After years of opposition from environmental groups, citizens, and local officials, Governor Cuomo announced today that he has officially vetoed the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas project. The facility was proposed by Liberty Natural Gas off the shores of New York and New Jersey.
“The reward was not worth the risk and we’re going to veto the Port Ambrose plan,” Cuomo said during an event at the Long Beach Ice Arena Thursday.
With his veto, the proposed facility cannot move forward.
The Governor cited a number of concerns that motivated his decision, but seemed primarily concerned with security, both from terrorism threats and natural disasters. Cuomo also noted that the proposed site for the facility overlapped with the Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Project as well as important commercial fishing grounds.
Liberty Natural Gas has not yet published a response.
View the full text of the Governor’s letter to the U.S. Maritime Administration here.
From the Governor’s office:
Governor Cuomo Vetoes Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Project
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today vetoed the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Deepwater Port, citing security and economic concerns along with the potential to negatively impact off-shore wind development. The project, which had been proposed by Liberty Natural Gas, LLC, required approval from both Governor Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Christie under the federal Deepwater Port Act. Governor Cuomo detailed his full position in a letter sent today to the U.S. Maritime Administration.
“My administration carefully reviewed this project from all angles, and we have determined that the security and economic risks far outweigh any potential benefits,” said Governor Cuomo. “Superstorm Sandy taught us how quickly things can go from bad to worse when major infrastructure fails – and the potential for disaster with this project during extreme weather or amid other security risks is simply unacceptable. Port Ambrose would also hinder the local maritime economy in a way that negatively impacts businesses throughout Long Island, and that is simply unacceptable. This is a common-sense decision, because vetoing this project is in the best interests of New Yorkers.”
The Deepwater Port Act requires approval from the governor of each adjacent coastal state before a deepwater port license is issued. For the Port Ambrose project, both New York and New Jersey are adjacent coastal states.
The Governor’s review found that the project posed inherent and unanswered security risks to the region. The potential for catastrophic impacts during extreme weather events was also found to be unacceptable. Additionally, the project posed significant disruptions to commercial and recreational maritime activities, and would also have interfered with a critical off-shore wind power project proposed by the New York Power Authority.
Photo credit: Governor Cuomo's office