocean Drive
WHERE IS THE OTHER HALF OF MR KELLEY'S ROOF
AT 3365 GALT OCEAN DRIVE
For instance, the structure at 3365 Galt Ocean Drive in the strip mall at the southern end of the block has languished in a state of disrepair for years. Commissioner Teel explained that she has been following this case religiously since fielding complaints from neighboring businesses and pedestrians concerned about the unstable roof and a suspected mold infestation. Formerly occupied and still owned by Rohan Kelley, an attorney whose name continues to grace the property, she courteously described his attempts to rehabilitate the property as dilatory. Long-term failure to meet safety codes has attracted the attention of the Special Magistrate. Evidently, the permit to repair the roof was approved on November 9, 2007. The remaining permits are still in the review process. She recommended that concerned residents contact Mr. Kelley, “encouraging him to move ahead as soon as possible to begin the work.”

Deadly Overhang Bombs Pedestrians at 3408 N Ocean Blvd
DEADLY OVERHANG BOMBS PEDESTRIANS
AT 3408 N OCEAN BLVD.
She is also monitoring a parcel on the west side of North Ocean Boulevard (A1A) opposite Plaza East. The dozens of dangerous rusting metal support rods that extend up from ground level are suggestive of an eerie crop of wild rebars. Concrete structural elements strewn randomly about the property add to the alien appearance of the environment. Another property on the east side of A1A a few blocks south, 3408 North Ocean Boulevard, sports a dangling roof overhang from which chunks of wood and metal occasionally drop to the sidewalk frequented by unsuspecting pedestrians. Commissioner Teel reported that the property owner was scheduled to appear before the Special Magistrate on December 6th to face violations for ignoring repeated orders to cure structural problems with the fascia, soffits and facade.

The Calypso Deepwater Port and Pipeline

The Commissioner advised Council members about the planned construction of a Deepwater Port off the Coast of Broward County directly opposite the Galt Mile beach. The Calypso Deepwater Port (DWP) is a facility for tankers carrying liquefied natural gas to dump their load, vaporize the liquid fuel into a gaseous state and send it through a pipeline towards Port Everglades where it will be introduced into another pipeline for distribution across the region. Few Galt residents are aware of this project’s existence, much less its purpose or impact. When asked to explain the project and summarize its rationale, Commissioner Teel offered some background on the Calypso Pipeline and the offshore gas station being considered by the City Commission.

Click to Florida Public Service Commission Web Site Florida is already the third largest consumer of petroleum and electricity in the United States, and Florida’s demand for electricity is expected to increase by more than 37% between 2005 and 2015, according to the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC). To address the need and capitalize on the opportunity, Calypso U.S. Pipeline, LLC has developed a pipeline to transport natural gas to the Florida market. A wholly owned indirect subsidiary of SUEZ Energy North America, Inc. or SENA (formerly known as Tractebel North America, Inc.), Calypso U.S. Pipeline, LLC created the Calypso Pipeline to make landfall at Port Everglades, travel west for approximately 5 miles primarily along an existing industrial corridor, and ultimately connect to the existing Florida Gas Transmission pipeline system.

Click to Map of Florida Gas Transmission pipeline system
FLORIDA GAS
TRANSMISSION PIPELINE
Florida’s forecasted 2014 demand for gas-fired electricity generation will require approximately 1.2 billion cubic feet per day of additional natural gas according to FPSC. The Calypso U.S. Pipeline is designed to supply 832,000 MMBtu of natural gas per day or two thirds of the state’s projected 2014 demand. That’s enough fuel to produce approximately 5000 megawatts of electricity, which, according to the Florida Public Service Commission, will satisfy about 40 percent of the state’s planned increase in total electric generation capacity over the next 10 years.

Natural gas is the cleanest, most environmentally friendly of all the fossil fuels. It is colorless, odorless and non-toxic. A chemical, ethyl mercaptan, is injected into the gas flow of pipelines and distribution companies to give the gas an identifiable odor. This is done as a safety factor, so that leaking gas can be detected by the smell. The combustion of natural gas results in virtually no atmospheric emissions of sulfur dioxide or particulate matter. Although it does emit carbon dioxide, reactive hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, its atmospheric impact is far less dangerous than those of other fossil fuels.

