LNG, again

February 25, 2010
By

We cannot emphasize the importance of beginning a process which ends with LNG bound for the Distrigas Terminal in Everett to be off-loaded outside of the inner confines of Boston Harbor.

Allowing LNG tankers to transit under the Tobin Bridge into Boston Harbor on their way to a berth in Everett is tempting the fates and staring in the eye the inevitable.

And what is that?

Some kind of terrorist act compromising the LNG tanker and in doing so, compromising our lives and well-being.

Or a natural disaster that effects the LNG tanker on its way into the harbor, or at its birth.

Let’s face it, Mayor Menino, City Manager Jay Ash and Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria are absolutely right when they complain that the Coast Guard has it all wrong and that these deliveries are dangerous.

Added to the mix of worries about the inherent dangers of these LNG deliveries is that they come from Yemen – one of the world’s major terrorist training centers and a nation essentially without a working government.

The possibilities for mischief are abundant and compelling as long as these monstrous vessels brimming with a combustible cargo are allowed inside Boston Harbor.

Chelsea residents watching the tanker cut through the placid waters of the Mystic River from Admiral’s Hill Tuesday morning mostly noticed its immensity, as well as noticing the relative weak effort at making the passage of the ship safe.

The tiny Coast Guard vessels with armed sailors aboard surrounding the ship and patrolling the harbor’s perimeters would be compromised in an instant by an organized terrorist effort – and whatever weapons the Coast Guardsmen are carrying would be made utterly useless in a situation where the control of the vessel itself was compromised or put into question.

What Mayor Menino, Ash, DeMaria and so many others know, is that it will only take one incident to entirely erase the satisfaction of nearly 30 years of deliveries to the Everett terminal that have gone without incident.

The worriers are right.

The Coast Guard is all wet.

Never has there been a moment in our modern history when much of Charlestown, the North End, Chelsea, East Boston and Everett’s industrial neighborhood have all been put in real danger of the inevitable.

There is no question that there will one day be a problem with an LNG delivery from Yemen.

The only question is when and how big a problem.


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