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The Face of a Corporate Citizen

By       Message Donald de Fano     Permalink
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The Face of a Corporate Citizen

I have written previously on these pages (here, for example) about my concerns when a corporation assumes, or is granted, the status of an individual in our society, but only recently have I had the opportunity on a personal basis to encounter a serious corollary of that circumstance, specifically, what happens when an individual assumes to himself the ethos of a corporation.

Some background. I am a resident of Massachusetts who has aligned himself with a grassroots movement to protest and defeat the intention of a mega corporation, a joint venture of Amerada Hess and Poten & Partners, to site a terminal for offloading liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a location abutting a densely populated neighborhood in the city of Fall River. As proposed, to get the refrigerated (-259 degrees F) liquefied gas to the proposed terminal in Fall River, LNG will be transported in specially designed ships, one thousand feet long and requiring a depth of 40 feet of water by navigating a narrow and winding route which begins at Newport, Rhode Island, proceeds north in Narragansett Bay under the Claiborne Pell Bridge (commonly called the Newport bridge) which connects Newport to the island of Jamestown, then after several miles takes a right turn to pass under the Mt. Hope Bay bridge, and from there most of the length of Mt. Hope Bay, to a yet to be constructed pier, where the LNG will be transferred from the ship to a cryogenic pipe to carry the refrigerated liquefied gas another four and quarter miles to the proposed site in Fall River. The project envisions a minimum of 70 transits annually, which means, at a minimum, 140 passages, incoming and exiting. The distance from the mouth of Narragansett Bay to the proposed facility in Fall River is 26 miles, and includes, of course, two states, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Prior to operation, the project requires the construction of the pier that will receive the ships, an ungainly structure three stories high and long enough to accept the 1000 foot vessels, construction and deployment of the lengthy cryogenic pipe, and construction of the facility at Fall River where the LNG will be deliquified, and the resulting gas stored in tanks and distributed. Before operation can begin, massive dredging will be necessary to permit the ships to gain access to the offloading pier in Mt Hope bay, ships that, as has been mentioned, require a water depth of more than 40 feet, and additional dredging will be needed to bury the four and a quarter mile cryogenic pipe to carry the LNG to the Fall River facility which will also need to be constructed.

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I am a retired boatbuilder with a fascination for political thought. Most of my life I cheerfully described myself as an "eastern establishment, knee jerk, liberal Democrat."

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