Thursday, March 13, 2008

How will Spitzer's exit affect LNG project?




Even before Eliot Spitzer's announcement yesterday that he is resigning as governor of New York, Connecticut politicians opposed to the proposed construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) platform in Long Island Sound were preparing to lobby Spitzer's replacement.

The Hartford Courant reported on Tuesday that State Senate President Donald Williams "wants Connecticut to reach out to his (Spitzer's) lieutenant governor and persuade him to oppose Broadwater."

Broadwater Energy is a consortium of Shell Oil and TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. that is seeking to build a $700 million terminal some 9 miles from Long Island, N.Y., and 10 miles from the Connecticut shoreline.

Williams noted that Spitzer's administration was expected to make a decision soon on state permits for the proposed LNG terminal.

The project is opposed by numerous political leaders in Connecticut, including Governor M. Jodi Rell, and the state's vociferous Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

See our most recent post on the issue: The latest shot fired in the LI Sound LNG war

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On Monday, when the news of the Spitzer sex scandal began to break, environmental writer Tom Andersen's blog, SPHERE, published a post under the mischievous headline:

Expect Broadwater to Try to Influence Governor Spitzer with Results of Bogus Opinion Survey (although as of this afternoon, he may be preoccupied)

In it, Andersen writes about an email he received from a woman who said she lived on Long Island and had received a phone call last Thursday...

... from a fellow who said he was from an “independent research company” asking me if I would like to take a survey...

You'll learn a lot about public opinion polls by taking a few minutes to read what Andersen's tipster had to report. (Just click on the link above).

Folks on both sides of this issue are hunkering down for a whiz-bang public opinion battle. It should be fun to watch.

And it may serve as a preview of coming attractions in New Jersey where ExxonMobil proposes to construct its own LNG receiving terminal 20 miles off the coast.

See: Offshore NJ natural gas proposal draws rapid & rabid response

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POSTSCRIPT: Denise Civiletti, a Broadwater opponent, writes in her blog, Civiletti, that opponents who had been trying to get a meeting for some time with Gov. Spitzer now realize that the date on which they finally succeeded, February 11, was the same day that the governor reportedly was busy arranging an assignation with a high-priced hooker two days later at a Washington, D. C. hotel. She speculates about this in: What was on his mind? Not Broadwater!

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