LNG

First it was the gas. Then it was the pipeline. Now it’s LNG.

On June 14, the U.S. Maritime Administration announced that Liberty Natural Gas had applied to construct a deepwater LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal. The proposed Liberty Port Ambrose will be located 19 miles southeast of Jones Beach, NY, and east of Monmouth Beach, NJ.

This is the third time that Liberty has tried to open an LNG port in our area. Governor Christie of New Jersey vetoed the earlier incarnation in February 2011, and again in March 2012.

The proposed deepwater port and offshore pipeline lie east of thriving coastal communities that are home to many residents of the State as well as precious plant, fish, animal and avian species. This coastal area also supports recreational and commercial fishing, shellfisheries and tourism industries. . . . Marine waters in the proposed project area function as a critical migration corridor for both federally endangered marine mammals and sea turtles. The proposed 44.4 mile long offshore pipeline and port structures will affect almost 6,000 acres of seafloor, adversely impacting seafloor habitat, aquatic life, and prime fishing grounds. The discharge of wastewater, regasification effluent, and stormwater would also harm our marine waters and the species that depend on a healthy environment.

The project would “stifle investment in renewable energy technologies,” he stated, and pose “significant security risks” from accident or terrorism.

These reasons still stand.

Think about it: a mammoth gas factory right outside the New York harbor. Two turret-loading buoys submerged 103 feet in the ocean; a 22-mile subsea pipeline connected to Transco’s existing gas pipeline just off Long Beach, NY; 45 giant LNG regasification vessels docking at the port every year, each one averaging 950 feet long and 150 feet wide; a factory processing billions of cubic feet of gas and emitting tons of methane and CO2.

Liberty Port Ambrose will vastly increase demand from the Marcellus and Utica shales and intensify the pressure to frack New York State. Energy prices will soar, and the damage to our environment will be incalculable.

But the pressure is on to fast-track applications for LNG export. Domestic prices are low because there’s a glut of gas on the market; Big Energy is desperate to ship overseas where demand – and profits – are much higher.

Earlier this week, Republican state senator George Maziarz introduced S. 5846-A, which would vastly undermine the safety regulations regarding the siting and  transport of LNG in New York state. The import of this legislation is clear to anyone who has traveled the country roads of upstate New York, or experienced the truck traffic in Frack Country, PA, or read the accident statistics for truckers in the energy industry who are exempt from national safety regs.

And again this week, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) railed against the “slow-walk approval for natural gas exports,” claiming that this threatened “national security.” How? By letting Russia “tighten its grip on Europe’s energy market.” Throw out our safety regs. Throw out our environment. Climate change be damned – they’re getting all the money!

And that, of course, is the bottom line: profit versus the planet. We have to save the planet. We have our work cut out for us. [Take action now.]