Tanker Carrying Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for Regasification
TANKER CARRYING LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS (LNG)
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the same natural gas used by millions of Americans for heating and cooking, only in a liquid form. When chilled to -260 degrees Fahrenheit, natural gas liquefies. Although it is not compressed, in its liquid form LNG occupies 1/600 of its gaseous volume, allowing it to be more efficiently transported by ship and stored in tanks. It is re-vaporized to its gaseous form and sent to customers via pipeline. The danger posed by transporting, storing and otherwise handling liquefied natural gas is comparable to most other liquid fossil fuels. The United States was the world’s fourth largest importer of liquefied natural gas in 2006, after Japan, South Korea and Spain.

24-inch Pipeline Placed into Dedicated Ditch
24-INCH PIPELINE PLACED INTO DEDICATED DITCH
Florida is currently 100% dependent on Gulf Coast sources for its natural gas supply. This lack of diversity can expose Florida customers to unexpected shortages, particularly during hurricane season. The installation of another facility on the Atlantic coast would geographically diversify access for Calypso’s ship-based deliveries of LNG. If operations were disrupted in one location, the other would continue to be available for fuel deliveries. Since the transport vessels are designed to rapidly detach from the buoy and move out of harm’s way in the event of severe weather conditions, disruption of energy deliveries during hurricanes will be minimized. After a storm passes, Calypso’s ships will reconnect to the buoys and immediately resume pumping natural gas into the pipeline system.

Click to Calypso Web Site The pipeline will transport natural gas from proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification facilities – the Calypso Deepwater Port (DWP) – being developed by Calypso LNG LLC, another SENA affiliate. The Calypso DWP will serve as an offshore delivery point for connection to specially built LNG tankers. The LNG tankers will vaporize stored LNG and send it through the buoy system into the Calypso U.S. Pipeline, which will transport the natural gas onshore to Florida customers.

The Calypso DWP (the proposed regasification facility) is a submerged offloading buoy and anchoring system that will reside approximately 120 feet below the ocean surface when not in use and serve as an offshore delivery point for natural gas. The Deepwater Port project is proposed to be located approximately 8 to 10 miles offshore from Port Everglades, and connect directly to the Calypso Pipeline.

Click to SUEZ Web Site The Calypso DWP project’s sponsors are well positioned to accomplish their objectives. SENA’s parent, SUEZ Energy International, has global experience in engineering, construction and operation of LNG facilities and gas pipelines. It is currently the only major energy company that – in addition to a diversified LNG supply portfolio – owns and operates LNG facilities on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean (at Everett, Massachusetts, serving the New England market, and at Zeebrugge, Belgium, serving the central European market). As the second largest importer of LNG into the U.S., SENA claims to be uniquely qualified to safely and efficiently build and operate the pipeline.

Click to SUEZ Energy International Web Site Basically, we are facing the installation of a floating gas station. It’s submerged “gas pumps” float up to meet specialized ships that carry the fuel – liquefied natural gas. The liquid is vaporized (returned to a gaseous state) and fed into the pipeline through which it is pumped to shore and connects with another pipeline that distributes it throughout the region.

Calypso Deepwater Port (DWP)
CLICK ABOVE TO ENLARGE VIEW OF CALYPSO DEEPWATER PORT (DWP)
Using the submerged unloading buoy system, the DWP will be capable of servicing two types of LNG vessels simultaneously; a storage and regasification ship (SRS) and a transport and regasification vessel (TRV). The westernmost buoy (West Buoy) would be sited approximately 7.7 miles from shore in 805 feet of sea water (FSW) and would connect to the sea floor with eight mooring lines, using six suction piles and two gravity anchors. The easternmost buoy (East Buoy) would be sited approximately 10.3 miles from shore in 932 feet of sea water (FSW) and would connect to the sea floor with nine mooring lines, using six suction piles and three gravity anchors. Except during severe weather conditions, to perform maintenance or for inspection, the SRS would remain moored “semi-permanently” to the East Buoy. Conventional LNG carriers would call on Calypso DWP and transfer LNG to the SRS approximately every two days. TRVs would call on Calypso DWP and moor to the West Buoy every 4 to 7 days (averaging once every 5 days).

