Thursday, March 18, 2010

Breaking News - NB Power Right to Information Referrals Go to Court

Breaking News - NB Power Right to Information Referrals Go to Court

Breaking News - NB Power Right to Information Referrals Go to Court

The Coalition of New Brunswickers: NB Power Not for Sale has been coordinating the activities of the concerned citizens and organization’s efforts opposed to the sale of the assets of NB Power.

With almost 165, 000 New Brunswickers within its radius (see attached list) the Coalition remains committed to assisting the coordination, education and mobilization of New Brunswickers.

Next Monday, March 22nd four citizens will be referring requests for information of the elements relating to the proposed sale of assets of NB Power to Hydro Quebec, including:

· The contacts for the procurement of public relations firms (Bristol, Hill and Knowlton, Revolution, etc)

· All correspondence, emails, letters, brief between Government officials in the Premier’s office, departments of Finance, Energy and Justice.

Today, the Coalition provides the first of a 3 part series;

John Bliss inquires with Premier Shawn Graham.

Tomorrow, Auguste Gallant request information from Finance Minister Byrne and Friday, Michael Buzas and Gary Llewellyn, seek information from Energy Minister, Jack Keir.

For more information contact: Tom Mann via email tom@nbu.ca or by phone at (506)-470-9072 or directly contact:

John Bliss: (506) 455-8187
Auguste Gallant: bpond@nbnet.nb.ca or (506) 577-4286
Michael Buzas: buzas@nbnet.nb.ca or (506) 544-5294
Gary Llewellyn: gllewellyn26@rogers.com or (506) 454-6025

Les tribunaux saisis d’une demande au sujet du droit à l’information


La Coalition des Néo-Brunswickois : Énergie NB pas à vendre coordonne le travail des citoyens intéressés et des organismes qui sont contre la vente de l’actif d’Énergie NB.

La Coalition, qui recouvre presque 165 000 personnes dans la province (voir la liste annexée), poursuit ses efforts de coordination, d’éducation et de mobilisation de la population du Nouveau-Brunswick.

Lundi prochain, le 22 mars, quatre citoyens adresseront des requêtes à la Cour pour obtenir des renseignements sur le projet de vente d’Énergie NB à Hydro-Québec. Ils cherchent notamment à obtenir :
les noms des personnes qui servent de contacts avec des sociétés de relations publiques (Bristol, Hill and Knowlton, Revolution, etc.) ;
tout ce qui concerne la correspondance, les courriels, les lettres et les dossiers entre les représentants du gouvernement au Cabinet du premier ministre et aux ministères des Finances, de l’Énergie et de la Justice.

Aujourd’hui, la Coalition s’occupe du premier point d’une série en trois parties :

Demandes de renseignements adressées par John Bliss au premier ministre Shawn Graham.

Demain, Auguste Gallant demandera des renseignements au ministre des Finances Byrne.

Vendredi, Michael Buzas et Gary Llewellyn chercheront à obtenir des renseignements de la part de Jack Keir, le ministre de l’Énergie.

Pour plus amples renseignements, communiquer avec Tom Mann par courriel à l’adresse tom@nbu.ca ou par téléphone au (506)470-9072. Vous pouvez aussi communiquer directement avec :

John Bliss : (506) 455-8187
Auguste Gallant : bpond@nbnet.nb.ca ou (506) 577-4286
Michael Buzas : buzas@nbnet.nb.ca ou (506) 544-5294 Gary Llewellyn : gllwellyn26@rogers.com ou (506) 454-6025

Calais LNG has 20 days to respond to FERC

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FERC issues Environmental Information Request to Calais LNG — LNG Law Blog

LNG sides fight over jurisdiction issue (Mar 12) — The Quoddy Tides, Eastport, ME

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Province of New Brunswick Responds to Calais LNG

The Province of New Brunswick has filed an answer this week to comments Calais LNG made regarding a motion to reject and other comments previously filed with FERC by the Province. Notably, New Brunswick rejects Calais LNG's assertion that FERC should limit the scope of the Province's intervention in this proceeding, emphasizing that Calais LNG mischaracterized FERC's treatment of New Brunswick in the Downeast LNG proceeding. In addition, New Brunswick notes that Calais LNG has admitted that it did not provide required information regarding the cumulative impacts of the Calais and Downeast LNG projects as required under the National Environmental Policy Act and FERC's regulations. The Province also asserts that Calais LNG has not provided any information regarding LNG vessel transit routes that would account for Canada's continued prohibition of LNG vessel transit through Head Harbour Passage. The Province's filing is available in the FERC eLibrary under Docket No. CP10-31.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is Bay of Fundy's Canaport LNG ready to Export?

