Monday, March 31, 2008

The New York Times on Broadwater: "Let's Not"

Today is not a happy day in Broadwater-land. With two weeks to go before New York State's deadline for deciding the Broadwater issue, the New York Times has weighed in with an unequivocal NO!...


Here is our position on Broadwater, the quarter-mile-long floating energy barge in Long Island Sound that could supply New York and Connecticut with a billion cubic feet of natural gas a day — provided it wins regulatory approval, is built as planned and doesn’t get blown up by terrorists or sunk by market forces:

Let’s not. ...

Anti-Broadwater activists have expressed serious doubts about whether the federal review of environmental impact was thorough enough. They have also raised credible doubts that the market will even support this huge commitment to new infrastructure.

Long Island Sound could probably survive the addition of a permanent industrial barge the length of four football fields, and fishing boats and pleasure boaters could probably learn to cope with gas tankers, and everyone could probably live with the remote possibility of a big gas explosion on the Sound. But it’s not worth the accumulation of these insults to the Sound and its stressed ecosystem. Natural gas is cleaner than oil or coal but still a globe-warming fossil fuel.

One crucial caveat remains: By steadfastly opposing this project over the gas industry’s insistence that the region needs it, Broadwater’s critics are committing themselves to bearing the cost of the cleaner, greener way. This means a serious commitment to energy conservation and serious investments in wind and solar power, and in retooling existing power plants for efficiency and cleanliness.

It's impossible to say what affect editorials have on decision-makers. But depending on how much of a push Governor Paterson needs to say "let's not," the opinion of the Times might be just enough. Read it here.

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Blogger Sam said...

If I may be bold, there is something called "peak oil" and that has to do with the amount of new reserves and oil field capacity each year. We're fairly close to peak oil if not today, then soon and India and the Orient is making that painfully clear because of their energy demands.

But to be honest, our country is swamped in natural gas and western coal, enough for a few hundred more years each. Due to environmental concerns we hope to leverage natural gas because it is clean, at least until we can figure out the technology for "clean coal" which at this time is a total contradiction.

Strangely, just as imported LNG became popular, drilling for natural gas became really hot at the same time, since the commodity market was headed way up. It turns out that huge sections of the US have huge natural gas reserves that simply haven't been tapped. Folks, we have a good 200 years of natural gas if we know how to get it and use it wisely. -sam

8:34 PM  

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