Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yawn: The Long Island Association Announces Its Conditional Support of Broadwater

The Long Island Association, a pro-business organization, announced yesterday that it would support the Broadwater LNG proposal if the proposal meets certain conditions.

Adrienne Esposito of Citizens Campaign for the Environment and Dick Amper of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society had a conniption when they heard the news. They reacted in Newsday as if the Long Island Association was guilty of an act of abject betrayal, and perhaps it was.

My more subdued reaction is: Who cares?

Here’s what the Long Island Association said:

"All environmental, safety and security issues must be resolved to federal and state satisfaction; Long Island must get lower priced gas; environmental, commercial fishing, community benefit, safety and security funds must be set up; payments in lieu of taxes to Riverhead."

As I said, “Who Cares?”

It’s meaningless to say that all environmental, safety and security issues must be resolved to federal and state satisfaction. It is meaningless because of the alternative: Was there any chance that the Long Island Association was going to say, “We support Broadwater no matter what, even if it will damage Long Island Sound and put our lives at risk”?

For the Long Island Association to have been taken seriously, it would have had to say something like this: When the feds and the state finish their environmental reviews, we’ll take a hard look at their conclusions and, if we agree with them, we’ll endorse the proposal.

For another thing, look at the reaction of John Hritcko, Broadwater’s vice president and chief mouthpiece:

"The conditions within LIA's statement of support are already part of Broadwater's plans and we look forward to working with the LIA."

How much more meaningless can you get? The conditions that the Long Island Association is insisting with all its moral force and gravity that Broadwater adhere to are already part of the Broadwater plan.

To the Long Island Association: Next time save yourselves the effort.

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