Oct 29, 2013

Bay Flashback: How Searsport citizens stopped an LNG tank proposal in 2004

In 2004 the people of Searsport, with the help of residents of some surrounding communities, were able to wring a "no LNG terminals in Searsport ever" concession from Maine Governor John Baldacci and his Department of Transportation.  The governor agreed " to defer to a host municipality before taking state actions in support of any LNG proposal".  (6/1/4 letter below)

Read a close-in description of that entire struggle, as compiled by Governor Baldacci's staff for a June 2004 Freedom of Access Law request to Governor Baldacci's office,   
NOTE: USE YOUR BACK BUTTON TO RETURN TO THIS PAGE These links are  "wayback machine" archived versions of these files.

The below Searsport/LNG related files from October 2013 to June 2004 vividly illustrates the intense maneuvering of all parties from citizens  and ENGOs to the transportation industry and its adherents .  List of Governor's staff & agency heads mentioned. Other FOA'd documents  (All documents are transcriptions of original documents)

  October 27 2003 - March 3, 2004 by date

Additional 2003-2004 Documents by topic

Governor Baldacci & LNG: Security & Public Safety
LNG Security Review of Boston Harbor & Everett LNG facility (& Harpswell) Undated) Dept of Public Safety's memo to Adams & Stearns re DPS' LNG 'Perspective' report 10/29/03
Report by DPS: "LNG: A Perspective on Security & Safety" unsigned, undated
Maine Emergency Management Agency to Baldacci advisor -overview of LNG security issues undated

Governor Baldacci and "political" side of LNG issues in Maine.
David Bright, friend of Baldacci's, offers Sears Island & LNG political advice 5/20/04 2/20/04

Governor Baldacci and towns and state legislators on LNG
Governor's form letter on LNG ("sent to 92 constituents") 5/25/04
Stockton Springs Selects write to Waldo County with LNG concerns 3/12/04
3 Legislators write Baldacci with LNG concerns. 3/29/04
Baldacci writes to Searsport 4/4/04
Waldo County Commissioners write JEB with concerns 4/13/04
Searsport writes to Baldacci; asks for official "No LNG without town support" letter in writing. 4/15/04
Searsport invites Governor to Searsport LNG gathering. 4/22/04
Baldacci writes to Waldo County Commissioners & area legislators about LNG 6/1/04

Governor Baldacci & Sierra Club communications on LNG 
Sierra Club writes to Baldacci calls for LNG planning 2/23/04
Baldacci's policy advisor responds to Sierra Club 3/304
MDOT Commissioner Cole writes to Sierra Club 4/6/04
Sierra Club writes again to Baldacci, "puzzled" by non response) 4/28/04 
Baldacci policy analyst Stearns sets meeting with Sierra Club, Islesboro Island Trust 5/19/04

Governor Baldacci and Federal Govt "pre-emption" on LNG
MDEP Commissioner gets report on state's existing LNG laws & regulations 11/26/03
Nagusky to DEP and Gov's chief counsel on FERC powers 4/22/04
Nagusky sends Littel & Stearns copies of FERC Preemption Order #CP04-58 4/22/04

Describes federal document on who controls LNG decisions 4/28/04
Citizens Energy writes to Baldacci about FERC & Maine 5/14/04
CLF writes to FERC & Governor about LNG in New England 5/5/04
CLF writes to New England Governors, Congress about LNG 5/5/04

Governor Baldacci and Quoddy LNG plan.
Notes from LNG meeting at Pleasant Point undated
Quoddy Bay LLC's "Fact Sheet" distributed at a public meeting with Passamaquaddy tribe.
Umphrey to Cashman on Portland investors for Washington County LNG 5/19/04
Baldacci's draft Quoddy LLC statement 6/8/04


* FOA documents from CommIssioner of Economic Development Jack Cashman, March 2004 Click Here
* FOA documents from Governor Baldacci, Oct 3 '03 to March 3 2004 Click Here

Above documents may also be found  here:
* FOA documents requested from Governor Baldacci June 25, 2004 to September 29, 2004. Click here
* FOA documents from Governor Baldacci April - June 2004. Click Here
* FOA documents from Jack Cashman Commissioner, DECD, January 1st to March 2004 Click Here



Town of Searsport, Maine
P. O. Box 499
Searsport, Maine 04974
548-6372 • 548-2300

April 15, 2004

The Honorable John Elias Baldacci
Governor of Maine
1 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0001

Dear Governor Baldacci,
This is the formal request by the Town of Searsport Board of Selectmen and residents that we have the State's Proclamation that nothing will happen in regards to industry within the Town of Searsport without the people of Searsport being allowed a voice in this process. The Town realizes there is State owned property within its boundaries and we hope the State realizes that this property has a tremendous impact on the people of Searsport.

The factors important to the Selectmen and the residents would include but not necessarily be limited to the following:
1. The company interested and its main function
2. The size of the facility
3. The number of employees and skill levels involved with employment
4. Any agency approval processes
5. Any description the State has for safety that might be needed for residents
6. Any description(s) of impact studies and analyses.
7. Any "letters of intent" or "option" would not be given prior to the Town having input as to the industry
8. Specifics on how residents and Town Officials alike would convey their concerns and questions to the Governors office or appropriate agency offices.
9. Lastly, the Town would like to know of, or be involved with the development of, any Alternative Economic Plans the State may have for State owned property within the boundaries of Searsport

This is a list of some concerns our residents might have and some have been addressed previously. The Town has been told that if the Selectmen request a formal proclamation from Governor Baldacci he will write one for us. We appreciate this offer and are now taking you up on it. The Town of Searsport is holding a Special Town Meeting on May 15, 2004 at 9:00 A.M. and would like to have this letter by that date.

The Town of Searsport and its residents wishes to express its respective gratitude for the time and consideration of this letter and requests within.

Searsport Board of Selectmen
Joseph Perry, Chair
Carol Hersom, Vice Chair
Bruce Mills
John S. Herrithew
Board of Selectmen
Governor John Baldacci
Alan Stearns Commissioner
David Cole
Brian Nutter, Port Authority
Greg Nadeau Fred Michaud,
State Planning Office
Senator Carol Weston
Maine's Fastest Growing Industrial Deep Water Port



May 4, 2004

Board of Selectmen
Town of Searsport
P.O. Box 499
Searsport, ME 04974

Dear Members of the Board of Selectmen of Searsport:

I write in response to your letter dated April 15, 2004, requesting a local voice in the process of industrial development in Searsport.

With respect to any proposal to develop an LNG facility in any town in Maine, I have previously stated that I will defer to local governments as key decision-makers before taking action to support any particular proposal.

With respect to any proposal to develop an LNG facility on land owned by MaineDOT in the Town of Searsport, MaineDOT will not enter into any formal agreement with an LNG developer without the support of the Town of Searsport.
 A necessary first step is a vote of the Selectmen or a vote of the Town providing direction on how the Town would like to proceed.
The letter of the Selectmen dated April 15, 2004, inquires more broadly regarding industrial and economic development in the Town of Searsport. My letter today deals narrowly with LNG development. I know that MaineDOT has actively communicated its interest in working with Searsport in the town's comprehensive planning and implementation processes. Through that process, the community and MaineDOT can work toward defining a vision for the future of Searsport and Sears Island.
John E. Baldacci
cc: Senator Carol Weston
Representative Don Berry
Commissioner David Cole

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