Should fracking eventually outstrip natural gas demand in the United States, the country could become an exporter of LNG to Europe and Asia, the Draft Energy Plan cautions. This has made many environmental groups wary that once Port Ambrose is built, Liberty could switch its use to LNG exports, promoting more fracking in the region and possibly in New York, where it is currently banned.
Heather Leibowitz, director of Environment New York and a Merrick native, said the Draft Energy Plan shows there is “not a need for Port Ambrose.” She also pointed out that the proposed Port Ambrose site partly overlaps with that for a wind farm project that has been on hold for several years.
“We’ve seen the great damage that climate change can do with Hurricane Sandy,” Leibowitz said. “These LNG ports and natural gas, it’s not a larger purpose. We really need to stress renewables.”
Leibowitz said her organization is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to veto Port Ambrose’s license application.
The government’s review process for Liberty’s Port Ambrose application continues currently. Public notice of the project appeared in the Federal Register on June 24, 2013, initiating a 240-day period under law for all public hearings about Port Ambrose. On October 21, 2013, the Coast Guard announced a 90-day hold while it solicited missing details about Port Ambrose from Liberty, pushing the deadline for hearings back to April 20 this year. There have been two hearings to date. They occurred last summer in Long Beach and Edison, N.J.