Mar 17 2015
Opposition to deepwater natural gas port off the Rockaway coast gains powerful ally
The Rockaway Peninsula.
Photo credit: Joe Mabel  via Creative Commons
March 17, 2015
Opposition to deepwater natural gas port off the Rockaway coast gains powerful ally

Category

Energy

Local opposition to a deepwater natural gas facility off the New York City coast has a new ally: Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Stringer joined Council Member Donovan Richards and the Community Board representing the Rockaways yesterday in their demand that Governor Cuomo veto the facility, Port Ambrose, which would be located 22 miles from the Rockaway peninsula and twenty miles off the coast of Long Island.

Port Ambrose “will have negative public health and environmental consequences for our coastal communities,” said Comptroller Stringer. “Liberty Gas [the project’s developer] and the U.S. Marine Administration have failed to provide the public with adequate information or opportunity to comment about expected benefits and impacts of the project. I stand with members of this community in opposition to this project.”

According to Liberty Gas, Port Ambrose would receive gas imports from the Caribbean in order to relieve supply bottlenecks and reduce fuel prices for Long Island residents and businesses. A statement from Council Member Richards’ office refers to Port Ambrose as an “export” facility, a point which is highly disputed by Liberty.

A public comment period on Port Ambrose has just closed. Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie both have the power to veto the project because of its proximity to the New York and New Jersey coasts.

Opponents are concerned that Port Ambrose may preclude the development of an offshore wind farm slated for the same location.

“Port Ambrose threatens to damage the marine ecosystem and the fishing communities that depend on them,” said the statement from Richards’ office. The project poses “a significant explosion and pollution threat to coastal communities, and increase[s] our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Council Member Richards, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, called the draft environmental impact review for Port Ambrose, released by the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Maritime Administration, “a gross mischaracterization of the true impact Port Ambrose will have.”

“The communities of Rockaway and Long Beach strongly oppose this project,” Richards stated.

 

The Rockaway Peninsula.
Photo credit: Joe Mabel  via Creative Commons
  • gawker

    Thanks for the coverage Sarah. Such an important project to stop.

  • It is obvious from reading Mr. Richards resolution against Port Ambrose that he hasn’t even looked at the draft EIS on Port Ambrose. His preference is rather to hold rallies with people who haven’t just “grossly mischaracterized” the Port Ambrose project, they went so far as to create a conspiracy theory about it which apparently is a tactic Mr Richards agrees with as you have said that a statement from Council Member Richards’ office refers to Port Ambrose as an “export” facility

    https://indypendent.org/2015/03/17/new-yorkers-urge-cuomo-veto-port-ambrose-lng-terminal

    This has been going on for almost two years now. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153194869028688&set=pcb.10153194873513688&type=1&theater That is a picture of Ling Tsou. Her group most decidedly called the port ambrose project an export project right before the public scoping hearings on that project and this was something like 20 months ago. http://unitedforaction.org/2013/07/06/stop-the-lng-liberty-port-ambrose-project/

    What I wonder are the negative “public health” impacts that Mr. Stringer is talking about for coastal communities from the Port Ambrose project which by the way if built is not going to be located in a coastal community at all unless community includes ocean species?

    http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=USCG-2013-0363-2107 An interesting question to ask might be why Mr. Stringer is getting involved so late in the game. There are agency documents on this project that date back to October of 2012. Why were politicians so silent about this project for so long and why did the antifracking movement call this project an export project for a long time and apparently still cannot stop doing this?

  • http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/legislative-dems-gov-cuomo-kill-gas-project-blog-entry-1.2158949

    Also Sarah since you wrote about the Port Ambrose project first what was it now something like 20 months ago and the focus of your article or rather the headline was “GROUPS CALL FOR MORE PUBLIC INPUT ON PROPOSED DEEPWATER GAS PORT OFF NY COAST” don’t you think it is rather alarming now 20 months later to be reading a letter by how many legislators that say this project will lead to increased fracking nearby when that is completely and totally inaccurate?

    A quick reading of the IPCC Report for Policy makers will reveal what most environmentalists know. Reducing carbon emissions will be beneficial for the ocean and climate. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/syr/ (plus i’m pretty sure the main focus or greenhouse gas in that report is actually carbon dioxide.

    “Since the beginning of the industrial era, oceanic uptake of CO2 has resulted in acidification of the ocean; the pH of ocean surface water has decreased by 0.1 (high confidence), corresponding to a 26% increase in acidity, measured as hydrogen ion concentration.”

    “Cumulative emissions of CO2 largely determine global mean surface warming by the late 21st century and beyond” .

    The State Energy Policy report clearly states that natural gas is preferable in the downstate areas because of both reduced health impacts and carbon emissions. http://energyplan.ny.gov/Plans/2014.aspx (Volume 11, Technical Appendix, Impacts and Considerations)

    “Natural Gas

    Natural gas-fired facilities are the cleanest fossil fuel electric generating

    facilities, releasing primarily GHG pollutants and NOx. Natural gas-fired

    facilities are located throughout New York but are primarily situated

    in the peak load areas including the Hudson Valley, New York City, and

    Long Island. Economic, operational, and environmental advantages make

    natural gas the current fuel of choice for new and replacement generation

    in New York.CO2 emission rates for natural gas combustion in New York are

    approximately 50 percent lower than emissions from coal combustion

    and 30 percent lower than those from oil combustion. Average NOx

    emissions from natural gas in New York are 86 percent lower than oil

    and 81 percent lower than coal. When compared with other fossil fuels,

    natural gas has negligible emissions of SO2, at only 3 percent of those of

    oil and coal.

    Now none of that means that the Port Ambrose LNG import project must be built. It is however the current proposal to deliver more natural gas into the long island region.

    Something dangerous is occurring Sarah–with the public’s ability to access real information on natural gas projects and this is effecting it seems people’s ability to discuss both energy and the climate as well in a negative way. This is a direct result of the antifracking movement and it has nothing to do with public input.

    • kevinzeese

      Do not exclude the cost to the climate and environment from the extraction of gas by fracking, the release of methane, the transport of gas and it’s compression and liquefaction. There are many environmental costs beyond the burning of gas.