Liquid natural gas terminal in Providence approved despite opposition
Amid angry boos and chants, a proposed National Grid liquid natural gas terminal in South Providence was given approval to move forward.
The Coastal Resources Management Council voted that the plan was in compliance at a meeting Tuesday night.
While residents said they don't want the terminal for safety reasons, National Grid argued that a terminal has been there for years and that the change with the new facility will be how gas is liquefied.
“Our liquefied natural gas (LNG) tank at Fields Point helps us meet the energy needs of our customers safely and reliably -- especially on very cold days like today," Ted Kresse, a spokesman for National Grid, said in a statement on Wednesday. "In order to continue to meet the demand of our customers who heat their homes and businesses with natural gas, and do so affordably, we need to diversify the source of the gas used to fill the existing tank. That’s why we have proposed adding a liquefaction facility to this site. We are not proposing to increase the amount of LNG stored at the site; we simply want another way to be able to fill the existing tank. Our effort to ensure this proposal meets the required safety and environmental parameters has been meticulous, and we look forward to the project’s future development.”
Residents of the neighborhood that is near the waterfront facility are organized in opposition. They said their area has already been subject to generations of environmental assault, and fear more natural gas facilities will only lock in future use of fossil fuels.
“This theory that LNG is a bridge fuel is absolute nonsense," Monica Huertas of the "NO LNG in PVD" group told NBC 10 News. "We have to stop it now. When are we going to stop? When are we going to stop? We don’t have 10 years. We don’t have 20 years. The time is now."
She shared similar sentiments at the meeting.
"We're going to keep fighting National Grid," she said. "It's a David and Goliath fight, but we're going to keep fighting because that's what we do."
While Huertas is calling for Gov. Gina Raimondo to stop the development, there was no response from Raimondo’s office to a request for comment.
National Grid is now waiting for authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.