Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, along with Congressmen Barney Frank and Jim McGovern, today released statements after Hess LNG L.L.C. withdrew their application for the offshore Weaver's Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Fall River. For years, the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation has fought against the proposal which posed a threat to the health and safety of the residents of Fall River.
"This is a victory for common sense and public safety and people up and down the Taunton River will be sleeping more soundly tonight knowing that this long fight has been won," said Sen. Kerry. "We pulled out every stop to make sure the public was protected and after so many meetings and phone calls and letters, we got there."
"I am pleased that Hess has withdrawn their proposal," said Sen. Brown. "Having toured the proposed site in Weaver's Cove last year, I opposed this project because I believe building an LNG terminal so close to this densely-populated area would have endangered public safety."
"This is a big win for the people of Southeastern Massachusetts and it is an example of the value of complete cooperation among federal, state and local elected officials, state and local governments in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and most importantly, a determined group of citizens protecting their homes," said Rep. Frank. "I believed that we had driven a stake through this vampire's heart several years ago, and I'm very pleased that is has finally laid down and died."
"This is terrific news for the Southcoast," said Rep. McGovern. "At long last, Hess has realized that we were going to continue to fight and fight until they pulled the plug on their ill-considered proposal. I look forward to working with local, state and federal officials to help promote safe and sensible development in Fall River."
In 2008, Senator Kerry worked alongside the late Senator Kennedy and Congressmen Frank and McGovern to urge the Coast Guard to deny the Weaver's Cove's application due to safety concerns. Kerry also helped designate the Taunton River a Partnership Wild and Scenic River in the 2009 Omnibus Lands Act.
In November 2010, Senators Kerry and Brown sent a letter to the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee requesting the inclusion of language to restrict the use of federal funds to approve the LNG terminal. Kerry also sent letters to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) asking them to hold a public hearing on any spill effects model that Weaver's Cove submits as part of its application, as well as to Massachusetts State Treasurer Steven Grossman asking him to look at disinvesting all shares of Hess Corporation the Commonwealth holds until the company ceases construction of the LNG facility.