Click to Maritime Administration Calypso Web Entry When not connected to an SRS or a TRV, the unloading buoy would remain submerged about 100 feet below the sea surface, supported by buoyancy elements. When the SRS or TRV arrives at the DPW, a marker buoy and retrieval line would be used to locate and recover the unloading buoy. The unloading buoy and its attached riser pipeline would be retrieved from its submerged position and hoisted to the forward part of the SRS or TRV and attached to a mating cone within the hull. Both SRS and TRV would be equipped to vaporize LNG cargo to natural gas through an onboard closed-loop shell-and-tube vaporization system before odorizing and metering gas for send-out through the unloading buoys.

Click to USCG Deepwater Ports Web Site On March 1, 2006, Calypso filed a Deepwater Port License Application (Docket number USCG-2006-26009) with the U.S. Coast Guard, which has jurisdiction for the permitting, operation and security for such facilities located in federal waters. However, when the application was deemed incomplete on March 22, 2006, a list of data gaps was provided to the applicant. A revised application was submitted to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Coast Guard (USCG) for review on September 25, 2006. MARAD and USCG deemed the application complete on October 13, 2006. The Coast Guard secured a third party contractor (ENTRIX, Inc.) to begin an environmental review and develop an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The initial meeting to scope public input was held on December 6, 2006 in the Fort Lauderdale Marriott North (6500 North Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale) which resulted in the Maritime Administration issuing a stop clock letter on January 26, 2007. The “Stop Clock” letter was lifted on August 31, 2007. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) – a preliminary impact instrument – was placed on the docket for public comment, with notice posted in the Federal Register on November 2nd. A 45-day public comment period closed on December 17, 2007. Upon receipt of a November 1st notice by the Coast Guard that their license application is deemed complete, president and CEO of SUEZ Energy North America Zin Smati remarked, “The receipt of the Coast Guard’s letter is an important project milestone because it sets in motion a defined timetable for the regulatory review process. We can now be confident that the project will remain on schedule so we are ready to be the first project to deliver an important new source of energy to the Florida market in early 2010.”

Click to South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Calypso Brochure
CALYPSO SITE MAP - OFF GALT MILE BEACH
Surprise! You had until a week before Christmas Eve to share your feelings about the installation of a floating gas station about 7 miles seaward of the Galt Mile beach. Three sites were considered for this floating gas pump. Instead of the buoys being located 8 to 10 miles from the Florida coast, the other locations would have placed the buoys only 7 miles out to sea. They would have been closer to their Port Everglades landfall, required a shorter pipeline span to bring the gas onshore and therefore would have created proportionately less environmental disruption. The length of pipeline required to connect the Calypso DWP to its onshore target is 5 miles for the proposed project location while it is only 4.1 miles and 3.5 miles for the two rejected alternative sites. The plan’s Executive Summary admits that “the total area of sediment disturbed during construction at Alternative Port Locations 1 and 2 would be less than the proposed action, which would result in less turbidity during construction.” In short, since locating the DWP off the Galt Mile beach requires the longest pipeline span, it portends proportionately more disruption to the surrounding ocean environment.

Click to ENTRIX, Inc Web Site The Draft Environmental Impact Statement was charged with considering the full compliment of positive and negative project ramifications. How the port would affect the ocean environment, noise levels, air and water quality, local hard bottom, marine life, coral proliferation and a host of other factors were weighed on balance. Stringent criteria had to be met as required by Federal and State Environmental, Maritime and Wildlife agencies. The DEIS claims that natural gas is difficult to ignite, non-toxic and disperses rapidly by rising into the atmosphere, unlike leaks of heavier petroleum products such as oil. It declares that gas leaks do not result in the same environmental devastation as seen with other fossil fuels.