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Analyst: North American Shale Gas Could Drive LNG to European Markets
Posted: March 10, 2010

Speaking yesterday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., BSA Energy President Ben Schlesinger said that increased development of unconventional gas plays in North America may trigger a natural gas glut in Europe. Platts LNG Daily reports that Schlesinger predicted that as production increases from North American shale gas projects, LNG that initially was expected to be imported into the United States likely will be diverted to European destinations. [Subscription required]

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Can wind farms, fisheries coexist in the Bay of Fundy?

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http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/138475.html?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6cdc0d5130-RSS_MORNINGUPDATE_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_source=BDN+News+Updates

By Kevin Miller
BDN Staff

ROCKPORT, Maine — For centuries, New England fishermen have used boats small and large to reap the natural bounties found below the surface of the Gulf of Maine.

But fishermen soon may be forced to share those waters with even larger structures built to capture the gulf’s other abundant resource: the wind.

On Saturday, the last day of the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum held last week at the Samoset Resort, dozens of fishermen and others whose livelihoods depend on the sea heard from more than a half-dozen speakers involved in some way in Maine’s aggressive and ambitious efforts to turn the nearly always windy gulf into a giant powerhouse.

State officials and energy experts argue that the Gulf of Maine is an ideal place for massive wind farms that would be extremely difficult if not impossible to build on land near people’s homes.

But hundreds of massive wind turbine platforms and all of the gear-snagging cables that likely would come with them could affect fish and Maine’s commercial fishing industry.

George LaPointe, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, said the reality is that the industries are going to have to learn to coexist in areas of the gulf.

“It will take a lot of work,” LaPointe said, “but we think it is work that needs to be done.”

State officials have set a goal of generating 5,000 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind power by 2030. That is part of a larger, more ambitious plan to move more Maine homes away from heating oil use to the latest technology of electric heat.

The technology to deploy wind turbines in waters 50 meters or deeper is still under development, including by a team of researchers at the University of Maine. Many of the designs feature platforms anchored to the ocean bottom by a series of large cables.

That raises concerns among fishermen whose nets, trawls and traps could damage or be damaged by the cables. Fishermen also are concerned about the possibility that they could be excluded from areas around turbines.

“The less bottom you take, the better we are going to get along,” one fisherman told the panel members Saturday.

Fishermen as well as biologists and environmental organizations also have raised concerns about how the noise and vibrations from the spinning turbines will affect marine life.

Neal Pettigrew, a University of Maine professor of physical oceanography, said that by placing the large turbines in deep waters, developers can mostly avoid bird flyways and minimize visual impacts from the shore. In Maine, 80 percent of the lobster catch is within three miles of the land, so locating platforms outside that area also would help reduce potential conflicts with fishermen, he said.

Additionally, Pettigrew provided the group with details of the monitoring buoy that is being deployed at a site near Monhegan Island where a university-led research group plans to erect test turbines. The university plans to conduct detailed monitoring of the turbines’ potential effects on marine mammals and bottom-dwelling organisms as well as birds and bats.

LaPointe pointed out that a bill recently introduced in the Legislature to streamline Maine’s review process for offshore wind projects would provide funding for research on marine issues tied to wind energy. LaPointe said the state also needs to develop updated maps of the ocean floor as well as surveys of fishing activities in those areas.

In New Jersey, some members of the fishing industry have gone beyond debating the pros and cons of offshore wind energy but are now part of industry itself.

