FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2012
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SACRAMENTO – The State Senate this week passed a bill by State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) to ensure that any liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals built in California are done in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
Senate Bill 1496 requires the California Energy Commission to study the impact of developing new liquefied natural gas terminals on the state’s energy demands. The study would be included in the Integrated Energy Policy Report, a report done every two years to ensure reliable energy supplies, conserve resources and protect public health. It would also require that a CEQA analysis for a LNG facility include an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions, adverse health effects, and the environmental impact on minority and low-income populations. The bill passed off the Senate floor Tuesday 29-10.
“We are in a rapidly changing energy environment, and the growing supplies of LNG now create an incentive for companies to export,” Simitian said. “I am not for LNG, nor am I against it. But I do think that we should have the ability to carefully monitor and assess any proposed LNG facilities and the impact they will have on our state and our coastal areas. This bill gives us the tools to do that.”
The bill would also require that information be posted on the Internet about each existing or proposed LNG terminal in California, as well as facilities from Alaska through Baja California.
Natural gas is the predominant fuel used to generate electricity in California. Liquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been condensed, usually for ease of transportation. Seven LNG facilities have previously been proposed for California but none have gone forward. In 2008, an LNG plant began operating in Baja California.