Natural-gas terminals canceled, pursued, and potentially dangerous

In a great victory for greens (we love saying that!), Chevron Corp. has announced that it will not build a $650 million liquefied-natural-gas terminal off of Mexico’s Coronado Islands, rewarding years of protests about the risks to marine life. But farther north, the seas aren’t so smooth. Even though Long Beach, Calif., just shot down an LNG project in January, a different company has already stepped in with a new proposal. In what Esperanza Energy’s vice president calls “the most advanced, environmentally responsible, safe project being proposed,” the company wants to build two zero-emission terminals 10 miles offshore. The location of the project has allayed some community safety concerns, particularly in light of a study released yesterday which estimated that a terrorist attack on a tanker carrying LNG could be searing enough to singe people a mile away. With LNG imports expected to increase 400 percent over the next decade, we hope we won’t have occasion to verify that calculation.