Jan 27, 2012

Searsport slams DCP LPG tank after company sneers at town's scenic assets.

SEARSPORT   Foot-in-mouth disease was evident among Big industry's representatives last night in Searport's Union Hall, clumsily pimping their plan to flatten a 30 acre wetlands-dotted coastal forest near where Penobscot River & Bay meet, and cover it with a 23 million gallon liquified petroleum gas supertank complex. 

(Photos of the event click here.  About Issue:  Click Here,  or Here and  Here  Recent BDN story click here)

Replete with flare towers, security gunboats, constant heavy truck traffic and a sufurous hell-stench, tDCP Midstream's industrial gas facility would, critics fear, utterly deface a sustainably thriving, high employment tourism, recreation & fishery powered scenic natural area, promoting instead a tourism-unfriendly, creative economy-unfriendly mini-Mordor, smack in the forested heart.of the coastal forest lining Penobscot Bay's ecologically critical Long Cove estuary.

 The people's protestations were as nothing to the public relations team jetted into Maine by the anxious company. Yet their pratfall-filled performance last night excited more disgust among area residents than support.
Even the  Searsport town historian, attuned to the ebb and flow of commerce and industry in Searsport down through the centuries, was doubtful.

Searsport resident Peter Taber calls DCP on its photo simulations. BDN photo
When one company supporter sneered at town residents that  that “If one tank is going to affect the whole tourism area, maybe you don’t have enough to offer”,  groans arose from  the audience, and the meeting was essentially over.  
Game over for DCP?
Could be!  DCP Midstream's wetlands  biostitute ..err... "consultant"  had earlier earlier mocked the wildlife and wetlands rich Mack Point Coastal forest, whose soils have never, in centuries of colonization, been plowed, dug out or dumped on and are replete with 8,000 years of native American leavings,  as "low quality" and "insignificant".

One critic of DCP called their outreach efforts "...astoundingly bad. DCP is seemingly doing everything it can to promote our moratorium against them."

Stay tuned.


Jan 26, 2012

DCP Gasbaggers descend upon Searsport, and get rebuffed.

DCP Public relations flack Roz Elliott tells it like it isn't.
SEARSPORT. Big Carbon came in  a convoy of a dozen cars from some other state today, massing in the compound  they set up on Route 1, with a view of  the Mack Point coastal  forest they propose slaying, before descending upon Union Hall in Searsport Thursday evening.

DCP Midstream's corporadoes were worried. Local businesses, pleased with their sustainable resort and scenery based economies of the area, had gotten the People to Rise in defense of their own livelihoods, and a moratorium - four letter word to industry - is due to be voted on by the citizens March 10th..

That simply could not be allowed to stand, DCP decided.  While the Fix was in, (filthy lucre dangled temptingly in all the right places) the pesky citizens were trying to delay, delay, delay, delay.  Time is money, DCP's bean counters fretted.  The command came down from Denver:  The Searsport moratorium ordinance must be voted down.  And so the ponderous yet lethal public relations machine swung into action, fueled by the bottomless pockets of Conoco Phillips and Spectra.

And THAT  had brought DCP Public Relations Officer Roz Elliot and her team from their scattered studios in  Denver, Houston and New York to this tiny town, clutching copies of  "Propane For Maine"  on their ipads fresh from DCP's "mad men

The event was orchestrated by DCP'as hired leagle attack dog, the appropriately named attorney JT Kilbreth from the Portland law firm Verrill-Dana.  Kilbreth spoke not, but all around him swirled the sound and fury team as the public relations crew worked the room full of Searsporters.

The industrial propagandists were attempting the public relations dance of their lives: trying to convince the people of Searsport that voting for the proposed protective moratorium on March 10th would actually be attacking the town  itself. Could an "Ignorance is bliss" campaign succeed? they wondered.  The answer they later learned: 

NO. The audience was hostile to DCP's crude attempt at divide-and-conquer!  Ginger Root  watched her people tonight and  and saw:
Organizational skills
and sooooooooooooooooo much more

LOCATION: UNION HALL. SEARSPORT  The People had brought a scale model of the tank and flaretower nightmare  That hoary chamber, from its galleries above to the stage below, has resounded to the great debates of war, peace, civil rights, politics and science. But tonight it rang with the eerie phrases of  a superpowered propane industry giant.
DCP-Midstream, a shared subsidiary of Conoco Oil and Spectra Energy  was ordered by Corporate  to attempt to set up eastern North America's biggest Liquified Petroleum Gas.

