Thursday, January 11, 2007

Skimming Through the Broadwater Accounts

I’ve been skimming the news stories about the public hearings that FERC is holding on the Broadwater LNG proposal for Long Island Sound, but not bothering to pass them on, mainly because they’re unilluminating he said-she said accounts that are as predictable as the tides.

This editorial, though, from the New London Day is worth a read. It mentions that FERC will meet with the Connecticut officials who feel disenfranchised and the scientists who think the environmental impact statement is as bad as a poorly-done term paper. My inclination is always to be skeptical of public relations ploys, and so I think the purpose of the meeting is to give the Connecticut folks the illusion that they’re being listened to. But I could be wrong.

On the other hand, here’s a silly column from Newsday, in which the author says that because she is afflicted with asthma (a chronic illness) and accepts her condition, we should accept having Broadwater (an environmentally risky industrial facility on publicly-owned property) on Long Island Sound. Makes sense, yes?

She also argues that we should accept Broadwater because the company says Long Island’s energy bills will be lower. This reminds me of the developers who argue that we should accept the new mall down the road because it will ease our property tax burden. It sounds good but I’ve yet to hear of a case of property taxes going down.

And finally she says we should compromise. Unfortunately she offers no clue as to that that compromise should consist of.



Anonymous Bryan said...

Whoa, aren't you being a little hard on Joye Brown? I don't read where she's ready to accept Broadwater. She's not necessarily buying the energy cost reduction argument and says others are challenged it. What she's saying is summed up at the end of her column:

No one has yet to offer a wildly popular plan. And no one ever will.

At some point, we're going to have to sift through the arguments and compromise, no matter how we feel.

I don' believe she's saying that we need to compromise on Broadwater specifically, but there will be comprises on energy policy and energy usage. We will, as you have pointed out a number of times, have to get used to living closer to our energy sources.

I'll go out on a limb and say that I expect that NYSDOS will deny coastal consistency, killing Broadwater at least putting it into a coma for the time being. Then what happens? Another year goes by?

We're approaching the two-year anniversary of what LIPA billed would be the LI Energy Summit. I attended it and recall Gordian Raacke of RELI expressing his concern that the new (at the time) energy plan for LI would end up like all the old energy plans...taking up just another few inches space on someone's shelf. Unfortunately, he was right.

Nobody seems willing to put all the issues on the table and actually start solving problems and I think Joye Brown nailed it perfectly. CT and LI can't even agree on the whether pipelines and cables under LIS are OK.


11:03 AM  
Anonymous Bryan said...

The links I put in my comment are misdirected. Blame my sloppy HTML coding. Here are the correct ones:

LI Energy Summit


2:12 PM  

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