Jan 6, 2013

DCP's boss gets the boot. Will the new leader finally pull the Searsport megatank plan?

Environmentalists and bay area tourism industry hope new boss isn't same as the old boss.

SEARSPORT. "Wouter van Kempen!" the amplified voice rang out across Searsport Harbor to the unbroken forest ridgeline of the Mack Point Wood  "Hear us, Wouter!"  Searsport's Maine's Circle of Resistance, hundreds strong,  stood in snowy Mosman Park, listening.

For 44 year old Wouter van Kempen is the new boss of DCP Midstream. Formerly leading DCP's Gathering and Processing division, and former Chief Development Officer of the Combined Enterprise,  Wouter graduated from Erasmus University in Rotterdam with a master's in business economics, has dual Dutch /US citizenship,and resides in Denver.

Tom O'Connor, driving force behind the company's hapless effort to force an unprofitable giant liquified petroleum gas tank onto Searsport, has been packed off to his estate in Evergreen, with Van Houten assuming the company's CEO and Presidency. "Effective Immediately". 

 Now van Kempen must clean up the mess Tom left behind before his precipitous fall from grace.

The circle of hundreds,  who gathered at Mosman Park  to show their opposition to DCP's  megatank plan, listened as Penobscot Baywatch Ron Huber took his turn speaking to the assembled sending his words out to the new company chieftain., laying out a scenario for Wouter van Kempen:
Wouter, can you hear us? Save us from O'Connor's Folly!

" Wouter, you can make a new beginning by disavowing your predecessor's outdated, wrongheaded Searsport LPG megatank plan.

" You can drop Mad Tom's proposed Tank to Nowhere, bloody nosed-even in  its application stage, leaking cash by the bushel basket in a fierce struggle between DCP's  lawyers and those of the east coast ruling classes, who for generations have made this bay and its islands and piney shores their home.  Would you tankify Estes Park? Here neither!

Ejection seat. Tom O'Connor has left the building.
Why?  Because if the project, presently raging back and forth through state and federal courts and the offices of state and federal elected politicians, were ever built, it promises investors tens of millions in losses each year. Not profits!

The long and short of it? The price of domestic gas has plummeted so far below that of imported gas that the tank plan is outmoded. O'Connor's Folly is DOA.

"Wouter Van Kempen, you can spare your company  much cost and embarrassment, and spare yourself from shunning by the New England aristocracy! Simply withdraw the Searsport project for "reconsideration due to changes in domestic gas availability" or some other bit of politesse.
"Penobscot Bay's  lobstermen  and resort businesses will bless you, Wouter van Kempen.

"Finally, Van Kempen, pay off the wergild, the blood debt DCP has accrued by the dastardly community-dividing actions of O'Connor's public relations chief Roz Eliot.  Eliot's cruel and cynical tactics will divide Searporters  for generations, and have made DCP into a four letter word on the Maine coast.

Mack Point Wood left side of photo. Mack Pt Port on right
"Redeem your company's good name, Wouter! Let the Mack Point Wood and its ancient peat and wetlands continue unblasted into the future. Do not stoop in the shadowy drain of your not-very-illustrious ex-boss.
"A true rising tide lifts  business, nature and the people, Mr. van Kempen.

"Be that tide!

"The choice is yours, Wouter Van Kempen! "
Poems and songs followed, as the region's creative economy and scenic tourism business owners prayed that DCP's new leader would pull his predecessor' misguided DCP megatank plan before their forest is flattened, its soils torn away, its streams filled, the granite bedrock itself blasted flat and the giant steel folly rises obscenely and uselessly into the viewsheds of a dozen towns.

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