Blue Planet Foundation Motion


Published on

Regarding importing liquified natural gas

Published in: News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Blue Planet Foundation Motion

  1. 1. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSIONThe Gas Company, LLC Docket No. CP12-498-000 BLUE PLANET FOUNDATION’S MOTION TO INTERVENE AND CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE SCHLACK ITO A Limited Liability Law Company Douglas A. Codiga, Esq. Topa Financial Center 745 Fort Street, Suite 1500 Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 Tel. (808) 523-6047 Attorney for Movant Blue Planet Foundation
  2. 2. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSIONThe Gas Company, LLC Docket No. CP12-498-000 BLUE PLANET FOUNDATION’S MOTION TO INTERVENE Blue Planet Foundation (“Blue Planet”), by and through its attorneys Schlack Ito,A Limited Liability Law Company, and pursuant to Rules 212 and 214 of the Federal EnergyRegulatory Commission’s (“FERC” or “Commission”) Rules of Practice and Procedure,1 theCommission’s “Notice of Application” dated September 28, 2012 (“FERC Notice”), and 18C.F.R. § 157.10, hereby respectfully submits its Motion to Intervene (“Motion”) in the above-captioned proceeding concerning the “Application of The Gas Company, LLC for AuthorizationUnder Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act” filed August 9, 2012 (“Application”) by The GasCompany, LLC (“TGC” or “Company”), as follows.2 After decades of dependency, Hawaii has embarked on a major transition from theuse of imported fossil fuels to the use of renewable energy for electricity production. Thehallmark of this transition is widespread recognition that imported fossil fuels not only poseeconomic burdens and energy security risks that are no longer acceptable, but also that movingaway from fossil fuels presents a singular opportunity to achieve substantial economic andenvironmental benefits. Moving decisively and irreversibly away from imported fossil fuels, as1 See 18 C.F.R. § 385.212 (“Rule 212”) and 18 C.F.R. § 385.214 (“Rule 214”).2 Blue Planet’s Motion is timely filed. See 18 C.F.R. § 385.210(b) (Notice will establish dates for filinginterventions); FERC Notice at 1-2 (Motions to intervene shall be filed on or before the comment date of October 19,2012). 2
  3. 3. the signatories to the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative recognized, holds the promise of deliveringmajor benefits to Hawaii through energy independence. Although the transition away from fossil fuels is well underway, through itsApplication TGC now seeks Commission approval to import substantial quantities of liquefiednatural gas (“LNG”) – a fossil fuel – in a manner that will continue and deepen Hawaii’sdependence on imported fossil fuels. Specifically, the Application seeks approval of what itterms “Phase 1 Facilities” as part of and in conjunction with a “comprehensive, multi-phasestrategic plan” designed to replace the use of oil with the use of LNG as fuel in utility electricitygeneration units for up to 400 megawatts (“MW”) of electricity. Application at 2. Blue Planet respectfully opposes the Application for a number of reasons,including but not limited to the following:  The Application is deficient insofar as it seeks Commission approval of a comprehensive LNG plan yet does not discuss all aspects of that plan in sufficient detail to allow the Commission to approve such a plan at this time;  LNG is an imported fossil fuel and the proposed comprehensive LNG plan will continue and deepen Hawaii’s dependence on imported fossil fuels in a manner that is contrary to established State of Hawaii energy law and policy;  The Application fails to establish that the alleged benefits of the comprehensive LNG plan (e.g., reduced cost of electricity, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improving the electric system’s ability to accommodate variable generation from renewable sources) outweigh established State energy law and policy and the anticipated further economic 3
  4. 4. and environmental benefits from Hawaii’s ongoing transition to renewable energy for electricity generation; and  The Application proposes approval of a comprehensive LNG plan with limited public review of environmental and safety issues. In support of its Motion to intervene in this proceeding, Blue Planet furthersubmits that its participation in this proceeding is in the public interest and is therefore authorizedunder the Commission’s rules. Blue Planet has extensive involvement, on behalf of the public, inregulatory, legislative, and outreach and education matters concerning Hawaii’s overdependenceon imported petroleum, transitioning Hawaii from imported petroleum to renewable energy andenergy efficiency to achieve the objectives of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, and reducingenergy costs for Hawaii’s consumers. As the Application establishes, those issues are directly atissue in this proceeding.I. ARGUMENT A. Standard for Grant of Intervention Pursuant to Rule 214, any person seeking to intervene to become a party must filea motion to intervene. 