For Immediate Release
Tampa, FL — Today, Food & Water Watch sent an open letter to the Port Tampa Bay Board Chair, Chad Harrod, urging him to clarify the Port’s non-involvement with a proposal to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Port in Tampa.
The letter comes after Food & Water Watch and concerned citizens attended the Tampa Bay Port’s Board meeting on June 15th, urging the Board to speak to the current status of Strom Inc’s plan to export LNG from the Port.
Strom Inc’s plans for LNG in the Tampa Bay region have been moving forward since 2014 solely via federal permitting through the Department of Energy. Florida has no laws regulating LNG or its export, and there have been no public hearings on the project, save for two zoning hearings in Citrus County, where Strom plans to build a natural gas liquefaction facility. Activists turned out to the Port Tampa Bay board meeting in light of a recent report filing from Strom Inc indicating they had reached a “tentative agreement” with Port Tampa Bay to export LNG.
Activists and residents spoke in opposition to the project citing immediate safety concerns. Transport of the LNG from the liquefaction facility planned in Citrus County would put explosive “bomb trains” and/or trucks alongside passenger transport, creating a serious public safety risk. Recent explosions have been deadly, going so far as to essentially obliterate a Canadian town in 2013, and a 2021 federal lawsuit warns that multiple LNG railcars have the same energy potential as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Residents also spoke out against the threat LNG export poses to locking Florida into a fossil fuel future.
At the end of the meeting, the Port’s Principal Counsel, Charles Klug, stated they do not have plans to export LNG with Strom. Activists are calling on the board to issue a public statement making this clear, given that Strom states in their public documents to the Department of Energy that they are in fact, working with the Port to export LNG.
In response, Food & Water Watch Southern Region Deputy Director Michelle Allen issued the following statement:
“Strom Inc’s plans to liquefy and transport natural gas in the Tampa Bay region for export at Port Tampa Bay pose immediate risks to residents. Fossil fuel companies have their eye on Tampa Bay, and while shielded from public scrutiny, they are making inroads into our communities to lock in a future of profiting off pollution. The Tampa Bay Port’s Board must issue a formal public statement, refuting Strom LLC’s claim that they’ve reached an agreement with the Port to export dangerous LNG. And we need Representative Castor to push for a ban on dangerous LNG bomb trains and trucks, and LNG exports.”
Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]