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9/22 Puerto Libertad, Sonora: Discontent Surfaces over Cross-Border LNG Project

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    Discontent Surfaces over a Cross-Border LNG Project September 22, 2005 Sources: La Jornada, September 21, 2005. Articles by Cristobal Garcia Bernal.
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2005
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      Discontent Surfaces over a Cross-Border LNG Project
      September 22, 2005
      Sources: La Jornada, September 21, 2005.
      Articles by Cristobal Garcia Bernal. dkrwenergy.com

      The promoters of a liquefied natural gas terminal and
      regasification plant at Puerto Libertad, Sonora, on the
      Gulf of California have submitted an environmental impact
      statement (EIS) with Mexico's Ministry of the Environment
      and Natural Resources (Semarnat). Filed by Sonora Pacific
      Mexico, a subsidiary of Houston-based DKRW Energy, the
      submission of the environmental study is one step forward
      toward the realization of an energy mega-project carrying
      an estimated cost of nearly $1 billion dollars. Two
      pipelines, one designed to zip natural gas north to Arizona
      and the other to domestic markets in Sonora, will also form
      part of the development.  The energy developers plan to
      handle more than 1 billion cubic feet of gas every day,
      with 60 percent destined for the US market and 40 percent
      for the Mexican one.

      Nonetheless, growing skepticism from some Puerto Libertad
      residents about the mega-project's impact on human health,
      wildlife and the environment is being heard. Armando Olea
      Sanchez, the president of the Sonora-based non-governmental
      organization Friends in Freedom, said Puerto Libertad
      residents have complained to his group about the lack of
      information regarding the planned energy complex. Striking
      a similar note, Ramon Valenzuela the local Revalsa fishing
      cooperative expressed concerns about the impact of large
      cargo ships used to transport LNG on small vessels and
      marine life near El Tiburon and Angel de la Guarda islands,
      which form part of the Sea of Cortez World Heritage Site
      recently declared by the United Nations. Valenzuela
      complained at least 100 families were evicted by Sonora
      state police and officials when boundaries for the mega-
      project were delimited last November. 

      The local delegate of Mexico's Federal Attorney for
      Environmental Protection (Profepa), Ernesto Munro Palacios,
      acknowledged the planned energy development and pipelines
      could affect rare trees, sensitive plants and mule and
      white-tailed deer. Munro said gray whales, dolphins,
      billfish, and sea lions could be at risk in the sea lanes
      leading to Puerto Libertad.  Chemical use at the proposed
      plant and the removal of coastline to construct docks are
      two other environmental issues at stake, according to

      If Sonora Pacific Mexico's paperwork is in order, Semarnat
      could issue a decision on the EIS within the next few
      months. The federal agency can approve the EIS, disapprove
      it, or order modifications to the original project. A
      statement on the web site of Sonora Pacific Mexico’s parent
      company, DKRW Energy, says the mega-project will help
      displace less environmentally-friendly forms of energy use
      in Sonora while fueling “economic growth in the U.S.”
      According to its promoters, construction of the Puerto
      Libertad complex could generate up to 1,500 temporary jobs
      and 100 permanent ones. One of the principal founders of
      DKRW Energy is former Enron executive Thomas White, who
      served as United States Secretary of the Army during the
      first administration of George W. Bush from 2001-2002.

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