18 C.F.R. § 385.214(a)(3). The motion must state the position of themovant, to the extent known, and the basis in fact and law for the position. Id. § 385.212(b)(1).It must also state the movant’s interest in sufficient factual detail to demonstrate (i) that themovant has a right to participate which is expressly conferred by statute or by Commission rule,order or other action, (ii) the movant has or represents an interest which may be directly affectedby the outcome of the proceeding, such as a consumer, customer or competitor, or (iii) themovant’s participation is in the public interest. Id. § 385.212(b)(2)(i)-(iii). Pursuant to 18 C.F.R.§ 157.10, any person filing a petition to intervene shall state specifically whether a formal 4
  5. 5. hearing on the application is sought. Id. at § 157.10(a)(1). No hearing is sought on theApplication. B. Blue Planet’s Participation Is In the Public Interest. Blue Planet’s participation in this proceeding is in the public interest and istherefore authorized pursuant to Rule 214. See 18 C.F.R. § 385.212(b)(2)(iii)(interventionauthorized where movant’s participation is in the public interest). Blue Planet’s participation inthis proceeding is in the public interest because it is a public interest organization focused onenergy-related issues that are essentially identical to the energy-related issues raised by theApplication. These issues identified in the Application for Commission consideration includeHawaii’s overdependence on imported petroleum, transitioning Hawaii from imported fossil fuelsto renewable energy, achieving the clean energy objectives of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative,reducing energy costs for Hawaii’s consumers, and the fuel supply for electricity generation,including potentially replacing the use of low sulfur fuel oil in Hawaii’s electricity generationunits with LNG. See Application at 2-3, 11-16, 35-36. Each of the issues raised by the Application falls squarely within Blue Planet’smission. Blue Planet is a Hawaii public interest organization, with over 10,000 registered“Friends of Blue Planet,” dedicated to promoting Hawaii’s swift transition to a clean energyeconomy through the rapid adoption of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency. As itsmission statement indicates, Blue Planet is: committed to ending Hawaii’s dependency on oil, creating a model of energy self-sufficiency for ending the use fossil fuels on Earth. By switching to local, clean, renewable sources of energy, we can achieve energy security, economic growth, job creation, environmental protection, and a better quality of life for Hawaii residents. Through educational outreach, advancing bold policy, and developing programs that connect island communities with effective solutions, Blue Planet Foundation is moving Hawaii beyond oil—toward a future powered by clean energy. 5
  6. 6. Blue Planet Foundation, “Our Goal.”3 Consistent with its mission, Blue Planet is actively engaged in regulatoryproceedings, legislative efforts and public outreach and education concerning renewable energyand energy efficiency. For example, since 2008, the State of Hawaii Public Utilities Commissionhas granted Blue Planet’s motions to intervene, in the public interest, in a number of regulatoryproceedings concerning renewable energy and energy policy. Blue Planet has successfullyintervened in the feed-in tariff (Docket No. 2008-0273), decoupling (Docket No. 2008-0274), PVHost program (Docket No. 2009-0098), Integrated Resources Planning Framework (Docket No.2009-0108), Rule 14H (Docket No. 2010-0015), Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards (DocketNo. 2010-0037), On-Bill Financing (Docket No. 2011-0186), Reliability Standards WorkingGroup (Docket No. 2011-0206), and Integrated Resource Planning (Docket No. 2012-0036)dockets. Blue Planet has also been instrumental in passing key clean energy legislation inthe public interest. In addition to recent legislation establishing the Hawaii Electricity ReliabilityAdministrator, Act 155 (Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards), and Act 204 (on-bill financing),Blue Planet’s legislative efforts include assisting with obtaining over $200,000 in federal fundingto support Hawaii’s rural businesses for clean energy projects; successfully lobbying for passageof a first-in-the-nation carbon tax to provide millions annually for clean energy programs; andhosting public events and rallies at the State Capitol featuring prominent government speakersand involvement from local schools.43 Available at In addition to its involvement in energy-related regulatory and legislative matters, Blue Planet is extensivelyinvolved in efforts to promote energy efficiency in Hawaii. For example, and as further explained on its website,Blue Planet has replaced a total of 300,000 incandescent light bulbs statewide. Blue Planet has also worked withpartners to facilitate the installation of over 110 solar water heaters in Hawaii. Blue Planet has also successfully 6
