- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 27, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In his article “LNG port security” (Commentary, Monday), retired Navy Adm. James A. Lyons Jr. outlines his views about liquefied-natural-gas port security and the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2008.

While we respect the admiral’s breadth of experience, we take issue with the premise of his argument. It unduly mischaracterizes the threat facing LNG ships and terminals.

There is no intelligence or evidence whatsoever that LNG ships and facilities are more likely terrorist targets than other cargo ships or higher visibility targets such as federal or state landmarks, transportation infrastructures, public gatherings or bridges and tunnels.

LNG has been safely handled in the United States over the last 45 years; the industry has an enviable safety record. LNG vessels have traveled more than 128 million miles during that time without major accidents or safety problems, either at port or at sea.

Nonetheless, the LNG industry and U.S. security agencies have gone to great lengths to control all access points to LNG ships from their point of origin and upon entry into the United States. LNG ships are double-hulled, and LNG terminals have multiple layers of protection that must meet rigorous safety and security regulations.

Putting the threat into context, LNG is not explosive, nor is it stored under pressure. LNG is a safe, environmentally friendly fuel that does not pose greater risks than other fuels that are transported every day around every state in the country.

As we consider ways to improve our nation’s maritime infrastructure, it is important to fully understand the threat before making recommendations on how to contain it.

BILL COOPER

President

Center for Liquefied

Natural Gas

Washington

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