New England lawmakers fight LNG plan

May 9, 2006 at 2:50 PM

FALL RIVER, Mass., May 9 (UPI) -- A Wyoming Republican is fighting a group of New England Democrats who want to halt a liquid natural gas project set for Massachusetts.

Amerada Hess asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to bring LNG tankers into Massachusetts. The commission approved the project in 2005, and again this year.

However, Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Mass., put language into a highway bill that blocks demolition of a bridge now standing in the way of LNG tankers bringing the heating fuel to Massachusetts consumers.

Last Friday. Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., introduced legislation to repeal McGovern's ban on demolishing the bridge.

Three days later Thomas was urged to back down by a coalition of Democrats, including Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Sens. John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy, both Massachusetts Democrats, the Fall River (Mass.) Herald News reported Tuesday.

Thomas appears undaunted.

"Sen. Thomas' take on it is, Wyoming is doing a tremendous amount for energy production, and we think everyone should put in and do their part," Thomas aide Cameron Hardy said. "It seems like in this era ... that people would be trying to improve our energy outlook rather than detract from it."

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