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LNG Terminal on Outer Brewster !?!?


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Many of you have probably seen the recent news about the proposal to build a LNG terminal and storage facility on Outer Brewster in Boston Harbor.

Those of us who've kayaked the Outer Harbor need no convincing that that would be a horrible disaster, pretty much destroying the incredible quality of paddling the entire Outer Harbor. Not only would the facility itself be a blight on one of the gems of the harbor and the surrounding area, it would bring monster tankers regularly into the vicinity.

Those who haven't paddled there yet... well, if this comes to pass, you will never get the chance to experience its unique beauty -- a near wilderness in view of the Boston skyline.

There are plenty of other things wrong with the idea, such as destroying the only habitat for seals in the harbor. The facility would also require a security zone restricting public access to the surrounding harbor islands and waterways. In other words, it's not even clear that we would be allowed to paddle that area any more, even if we wanted to!

So, please, please, send a letter to your State Senator and Representative opposing this plan. Or, if you want an automated way to do that, use this MassPIRG link...



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And for the opposing (or at least centrist) viewpoint:

As much as I like the area and agree with everything David says about the aesthetics (and having even led a couple of NSPN trips there myself), I must admit that it is nearly unparalleled for satisfying the logistical requirements for an LNG terminal.

I am very much divided on this issue, and won't make up my mind until I hear some solid debate on the pros and cons of the alternatives (elsewhere on the coast, deep water terminals, etc). I encourage all to pay attention, make an informed decision, then let your congressfolks know. (The same is certainly true for other environmental issues that are of concern to paddling folks, such as the proposed Cape Wind Farm).

As for myself, although I may end up on the "preservationist" end of the issue eventually, I haven't heard enough to jump there immediately.

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I don't want a LNG terminal anywhere, yet live with the benefits of a society that has a lot of low cost energy. The problem is not that an LNG terminal would wreck a nice spot, but that we sustain a demand for energy.

Among of the other options for an LNG terminal include Long Island Sound http://actionnetwork.org/eany/alert-descri...lert_id=3476803 and Corea, ME http://news.mainetoday.com/indepth/lng/new...ouldsboro.shtml . None of the options will ever win unanimous consent as being a good place to wreck. Personally I would rather have such a thing destroy a place that is already industrialized than ruining more pristine wilderness such as Corea. (see the thread about Great Wass)

The question should not be how much damage the LNG terminal will do to a particular location, but which location will do the least damage. Don't fight one location until you have identified a better one. But the best way to fight this problem is to start limiting our energy usage by turning off our computers, stop driving unnecessarily (i.e. trips to the harbor to go paddling), going to bed when it gets dark, and sleeping in a cold room.

Since I don't really want to make the sacrifices that foregoing the energy would involve I need to accept the fact that my continued demand has real-life down-sides. Sometimes we need to accept the bad stuff in our own back yard.

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Point well taken. Naive little me, I didn't even think of the broader implications... just trying to protect a place that I and lots of others love. Gee, if the population density of the Boston area argues for such a development, then it's kind of a paradox, since that very density also argues for keeping the nearby wild places wild.

But you know, what you say really raises much bigger political issues. This isn't the place to debate them, but since we've broadened the scope, let me take it briefly to its natural conclusion -- and then I'll shut up.

You like to live in an economy with cheap energy... but it really isn't all that cheap. We are paying for it in powerful but subtle ways: ceding enormous economic leverage to the lands with oil under them; distorting our own economy and polity by enabling signficant political power to flow toward the petroleum and related industries, and addicting ourselves to an unsustainable national life style based on unnaturally cheap, unrenewable energy sources.

So thanks for making me think about it. But having done so, you've actually given me ~another~ reason to oppose this project, besides the obvious one of protecting a beautiful spot that I and many thousands of others enjoy.

In brief, we don't ~need~ to use this much energy; we especially don't ~need~ to use it in petroleum form. So any argument based on such presumed need is inherently hollow. In that sense, opposing expansion of the petroleum infrastructure is a ~good~ thing.


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As a group we have already started saving energy by choosing a sport that doesn't require petroleum products to propel ourselves or maintain our gear. However, Nick's point of long drives to paddles and other's points about car pools are very important.

Also consider how you drive. It continually amazes me that so many people complain incessantly about the cost of gasoline, yet they haven't changed their driving habits. They are driving just as fast and just as aggressively, accelerating and deccelerating hard and often. This uses up a lot of extra fuel.

Leave yourself extra time. Slow down and enjoy the ride. Maybe if enough of us are driving closer to the speed limit, others will start to feel less urgency to drive 15-25mph over the speed limit and gasoline consumption really will drop!

Another way to help is to sign up for Green Up on your electrical bill. It's a little more expensive, but it insures than none of your electricity comes from fossil fuels.


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Unlikely to happen Dave. There is already an LNG terminal in Everett. These things cost hundreds of millions to build. Although Boston doesn't like the LNG tankers coming right up the channel, it is not cost effective to build another facility when an existng one is already in place. And in case you didn't notice....those really, really big green ships that come every week right into Boston Harbor and under the Tobin Bridge.....are LNG tankers! So they are already here.

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This, and Cape Winds...

I had to give a tour of my experiment to Senator Ted Stevens from Alaska. He's sometimes called "Yosemite Sam" - if you're on the other side of an issue from him, you can practically see steam coming out of his ears. My own view on drilling on the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge is that we should hold off on it until we have a more sensible national energy policy, but I wouldn't dream of saying this to the Senator from Alaska.

It's a tough problem - we say we don't want the problems associated with energy, but at the same time, we burn fuel like gluttons.

Many of the LNG ports suggested all would have negative implications for sea kayakers. I guess I would err on the side of having them in closer proximity to urban settings, since we have to face the fact that it's needed.

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The LNG companies have been trying to build a LNG terminal along the Maine Coast for the last 3 years. In Maine, they have to get approval of the local government before they can build the facility. First they tried Harpswell on Casco Bay at the abondoned Navy Tank farm, then they tried Sears Island in Penobscot Bay and now they are supposedly close to getting the go ahead to put it on the Passamaquoddy Reserve in Eastport after the tribe, in a very close vote, gave their approval. Unfortunatly the ships would have to travel through Canadian waters to get there and the Canadian government has stated that they wouldn't give permission. Apparently the LNG companies have decided to move south.

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My understanding is the terminal in Everett is owned by a different company than the one that is looking to put a terminal on the Outer Brewster.

Even if the terminal is built on Outer Brewster the LNG tankers will still go to the terminal in Everett.

If this is an energy use topic I suggest the we have this thread focus on the following:

Wind Mills.

Residential Co-generation.

Bio Diesel.

Synthetic Diesel from Coal.

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