Protesters Gather Against Malibu LNG Terminal

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Celebrities and coastal residents Sunday protested in Malibu against a plan to build a massive, floating liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of Malibu and Oxnard.

Actor Pierce Brosnan and big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton hosted the "Paddle Out Protest" at Surfrider Beach, near Malibu Pier, where celebrities joined surfers in an effort to stop the BHP Billiton LNG terminal.

Opponents claim storing liquefied natural gas poses a danger because it's a highly flammable and could explode. The terminal also would draw huge tankers to the site from foreign countries several times a week and has the potential for significant and irreversible impact to the coast's environment, health and safety, they say.

And, they say, it's an eyesore.

"You will see this terminal. It's 13 stories high, three football fields long," Brosnan told KFWB. "And you'll smell it."

According to BPH Billiton, its proposed Cabrillo Port would provide a new source for "clean, reliable energy" and help avoid a future energy crisis in the state.

"California produces only 15 percent of the total natural gas we need to operate our businesses, warm our homes, feed our families and get us to work everyday," the company notes in a statement on its Web site. "Widely used throughout the world for decades, liquefied natural gas imported through Cabrillo Port is a reliable option to help address future natural gas needs here in Ventura County and California."

The company says that in addition to providing energy, Cabrillo Port "will bring significant economic benefits to the local community -- over $25.5 million each year will be infused into the Ventura County economy alone."

The company says Cabrillo Port will go through an extensive environmental review, regulatory and open community approval process ensuring high safety, health and environmental protection standards.

The project could receive its first approvals as early as December, according to the protestors. They are urging Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto the project.

Other celebrities opposing the project include Gabrielle Reece, Halle Berry, David Duchovny, Ryan Seacrest, Kenny G, Cindy Crawford and Minnie Driver.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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