Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Silent Spitzer, Noisy Blumenthal, and the Fate of Broadwater

People seem surprised that Governor Eliot Spitzer himself has given no indication of whether New York will say yes or no to Broadwater’s proposal for a huge LNG terminal in Long Island Sound.

But look at it this way – if you were an advocate for the project, and Spitzer came out against it before his state reviewers finished their reviews, and before the FERC commissioners officially accepted the environmental impact statement, you’d have a great case that Spitzer was unfairly deciding before all the fact were in. The same is true of he came out for it and you were against it.

Spitzer is the judge. He’s right not to make a decision before all the evidence is in. And if he’s leaning one way or the other, he’s right and smart not to let on. And in any case, his departments of State and Environmental Conservation have raised some serious, skeptical questions about Broadwater. My guess is that the proposal won’t fly with those two agencies. The question is whether it will fly with the people (particularly at the Long Island Power Authority) who are reviewing it for its energy and economic benefits. We haven’t heard much from those agencies.

The Stamford Advocate has a story today about Spitzer and particularly on his relationship with Richard Blumenthal, the combative Connecticut attorney general, who has said recently he’ll sue anyone he has to – including Spitzer – to stop Broadwater. Here.

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Anonymous Bryan said...

I'm surprised the Advocate article didn't mention the Islander East pipeline. It's another issue that puts Blumenthal on one side and Spitzer, presumably, on the other. In this case, Blumenthal is fighting the feds to get them to overturn the Dept. of Commerce's overturning of CT's denial of coastal consistency. The legal activities have kept the pipeline from being built.

Perhaps it's an opportunity for CT to rethink its position on Islander East and use it as a negotiating point with NY, although I'm not sure CT wants to abandon its position that cables and pipelines across LIS are too environmentally damaging to be allowed. They've attempted to enforce it pretty consistently.

It's position that also seems to be held by Citizens Campaign, et al. at least with respect to Broadwater, but not at all with respect to the Cross-Sound Cable or Islander East. I guess with CCE, it's all relative.

1:08 PM  

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