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Congressman Plans Bill to Halt Broadwater LNG Project

Rep. Timothy Bishop (D-NY) plans to introduce legislation in the near term to ban the construction of facilities, such as Broadwater Energy LLC's controversial deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, in estuaries of national significance, a spokesman said. Broadwater Energy seeks to locate the terminal in Long Island Sound.

Bishop also may offer an amendment to the energy and water appropriations bill to pull any funding for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to consider Broadwater Energy's application for the terminal project, said Jon Schneider, an aide to the congressman. He noted that the energy and water spending bill is likely to come up in either March or April.

The Broadwater project has been the target of considerable opposition at the local, state and federal level. Earlier this month, the entire Connecticut congressional delegation expressed its "strong and united opposition" to the deepwater LNG project in a letter to FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher (see Daily GPI, Jan. 17). The delegation included Sens. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), as well as Democratic Reps. Rosa L. DeLauro, John Larson, Joseph Courtney and Christopher Murphy, and Republican Rep. Christopher Shays.

The proposed Broadwater offshore terminal would include a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) with an average sendout capacity of 1 Bcf/d and peak sendout of 1.25 Bcf/d. Broadwater Energy, a partnership of Shell Oil and TransCanada Corp., would operate the facility, while Shell would own the capacity and supply the LNG. The project is expected to go into service in 2010, assuming it receives FERC approval and state permits. The FSRU is a ship-like vessel that would be moored in Long Island Sound about 11 miles off the coast of Connecticut and nine miles offshore Long Island, and would store about 8 Bcf of natural gas to supply the energy needs of about four million New York and Connecticut residences, the company said.

FERC issued Broadwater Energy a favorable draft environmental impact statement in November, concluding that the construction and operation of the $700 million facility would not cause major environmental impacts (see Daily GPI, Nov. 20, 2006). The company now must receive a favorable final environmental impact statement before its project can be certificated.

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