Companies withdraw application for LNG trucking through Savannah

Good news on this hot Friday afternoon.

LNG is liquefied natural gas, which is created by submitting natural gas to temperatures close to absolute zero. Plans to reactivate a loading facility at Elba Island (those big tanks hold LNG brought in on ships) and send trucks filled with LNG through Savannah have been withdrawn.

As of this writing, I don’t know why the El Paso Corp. and its subsidiary Southern LNG have withdrawn the application, but I’m awfully glad that they have.

Here’s the entire press release sent about an hour ago from the office of public information, headed by Bret Bell. It includes the full text of a statement by Mayor Jackson, who credits a handful of citizens for their activism in opposing the proposal:

For Immediate Release
Date: March 30, 2012

LNG trucking application withdrawn

The El Paso Corp. and its subsidiary, Southern LNG, announced today that it is withdrawing its application before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to re-activate a loading dock facility on Elba Island. This action halts the company’s plan to drive dozens of LNG-filled trucks daily through the heart of Savannah.

Below is a statement Mayor Edna Jackson read at a news conference today.

We are here today to publicly thank the El Paso Corporation for withdrawing its application before the federal government to re-activate a loading dock facility on Elba Island. This move halts the company’s plan to drive dozens of trucks loaded with liquefied natural gas through the heart of Savannah.

In my years of public service, I have learned that there are almost always two sides to every story. The best that anyone can do is listen to each side, attempt to find common ground, and take positions that are in the best interest of the greatest number of people.

El Paso runs a successful company near Savannah, providing local jobs and an important energy resource for this entire country. But this proposed trucking operation posed too great a risk for the citizens of Savannah.

Mayor Otis Johnson and other members of the previous City Council saw this danger, and worked with City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney and her staff, including Fire Chief Charles Middleton and consultant Ben Johnson, to work long hours on this issue.

The City of Savannah took an in-depth, critical look at this proposal to protect our residents. And many civic-minded residents stepped forward to join us.

They are people like Kent Harrington and Pam Miller of the Citizens for a Safe and Secure Savannah. They are people like Clete Bergen, of the Citizens for Clean Air and Water; Steve Willis of the Sierra Club; and Patricia Jenkins and Daisy Harrison of the Pine Gardens neighborhood. To these citizens, we say thank you for your service to Savannah.

While this process has been long and difficult for all sides involved, we are extremely pleased that in the end the right decision was made for all of Savannah. I think all sides have learned a lot through this process, and we move forward with a better understanding of each other as a result.

Elba Island has long been a good corporate neighbor to Savannah. We look forward to a growing, positive relationship lasting well into the future. Thank you.