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LNG Video - ‘David’ Takes on Energy Industry Goliath

Preview LNG video at and “The Risks and Danger of LNG,” an official selection of the Malibu Film Festival, was reviewed by Upstream, one of the most respected newspapers in the oil and gas industry which also published a companion story about the filmmakers entitled, “'David' takes on the energy industry Goliath.”

(PRWEB) Aug. 10, 2005 -- Upstream, one of the most respected newspapers in the oil and gas industry has published a review of “The Risks and Danger of LNG,” an official selection of the Malibu Film Festival; and has also published a companion story about the filmmakers entitled, “'David' takes on the energy industry Goliath.”

Film producers Tim Riley and Hayden Riley, with permission; republish the entire companion story immediately below.

The story about the filmmakers was published May 5, 2005, by Upstream:

'David' takes on the energy industry Goliath, by Dann Rogers

Consumer advocates Tim and Hayden Riley of Oxnard Shores in southern California say they initially came to challenge proposals for new LNG import facilities throughout North America because they did not want their slice of paradise compromised.

That effort eventually grew to include the US West Coast, then North America and then the entire western hemisphere.

“When we were searching for a place to live near the beach in California, one of the criteria for us was longevity of life and that meant air quality,” says Tim.

“We began with an evaluation of comparative air quality in southern California communities.” Research from the state measured the average number of poor health days in the various communities.

“A town like Malibu may have about 35 poor health days during a year while East Los Angeles can be threatened by up to 300 poor health days. According to that research, Oxnard has zero unhealthy days.”

Within five years of buying and renovating a home in Oxnard after relocating from New York City, they received a brochure in the mail from Crystal Energy declaring it wanted to refit the abandoned Grace Platform 10 miles (16 kilometres) offshore as an LNG import facility.

“We had a great location in part because of the breeze coming off the ocean from the general area of the Grace Platform, which is upwind of our paradise,” says Tim.

“The flyer made us suspicious because it was extensive, very professionally produced and featured dolphins and seals living in harmony with the LNG plant that they claimed would import 25 % of California's annual natural gas needs.”

Drawing on his background as a civil litigator, Riley investigated the company and eventually the energy industry's renewed efforts to build more LNG import plants in North America to respond to continental supply concerns.

“My first fear was not LNG but the fumes coming from tug boats that would support the tankers, because we moved here for the clean air. However, in the course of our investigation and research we discovered that no one outside the energy industry knew what LNG was or more importantly about the disaster in Cleveland in 1944 that incinerated one square mile.

“A big part of my efforts when speaking at LNG application hearings, community meetings or with the media is to bring up the Cleveland disaster or the one in Algeria last year to illustrate what can happen when LNG is released from its thermos.

“The industry tries to distract attention from those disasters by saying there has not been an incident on US soil for the past 40 years or that technology has improved to the point where those sort of things can never happen again. My point is not why or how the LNG got out of the thermos but what happens when it does.

“I think we all know that modern technology breaks down and in the case of LNG calamity is possible, not to mention the potential for its use as a weapon by terrorists threatening the US.”

Tim says he and his wife eventually came to appreciate that the LNG issue goes way beyond pollution and that they were compelled to publicise its potential impact and raise the alarm.

“There was minimal non-corporate information about LNG available so I decided I had to dig it up and counter the claims of the energy industry who present it as a saviour of the North American energy crisis.”

To that end, he has suspended his lucrative and celebrated legal career for the past two years and spent the majority of almost every day leading the campaign against bringing LNG to the US.

“We see it as a David versus Goliath battle but that is the nature of being a lawyer who represents people in their battles with large insurance companies who try to cheat their customers from collecting claims after they have paid premiums for years and years.”He says he came to sympathise with the underdog at a young age because his father was injured in a car accident that left one side of his body paralysed.

“My dad was mocked and taken advantage of, so I do not like bullies because I have seen the mistreatment they can inflict.

“That experience drew me to tort law and to help vulnerable people regain part of their lives. Some 95% of our practice is representing the underdog and now we are focusing on warning people about the perils of an LNG disaster before it happens. We want to equip ordinary people with the information to challenge LNG proponents at the numerous public hearings around the country. LNG facilities are hazardous and should not be sited anywhere near residents.”

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