This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 31, 2004

Future Uncertain for Natural Gas as Two LNG Projects Cancelled

The push to import more natural gas from overseas suffered a setback in March, when two proposed terminals for receiving liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports were cancelled. On March 10th, TransCanada Corporation and ConocoPhillips announced they were suspending work on the Fairwinds LNG project in Harpswell, Maine, after the town residents voted against leasing a site for the project. On March 18th, Calpine Corporation announced that public opposition had led the company to withdraw its plans for an LNG terminal near Eureka, California. See the press releases from TransCanada and Calpine.

Growing demand for natural gas has led DOE to emphasize increased imports as an essential part of the nation's energy future, and LNG is the only means of importing natural gas from overseas. The oil and gas industry has responded by proposing a large number of projects over the past year. For background on the LNG development plans, see the articles from the January 7th and February 25th editions of the EERE Network News.

Meanwhile, uncertainty persists over the next-best solution for increasing natural gas supplies to the United States: an Alaskan natural gas pipeline. MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company announced in late March that its subsidiary, Alaska Gas Transmission Company, has withdrawn its application to build the pipeline after failing to reach a suitable agreement with the State of Alaska. However, TransCanada, which would have helped with the MidAmerican project, quickly stepped in to resume negotiations on the project. See the MidAmerican and TransCanada press releases.