Friday, March 14, 2008

Governor Paterson Should Approve the Broadwater Project

New York Governor David Paterson will probably follow former Governor Eliot Spitzer's action and delay the decision to approve or deny a permit to allow Broadwater Energy, a consortium of Shell Oil and TransCanada Pipelines Ltd., to site a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in the middle of Long Island Sound. The New York Department of State was to have decided by April 12 but pushed the decision back for the second time by 60 days from Feb 12. The floating facility would be 1,200-feet-long with an 82-foot-high platform and would be 10 miles offshore. Although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead agency in approving the environmental impact statement, the proposed site in New York and Connecticut waters allows state agencies to block it.

Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell opposes the Broadwater project believing that FERC did not adequately consider safer alternatives and did not address the full potential harm to Sound marine life. Gov Rell is also asking NY Governor Paterson to reject the project. Rell commissioned the Long Island Sound LNG Task Force, which recently issued a report that pointed out that FERC neglected its role by creating a flawed, inaccurate and vague analysis of the project while ignoring viable alternatives. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal also opposes the Broadwater Project and will sue to stop it if it wins final FERC approval. Leading opposition groups to the $700 million project include the Citizens Campaign for the Environment and the Connecticut Fund for the Environment's Save the Sound program.

AAEA-New York supports the facility plan and presented testimony in support of the project during the 2005 round of FERC and Coast Guard hearings.

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