  7. 7. The foregoing demonstrates that Blue Planet’s participation in this proceeding isin the public interest. Blue Planet has extensive involvement, on behalf of the public, inregulatory, legislative, and outreach and education matters concerning Hawaii’s overdependenceon imported fossil fuel, transitioning Hawaii from imported fossil fuel to renewable energy andenergy efficiency toward achieving HCEI objectives, and reducing energy costs for Hawaii’sconsumers. As the Application establishes, those issues are directly at issue in this proceeding.developed a “Conserve-Fundraise-Learn!” or C.F.L. program, with educational and fundraising components for localschools, in conjunction with the Hawaii Energy, the KIUC Foundation, State of Hawaii Department of BusinessEconomic Development and Tourism, the City and County of Honolulu, and other partners. Blue Planet hasorganized a “100,000 Better Bulbs Blitz,” as part of National Energy Awareness Month. Similarly, Blue Planet andHawaii Energy have implemented a CFL exchange for condos, apartments and nonprofits. Blue Planet played an instrumental role in the community-based project and partnership with SustAINAbleMolokai, 21st Century Community Learning Center, Molokai private and public schools, and the citizens of Molokaipromoting CFLs. The program has replaced 36,000 incandescent light bulbs on Molokai with CFLs. The program,which generated local media coverage, features trade-in locations throughout the island, an in-school campaign, andbroad community outreach. It was estimated that an average household will save over $200 per bulb and thatMolokai residents together will save over $6.5 million total throughout the life of the CFLs. Based on successfulimplementation of the Molokai program, Blue Planet has implemented Hui Up Lanai, a community-based programin partnership with Laulima Kuha’o, Hawaii Energy, the State of Hawaii Department of Business EconomicDevelopment and Tourism, and other partners to provide an opportunity for residents of Lanai to become moreenergy-efficient through an Energy Star appliance trade-in. Blue Planet was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Island Innovation Fundfor its “Hawaii Energy Tracker Phase II – Show Me the Power” program. This program will increase energyawareness and encourage action through its “Show Me the Power” and “The Island Pulse” innovations. “Show Methe Power,” a new web application, will encourage households to change their energy habits by enabling users to seetheir real-time energy usage and allowing them to select from different scenarios (e.g., upgrading their refrigerator toan Energy Star appliance) that will show cost and energy savings. “The Island Pulse” is targeted to create energyconsumption awareness in communities, businesses, and groups through an energy use public display in high-trafficlocations (e.g., shopping malls and restaurants). Blue Planet has produced and aired a one-hour television show, “Hawaii Home Energy Makeover,” whichfollows two Oahu families as they transform their homes with energy-efficient technology, from simple, cool-roofimprovements to the installation of the latest in photovoltaic systems. The show is intended to “inspire all of us to bepart of the island’s clean energy future.” Blue Planet has given hundreds of presentations and related outreach andeducation activities including hosting rallies at the Hawaii State Capitol generating a significant student presence;sending University of Hawaii students to Washington, D.C. for Powershift and successfully engaging them asvolunteers and advocates; giving dozens of presentations to Hawaii schools; hosting Clean Energy Day at Universityof Hawaii; organizing school and community events statewide and making dozens of presentations to educatethousands about clean energy; and conducting a Department of Energy Technical Assistance Program-sponsoredwebinar presentation for state and local officials. Finally, Blue Planet’s website contains several web pages ofdetailed practical information to educate and encourage consumers about energy efficiency, including self-audits,professional home energy audits, energy efficient appliances, the Energy Star program, solar water heating, use ofdaylights, LEDs, energy habits and conservation tips, roof and attic insulation and ventilation, radiant barriers,energy efficient windows. 7
