Sunday, February 10, 2008

New York State is Giving Broadwater a Chance to Win Our Hearts and Minds

What are the implications of New York State's delay of its Broadwater decision for 60 days? Denise Civiletti says there are a lot of them, and almost all of them favor Broadwater. Read what she says here.

The reason they favor Broadwater is because the state was ready to reject the proposal for a LNG terminal in Long Island Sound before it mysteriously asked for an extension of the deadline:

The DOS has already written its decision (74 pages long) and was prepared to issue it on time, according to a source I can't name, but who is in a position (inside government) to know. The DOS does not believe the floating gas terminal is consistent with the state's coastal resources management plan and its decision letter rejects the plan.

She also says Broadwater is laying siege to the region with its advertising and PR campaign (I rarely listen to local radio and I rarely watch cable TV, so I've missed it):

The media blitz has begun. Last night, I went out for a late dinner with my husband. We were at The Birchwood in Polish Town, here in Riverhead. They have several TVs positioned around the pub-style restaurant. The one facing my seat was tuned to Channel 12. In the course of about an hour, four Broadwater commercials aired.

Dick Amper of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society says Broadwater is spending $100,000 on its media campaign. That's barely a drop of oil in the barrel for Big Energy companies like Shell and TransCanada. They could spend 10 times that without blinking. And they just might.

There's lots more in her post, including information about energy loggyists' ties to Eliot Spitzer.

The anti-Broadwater folks need to fight the Broadwater siege with everything they have. (There's was a comment made anonymously to this post; I can't really understand why anonymity is neccesary, so I'm not going to let it get by. Whoever sent it in, if you want to convince me that you need to remain anonymous, feel free, but if you want to submit it with you name, that'd be even better.)



Anonymous Bryan said...


In her post, Denise Civiletti connects Broadwater to the nuclear industry by way of the lobbyists and a pseudo public interest group.

While it might seem like the plot to a suspense novel playing out before our eyes, Broadwater's connection to other energy issues was there from the beginning (Islander East, Indian Point, cooling water intake structures, etc.).

Any argument against Broadwater, notwithstanding public trust doctrine, should have considered how it relates to all of the energy issues. The parochial approach of the enviros and the parsing of the issue along geographic and energy-source boundaries was destined to result in a at least some conflict, if not out and out blowback.

Yes, there were those who shouted for a regional energy plan, but it never happened, not even within the enviros. I go back to Dick Amper's comment way back in the beginning that "Long Island doesn't need any more natural gas" or words to that effect. His comment was telling because it foretold how narrow the focus would be when it came to addressing Broadwater.

Broadwater is throwing around money to buy some goodwill. But, more importantly, they are in a position to play NYC against everyone else, the anti-Indian Pointers against the anti-LNG folks, Long Island against NJ (viz. the ExxonMobil atlantic project), CT against LI, etc. Along the way, they can/will pick up political allies that will help them persuade other politicos to see things there way.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous LIPBS said...

The Anti-Broadwater Coalition's response to Broadwater's ad campaign has been posted on Youtube. It features a young Anti-Broadwater coalition member and Dick Amper, Pine Barrens Society's executive director.
You can view it here:

12:50 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Hmm, interesting link, rather populist like John Edwards would do.

The fact is that other LNG facilities are being approved and were approved because their footprint was not as large as the one Broadwater would occupy in Long Island Sound. Inside at an industrial terminal away from houses and highways - fine, because that is private property with adjacent harbor waters. Outside in the Atlantic like the proposed facility off New Jersey - fine, that is offshore in federal waters not traveled by many boats and ships.

Let us keep that perspective because this is not about evil multi-national companies sneaking foreign hydrocarbons into the US for their greed and profit. It is about taking such a large swath of land due to its security zone; it is about gasification that results in massive air pollution; it is about trenching the bottom of the Sound that could screw it up for decades.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Bryan said...


I guess Dick Amper and company didn't think they could win on public trust doctrine, so they had to kick it up a notch and envoke Mom and apple pie against the greedy corporations. It's not about privatization of LIS. It's about undermining our democracy.

Here's my almost verbatim transcript of one of the more over-the-top parts:

"[NYS will] turn sovereign US territory over to a multi-national corporation importing foreign fossil fuels from countries that are not always are friends."

I believe he claimed it was the first and only instance where the US turned over its sovereignty in such a way. First, what does that mean? Second, is it even true?

But that's Dick Amper for you. He's not one to let facts get in the way of innuendo and rhetoric.

Even though I'm new to Texas, I bristled a bit at the comparison of what LIS could look like if Broadwater is built: the coasts of Louisiana and Texas. Well, they hate the sight of the infrastructure, but they sure don't have a problem consuming the natural gas and oil those "eye sores" generate as they through miles of pipeline and rights of way to get to Long Island.

I'm not saying that the oil and gas development in the Gulf is all good and environmentally benign. But Long Island's energy consumption has a price that Long Islanders aren't paying, unless it involves something that directly and immediately effects their quality of life, like new transmission lines that will diminish their viewshed because they're on poles. In that case, they're lobby LIPA to bury the cables at a cost of many millions of dollars.

8:11 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Hey Bryan man I got a story for you! Us Texans love those offshore oil and gas wells! The reason is because you can fish them and by golly, I've fished within 5 feet of several and it is a blast. For some reason, such rigs attract fish like a magnet.

Technically, they're called a "fish accumulator." Hmm, never saw that concept in the DEIS but maybe I'm mistaken.

No idea if there is some security zone around an oil rig but we fish like I said, right next to them and hope we don't crash against the superstructure in high waves. Never got run off, and Coast Guard never cares. Heck man, the crew on the rig is sometimes casting for giant yellowfin tuna because they get tired of their beenie-weenies. Us locals in the "mosquito fleet" will take small boats out 10 to 150 miles just to visit a good oil & gas rig or two.

Would the security zone around the proposed Broadwater facility be as strict as they say? I would tend to think it would be as advertised, lacking any proof that it would be similar to the rigs down here in Texas that are not restricted. I think you'd be run off there in Long Island Sound because it is such a big Homeland Security deal.

But I feel your pain - that ole Yankee Summbitz said that if Broadwater was approved it would look worse than offshore Louisiana or Texas. I felt like giving him a Nolan Ryan noogie on the head for saying such a stupid thing. What a jerk.

11:35 PM  

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