LNG project is not worth the risk`
letters to the editor of Portland Press Herald

February 20, Portland Press Herald

Save Harpswell from Fairwinds `dragon`

Once upon a time, a town was feeling oppressed by taxes.

A dragon came along and said, "I will see that your taxes are reduced if you will let me lie here."

The people agreed and the dragon settled. The fire from its nostrils lit up the land for miles around and its odors polluted the waters. Its breathing was like a roar. No one could sleep. People fled and all industry stopped.

Then a knight in search of a quest came and slew the dragon. As the sword entered its body, it exploded with a mighty blast and the town was no more.

Such things, it seems, can happen in Harpswell where the townspeople believe in fairy tales and look only toward comfortable promises.

They will find little of comfort if fishermen, marinas and tourism are destroyed by having the ill-named "Fairwinds" residing in their lovely, fragile corner of this Earth.

As one who has been given no choice in the matter, I urge the citizens of Harpswell to save us all and vote "no."

Susan B. Stavropoulos
Chebeague Island

January letter:

I am writing in response to two letters that appeared recently in Voice of the People.

I am a lobsterman from Chebeague Island and as such would be directly affected by the LNG proposal in Harpswell.

Letter writer Wayne Duffett (Jan. 6) paints a rosy picture in which everyone will benefit. Yet not he and no one else can say what will happen since there have been no environmental studies, community impact studies or economic studies.

How will this affect tourism and property values?

On days a tanker comes in, how will the 2-mile safe zone affect lobstermen, sport fishermen, sailboaters, etc.?

How will a 10-mile pipeline from Harpswell to Cumberland Foreside affect marine life?

LNG is much more volatile than oil. Will Harpswell become a prime target for terrorists? If there is a threat, will the entire bay be closed to all activity for days or even weeks?

I can just see the pleased look on a terrorist's face when half of Casco Bay is blown to hell.

David Wilson compares this to FDR's New Deal. I am sitting here at my kitchen table looking across the bay at Harpswell and thinking about a fair deal.

Chebeague Island is part of Cumberland. All tankers have to pass through Cumberland waters to get to Harpswell. The proposed pipeline will go through Harpswell waters and land on Cumberland Foreside.

I feel completely helpless sitting here, knowing my livelihood is being threatened and all I can do is hope the good people of Harpswell vote responsibly.

Mike Robinson
Chebeague Island

ON DEC. 12, Fishing Families for Harpswell held a rally at the Dolphin Marina wharf. We firmly believe a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal is not in the best interest of Harpswell or any other residential community.

As a fisherman and mariner for 40 years and having fished from the eastern Maine coast to Cape Cod, I question the wisdom of a project that will bring 1,000-foot LNG ships into this area of Casco Bay.

Anyone who looks at a chart of Casco Bay and knows the proposed LNG tanker route can easily see the many shoals and islands the pilot will have to navigate around. It is a very risky business, even with the assistance of tugboats.

As we know from experience, accidents do happen. Remember the Tamano oil spill in Hussey Sound and the Julie N spill in the Fore River?

Liquefied natural gas, carefully kept under constant pressure in the ship's pressure vessel, is potentially a far more dangerous cargo than the oil that used to be delivered to the depot at Lookout Point on Harpswell.

Therefore, transporting LNG should require more serious study and consideration. Imagine the damage that would result from an LNG ship losing steerage or propulsion at one of the many crucial shoal-lined turns along the route from south of Small Point to the terminal at Harpswell.

Considering the extremely volatile cargo, the navigational hazards and the neighboring major population, this LNG project is not worth the risk.

Ernest Burgess
Chebeague Island