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Federal Court Weighs Gulf Landing Approval

The Times-Picayune and the News 2 Advocate reported on yesterday’s oral arguments concerning Shell’s Gulf Landing offshore terminal. The panel of Fifth Circuit judges reportedly appeared “sympathetic” to claims that MARAD failed to consider the cumulati
March 8, 2006

The Times-Picayune and the News 2 Advocate reported on yesterday’s oral arguments concerning Shell’s Gulf Landing offshore terminal. The panel of Fifth Circuit judges reportedly appeared “sympathetic” to claims that MARAD failed to consider the cumulative impact of all terminals proposed for the Gulf and failed to require the best available technology when it approved Gulf Landing. In response to questions about the environmental impacts of an open-loop system, Justice Department attorney Todd Kim told the court that closed-loop regasification systems generate more air pollution and can increase operation costs by as much as $43 million per year. Kim also argued that MARAD considered the cumulative impact of Gulf Landing and only two other, approved terminals because assessing proposed but unapproved terminals would be “speculative.” Separately, the judges asked Alex Williamson, representing the plaintiffs, why Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco did not veto the terminal if it would harm fishing industries.

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