Editorial from The Suffolk Times/News-Review/North Shore Sun
January 17, 2008
If you've been paying attention to the Broadwater plan, it's no surprise the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has concluded Broadwater's proposed natural gas terminal in L.I. Sound would have minimal adverse environmental impacts. (See story, page 1.) FERC's very mission is to carry out the Bush administration's wrongheaded energy policy, which increases America's reliance on fossil fuels and enriches the president's and vice president's friends, family and colleagues in the oil and gas industries. FERC is working hard to permit and site more than three dozen new natural gas terminals in the U.S., Broadwater among them.
With that knowledge, observers and opponents of Broadwater's plans have long said the outcome of the FERC review process was a foregone conclusion: Broadwater would get FERC's blessing. Now that the FEIS is done, Broadwater's FERC permit is in the bag.
But the process is far from over. Even with its FERC permit approved, Broadwater Energy can't develop its behemoth LNG terminal in the Sound unless and until the U.S. Coast Guard signs off on the plan, certifying that it is able to provide security for the terminal and the tankers that will deliver LNG to the terminal; the state DEC issues an air emissions permit and a wastewater discharge permit; and the N.Y. secretary of state rules that Broadwater is consistent with the state's coastal resource management policy.
The Coast Guard already has reported it cannot protect the new terminal or the LNG tanker traffic from attack without more equipment and resources. A report by the federal government accountability office made public last week reached the same conclusion about the Coast Guard, increased LNG tanker traffic, and security (see story, page 3). So far, those additional resources have not been forthcoming.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who has the final say on whether New York finds Broadwater consistent with its coastal management policy, has not said a thing about Broadwater -- publicly -- since he took office in 2007. His position will soon be known, since the state's consistency determination must be made by Feb. 12. We urge you to tell Mr. Spitzer to reject Broadwater's plan to turn the L.I. Sound, a designated estuary of national significance, into an LNG import terminal for the profit of international energy companies Shell Oil and TransCanada.
Let Mr. Spitzer know that Broadwater's LNG terminal and its international tanker traffic are inappropriate uses of the pristine waters of the eastern L.I. Sound. Broadwater's terminal and tankers will pollute the water and air with emissions and discharges; deplete the Sound's fisheries by killing millions of young fish, larvae and eggs annually; wreak havoc on the local commercial fishing and lobstering industries, which won't be able to fish the eastern Sound when tankers are in transit; disturb recreational boating activities with "no entry" security zones that will, among other things, shut down the Race every time a tanker is in transit; and pose a safety and security threat to New York residents that simply can't be addressed.
The state holds the waters of the L.I. Sound in public trust. Allowing those waters to be used by international energy companies for private profit, to the detriment of the environment, the economy and the enjoyment of this natural resource by the people of the state, is a violation of the public trust.
Tell Mr. Spitzer you object. Write to: Governor Eliot Spitzer, the State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224. Call his office at 518-474-8390. Or send an e-mail by going to the governor's Web site at www.ny.gov/governor and clicking on "CONTACT THE GOVERNOR."
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