For decades, train cars filled with liquefied natural gas (LNG) have diverted around major cities. Even then, this material could not be carried in the kind of ordinary tanker cars reserved for other liquid transport. LNG could only be transported across the U.S. in individual trucks, or in trains that used specialized containers and were routed around population centers.
That’s about to change. Because as one of what will likely be several parting gifts to America, Donald Trump is relaxing the rules around both trucks and train cars filled with this extremely high energy liquid fuel. As NPR reports, Trump has overruled governors, legislators, businesses, homeowners, and celebrities to specifically support a project that would ship millions of barrels of LNG down the I-95 corridor using both trucks and trains. The result would allow a company associated with Trump to move trains with 100 cars’ worth of LNG through 200 miles of the high density urban areas along the East Coast. Each one of those trains would be carrying the energy equivalent of five Hiroshima-sized bombs.
This change in the rules is being made specifically to support Delaware River Partners. The company will take methane is fracked out of the ground in Pennsylvania, chill it into a super-dense liquid state, and deliver it to an export terminal planned for Gloucester County, New Jersey. The site of the terminal itself is close to both homes and businesses, many of which objected to this change.
However, as the Florida Bulldog reported, there’s more to this than just Trump’s reflexive desire to roll over every environmental and safety regulation to help his pals in the oil and gas industry. When it comes to Delaware River Partners, Trump owes them. Literally.
That’s because Delaware River Partners is owned by New Fortress Energy. And New Fortress Energy is owned by Fortress Investment Group. And Fortress Investment Group gave Trump a $130 million loan in 2005. Then they “forgave” that loan. Only this $130 million gift to Trump apparently never got reported as income on those taxes Trump has made such great effort to hide.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James is seeking information on the loan in an effort to determine if Trump ever paid taxes on this massive gift. Not surprisingly, “Trump and his staff have not cooperated in obtaining the loan documentation.”
The I-95 deal isn’t the first time Trump has demonstrated his gratitude to Fortress. The reason the Florida Bulldog was looking at this company in the first place is that Trump has also awarded Fortress New Energy two “special permits” to haul liquified natural gas by rail in Florida.