No deal: Schwarzenegger rejects BHP Billiton


Arnold SchwarzeneggerCalifornian Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has rejected BHP Billiton’s proposal to build a gas terminal off the coast of picturesque, starstudded Malibu to supply the state with Australian gas, according to Nigel Wilson and David Nason in The Australian (21/5/2007, p1).

Environmental concerns dog application: The $1 billion project had already been undermined by environmental concerns. But it could have been approved by Schwarzenegger, who in 2004 was personally lobbied by the Prime Minister and BHP chairman Don Argus.

Stars campaign: His decision was a triumph for the hardcore group of Malibu celebrities, led by former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan and including Australian expatriate Olivia Newton-John, who campaigned against the project. Their numbers included Cindy Crawford, Daryl Harmah, Tea Leora, Jane Seymour, Dick Van Dyke, Cher, Jamic Lee Curtis, Danny DeVito, Tom Hanks, Martin Sheen and Charlize Theron.

Media focus on 14-storey, 295m-long LNG terminal: And their star power helped galvanise media coverage for a grassroots opposition movement and increased the pressure on Californian authorities to reject the BHP plan, which involved a 14-storey, 295m-long LNG terminal 22km off the Malibu coast.

Australian LNG export plans stall: Halting Cabrillo Port puts a question mark over the timetable for Australian liquefied natural gas to be imported directly into the US, which is rapidly running short of gas. BHP hoped to ship the LNG in supertankers from gas fields off the West Australian coast, convert it back to gas at the offshore terminal and pipe it to the Californian mainland.

The Australian, 21/5/2007, p1.

Source: Erisk Net



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