Friday, June 14, 2013

The Project that Rose from the Dead to Threaten the Shores

Massive LNG Tanker Port proposed off
Sandy Hook, NJ and Jones Beach, NY

Today, the Maritime Administration (MarAd), part of the US Department of Transportation, announced Liberty LNG’s Port Ambrose application, 13 miles off the coast of Sandy Hook, NJ and 17 miles southeast of Jones Beach, NY. Liberty LNG has applied in the past for an LNG port off the NY/NJ coastline – though in 2011 New Jersey Governor Christie vetoed the port saying that it was bad for the region’s economy, tourism, fisheries, environment, security and commerce. This is the exact same port application that Governor Christie vetoed, just reshuffled and resubmitted.

“It is a gross misconstruction of the federal Deepwater Port Act to say that a Governor cannot veto an LNG application after the public review process, as Governor Christie did in 2011, and reaffirmed in 2012,” concluded Andrew J. Provence, Litwin & Provence LLC. “Fortunately, we have a Governor who stands his ground.”

The Liberty LNG Port Ambrose project, if licensed, would allow both exports and imports of natural gas, resulting in accelerated hydro-fracking in the region and higher energy costs. The project boasts that it would create only 6-10 permanent jobs. MarAd, according to the notice (see attachment, note 1), has the authority to “license the construction of Deepwater Ports for the export [or import] of oil and natural gas from domestic sources within the United States to foreign markets abroad” under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 – indeed, the Port Ambrose notice of application doesn’t even contain the word “import” (in the project description, or anywhere else).

“This is a bad science fiction movie,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action. “The Liberty Natural Gas tanker project was dead - Governor Christie vetoed this proposal in 2011. Liberty has crawled out of the grave to violate our ocean, citizens and shore economies at a time when New Jersey and New York are focused on restoring our shore from Super-storm Sandy. Liberty Natural Gas is trying
to take advantage of our weakened state to jam this project through—it’s hard to image a more deplorable corporate tactic. We may be down, but we will fight.”

"The South Shore Audubon Society is dismayed that the recently announced ‘notice of application’ makes Liberty's LNG proposal official. We must all work to defeat this threatened industrialization of our ocean!" noted Jim Brown, President, South Shore Audubon Society.

“We've seen a lot of really dumb ideas over the years, but this one takes the cake. Hurricane Sandy really walloped the New York coastline and having a facility like this off of our coastline exposes us to unimaginable damage, not just during hurricane season, but all year long,” said Ida Sanoff, Executive Director, Natural Resources Protective Association. “I can't recall when we've heard of a more dangerous, ill-advised proposal. The only people who will benefit from this project are the big money, big energy companies.”

“A deepwater port in the ocean off the coasts of New Jersey and New York is a threat to the ocean and marine life, to coastal economies, the environment and to the people living along coastal areas. Port Ambrose poses risks to the environment from chemical pollution, noise pollution, and dredging of the seafloor,” said Suzanne Golas, csjp, WATERSPIRIT Director. “From the perspective of faith communities like WATERSPIRIT, such risks to water and all life are not justified in order to bring profits to Liberty Natural Gas from their exporting of liquid natural gas to the highest bidder in European and Asian markets. Policy preserving and conserving waste and policy replacing fossil fuels with sustainable energy should be our priorities.”

“Expanded exportation of natural gas will be bad for domestic consumers, bad for our climate and bad for public health here at home,” said Jim Walsh, Eastern Regional Director, Food and Water Watch. “Gas exportation relies on fracking, which poses dreadful health and safety risks to all those connected to it. Governors Cuomo and Christie, if they are truly serious about climate change and public health, will fight the oil and gas industry and its latest profit-driven escapade on our shore.”

“The last thing our still suffering Sandy damaged NJ Shore needs is an LNG export facility. We know the process of fracking to extract the gas destined for export risks our drinking water, air, and ocean as it is not even regulated,” said ocean advocate and paddler Margo Pellegrino. “With this proposed terminal we increase this risk to our own drinking water and ocean, our own health, and pay more for our own ‘home grown’ energy as prices skyrocket with European demand for our dirty fuel. To say the idea of such a facility anywhere on the East Coast, but especially here in this most trafficked of all waterways is a ‘bad idea’ is an extreme understatement.”

“This proposal will not only harm the critical marine habitat of this coastal area and create a significant safety and terrorist threat to the adjacent communities but will also create a surge in the cost of natural gas for those in the NY area due to the export potential that this facility will ultimately accommodate,” said Dan Mundy, President, Jamaica Bay ECOWATCHERS.

“Port Ambrose LNG Import Terminal proposal is likely to be transposed into an Export Terminal so industry can gain higher gas prices for their gas abroad” asked Mary Anne Sullivan, Environmental Researcher. “This would increase the demand for our country's natural gas and water supply and would result in the environmental impacts from industrialization of the entire Marcellus Shale region. Isn't it time for our country to invest in green energy, energy that does not cause climate change?”

“Gov. Christie’s veto was premised on the need to protect our commercial and recreational waterways and beaches, the fact that we have sufficient natural gas resources for the next 50 years without the need to compromise our environment and local natural gas production and the very real terrorist threat LNG promotes.  His logic is sound, not just for New Jersey or the LI Sound, but for Long Island’s south shore as well,” said Legislator Dave Denenberg  (D-Merrick).

1 comment:

  1. The Port Authority of New York Ship & New Jersey conceives, builds, operates and maintains infrastructure critical to the New York/New Jersey region's trade and transportation network. These facilities include America's busiest airport system, marine terminals and ports, the PATH rail transit system, six tunnels and bridges between New York and New Jersey, the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, and the World Trade Center.