Flattening 30 acres of the Mack Point coastal forest would be an acceptable loss, they decided.  A beautiful and ancient buffer that shields the tourist eyes on scenically busy Route one from the discreetly low relief energy tank farms already there supply petroleum as fuel and heat. None of the existing bakers dozen tanks there are anywhere near the scenic skyline.

That "view", which is shared profitably by a dozen towns, would become a new form of  dominant scenic feature, by day and, thanks to its flare towers and aviation lighting,a mini-Mordor by nigh.

Yet "mini Mordor" for how long?  Once the tank is in, the gas will be used to industrialize the upper bay.. GAC will either be  flattened and turned into an other tank farm  And Sears Island would become half-industrialized - since Mack Point will have been paved already.

So that's the slippery gassy slope that DCP's project will create if it is built.  The amount of chronic water pollution from all the associated gas-burning companies it would stimulate will chronically foul Penobscot Bay's very limited upper estuary the cod and sturgeon spawning grounds of upper Pen  Bay's Long Cove, Searsport Harbor and Stockton Harbor  and the greate rtidal river estuary for decades to come. As lobsters and other living marine resources fail, the Island Institute will start holding yearly conferences on "healing our troubled bay" .

So desperate is  DCP to get its mammoth supertank-Five times as high as the existing tanks up that they swear they will forebear  corporate welfare to get it.

In their chief propaganda piece  "Propane For Maine"
DCP's "mad men" wrote: 

  "DCP is willing and wanting to pay their fair share to their host communities. The project will provide additional tax revenue to the town of Searsport."

HA !


Jan 24, 2012

DCP 's PR assault team to hit Searsport Thursday evening. Its fear & loathing campaign already underway - via robo-calls

SEARSPORT Big Gas' hired public relations machine has turned its sights on the innocent residents of the coastal town of Searsport, Maine.  

The Industry Strategy: spin the citizens and local businesses who are leading the effort to keep the town LPG supertank-free as OUTSIDERS, while Big Gas, having rented a storefront in town, is now as a corporate Searsport person INSIDER.

So the people of Searsport are the outsiders and the Denver based company is the insider. Get it?

No? Neither do I.

But that is in a nutshell, the divide and conquer strategy that DCP's PR team has trotted out.

Tonight, throughout the rolling forests,wetlands and seascapes of this quiet place, telephones are ringing. The Voice of Gas is erupting via robo-call into many Mainers' ears, its pitch: come to a Great Gassing at Searsport's Union Hall on Thursday January 26,  5:30pm - 7pm.  Update: About that meeting click here

The toxic sludge is good for you public relations brigade has been hired by DCP to try to quash the populist uprising among the citizens of of Searsport, who have recognized the threat to local jobs and public safety that the out-of-scale giant liquified petroleum gas supertank would be .Forest  in right half of pic would be slain.

The citizenry, it seems has gotten a moratorium on DCP's 23 million gallon Liquified Petroleum Gas tank monstrosity on the upcoming town ballot. A paultry few months; time to examine the resources at risk of complete ruination by this Brobdingnag eruption into the town's midst.But time is money, say the grey men and women parsing the bottom line for that division of DCP. So this cannot be tolerated.  If it doesn't hatch now, if legal roadblocks are being thrown up, then DCP will cut its losses and look elsewhere.

So come early evening on Thursday January 26th, the citizens will gather and await the  thee gasbagger flacks at Searsport's Union Hall,. Await the inevitable power points and self-deprecating humor of the LPG-pimps'  presentations about how wonderful their roaring flare towers and bulking steel monstrosity -east coast's largest - would be.

