Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The President of Shell Can't Understand Why Energy Projects Have Gotten A Bad Reputation. Just A Thought: Maybe Broadwater Has Something to Do With It

I agree with John D. Hofmeister, the president of Shell Oil, who was in Hartford yesterday to discuss energy policy with Connecticut officials: We need new infrastructure and new supplies of energy.

I also agree that new energy projects have gotten a bad name.

Where I disagree with him is on the question of why they’ve gotten a bad name. My opinion is that they’ve gotten a bad name because companies like Shell try to shove proposals like Broadwater down our throats.

Think of it this way, John D. Hofmeister: what you and your partners at TransCanada have done is to say, ‘Let’s build a huge industrial facility that will transform liquefied natural gas into gaseous natural gas. But where should we put it? I know, let’s put it on someone else’s property! Let’s put it on property owned by the people of the state of New York, right next to property owned by the people of Connecticut – property that is held in public trust for those people by the officials of those two states! What a great idea.’

With Broadwater as an example, it’s probably easy for John D. Hofmeister to understand why energy projects have gotten a bad rep among people in New York and Connecticut.

There’s one other person I agree with on this: Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. When John D. Hofmeister took his big energy dog-and-pony show to Hartford yesterday, he met with Blumenthal.

Blumenthal said he told Hofmeister that he is impressed with several projects by Shell such as conservation and efforts against global warming.

"We welcome a number of those initiatives, but you should abandon Broadwater," he said he told Hofmeister.

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