Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Connecticut's LNG solution? Put it in Jersey

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is outraged that Shell is proposing to erect a liquefied natural gas storage facility in Long Island Sound. He calls it "an environmental atrocity, a serious security risk and a navigation nightmare."

But he acknowledges that Connecticut and New York need more natural gas - and perhaps large LNG facilities (like Shell's proposed Broadwater terminal) - to feed a growing demand for energy.

So what alternative does he propose? Put the damn thing in New Jersey.

No kidding. In an opinion piece published today in Newsday, Mr. Blumenthal offers up the Garden State as the ideal facility host, arguing:

"Exxon Mobil's proposed BlueOcean LNG terminal off the New Jersey coast, for example, would be in open water away from shipping lanes and environmentally sensitive areas and would require less underwater pipeline, while providing 20 percent more natural gas capacity to the Northeast market than Broadwater. "

And if that isn't acceptable? Guess which are find his #2 and #3 choice locations?

"Other terminals under consideration - also worthy of support - are Crown Landing in Logan Township, N.J., and Safe Harbor Energy off the coast of New Jersey."

Normally, attempting to foist off an "environmental atrocity" on New Jersey would bring a prompt rebuke from the guy in charge in Trenton. But that might prove a bit awkward in this case, since New Jersey's attorney general has already gone to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the state's right to host the above mentioned Crown Landing LNG facility in the Delaware River just off Logan Township.

That LNG proposal brought the Delaware of Governor bristling into court, claiming New Jersey was poaching in its territorial waters.

In these confusing days of shrinking energy supplies and expanding political bravura it's difficult to judge who is right or wrong.

Got an opinion on any or all of this? Click on the comment line below and let us know what you think.

SIDEBAR: AG Blumenthal's full comments can be viewed here
Our previous posts are: New York postpones LNG facility decision
and NY and CT face off over LNG terminal

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