As part of his ongoing fight to block the Broadwater Energy LLC liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has called on a New York state agency to reject a permit for the controversial deepwater LNG terminal proposed for Long Island Sound.
Broadwater Energy, a partnership of Shell Oil and TransCanada Corp., is seeking permission from the New York Office of General Services to occupy land and anchor its LNG facility in the middle of Long Island Sound in New York waters, just short of the Connecticut line.
Blumenthal, an outspoken critic of the project, urged New York to deny the permit on the grounds that the Broadwater Energy terminal would pose a "direct and substantial threat" to human health and safety, and to the ecosystem resources in Long Island Sound.
"Our two states have a huge common stake in this shared threat. My hope is that New York will join Connecticut in...vigorously opposing a project imperiling the scenic and visual quality of the public trust lands and waters of the Sound," he said.
In related action, the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will hold a field hearing on Long Island, NY, on May 7 at 10 a.m. (EDT) to address the impact of the proposed Broadwater LNG terminal on the limited resources of the U.S. Coast Guard and on surrounding residential communities.
The field hearing was requested by Rep. Timothy Bishop (D-NY), who last month introduced legislation (HR 1564) to ban the construction of facilities, such as the Broadwater terminal, in estuaries of national significance (see Daily GPI, Jan. 31). His bill seeks to amend the Clean Water Act to prevent the installation of LNG technology, such as floating storage and regasification units (FSRU), which he says would expose the environment to LNG-related spills, explosions and other dangers.
In January, the entire seven-member Connecticut congressional delegation expressed its "strong and united opposition" to the Broadwater LNG project in a letter to FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher. Joining in the opposition were 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 (see Daily GPI, Jan. 17).
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), in a letter to FERC in February, asked the agency to kill the Broadwater project as well (see Daily GPI, Feb. 9). "It is simply the wrong energy project for the Sound," she wrote to 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."
The proposed Broadwater terminal would include an FSRU with an average sendout capacity of 1 Bcf/d and peak sendout of 1.25 Bcf/d. Broadwater 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.
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