Aftermath of the 1944 Cleveland Natural Gas Disaster
AFTERMATH OF THE 1944 CLEVELAND NATURAL GAS DISASTER
On the down side, the history for Deepwater Port LNG facilities is paper thin. We will be “beta testing” this strategy for the industry, transforming Fort Lauderdale into a LNG laboratory in which residents serve as lab rats. Ominously, the first onshore LNG facility in America suffered a major accident, incinerating one square mile of Cleveland in 1944, killing 131 and leaving 680 people homeless. Although findings confirm that leaks are mostly absorbed into the atmosphere and dilute to the extent that ignition is unlikely, if a tanker discharged its full cargo, the gaseous “spill” could travel for miles before reaching its ignitable dispersion level. A 1977 Oxnard, California Environment Impact Report determined that a LNG accident in which a full tanker’s contents were released would send an ignitable gaseous vapor cloud some 30 miles before dissipation defused the threat of ignition. Since the energy content of a typical 125,000 cubic meter LNG tanker is equivalent to seven-tenths of a megaton of TNT, or 55 Hiroshima bombs (as per a 1982 Lovins & Lovins Pentagon study entitled “Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security”), any miscalculation inherent in this untested technology could instantly transform Fort Lauderdale into one of Jupiter’s moons.

Aftermath of the 1944 Cleveland Natural Gas Disaster
131 KILLED, 680 LEFT HOMELESS, 225 INJURED
The thrust of that study admonished that huge energy concentrations (as typified by LNG facilities) were significant security risks. Released as a book in 2001 after the 9/11 devastation at “ground zero”, it focused on the vulnerability of LNG installations to concerted terrorist attack. This prospect elicits questions about the quality and cost of planned facility security and the limits of liability for the owners of the installation, the tankers and the pipeline.

Aftermath of the 2004 Algerian Natural Gas Disaster
AFTERMATH OF A 2004 ALGERIAN
NATURAL GAS DISASTER - 27 KILLED
Although existing laws protect foreign LNG vessel owners and the corporate LNG deepwater port operators, they ignore the City and its residents. All LNG vessel owners are protected by The Limitation of Vessel Owner’s Liability Act, 46 U.S.C. §181, et seq. (enacted by Congress in 1851 to provide U.S. ship owners a chance to be competitive with foreign-flagged vessels whose liability was limited under European seafaring codes); which limits the owner’s liability to the post-disaster value of the vessel and its cargo contents. The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that when a ship sinks after a calamity, the sinking marks the termination of both the voyage and the vessel’s value – thus severely limiting the ship owner’s liability. This means that an LNG tanker disaster that results in the total loss of the vessel and total loss of its cargo would result in minimal financial liability for the LNG vessel owner – notwithstanding prospective widespread damage to property or infrastructure in the $billions. The vessel owner’s financial liability in such a scenario for all property damage would be zero, and for loss of life and bodily injuries would be limited to just $420 per vessel ton. LNG deepwater port facility operators are protected by the Deepwater Port Act’s financial liability limitation of $350 million. The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) amended the Deepwater Port Act (DWPA) of 1974, 33 United States Code 1501, et seq., to include natural gas. The damages limitation was created for offshore oil ports contemplating sufficient liability for an oil spill and cleanup costs, not LNG storage and processing facilities capable of incinerating entire communities. In essence, if circumstances go awry, we will have to foot the bill.

Click to Federal Register Web Site It seems that the only group with standing whose input was neglected are the people who live closest to proposed facility – us! Few people peruse the Federal Register or can claim familiarity with the applicable technology. Although notice requirements were legally met, attempts to realistically elicit constituent input were woefully inadequate. ENTRIX, the third party contractor hired by the Coast Guard, was responsible for preparing the Public Notices and coordinating public meetings. Whoops!

