Monday, April 14, 2008

Remember: Broadwater Was Rejected Because It Was The Wrong Project in The Wrong Place, Not Because People Opposed It

The Broadwater people and the reporter who wrote this story for the Courant either didn’t read or are deliberately misrepresenting what New York State’s rejection of Broadwater said about alternatives to putting a liquefied natural gas factory in the middle of Long Island Sound.

New York was not saying that we don’t need Broadwater because there will be other LNG terminals coming online. Rather, the state said that alternative locations exist for Broadwater’s project but that Broadwater did not consider them seriously enough.

And yet Broadwater and the Courant’s reporter are peddling the myth that it’s somehow going to be the fault of officials in New York and Connecticut, and of activists who opposed the project, if energy costs rise because Broadwater won’t be built. Here’s what the Courant said:

The other liquefied natural gas terminals proposed, in locations in Delaware and New Brunswick, Canada, will do little for Connecticut, Broadwater officials said, and that's assuming they win approval. "The alternatives that the opposition points to don't exist, haven't been reviewed or aren't designed to serve Connecticut or New York," said John Hritcko Jr., a senior vice president for Broadwater, a consortium of Shell Oil and the TransCanada Pipeline.

That might be true but how is it relevant? The important thing is not the alternatives that the opposition points to, as Hritcko puts it, but the alternatives that the New York State Department of State said were more viable than the middle of Long Island Sound – alternatives that could have and should have been given serious study in the project’s environmental review. It was Broadwater – Shell and TransCanada – who picked the wrong spot. Hritcko should be looking in the mirror and saying, “We made a mistake in not seriously considering the alternative locations that the state identified.”

Here’s what the state said:

DOS has proposed two alternative locations that are feasible and would be consistent with the NY Coastal Management Program. These alternatives would: • present fewer use conflicts with recreational boating, sport fishing, commercial fishing, and commercial vessels;
• have reduced effects on coastal resources when compared to the effects on the LIS estuary;

• be sited outside New York’s public trust waters; and,

• not be visible from shore.
Alternative 1 - An FSRU [floating storage regasification unit, jargon for a big LNG terminal] in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 13 miles south of Long Beach Island, west of Cholera Bank. Alternative 2 – An FSRU in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 20 miles south of Fire Island Inlet.

The Broadwater people miscalculated badly. They put all their eggs into the Long Island Sound basket and when the basket fell, all the eggs broke. It was their mistake. Don’t blame us.



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