Looming over Route 1 in Searsport, fouling the air? ("smell of money!") and the soundscape, ("who's listening?") Rising above the horizon (12 towns' scenic viewsheds would be violated, sharply reducing touri$m).  Trashing an irreplacable 30 acre wetland-filled coastal forest?  ("Your forests and wetlands ain't special"; sez DCP; "who cares?") and making the town a nutter-magnet for those that want to be true BLEVErs for whatever cause they feel toasting Mainers would assist in. More details here and here

The townies hate the plan. Can Big Gas' public relations crew  convince the residents to vote against their own interests and embrace the carbon?  DCP corporados are  pulling out all the stops in trying to prevent the Searsport citizens from voting for a moratorium on their  gas tankery. Thursday's event we'll find out how effective their "shock and awe"  opening salvos actually are..
Stay tuned.

Jan 21, 2012

Will Searsport, Maine become the new Mordor-by-the-Sea?

DCP-Midstream gasbags want scenic Searsport to take on this new look & sound, so she can be a sister community to this formerly scenic Scottish town. Thanks but no tank!

Jan 18, 2012

DCP gasser-wannabees respond to January 4, 2012 USACE Request for Additional Information

DCP sent the following responses to a January 4, 2012 USACE Request for Additional Information.  DCP's reply  is a very long pdf file. Here it is broken into its various parts.

Part 1.  DCP letter to Jay Clement with responses to request for additional information.  47 pages
Part 2.  Attachment A  Applicable design codes and Standards. 5 pages
Part 3.  Attachment B Visual Simulations. 6 pages
Part 4.  Attachment C  Additional Examples of Public Outreach Effort.6 pages
Part 5.  Attachment D Maine DOT Correspondence.  5 pages
Part 6.  Attachment E  Letters from local emergency responders. 4 pages
Part 7.  Attachment F Other community support letters.  46 pages
Part 8.  Attachment G  Maine Geologic survey press release.  3pages
Part 9.  Attachment H. Penobscot River & Bay Pilots Assn & security zone map. 3 pages

Jan 12, 2012

Ocean windmills, turbulence avoidance and zooplankton.

A recent paper by  University of New Hampshire professor James Pringle What is the windage of zooplankton? Turbulence avoidance and the wind-driven transport of plankton reveals how strategies used by migrating zooplankton to get where they're going can have unexpected consequences when the wind blows or stops blowing.  Something that would-be deepwater windpower extractors need to keep in mind

As Bay Blog readers know,  Maine's East and West Coastal Currents are migratory thruways for the zoooplankton phase larvae of lobsters, sea scallops and many other marine animals These currents rise in the Bay of Fundy, passing Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts and interfacing with other currents deeper in the Gulf of Maine. See currents here (flash video)

 Dr Pringle has discovered that migrating zooplankton avoid turbulent waters while travelling. When they encounter it, they  descend and try going under the turbulence, even if their phytoplankton prey is  more abundant in the turbulent water.

But these peace-seeking plankton can run into a problem. When they leave the surface currents they have been migrating on, and are no longer near the surface, they leave the migratory thruway they were in.   If they go too deep while trying to go under the turbulence, they may come into contact with and settle upon the seafloor ecosystem at that location. Or they may be washed outward to settle on the archipelagoes of seamounts of the Gulf of Maine - while their siblings continue down the Maine Coastal Current.

It is not  unreasonable to hypothesize that the sea surface turbulence and water column turbulence and destratification stimulated by operating deepwater ocean windmills  will be just what zooplankton avoid. and finding it impossible to go under the

What is the windage of zooplankton? Turbulence avoidance and the wind-driven transport of planktonBy James M. Pringle, UNH
Observations of turbulence avoidance in zooplankton are compared to estimates of the wind-driven turbulence in the upper ocean. Turbulence avoidance is found to prevent the transport of zooplankton in the surface Ekman layer at realistic wind speeds.Plankton that avoid turbulence by moving deeper are no longer transported by the wind-driven Ekman currents near the surface because they are no longer near the surface. Turbulence avoidance is shown to lead to near-shore retention in wind-driven upwelling systems, and to a reduction of the delivery of zooplankton to Georges Bank from the deeper waters of the Gulf of Maine."
End of abstract