The Financial Condition Of The Airline Industry --sobering
Testimony from hearing 06-03-04. From 2001 through 2003, the U.S. airline industry has reported net losses of $23.2 billion dollars, compounded by an additional $1.6 billion in the first quarter of 2004. This $24.8 billion shortfall exceeds the total profits earned over the entire six-year period 1995-2000. Airlines have taken on a significant increase in debt in order to survive. The average carrier is now well over 90 percent leveraged (net debt to capital ratio) compared to 60-70 percent historically, which means many air carriers are completely leveraged and unable to obtain capital. In addition, this has added to significant debt service costs and will make the industry even more vulnerable to any future economic downturns.

With industry debt well over $100 billion -- much of it due in the next 24 months -- 11 of the 12 passenger airlines are rated “junk bonds” by Standard & Poor’s. Only Southwest remains “investment grade,” even though American and Delta both enjoyed that status on September 10, 2001. United carries a “D” rating and currently awaits a decision on its application for a federal loan guarantee.

So what does the FAA want us to do --build more runways.

Stephen Donato
  Smells like FAA EIS process...Feds assert control over LNG terminal siting
Found this news article over the weekend. FERC must be taking lessons from FAA on how to permit controversial projects. Why don't we get on the phone with our Fed Reps and have them contact Biden, Carper- Bob Andrews', Curt Weldon's, and Mike Castle's people and ask them to insert minimum safety requirements (upcoming bill) regarding LNG and Salem's Nuke. Sample wording "LNG tankers must not float within 1.5 miles of any active nuclear reactor". Cove Point, MD is about 3.5 SE from Calvert Cliffs --tankers will never float past fully loaded with LNG. . I also wonder how much stock some BP execs have in FPL Energy considering they are about to bring on line a brand new gas fired power plant (estimated cost 300 million) in Marcus Hook, PA. I am sure there will be plenty of cheap gas for FPL Energy once BP LNG goes in. How cozy. When do we get a say regarding resources that are managed by Federal dollars?

Stephen Donato

Snipped from article below: Feds assert control over LNG terminal siting

"It makes me wonder why FERC has stakeholder representation as part of the process at all. They came here and told us the public had a say," said Casi Callaway, director of the Mobile Bay Watch environmental group. "I think this is something that every legislator from city council person to federal senator should outright oppose, because if the public doesn't have a say in their own community, what is the purpose of having legislators?"

In January, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley employed a little-known provision of state law to block ExxonMobil Corp.'s proposed LNG terminal on Mobile Bay. He refused to allow ExxonMobil to use the "submerged lands" beneath Mobile Bay that are owned by the state until an independent safety study was conducted. The state claims that the company would need Alabama's permission to build a dock for LNG tankers on the underwater land.


Feds assert control over LNG terminal siting
  LNG tankers will float past Salem's Nuke?
EIS meeting is scheduled for June 9th @ the Holiday Inn Claymont, Delaware. The meeting is being hosted and the EIS is being prepared by Federal Energy Commission (FERC). Written comments are being excepted until June 21, 2004. Note: Even if DNREC does not issue a permit (dock is Delaware jurisdiction) FERC can still approve --they are looking for legislation to standardize the siting process for future LNG locations. How about they require no tankers to float within 1.5 miles of an active nuclear reactor?

Download the pdf from DNREC:

I want to know how they are going to float that stuff past Salem's Nuke? FYI had a long conversation about 2 weeks ago a with member of PHL EIS dream team (NOAA). She is very concerned about the floating gas bombs as well. She also mentioned that BP has all the answers to the questions -- but the one I ask above. The LNG tankers would have hold the coastline of Delaware in order to minimize damage to the Salem reactors if something did go wrong. That type of target LNG/Nuke combo is World Trade Center in size and we all thought the twin towers would never come down.

This artist's rendering shows the $500 million terminal BP wants to build in Logan.
The plant and tankers would be less than 1 mile from Philadelphia Pike.

