The U.S. Marine Corps? Camp Pendleton, which is the largest parcel of undeveloped coastal land between Santa Barbara and Rosarito Beach, Mexico, is off limits as far as liquefied natural gas projects are concerned. ChevronTexaco had several meetings with officials at the Marine Corps headquarters to try to win support for an LNG plant at the base?on- or offshore?but received an unequivocal ?no.? ?The Marine Corps remains absolutely opposed to this idea, and our position on this matter, including the reasons we?re against it, has been clearly stated on several occasions to ChevronTexaco officials,? wrote W. G. Bowdon, the Corps commanding general, last month. The letter was sent to the State Lands Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard, which are the lead agencies on LNG project siting under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Lands Commission and Coast Guard in the 1970s evaluated the possibility of an LNG facility at the site, which never saw the light of day. While the 17-mile stretch from San Clemente, the southernmost suburb of Los Angeles, to Oceanside, the northernmost suburb of San Diego, is undeveloped as far as coastal real estate goes, the land is hardly pristine. Transmission lines lead to the site of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Southern California Edison leases the land from the government for the nuke. The commanding general?s missive surprised State Lands because the commission did not know ChevronTexaco was considering siting a terminal on or near the base. ?We have not received an application from Chevron, and there is nothing we can do at this point,? said Cy Oggins, State Lands environmental scientist. He said the commission was aware the company is considering building a site somewhere in the state, and Camp Pendleton was mentioned as one of many possible sites during a state LNG Interagency Group meeting last March. BHP Billiton, which has proposed an LNG terminal 14 miles off the coast of Ventura and has a permit before state and federal agencies, said it does not consider Camp Pendleton a viable alternative site. However, CEQA and NEPA require that it be considered for alternative site analysis purposes. ?We heartily concur with General Bowdon?s opinion,? said BHP?s Steve Meheen, Cabrillo Port project manager. ?It would not be a congenial cohabitation.? The base is a center for amphibious warfare training. Drivers rushing by on Interstate 5 often see landing craft, helicopters, and other Marine vehicles on the beach. Bowdon said he wanted it on the record that the Marine Corps is ?adamantly opposed? to such a project near the training area of the base. Oggins said the letter would be incorporated into the CEQA alternative analysis for BHP.