Rubio should do solar panels for jobs and resilience, not LNG

Senator Rubio’s small-scale LNG export bill risks more Florida sewage spills in the next hurricane while getting in the way of good solar jobs and reduced power bills for Floridians.

It seems like they never intended to listen. Two days after WWALS submitted comments at the deadline for the Department of Energy’s small-scale LNG exports, Florida Senator Marco Rubio introduced legislation to implement that rule.

Crowley Maritime truck

Solar power for the Sunshine State will generate jobs right where they’re needed, in rural planning, delivery, and installation. That will also reduce everybody’s power bills, while making Florida much more resilient to hurricanes.

Crowley Maritime is already exporting LNG from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico. , fed by Eagle LNG. This gas comes from Sabal Trail in Suwannee County, through Kinder Morgan’s Jacksonville Expansion Project (JEP) of the Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) pipeline, under the proposed HPS II phosphate mine site in Union and Bradford Counties, including additions to FGT’s Brooker Compressor Station.

Crowley has more profit lined up from this Sabal Trail gas. Karen Thomas, 12 May 2017, LNG World Shipping, Crowley lands new small-scale LNG contract in Puerto Rico,

Crowley Maritime-owned Carib Energy has agreed a new LNG-supply deal in Puerto Rico, delivering cargoes from the US to a pharmaceutical manufacturer based on the island.

The deal extends Crowley’s 2014 agreement to source and ship LNG to Puerto Rico… Crowley delivers LNG in 40-ft intermodal ISO tanks from the port of Jacksonville, using its fleet of Jones Act container ships, which operate liner services to Puerto Rico.

The company entered the small-scale LNG market four years ago, when it bought Florida-based Carib Energy.

Carib Energy was the first company to secure a 25-year LNG-export licence from the US Department of Energy to deliver small-scale cargoes to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) states. It now holds a licence to supply and distribute LNG to non-FTA countries in the Caribbean and the Americas and claims to have distributed more than 5 million gallons of US LNG.

Carib got its authorization from DoE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) in 2011, which was six years ago, two years before Spectra Energy even won the bid to build Sabal Trail for FPL, and three years before Sabal Trail entered the FERC permitting process. Sabal Trail’s plans always had an M&R station in Suwannee County to connect to FGT to Jacksonville. Yet FERC and Sabal Trail have all along maintained Sabal Trail permitting had nothing to do with LNG export. Not that Sabal Trail is built, the connection seems even more obvious.

LNG did not help Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Tesla’s powerwalls and solar panels are helping much more.

Florida lucked out with Irma, which was not a Cat 4 when it got to the mainland and did not land directly on Miami, Tampa, or Jacksonville. Even so, many people were without power for days and weeks. Many sewer line lift stations and sewage treatment plants lost power and leaked. Solar panels and batteries would stop that.

LNG export won’t slow an influx of Puerto Ricans to Florida. Solar power for PR and Florida would.

Sen. Rubio does make a good joke claiming burning fracked methane would reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). Solar and wind power produce no GHG, and the recent Sierra Club win over FERC and Sabal Trail that makes FERC have to account for GHG makes the whole industry have to think again.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!