Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Reason to Reject Broadwater's LNG Proposal for Long Island Sound

We're probably just a matter of a few weeks away from decisions by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and New York State about whether Shell and TransCanada should be allowed to build a huge liquefied natural gas plant in the middle of Long Island Sound.

In anticipation, I want to reiterate the argument that allowing Broadwater to use the Sound amounts to an unacceptable public subsidy of industry.

The Long Island Sound region used to be heavily industrialized, and while the local wealth created by manufacturing led to a golden era in many of the region’s cities, it also led to astonishing pollution in the Sound and its tributaries.

The industrial era is gone. And now that factories have abandoned the region, leaving the heavy metals that still contaminate our harbors and the useless mills that blight our cities, we’re finally shaking the attitude about the Sound that the industrial era typified – namely, that the main function of Long Island Sound and its tributaries is to subsidize our incompatible economic activities.

In the old days that subsidy amounted to free disposal of industrial waste. Now, with Broadwater, the subsidy would be the use of publicly-owned waters for private corporate gain. But there’s no difference. In both cases, it’s not what Long Island Sound is for.



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