Thursday, December 5, 2013

'Not Off Our Coast,' Says New Jersey Environment Committee

Today the New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee unanimously passed a resolution opposing the proposed offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility Port Ambrose.  Liberty Natural Gas is applying to build a facility that would be made of two floating buoys allowing LNG tankers to offload 17 miles south of Jones Beach.  Senate Resolution 120 calls on the Federal government as well as Governor Christie to deny Liberty Natural Gas’s application.

The resolution was introduced by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) along with an identical resolution in the Assembly (AR205) introduced by Assemblyman Sean Kean (R-30).  The resolutions are supported by 24 organizations in New Jersey who signed on to a letter urging the legislature to adopt the resolution.

“While we continue to pressure Governor Christie to veto Port Ambrose, it is just as imperative that the New Jersey Legislature is heard.” said Cindy Zipf, Clean Ocean Action Executive Director.  “This resolution sends a message to anyone who wants to industrialize the ocean that the Legislature and the people of New Jersey will stand up to defend their beaches, marine ecosystem, and coastal economy.  We are grateful for Senator Beck’s leadership on the issue and applaud the committee for voting unanimously to protect the ocean.”

In February of 2011, Governor Christie vetoed Liberty Natural Gas’s previous application for an offshore LNG facility with the proposed alternate location being the same as Port Ambrose’s current proposed location.  When Liberty attempted to side-step the Governor by amending the application to the alternate location the Governor re-affirmed the original veto.  In June, 2013, Liberty LNG applied again, seeking federal permission to build an LNG port in that alternate location.

In July 2013, the US Coast Guard accepted public comment on the proposal and received over 25,000 comments only 16 of which were in favor of the port.

Clean Ocean Action will continue to advocate for the passage of these legislative resolutions opposing offshore LNG hoping that AR205 will soon be brought up in the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee and that SR120 will make its way to the Senate floor for a vote by the full chamber.

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