Anytime there is a controversial plan for something related to energy the ecology groups and earth-firsters come out in droves. They will create an environment of controversy enough for the different companies to bend a little. They (big companies) have their own requirements when doing any project. The biggest one is their mitigation plan. In plain English how much land will they set aside to offset the amount of land that they use for their project along with how much land will be affected by doing business. If they don’t buy land outright to put into conservation themselves they may donate the money to a mitigation bank that is being steward’s by a trust (i.e. non-profit). Mitigation banking was established in the early 90’s, to satisfy a U.N. policyon environment. Makes it real easy for big business to satisfy EPA policy just pour some money into a NGO that stewards land???
I saw this take place live on the Columbia River. This issue started with need for the Columbia river to be dredged. The Columbia River normally gets dredged for maintenance. This time was different, they said that the river needed to be dredged deeper than ever before. Now why would it have to be dredged deeper. Then the announcement was made, if 4200 acres of ditched a diked flood plain was returned to the lower Columbia estuary, then it would be safe to dredge the river.
The 4200 acres was to save the salmon. The purchasing of land for salmon recovery took off like a rocket. This would make it sustainable for salmon. (see the word sustainable). For the next 5 years NGO’s working with GO’s started every project they could dig up, to save the salmon. They also bought land like crazy, (only if they could buy it for nothing) even with unethical business practices, to get it.
With save the salmon moneys 4200 acres did not have to be purchased, as long as 4200 acres of floodplain were returned to the lower Columbia estuary. Often times this meant buying a piece of land and creating a flood plain that also flooded other Peoples land. This accomplished big business moved in and announced the building of a Liquid Natural Gas terminal(for the loading and discharging LNG in bulk). The LNG ships needed the river to be deeper. The land that was flooded all on the Washington side of the river. And FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)chose the location on the Oregon side , for the terminal. Trade off, Trade off, Trade off.
The mitigation plan complete for the LNG terminal and how much land would be affected by the LNG ships as well as the operation of business at the terminal. All is safe for the fish and everything is then sustainable.