Fishermen’s Energy LLC, a consortium formed by several East Coast fishing companies, is developing a 20-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City, N.J., and hopes to build a 350-megawatt wind energy facility. A wind farm of that size likely would feature 70 to 100 turbines, depending on the generation capacity of each machine.

Peter Hughes, fishing industry coordinator at Fishermen’s Energy, said his company’s partners view offshore wind as an opportunity given that fishermen know the seas in that area better than anyone and can operate vessels and heavy machinery in such harsh, deep-water conditions.

“We want to be agents of change rather than victims of change,” Hughes told the crowd.

With its steady winds and deep waters relatively close to shore, the Gulf of Maine is attracting attention from U.S. and international wind development firms. Among them is Principle Power, a Seattle-based company working on floating-platform technology.

Des FitzGerald, vice president of business development for Principle Power, said his company was drawn to Maine, in part, because of the state’s deep-water ports and well-established shipbuilding and marine construction industries. Those are key assets when building and deploying the enormous turbines and platforms.

“The reality is, these are so large — no matter the design — that there is no way they can be delivered by road, by rail or by sea,” FitzGerald said. “They are going to be built on the shore, which is good news for Maine.”

Photo Credit: wikipedia.com

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's "Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead." - FERC responds to Canadian Ambassador to the US.

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Time to get out of "dry dock" folks. Get the legislation in place to protect HHP!!!


My opinion
Art
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20100308-0004 FERC PDF (Unofficia1) 02/26/2010
FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
WASHINGTON. DC 20428
OFFICE OFTHE CHAIRMAN

February 26, 2010
The Honorable Gary Doer
Ambassador - Embassy of Canada
SOl Pennsylvania, Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001-2114

Dear Ambassador Doer:
I am writing in response to your February 3, 2010 letter regarding the Downeast
LNG Project and the Calais Pipeline Project (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
[Commission] Docket Nos. CP07-52-000 and CPIO-32-000).

We highly value your thoughts on these projects and recognize that issues relating
to LNG tanker passage through Canadian waters have not yet been resolved. However,
we have consistently maintained that it is necessary for the Commission staff to continue
its processing of the applications for the Calais Pipeline Project and the Downeast LNG
project so that theprojects can be put before the Commission for a decision. lfthe
Commission finds that approval of either or both of the projects is in the public interest,
and the specific matters of intemationallaw are favorably resolved, we want to ensure
that these projects can proceed in a timely manner.

Throughout the review of the two projects, the Commission has encouraged input
by Canadian stakeholders into our process and will continue to do so. In particular, the
staffhas reached out to the Canadian agencies with relevant responsibilities to assist the
Commission staff as they finalize their analyses of the environmental, security, safety,
and navigational effects of the projects.

You are on the Commission staff's mailing list to receive copies of the fmal
environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Downeast LNG project and the draft and
final EISs for the Calais Pipeline Project when they are issued. If I can be of further
assistance in this or any other Commission matter, I hope you will not hesitate to get back
in touch with me.

Sincerely,

Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Dangers of LNG and Natural Gas Revisited

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While, as far as we know,  LNG Tankers have had a satisfactory safety record, everything changes when it arrives at the terminal and the distribution system. To put the risk of LNG/Natural Gas and some other developments in context, the following links provide a sobering survey indeed.

Art

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The gas pipeline explosion in Edison NJ (March 1994). This was taken while trying to evacuate the Durham Woods apartment complex.



 


30 June 2009 - At least 15 people have been killed and some 50 injured after a freight train carrying gas derailed and exploded in northern Italy, officials say.

The carriages jumped from the tracks and crashed into several homes, setting off an inferno in the town of Viareggio in the middle of the night. 


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Bay of Fundy Lobster Killer Used in Cobscook Bay, Maine

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View Larger Map

It's amazing really that those who should know better keep making the same mistakes ... over and over.

Lobster, crabs, sea fleas and most of the important zooplankton in the Quoddy area are all arthropds that are related to insects, the group for which many of our pesticides were developed and what kills one may well kill the others. If Cypermethrin and other chemicals in that family are toxic to lobster, then one should expect huge impacts on our vital plankton including the larvae of ALL arthropods in the area; everything from sea fleas to crabs.


