Saturday, September 6, 2008

Offshore LNG plans torched and advanced

Controversial plans for the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals off the coast of New Jersey and New York were back in the news this week as three of the proposals came under fire and one advanced a step.

In New Jersey, the activist group Clean Ocean Action (COA), announced it was launching a campaign to inform the public and lawmakers about what it sees as the dangers of building the terminals 15 to 20 miles off the coast. COA leaders say they also hope to keep the possibility of offshore LNG facilities out of the final state Energy Master Plan which is due this fall.

Three separate proposals for the construction of LNG facilities of the Jersey coast have been advanced by:

*Atlantic Sea Island Group, which wants to build Safe Harbor Energy, an 80-acre island 19 miles off Sea Bright as a terminal for giant LNG carriers

* Exxon Mobil, which proposes a floating terminal 20 miles east of Manasquan where LNG carriers would link with an undersea pipeline that would carry the gas to shore

* Liberty Natural Gas , seeks to build an anchorage 15 miles off Asbury Park where tankers would link to a pipeline

COA, which opposes all three plans, released a 60-page report that contends the U.S. has a glut of natural gas reserves and does not need imports. The report also claims the facilities would endanger the marine environment and New Jersey's fishing and tourism industries. It also raises security issues, maintaining that offshore LNG terminal would be vulnerable to terrorists.

Bill Cooper, president of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas in Washington, told a Gannett reporter that, which the country has vast natural gas reserves, current U.S. policy either severely restricts drilling or flat out prohibits it. As a result, he said natural gas must be imported an that necessitates LNG terminals.


In New York on Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied requests by New York, 'Connecticut, Suffolk County and several area towns to reconsider its approval of permist granted to Broadwater Energy for the installation of an LNG terminal in Long Island Sound.

Broadwater's proposal is opposed by the governors of both New York and Connecticut and has come under withering fire from numerous environmental and outdoor organizations and many newspaper editorial boards. Despite that, the company has continued to methodically advance its case with federal agencies, hoping they will overrule the local opposition.

For a summary of the latest Broadwater development, see Long Island editor/publisher Denise Civiletti's blog report.

LNG platforms - A northeast update
(EnviroPolitics Blog - 4/30/08)

NY nixes LNG platform; focus shifts to NJ
(EnviroPolitics Blog - 4//10/08)

New developments in NY's LNG barge saga
(EnviroPolitics Blog - 4/3/08)

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