Irvine, CA–For the past several years, leading Australian energy company BHP Billiton has been working to get permission to build a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) plant 14 miles off the coast of California. This plant, according to some estimates, could supply up to 15% of Californians’ energy needs. However, the plant is feverishly opposed by Malibu environmentalists, led by celebrity activist Pierce Brosnan, who claim that the plant is a threat to Californians’ safety and well-being.

But according to Alex Epstein, junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, “The real threat to Californians is not this LNG plant, but the environmentalists who oppose it.

“All Californians should be thrilled that energy companies are trying to build new power facilities that can meet the state’s growing population and energy needs.

“Yet environmentalists, instead of embracing this project, are objecting to it for any reason they can think of, no matter how transparently illogical. For example, they claim that the plant will be an ‘eyesore’ to Malibu residents–even though, at 14 miles off the coast, it will at its most visible be a pinprick of light, just like every passing ship in nearby shipping lanes. Environmentalists criticize the plant for excessive pollution–even though natural gas is the cleanest burning of all of today’s practical energy sources. They claim that the plant is a safety hazard–even though LNG terminals have an incredible safety record, and this particular terminal has taken every safety precaution imaginable.

“No genuine concern for human well-being can explain the seething opposition to this power facility. The real reason it inspires such hostility among environmentalists is the simple fact that it is a large-scale industrial project–a prominent product of man’s transformation of nature. This goes against the environmentalist doctrine that untouched nature is an intrinsic value that must be preserved at human expense. Environmentalists view the whole of industrial civilization as, in the words of Brosnan’s wife and fellow activist Keely Brosnan, a ‘globalized assault taking place on our Earth.’

“Environmentalists’ anti-industrial philosophy is the reason why they oppose every large-scale, practical source of energy (coal, oil, gas, nuclear) while offering as an alternative only fantasies of super-abundant ‘alternative energy’–or, in more honest moments, the asceticism of ‘conservation.’

“Industrial energy is the lifeblood of civilization. Without fossil fuels and nuclear power, the average American’s food, clothing, shelter, and medical care–let alone the posh, power-gulping mansions of celebrity environmentalist hypocrites–would be impossible.

“Environmentalists have been attacking energy production in California–and around the world–for decades now, raising prices and creating shortages. Californians must not let them collect yet another industrial scalp.”

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