But think about this. If, as seems highly likely, the application of Cypermethrin in salmon cages in the Quoddy area has killed adult lobsters, it is no stretch to assume that this also killed a vital planktonic species called Calanus finmarchicus, the principal food of North Atlantic Right Whales. Is that another breech of law?


As for the assurances coming from government biologists, one should always remember DDT ... it was okay to use too!


My opinion
Art

*****************************************
Excerpt from Quoddy Tides article

Cypermethrin use in Maine

While the use of cypermethrin in aquaculture cages is prohibited in Canada, the pesticide's use is allowed under certain restrictions at salmon farms in Maine. Under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Investigational New Animal Drug (INAD) program, the use of Excis, a trade name for cypermethrin, was allowed during the late 1990s for sea lice treatment at salmon cages in the state. Approval was again granted for a period from November 2009 to January 2010 for Cooke Aquaculture to use Excis for treatments at six salmon sites, all in Cobscook Bay, according to Matthew Young of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Division of Water Quality Management. In addition to conditions placed by the FDA to use cypermethrin, the DEP issues restrictions on the pesticide's use under the Maine Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit for salmon aquaculture.

Cypermethrin is used in a bath treatment in which a tarp is pulled up inside the cage, and a very low concentration of the pesticide is put in the water inside containing the salmon. The water is not released outside the tarp for at least an hour, and the concentration decreases over time as cypermethrin binds with organic compounds in the water. Young says that fish farmers have also used cypermethrin in well-boats that are used to transport salmon, and the water is released into Cobscook Bay, near the farm sites.

With the drug usage, the FDA requires environmental monitoring of the water, sediments and any organisms in the environment, and the results must be provided to the DEP. The survey results following the treatments in Cobscook Bay show that cypermethrin is at non-detectable levels in the waters or in any of the nearby environment where samples were collected.


Read the entire article here: http://quoddytides.com/lobsters2-26-10.html

Friday, March 5, 2010

How do you count fish inventory that goes round and round and .....

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New tech company counting on fish

By REBECCA GOLDFINE
From BangorBiz
http://cl.exct.net/?ju=fe2a16737164037f711279&ls=fdfd10737d6d0d7d75157075&m=fef217777c6703&l=fe9513737564027474&s=fdf415727d66037e711d7476&jb=ffcf14&t=

Two young entrepreneurs with an eclectic background in laser technology, marine engineering and sediment analysis have won a couple of startup grants to devise a new tool to help fish farmers.

The Maine Technology Institute recently awarded Holden-based AXAT Inc., which stands for algorithm experts for advanced technology, with a $12,500 seed grant. That money followed a $5,000 grant the institute awarded the company last fall. AXAT co-owner Cody Andrews says the money has been used in part to put together a laser system that he says can count and measure fish species in aquaculture hatcheries, as well as assess the health of the fish.

Andrews, 23, will graduate from Maine Maritime Academy in Castine this spring with a five-year degree in marine systems engineering. His business partner, 25-year-old Valérie Robitaille, another Maine Maritime Academy graduate, is working on her doctorate in geo-engineering. She specializes in sediment analysis and shoreline erosion. "She actually uses lasers to measure particle displacement," Andrews says.

Joe Migliaccio, MTI's spokesman, says the institute was impressed with the budding company because it represents a hybrid of two economic sectors with potential in Maine: aquaculture and remote sensing technology. He added the company's professional collaboration with The Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin provided another incentive to support it. Nick Brown, the center's director, says the system has not been deployed, but that he's seen some promising tests.

Andrews says Brown has taught him and Robitaille a lot about fish farming. "You really have to know what you're doing," Andrews says. "You have to monitor the water quality, the food, how the fish are growing; it's a finesse-type thing."

AXAT's sensing lasers are mounted above water, aiming down at the depths below - whether it's the open sea or a fish tank. They detect and count objects in the water, as well as determine the concentration of live and inert food present for the fish. "We can tell if the fish are malnourished or if they are overfed," Andrews explains.