Coast Guard in Boston Harbor protecting LNG tanker.
Boston will not be receiving it's shipment of LNG during the
Democratic Convention this summer -- but it is O.K. for tankers to float past
Salem twice a week?

Material like this (in my opinion) needs to be set up further out in the Delaware Bay away from people and piped on shore like in Louisiana. I do not think the people of Delaware or NJ would fight a good common sense low risk plan for LNG. It would just cost BP more to build the pipe. What's another 100 million among friends? The state of Delaware should be proactive and offer the alternative to put it out in the Delaware Bay. We do need the clean energy supplies.

Stephen Donato

Comments from Delaware News Journal Blog below:

February (2003), the FBI warned that al-Qaeda operatives "may attempt to launch conventional attacks against the U.S. nuclear/chemical-industrial infrastructure to cause contamination, disruption and terror."

On the East Coast, the Philadelphia region has the highest concentration of facilities that could endanger more than a million people. Four are in Gloucester County. There is one each in Salem and Delaware Counties. Two are in Philadelphia.

More than four million people - or 86 percent of the population of the eight-county region - could be exposed.

Foes of LNG development point to the fact that the potential energy content of a single LNG tanker, which contains natural gas that is supercooled to 260 degrees Fahrenheit and concentrated to 1/600th of its normal gaseous volume, is equivalent to 700 tons of TNT or about 55 times the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

"But NOAA's study, a summary of which was obtained by the Boston Herald, generally sides with a more devastating scenario long portrayed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor emeritus James Fay, said Bill Lehr, a researcher on the NOAA study."

"Fay, whose work has frequently come under bitter attack by industry groups, has warned that a strike against an LNG tanker - such as the boat bomb used against the USS Cole in 2000 - could spark a huge inferno that would kill and scorch nearby residents, set waterfront buildings ablaze and shoot searing electromagnetic waves into neighborhoods that could spark even more fires. ”

© Copyright by the Boston Herald and Herald Interactive Advertising Systems, Inc.

:Coast Guard taking river security seriously

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Stop the Noise --
The word Noise, on the other hand, is derived from the Latin word, noxia, meaning injury or hurt. It is defined by the National Institute of Public Health as being "Any sound - independent of loudness - that may produce an undesired physiological or psychological effect in an individual and that may interfere with the social ends of an individual or group." | Effects of Noise on Children's Learning and Health -- Claire Matz

Editorial : No Change In Airnoise --
By FAA definition, we do not have a noise problem... Like other Federal agencies, the FAA is beyond control. Unless and until Mr Castle, Mr Carper, and Mr Biden get together enough support to withhold significant funds from the FAA, they will ignore us. | The Brandywine Community News, DE - April 7, 2003

Residents Ask FAA For More Information --
Gail Van Gilder, of Delaware Greenways, said the FAA already has their minds made up to approve the expansion. She said they need to answer questions from an air noise study conducted in December 2001.| The Brandywine Community News, DE - August 23, 2003

Editorial : Philly’s Airport ; Delaware County’s Problem--
It’s called Philadelphia International Airport, but, truth be told, Delaware County has greater claim to the name. | The Delaware County Times, PA - Mar 10, 2004

West Deptford residents raise noise over runway expansion --
Most homes would be impacted by the noise and air pollution. During the FAA reauthorization last year, Lautenberg and the NJ delegation...

Cheap Air Fares Land In Philly -
It's summer, it's humid and you have vacation days to spare. You're ready for a getaway but, unfortunately, your wallet isn't. Out of luck? ...| The Delaware County Times, PA - Mar 8, 2004

In Depth: Proposed changes at Philadelphia International may have a far-reaching impact on Delco. -
The study into the possible expansion of Philadelphia International Airport may still be in its formative stages, but that doesn’t prevent the controversy surrounding such an idea to continue to evolve. | The Delaware County Times, PA - Feb 23, 2004

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