Saturday, January 2, 2010

Globe: Mayor: Keep that Yemeni gas away

No Yemeni gas in Boston Harbor

Along with other officials, Boston Mayor Tom Menino wants the feds to pay attention to LNG tankers from Yemen.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday he will ask Boston’s lawyers to see whether the city can block Yemeni tankers from delivering liquefied natural gas into Boston Harbor, calling such deliveries “wrong.’’

“We’re in extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of our city,’’ the mayor said in an interview. “They cannot be coming into a harbor like Boston, where there is less than 50 feet between the tankers and residential areas.’’

Menino and several other public officials said they would press for the tankers’ cargo - destined for an LNG terminal in Everett as soon as next month - to instead be unloaded away from the city, in light of the failed Christmas Day attempt by a Nigerian man, who trained in Yemen, to blow up a US airliner over Detroit.

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, who had called the plan to bring in the tankers “a matter of grave concern,’’ said yesterday he would contact the state’s top public safety official - Kevin M. Burke, the secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety - to look for ways to halt the deliveries.

The Globe reported yesterday that shipments of liquefied natural gas from Yemen are scheduled to arrive for the first time in Boston as early as February. Coast Guard officials are reviewing the plan and said yesterday they have not yet decided whether the shipments will be allowed to enter the harbor and dock at the LNG terminal in Everett.

“Their paramount concern is the safety and security of the Port of Boston,’’ Coast Guard spokesman Jeff Hall said of the security team reviewing the plans.

Concerns among Menino and other local officials have intensified since the failed plot last week, which renewed fears that Yemen has become a haven and training ground for extremists.