The lasers can also record the activity of the fish and their pigmentation, which can change if the fish are diseased with parasites, such as sea lice. Over time, the collected data is meant to draw a picture of the fish's life.

"We can measure their growth rates," Andrews says. "It sounds a little bit far-fetched for people, but we have done quite a few experiments."

Robitaille, the technical director of AXAT, writes in an e-mail that she and Andrews will turn their "unique algorithm development process" into a user-friendly interface that can be easily mastered by most people.

MTI's seed grants are designed to help startup science and technology companies in Maine commercialize their products. Andrews says AXAT's laser system is at least 16 months away from commercialization. It now costs roughly $4,000, but he anticipates the price will drop as more fine tuning takes place.

The point of the unit, he says, is to help new fish farmers break into the business.

"What the United States is lacking is a really robust aquaculture industry," he says. "If we could make the whole system easier and we could make it more precise, we could limit how much expertise you need. You don't need to have a PhD to raise fish."


Photo Credit: wikipedia.com

Repsol Energy North America aims to double its winter output to New England

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Natural gas: Repsol Energy North America aims to double its winter output to New England in 2010-11, company president says

QUENTIN CASEY
FOR THE TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL

The head of Repsol Energy North America says his goal is to double the amount of natural gas that is shipped from Saint John's Canaport terminal to New England next winter.


Phil Ribbeck

Phil Ribbeck, president of Repsol Energy North America, says the company aims to double its winter output to New England in 2010-11 - up to 800 million cubic feet of natural gas a day.

This winter, the Canaport liquefied natural gas terminal has averaged a daily output of 400 million cubic feet of natural gas.

"I would like to get up to around 800 a day next year in the winter for average output," Ribbeck said in an interview from Houston on Thursday.

"I'd love to get up to that number. But the success of doing so depends upon securing the market, as well as ensuring that we have prearranged LNG (supply at Canaport) in order to fulfill the market needs."

To boost Canaport's winter output, Ribbeck said Repsol must bid successfully on requests for supply from natural gas distribution companies in New England - a process that runs from now until August.

"Naturally I'd like to increase the utilization of Canaport, but that largely depends upon the market," he said.

But Ribbeck said the prospects are good, judging from this winter.


Read the entire article here: http://nbbusinessjournal.canadaeast.com/journal/article/973971

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Province of New Brunswick Responds to Calais LNG

Posted: March 4, 2010

The Province of New Brunswick has filed an answer this week to comments Calais LNG made regarding a motion to reject and other comments previously filed with FERC by the Province. Notably, New Brunswick rejects Calais LNG's assertion that FERC should limit the scope of the Province's intervention in this proceeding, emphasizing that Calais LNG mischaracterized FERC's treatment of New Brunswick in the Downeast LNG proceeding. In addition, New Brunswick notes that Calais LNG has admitted that it did not provide required information regarding the cumulative impacts of the Calais and Downeast LNG projects as required under the National Environmental Policy Act and FERC's regulations. The Province also asserts that Calais LNG has not provided any information regarding LNG vessel transit routes that would account for Canada's continued prohibition of LNG vessel transit through Head Harbour Passage. The Province's filing is available in the FERC eLibrary under Docket No. CP10-31.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's not The Cat but it will connect Yarmouth and Portland!



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Portland-Nova Scotia flight revived

Travelers who want to fly from Portland to Nova Scotia will be able to use a new air service in March that will provide non-stop flights four days a week.

Paul Bradbury, director of the Portland International Jetport, said the airport was able to restore service to and from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, thanks to a partnership with Auburn's Twin Cities Air Service and the operator of the Yarmouth airport, according to radio station WGAN 560. Passengers can board a seven-seat aircraft provided by the Auburn company and fly non-stop to Yarmouth on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays beginning on March 15.

In December, Montreal-based Starlink Aviation canceled its previous air service from Portland to Yarmouth because it could no longer obtain federal subsidies to operate it. Last month, Air Canada said it will offer twice-daily service between Toronto and Portland beginning on May 17.

From Mainebiz.com