  8. 8. Blue Planet’s participation in this proceeding as an intervenor party is therefore appropriate andjustified under Rule 214.5 C. The Application Fails to Discuss the Comprehensive LNG Plan in Sufficient Detail to Support Commission Approval at This Time. Blue Planet opposes the Application because it is deficient insofar as it seeksCommission approval of a comprehensive LNG plan yet does not discuss all aspects of that planin sufficient detail for the Commission to approve the plan at this time. The Application seeksCommission authorization, pursuant to section 3 of the Natural Gas Act, as amended6 (“NGA”),to operate facilities it alleges fall within the definition of “LNG terminal” in NGA § 2(11).Application at 1. TGC seeks to obtain, install and “ISO containers, storage facilities, mobilevaporization/regasification units and related facilities” as part of (“Phase 1 Facilities”).Application at 2. As noted above, the Application seeks Commission approval of a “comprehensive,multi-phase strategic plan” (“comprehensive LNG plan”) in addition to the Phase 1 Facilities. 2. TGC asserts throughout the Application that it seeks Commission approval only of thePhase 1 Facilities. See, e.g., Application at 3, 17 (authorization sought solely for operation ofPhase 1 Facilities); id. at 22 (Phases 2 and 3 “are not the subject of this Application”) (emphasisin original). These assertions are contradicted by the Application itself, which plainlydemonstrates that TGC seeks Commission approval of its comprehensive LNG plan as part ofand in conjunction with approval of the Phase 1 Facilities.5 These same reasons establish that Blue Planet has an interest, as a “consumer” and/or utility “customer,” whichmay be directly affected by the outcome of the proceeding within the meaning of 18 C.F.R. § 325.214(b)(2)(ii)(A),(B). Blue Planet’s right to participate is conferred by Rule 214, which allows for any person seeking to intervene tobecome a party to file a motion to intervene. 18 C.F.R. § 325.214(a)(3).6 15 U.S.C. §717(b)(a) (2006). 8
  9. 9. For example, the Application repeatedly states that it involves Commissionapproval of a comprehensive LNG plan. The Application states that TGC has developed: a comprehensive, multi-phased LNG strategic plan. When implemented, gas from LNG will be used to meet up to 75% of the Company’s customers’ requirements. It also will provide fuel for up to 400 MW of existing and new conventional and/or combined cycle power generation facilities, as well as for industrial and other commercial applications in the State. In addition, implementation of the Company’s LNG strategy will help the State achieve the “Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative” goal of replacing up to 70% of the energy sourced from oil with energy produced from renewable sources or saved through energy efficiency programs, an initiative that was adopted to reduce the State’s heavy dependence on petroleum.”Application at 2-3 (emphasis added). The Application further states that Phase 1 is directly tiedto Commission approval of subsequent phases of TGC’s comprehensive LNG Plan. Forexample, the Application argues that the Phase 1 Facilities are the: initial phase of, and an integral component of, the Company’s longer-term, comprehensive LNG supply and distribution strategy. The overall objective of this comprehensive LNG strategy is to ultimately develop the facilities necessary to (i) supply gas for up to 75% of its customers’ requirements, and (ii) provide fuel for up to 400 MW of power generation facilities and for industrial and other commercial applications. The implementation of this strategy will include, in Phases 2 and 3, the installation of permanent storage and permanent vaporization facilities.”Application at 4 (emphasis added); see also Application at 34-35 (Phase 1 Facilities are a“critical component” of TGC’s comprehensive LNG plan). TGC’s characterization of the Phase1 Facilities as an “integral component” and “critical component” of its comprehensive LNG planreinforce the conclusion that the Application seeks approval not only of the Phase 1 Facilities butalso TGC’s comprehensive LNG plan. 9
  10. 10. Moreover, through its Application, TGC ties Phase 1 directly to achievement ofHawaii Clean Energy Initiative (“HCEI”)7 objectives, further establishing that the Applicationessentially seeks Commission approval of a comprehensive LNG plan at this time: The Phase 1 Facilities not only will help ensure reliability and diversity of supply for the Company’s customers, but will also assist the State in meeting the aggressive renewable energy and efficiency goals of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, which are critical to assisting the State in reducing its heavy dependence on petroleum. Introducing LNG into the State will also reduce costs for Hawaii’s energy consumers, which are currently the highest in the country.Application at 6; see also Application at 35-36 (“The Phase 1 Facilities Further the Goals of theHawaii Clean Energy Initiative.”). The Application further states that all phases of its comprehensive LNG plan areto occur at around the same time, rather than sequentially. See, e.g., Application at 3 (TGC willimplement its “strategic LNG plan in three, mostly