Word that the Canadian government is concerned about the passage of LNG tankers through Canadian waters on the way to Eastport or Passamaquoddy Bay shouldn’t be particularly surprising: Canada said the same things 20 years ago
when the project being proposed was an oil refinery at Shackford Head near Eastport. What’s always changing as the years go by, of course, is the energy calculus: 20 years ago it was believed that adding refinery capacity in the Northeast was (or wasn’t) worth the environmental risk. Today the risk of bringing tankers through Head Harbour Passage remains about the same; what’s new is the Northeast’s high and rising demand for liquefied natural gas to power an electricity grid once dominated by nuclear power. What’s not new is the lack of an energy policy in the United States: we’re as deep into the dig-it-up-and-burn-it philosophy as ever, with energy conservation still a nearly invisible blip on the national scene. It’s scandalous, to be blunt. LNG has its place in this region’s energy present and future, to be sure, but it shouldn’t be developed anywhere until we’ve done a lot more to stop wasting energy in all forms.