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Clinton: Broadwater Terminal 'Wrong Energy Project' for Sound

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), in a letter to FERC Wednesday, asked the agency to reject Broadwater Energy LLC's controversial deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal which is proposed for Long Island Sound.

"It is simply the wrong energy project for the Sound," she wrote to FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher. "I believe that from the outset too many questions have gone unanswered regarding [the] security, environmental effects and the impact this project will have on how Long Islanders use and enjoy the Sound," said Clinton, who is among the pack of Democrats looking to succeed President Bush in 2008.

"The safety and security risks involved with this project are numerous and have not been addressed...I am concerned that the Coast Guard, who are already stretched to the limit by their homeland security responsibilities, will not be able to accommodate the increased security demands that this project requires to protect the Sound and those who use it," she said.

Moreover, "I am concerned about the environmental impacts of the project, and I am disappointed in the conclusion of the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) that this project is environmentally acceptable. The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation have both identified deficiencies in the DEIS," Clinton noted.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Broadwater Energy a favorable DEIS 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, a partnership of Shell Oil and TransCanada Corp., needs a favorable final environmental impact statement before its project can be certificated.

The Broadwater project has been the target of considerable opposition at the local, state and federal level. Last month, the entire Connecticut congressional delegation expressed its "strong and united opposition" to the deepwater LNG project in a letter to FERC's 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.

Rep. Timothy Bishop (D-NY) plans to offer legislation to ban the construction of facilities in estuaries of national significance, such as the proposed Broadwater terminal, said spokesman Jon Schneider (see Daily GPI, Jan. 31).

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. 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. The project is expected to go into service in 2010, assuming it receives FERC approval and state permits.

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