parallel, phases”); id. at 17. The application does not discuss the comprehensive LNG plan in sufficient detail,however, upon which the Commission may approve such a plan at this time. Specifically, theApplication requests Commission authorization to implement a plan that will allow it to (i) useimported LNG to meet up to 75% of TGC’s customers’ requirements, and (ii) provide fuel for upto 400 MW of existing and new conventional and/or combined cycle power generation facilities.Blue Planet submits that the Application fails to discuss these two aspects of the proposed plan,as well as other aspects, in sufficient detail. Blue Planet therefore opposes the Application onthis additional basis.7 On January 31, 2008, the State and the U.S. Department of Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding toestablish the HCEI. See “Memorandum of Understanding Between the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Department ofEnergy”at 1, available at On October 20, 2008, the EnergyAgreement was signed by the State and the Hawaiian Electric Companies. See “Energy Agreement Among the Stateof Hawaii, Division of Consumer Advocacy of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and theHawaiian Electric Companies” dated Oct. 20, 2008 (“Energy Agreement”), available at 10
  11. 11. D. The Comprehensive LNG Plan Will Continue Hawaii’s Dependence on Imported Fossil Fuels, Contrary to Hawaii Energy Law and Policy. LNG is an imported fossil fuel. None of the distinctions drawn in the Applicationcan overcome this simple fact. As such, the effect of the comprehensive LNG plan will be tocontinue and deepen Hawaii’s dependence on imported fossil fuels in a manner that is contrary toestablished State of Hawaii energy law and policy. This is another reason Blue Planet mustoppose the Application. In this regard, Blue Planet agrees with HECO in its 2008 IntegratedResource Plan, which concluded that imported LNG may hamper Hawaii’s transition torenewable energy: Although LNG offers potential for fuel diversity and some reduction in GHG emission, it would require tremendous fuel infrastructure improvements that would likely preclude the transition to renewable energy. More importantly, LNG is still a fossil fuel and its use would merely transfer dependence from one imported fossil fuel to another. For these reasons, LNG was not considered further in HECOs IRP-4. It is clear that creating an LNG system on Oahu would have far reaching impacts to the state energy situation that go beyond that of the electric utility including impacts to the local communities.See Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., Integrated Resource Plan 2009-2028 dated Sept. 30, 2008at § 6.2.4 (Docket No. 2007-0084) (emphasis added). The plan will not aid Hawaii in achieving HCEI objectives. LNG imported intoHawaii pursuant to the proposed plan is not a “clean energy” within the meaning of HCEI.8 Inaddition, the Application appears to misstate the goal of HCEI and the Energy Agreement. TheEnergy Agreement states throughout that the objective of the HCEI is to reduce Hawaii’sdependence on imported fossil fuels. See id. at 1 (“the future of Hawaii requires that we move8 In this regard, Blue Planet respectfully questions the appropriateness of TGC holding itself out to the public as“The Clean Energy Company.” See (Identifying TGC as “Hawaii Gas: Hawaii’s CleanEnergy Company”). Although TGC’s website states that it is “committed to making 50% of our gas from renewableand sustainable sources by 2015,” it appears that during approximately this same time period TGC also seeks toimport LNG to meet up to 75% of TGC’s customers’ requirements and to provide fuel for up to 400 MW of existingand new conventional and/or combined cycle power generation facilities. See (50% of gas from renewable resources by 2015). 11
  12. 12. more decisively and irreversibly away from imported fossil fuels . . . ratepayer benefits [are to bedetermined relative to] using imported fossil fuels[.]”) (emphasis added); id. at 2 (EnergyAgreement signatories commit to “monitor our progress in reducing our use of imported fossilfuel”) (emphasis added); id. at 7 (HECO Companies shall not add any new “fossil-basedgeneration” over 2 MW beyond those already approved by the Commission or under constructionwithout equivalent megawatt hour retirements); id. at 9 (Energy Agreement parties are committedto the “integration of non-fossil fuel[.]”) (emphasis added); id. at 21 (Energy Agreement § 11,“Displacement of Fossil Fuel Energy and ‘Retirements’) (emphasis added); id. at 22 (Energyefficiency programs “shall not provide incentives to encourage customers to switch to other fossilfuels”) (emphasis added); id. at 26 (noting military services programs to “reduce dependence onfossil fuels”) (emphasis added). Despite the Energy Agreement’s overriding emphasis on reducing fossil fueldependency, the Application asserts that the goal of HCEI is to replace “energy sourced fromoil.” Id. at 13, 35; see also id. at 15 (arguing LNG supports HCEI because it can “significantlyreduce the State’s dependence on oil.”). This misstates the goal of the HCEI. The goal is toreduce the State’s dependence on fossil fuels. The term “fossil fuel” includes LNG. Thus,TGC’s comprehensive LNG plan will not achieve HCEI objectives and Blue Planet submits thatthe achievement of HCEI objectives provides no basis for the Commission approval of theApplication. This conclusion is reinforced by the State’s Renewable Portfolio Standards(“RPS”) law, which codifies the HCEI objective of obtaining 40% renewable energy by 2030.See Haw. Rev. § 269-92(a)(4) (establishing electric utility renewable portfolio standard of 40%by 2030). It is axiomatic that an electric utility must rely solely upon renewable energy, and not 12
  13. 13. fossil fuel, to achieve compliance with the RPS law. Indeed, the definition of “renewableenergy” in the Hawaii RPS law enumerates nine types of renewable energy, none of whichencompass imported LNG. For the same reasons LNG cannot aid Hawaii in achieving the goalsof the HCEI, LNG also cannot aid Hawaii’s electric utilities in demonstrating compliance withthe RPS law, including the requirement of 40% renewable energy by 2030 shared by both HCEIand the RPS law. E. The Reasons Advanced In Support of the Comprehensive LNG Plan Are Not Persuasive. The Application fails to establish that the alleged benefits of the comprehensiveLNG plan outweigh the established State energy law and policy and the anticipated furthereconomic and environmental benefits from Hawaii’s ongoing transition to renewable energy forelectricity generation. For example, the Application suggests the comprehensive LNG plan willultimately reduce the cost of electricity. Projected reductions in the cost of electricity from theuse of LNG pursuant to the comprehensive plan are based upon projected fuel prices. Fuel pricesfor LNG may increase based on increased environmental compliance costs associated withstricter government regulation of the hydraulic fracturing (or, “fracking”) natural gas extractionprocess, increased competition from Asian consumers, and other similar reasons. It is unclear atthis time whether substantial monetary investments in infrastructure improvements (such asharbor modifications), replacement or retrofitting of electricity generation units, and relatedmajor costs necessary to implement the proposed comprehensive LNG plan will allow theprojected electricity cost reductions. It is noted also that any beneficial impact of thecomprehensive LNG plan on Hawaii’s local economy is unclear insofar as TGC is owned by a 13
  14. 14. multinational corporation. See Application at 7 (TGC is “wholly-owned indirect subsidiary ofMacquarie Infrastructure Company[.]”). It is equally unclear whether LNG is a “cleaner” fossil fuel insofar as severalpublished analyses have concluded that the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions associated withLNG “fracking,” transport, and energy generation are greater than those associated with otherfossil fuels – even coal.9 The Application also alleges the comprehensive LNG plan will improve theelectric system’s ability to accommodate variable generation from renewable sources. SeeApplication at 36 (alleging that “as demonstrated elsewhere in the U.S., improve the efficiency ofwind and solar power generating resources.”). Based upon the information provided in theApplication, Blue Planet is unable to properly evaluate this assertion and, in any event, views theanticipated economic and environmental benefits from Hawaii’s ongoing transition to renewableenergy as outweighing any such purported electric system improvements. For these and otherrelated reasons, Blue Planet does not view the Application as establishing clearly convincingreasons in support of the plan that outweigh other more compelling considerations at this time. F. The Application Proposes Approval of a Comprehensive LNG Plan with Limited Public Review of Environmental and Safety Issues. Blue Planet further opposes the Application insofar as it does not comply with theCommission’s administrative rules concerning environmental review. TGC filed the Applicationpursuant to 18 C.F.R Part 153. Application at 1. Under 18 C.F.R. § 153.8(a)(7)(i), an application9 See, e.g., Howarth et al., “Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Systems,” NationalClimate Assessment (Feb. 2012), available at (surveying various estimates of lifecycle GHG emissionsassociated with LNG); see also Alvarez et al., “Greater focus needed on methane leakage from natural gasinfrastructure,” Proc. Nat’l Acad. Sci. (April 24, 2012), available at (“given limited current evidence, it is likely thatleakage at individual natural gas well sites is high enough, when combined with leakage fromdownstream operations, to make the total leakage exceed the 3.2% threshold beyond which gas becomesworse for the climate than coal for at least some period of time”). 14
