A week after they criticized plans for an offshore liquefied natural gas terminal at a meeting in Queens, officials gathered on the Long Beach boardwalk on Thursday to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to veto the plan, citing environmental, economic and safety concerns.
At a press conference led by City Council President Anthony Eramo, council members Fran Adelson and Len Torres, U.S. Rep Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), State Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), County Legislator Denise Ford (R-Long Beach) and Legislator Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) joined forces to oppose a company’s plan to build “Port Ambrose,” a liquefied natural gas terminal in the Atlantic Ocean 19 miles southeast of Jones Beach and 29 miles east of Long Branch, N.J.
Liberty Natural Gas LLC, a New Jersey company that Toronto hedge fund West Face Capital Inc. controls, is seeking federal and state approvals to build the terminal in federal waters off the South Shore, which it says will bring additional natural gas into the New York area and reduce consumer costs.
The plan includes a system of underwater buoys and pipelines. Massive ships designed to carry tens of millions of gallons of condensed, super-cooled natural gas would dock at the port, heat the LNG into gas and pump it inland through Long Beach and Island Park via the existing Transco natural gas pipeline, which extends from South Texas to New York and runs under Long Beach.
In 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a previous LNG proposal under the federal Deepwater Port Act, and a year later, Liberty Natural Gas withdrew its application for a revised proposal.
Now, officials and a number of environmental groups, inlcuding Sane Energy, the Surfrider Foundation, All Our Energy and Clean Ocean Action, are calling on the U.S. Maritime Administration and U.S. Coast guard to deny Liberty's most recent application and urging Cuomo to veto it, saying that the terminal would hurt the environment, increase the region’s dependence on foreign fuel and create the potential for an offshore catastrophe or terrorist attacks.