Irvine, CA--After an intense four-year struggle, Australian energy company BHP Billiton’s attempt to build a Liquefied Natural Gas facility off the coast of California has been effectively killed by the state’s Lands Commission, which voted 2-1 that its “Environmental Impact Report” was unsatisfactory.
"When we in California experience our next energy crisis--or the next time we complain about our exorbitant gas and electric bills--we should remember the fate of BHP Billiton,” said Alex Epstein, a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. “That company wanted to build a plant that could satisfy up to 15 percent of Californians’ energy needs--a plant that did everything possible to maximize safety and minimize pollution. And what did it get in return? Nearly half a decade of obstruction from California’s endless constellation of environmental bureaucracies--and seething opposition from environmental groups that oppose every single practical form of energy production, from coal to oil to gas to nuclear power. The message California sends to any would-be producers of plentiful energy is obvious: Not in Our State.
“California and many other states are riddled with laws based on environmentalist hostility toward industrial energy. These laws must be replaced with a respect for property rights and an appreciation for the incomparable value that is industrial energy. Fossil fuels and nuclear power are the lifeblood of our civilization; without them, the average American’s food, clothing, shelter, and medical care would be impossible. And, contrary to claims that we must abandon fossil fuels to protect against alleged weather disasters caused by global warming, fossil fuels are vitally necessary to build the buildings and power the technologies that protect us from dangerous weather.
“The anti-industrial mentality of environmentalists must be rejected, in word and in law, by everyone who truly cares about human life.”
Mr. Epstein is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. His Op-Eds have appeared in such publications as the San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Canada’s National Post, and the Washington Times. He is also a contributing writer for The Objective Standard, a quarterly journal of culture and politics. Mr. Epstein has been a guest on numerous nationally syndicated radio programs.