  15. 15. such as this must include an “environmental report as specified in § 380.3 and §380.12 of thischapter.” Id. Under 18 C.F.R. § 380.12(a)(i), the applicant must submit an “environmentalreport with any application that proposes the construction, operation or abandonment of anyfacility identified in § 380.3(c)(2)(i).” Id. Although the Application includes an environmental report attached as Exhibit Fto the Application, the environmental report does not assess the comprehensive LNG plan butinstead limits review to the Phase 1 Facilities – despite the fact that the Application seeksapproval of both Phase 1 and the comprehensive plan. The Application therefore does notcomply with these environmental regulations and the Exhibit F environmental report appears toconstitute an impermissible segmentation of TGC’s assessment of the environmental impacts ofthe comprehensives LNG plan. Blue Planet also opposes the Application insofar as the Exhibit F environmentalreport is deficient or incomplete. For example, for areas “within a designated coastal zonemanagement area, a consistency determination or evidence that the owner has requested aconsistency determination from the state’s coastal zone management program” is required. 18C.F.R. § 380.12(c)(2)(F); see also 15 C.F.R. § 930.53 (Federally-licensed activities must beconsistent with approved State coastal zone management programs). The Application does notreference such a consistency determination. Finally, Blue Planet opposes the Application insofar as it seeks to establish theCommission’s exclusive jurisdiction over the proposed Phase 1 Facilities and comprehensiveLNG plan in a manner that may limit local community involvement in the environmental andsafety review process. The Application asserts that the Phase 1 Facilities and comprehensiveLNG plan constitute an “LNG terminal” within the meaning of NGA § 2(11) and that under NGA 15
  16. 16. § 3(e) the Commission has exclusive authority and jurisdiction over such an “LNG terminal.”See Application at 23-33. The Application therefore raises questions concerning TGC’s duty tocomply with Hawaii environmental review and public participation requirements. See id. at 30-34 (arguing Hinshaw exemption to NGA § 3(e), allowing states to retain jurisdiction over LNGterminal environmental and safety issues, does not apply). Similarly, the Application seeksCommission approval to forego compliance with the six-month National Environmental PolicyAct pre-filing process, which approval Blue Planet does not support. Application at 38-40.Exclusive federal jurisdiction that has the effect of limiting involvement of the local communityon critical environmental and safety issues is a further basis upon which Blue Planet, as a Hawaiiclean energy public interest organization, must oppose the Application.II. CONCLUSION For all of the foregoing reasons, Blue Planet respectfully requests the Commissionto grant its Motion to intervene in this proceeding concerning the Application and for Blue Planetto be made a full party to the proceeding, with all attendant rights and duties, and accordingly tohave notice of and appear at any and all hearings or proceedings, to produce evidence, to beheard through counsel, to be served copies of all pleadings, motions, applications, notices, andfilings, and for such other participation and relief as may be appropriate under the Commission’sRules of Practice and Procedure and as the Commission may deem just and proper. DATED: Honolulu, Hawaii, October 18, 2012. Respectfully submitted, /s/Douglas A. Codiga DOUGLAS A. CODIGA Attorney for Movant BLUE PLANET FOUNDATION 16
  17. 17. BEFORE THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION STATE OF HAWAIIThe Gas Company, LLC Docket No. CP12-498-000 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I HEREBY CERTIFY that on this date a copy of the foregoing document wasduly served upon the following individuals by placing a copy of same in the United States Mail,postage prepaid, and/or by electronic service, as follows: NATHAN NELSON Electronic Service GENERAL COUNSEL THE GAS COMPANY Topa Financial Center 18th Floor 745 Fort Street Honolulu, HI 96813 SUEDEEN G. KELLY Electronic Service GEORGE D. (CHIP) CANNON, JR. CYNTHIA A. MARLETTE G. SCOTT BINNINGS PATTON BOGGS LLP 2550 M. Street NW Washington, DC 20037
  18. 18. JEFFREY M. KISSEL Electronic ServicePRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERTHE GAS COMPANYTopa Financial Center 18th Floor745 Fort StreetHonolulu, HI 96813jkissel@hawaii.gas.comCATHERINE P. AWAKUNI Electronic ServiceCHIEF COUNSELKAIULANI K. SHINSATOCOMMISSION COUNSELMICHAEL M. COLONCOMMISSION COUNSELHAWAII PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION465 South King St., Room 103Honolulu, HI DATED: Honolulu, Hawaii, October 18, 2012. /s/Douglas A. Codiga DOUGLAS A. CODIGA Attorney for Blue Planet Foundation 2