Remember Port Ambrose, the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) marine port that Liberty Natural Gas LLC has proposed for the ocean off Long Beach and Jones Beach? Last July, 2013, a packed public hearing took place at the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach. The vast majority of attendees were opposed to the project and vocal. The town at that point still showed visible signs of the damage from Superstorm Sandy, with many of the businesses not yet reopened.
At a community meeting held at the Long Beach Library this past Wednesday night, the city has recovered nicely, but the sentiments against Port Ambrose were unchanged. Sane Energy Project and New Yorkers Against Fracking were invited to present about the project by local advocate, All Our Energy. The mandate from residents has been the same every time we’ve visited Long Beach: kill the LNG port and build the wind farm.
That’s right: there’s a wind farm proposed for the same plot of ocean as the LNG port. The choice between clean and dirty energy does not get more direct than this: a wind farm that would actually cut down the force of hurricanes and produce thousands of long term jobs, vs. a greenhouse gas producing monster that’s a terrorist target and brings with it 6 (six) long term jobs.
What’s happened with the project since last year’s hearing? The agencies involved in the review process have repeatedly “stopped the clock” to allow Liberty to supply missing information about the project. The company simply can’t seem to get it together: their story keeps changing even on their own website, which used to claim that gas would be delivered in ships from Trinidad and Tobago. Now the website claims they’ll be importing gas from the Gulf Coast of the U.S.
This claim that Port Ambrose is meant to import gas from anywhere is an obvious invention. It would not be economically feasible to liquefy gas, load it into tanker ships, drive it up the east coast, then regasify it for Long Island markets, when the Marcellus Shale Play is one state away and the pipeline network supplying Long Island is already proposed for enlargement.
The obvious ploy is revealed by what is already happening with LNG import terminals that are built or proposed: if approved as an import terminal, it could be later flipped to export, which is a trend that’s accelerating in the U.S. . Massive floating LNG terminals, such as the ones being developed by Shell and Exxon, are the wave of the future. Land-based LNG terminals, which require a more extensive environmental review, won’t even be needed.
The draft EIS for Port Ambrose is expected to be released sometime around Halloween or the November elections. A brief public comment period will then follow, so stay tuned for alerts about the public hearing. After the last public hearing, the NY and NJ governors have 45 days to respond to the proposal. Governors Christie and Cuomo have veto power, they can stop the project.
In response to this looming threat, Sane Energy Project asks all of you to get active! Do you have friends or relatives on Long Island? In the Rockaways? Please let them know!
Let’s make sure they ALL call the person with the power to STOP the LNG port and BUILD the wind farm! Call Cuomo: (518) 474-8390