Jan 11, 2013

Colorado capital besieged by giant lobsters over mega gas tank flap

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Ron Huber Penobscot Bay Watch 207-593-2744

On Saturday at noon, a crustacean delegation "steamed" by Denver firm's megatank plan for "Nation's lobster basket" will bring its protest to  DCP Midstream Headquarters.

Denver  A coterie of angry human-sized lobsters has been making the rounds of the Colorado's state capital, massing in preparation for a demonstration January 12th Saturday at  noon outside the headquarters of gas giant DCP Midstream, in front of the Republic Plaza Building.   These follow recent protests in Maine  See media coverage here and here  More details here and here  and here.

The lobsters, dispatched by a Maine fishery conservation group, are calling on Wouter van Kempen, the new  President and CEO of DCP Midstream, to disavow his predecessor Tom O'Connor's "DCP Searsport" plan to install  a 22 and a half million gallon megatank on the shore of Penobscot Bay, to import Liquified Petroleum gas.


"Penobscot Bay is America's  Lobster Basket" said Ron Huber executive director of Penobscot Bay Watch, who organized the crustacean delegation from Maine.

 "That's because we've got clean waters and one of the world's most carefully managed, most self-policed fisheries," he said.  "We are also blessed by a landscape of such scenic magnificence that more than a million visitors pour up and down US Route 1 along the western bay coast to camp, to hike, to sightsee, to  fish, hunt and ski, shedding millions of dollars into the decentralized local economies as they do so.

"But DCP could be the straw that finally breaks the lobsters' back," Huber said. "And degrades the  scenic assets of the upper bay with its monstrous, outsized gas dome plan.
Lobster Power!
He noted that the company proposes to  flatten an irreplaceable coastal forest on the shore of Long Cove in Searsport, Maine to build its operation. While the natural  runoff of that forest nurtures upper Penobscot Bay, Huber said, the petroleum tainted stormwater from  DCP's  proposed twenty acres of impervious tank and terminal surfaces  would do just the opposite.

"Every little bit hurts"  said Huber.   "Some of the most important animals in our bay can swim through the eye of a needle. It doesn't take much pollution to kill them, and yet because they are the babyfood for the cod, scallops mussels and lobsters of our bay, when they die, so do those bigger animals."

He said that waste discharges from the industrial  facilities DCP's mammoth tank could attract to the upper bay  to exploit its gas, would set efforts back for decades.

"We've been fighting hard to clean up the bay" Huber said. The seafood business is showing it the rise of the scenic and creative economies here show it. DCP's tank farm would  taint the bay and foul the view-shed for more than a dozen scenic tourism dependent  towns."
Inline image 4The lobsters and their defenders find the economics to be the most puzzling part of DCP's plan for their bay.  The gas that DCP would import will cost consumers about a dollar a gallon more than the domestic and Canadian natural gas that Mainers are laready awash in.

"There's no market!" Huber said.  Maybe five years ago when little Searsport somehow caught Tom O'Connors' eye.
But that time is gone, and Tom is gone.Time for the DCP Searsport plan to be gone, too."

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Special thanks to Tina Braxton,  Colorado facilitator for the event!



Penobscot Bay Watch
"People who Care About Maine's Biggest Bay"

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