Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Had Enough? Energy Action Northwest's Ed Finklea wants LNG for his new Honda
New group rallies around natural gas as prices soar
Portland Business Journal
by Erik Siemers Business Journal staff writer Friday, July 25, 2008
Seeing spiking natural gas prices as a threat to the regional economy, a newly formed coalition of business and labor leaders is on a mission to build support for increasing the region's gas supplies.
So far, Energy Action Northwest sees the controversial liquefied natural gas terminal proposals as having the strongest advantages.
Led by Edward Finklea, a Portland attorney and former counsel to the Northwest Industrial Gas Users, Energy Action North West announced its formation last week. It seeks to marshal business and labor resources around reducing the cost of natural gas, principally through increasing the amount of gas supplies that reach the region.
The group's unveiling came in conjunction with news that three Oregon natural gas companies -- Northwest Natural Gas Co., Avista Utilities, and Cascade Natural Gas -- would be taking rate hike requests to the state Public Utility Commission next month.
Portland-based NW Natural, the state's largest gas utility with 657,000 customers in Oregon and southwest Washington, expects the biggest increase, with prices potentially jumping 40 percent.
The utilities pass the cost of natural gas onto customers, and those prices are spiking -- partly from demand, but also because they say supplies are tight.
Kim Heiting, director of corporate communications for NW Natural, said two-thirds of the utility's gas comes from Canada, where exports are expected to decline by as much as 40 percent by 2015. The rest of the gas comes from supplies in the Rocky Mountains, where there is competition from pipelines shipping the fuel to eastern markets.
Finklea said his group isn't advocating for LNG only. It just doesn't want to see options stifled by highly charged environmental groups or the state.
"We're never going to be out there saying, 'look the other way'" on environmental concerns, Finklea said. "But we also don't need the state of Oregon or some group of hyperactive self-appointed activist groups to decide it's their goal to see that we tie this up so long to see if we can't kill it."
Read the whole article here...G:
Energy Action Executive Director Edward Finklea, here holding a picture of his natural gas-powered Honda, predicts rapid growth for his organization. He is installing a $10,000
home fueling station for it. Yep, Ed is a real lucky guy. Because he is the Exec. of a non profit organization he gets a little help from (SELP),
Small Scale Energy Loan Program