Saturday, March 8, 2014
Tux Turkel’s article Feb. 18, “Propane’s promise as Maine fuel in jeopardy,” covered the situation remarkably well, except for one hole.
He notes in passing the proposed propane storage tank in Searsport, which “had the potential to be used for export.” That completely misses its declared intent: to import propane.
He quotes Kim Tucker, an opponent of the tank, as opposing the export of U.S. propane.
If DCP Midstream were permitted to build the tank, would that have created enough imported propane supply in Maine to reduce the price from its record this winter? Do we have enough ships and barges to deliver the cheaper domestic propane from the U.S. Gulf to Searsport?
One other propane transport option: Reverse the flow of the crude oil pipeline from South Portland to Montreal, and deliver propane here.
These choices are worth exploring, especially if those of us, like myself, who burn propane are willing to face the risks its transport entails. I hope Mr. Turkel investigates whether the Searsport tank was a golden opportunity Maine missed.
Chalmers “Chop” Hardenbergh
editor, Atlantic Northeast Rails & Ports