Click to a Brochure that Describes the Calypso Deepwater Port - DWP Tanker & Facility View from the Beach
COMPARATIVE VIEW FROM THE BEACH OF CRUISE SHIP AND
LNG TANKER AT DWP LOCATION (7 MILES OUT)
While there are several good reasons for the development of improved energy access, why this floating service station is being located adjacent to our beach is far from clear. It would be logical to position the Port closer to the latitude of its Port Everglades landfall instead of several miles north. After her attempt to clarify the project issues for a thoroughly surprised audience, Commissioner Teel realized that her Galt Mile constituency – despite their proximity to the proposed construction – was largely uninformed about the new deepwater port and the decisions surrounding site selection. When asked about whether the project would mar the ocean view from the beach, while the 8-mile distance to the DWP should place it on the horizon, it would still be clearly visible. Although vaporous gas leaks dissipate harmlessly into the atmosphere, an inquiry about a natural gas leak while in a liquefied state was left unanswered. Understandably, concern was expressed about a tanker full of material cryogenically stored at -260 degrees spilling into the surrounding ocean environment.

On December 4th, Commissioner Teel sent an email expressing what she considered to be good news. She said, “Today at our Commission Conference meeting I asked for the Calypso Gas project to be presented to us at a soon-to-be-arranged meeting which will include the public. I hope to have a date soon to share with you and hope to have the meeting held at the Beach Community Center. The Mayor also wants to include Lauderdale-By-The Sea.”

Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl
COMMISSIONER KEN KEECHL
At the December 20th GMCA Advisory Board meeting, President Pio Ieraci asked Broward Commissioner Ken Keechl about the County’s participation in the Calypso Project. Keechl confirmed that since the County wasn’t party to the project’s development, he was unaware of its adverse impacts. Given the reluctance of local communities to risk living with these volatile, untested technologies, Administration-backed Federal laws created to govern licensing procedures for the establishment of LNG facilities deliberately minimize local input. In fact, an amendment to a recent energy bill that empowered Governors to veto LNG projects located within their jurisdictions was defeated with Administration assistance.

President George W. Bush and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
PRES. BUSH AND FED CHAIR BERNANKE PROMOTE LNG
President George W. Bush and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke called for the development of additional LNG capacity to enable more efficient access to global natural gas resources. On May 18, 2001, President Bush signed Executive Order 13212 (“Actions to Expedite Energy-Related Projects”), requiring all executive departments and agencies to “expedite their review of authorizations for energy-related projects and to take other action necessary to accelerate the completion of such projects.” As the official licensing agencies, the Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration must consider input from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Environmental Protection Agency and local residents. They can fulfill their obligation to post official notice of relevant hearings by inserting highly technical monuments to confusion in the Federal Register and local papers. Residents that serendipitously stumble across such notices are apt to interpret the Calypso project as a multicultural dance program instead of a potential source of municipal self-annihilation.

Click to Energy Information Administration (EIA) Web Site As to the project’s underlying financial motivations, in 2004 the Florida Power & Light Resource Group opted to partner with SENA in sponsoring the Calypso pipeline and deep water port. They sought to buy into the company’s planned local LNG operations. After analyzing project costs and other potential “liabilities”, FP&L withdrew one year later, stating that participation “would not be in the financial interests of their customers.” Not a bad call in view of the cost increase for residential natural gas from $10 per thousand cubic feet in 2004 to $17 in 2007. Decidedly, sharing the blame for a potential city-wide disaster would send the stock into a tailspin and create a chronic – possibly terminal – public relations ulcer. It appears as if there is a lot more to this frozen gas anathema than has been revealed.

When Commissioner Teel notifies us about the public meeting date, it will be sent to each association and posted on the Galt Mile web site. Perhaps we will discover Calypso LNG LLC’s depth of experience with operating LNG Deepwater Port facilities, the consequences of a full-vessel cryogenic liquid discharge, why SENA decided to park their gas pump next to our beach despite the incremental negative environmental impact and whether an onshore wind can carry an ignitable gas cloud 7 miles to the Galt Mile beach and the “Venice of America”.

To learn what’s transpired since this article was posted, Click Here.

Information and Response Links

  • U.S. Coast Guard Calypso DEIS Executive Summary
  • To review the rest of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), enter “26009” in the Docket ID Box on the Advanced Search - Docket Page (Regulations.gov web site) and click “Submit”. Click on the single entry - USCG-2006-26009. There are nine pages of relevant documents. The DEIS documents start on the 4th page, in the sequence USCG-2006-26009-0084 through USCG-2006-26009-0112.1. (Its much easier than it sounds!)

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