Hochul vetoes bill related to Equinor cable in Long Beach


After months and months of discussion, back-and-forth and opposition, a clear decision has been made regarding Equinor.

Gov. Kathy Hochul vetoed the bill Friday was aimed at speeding up the planned offshore wind development off Long Beach's coast and keep the city moving toward it. The bill also included that Equinor would have been able to run power cables to transfer the energy underneath Long Beach's streets to an Island Park substation. Community members in all of the surrounding areas were loudly opposed to the cables. 

The Long Beach City Council openly opposed the idea, and sent a letter to Hochul in July expressing its opposition. The letter stated that the council is “fully in support of the necessary and urgently needed transition to renewable energy” and is ready to engage with an “offshore wind developer that proposes a reasonable project.”

Following Hochul's veto Friday, council members shared their appreciation. 

“I commend Governor Hochul for doing right by Long Beach and our residents. This project failed because Equinor thought they could steamroll their way over Long Beach and do as they please," said President John Bendo. "Our Council was proud to stand with our residents in opposition to this, and we are grateful to Governor Hochul for standing with us. We look forward to continuing to keep an open dialogue with her office about this, and many issues facing our residents.”

“We have been in close communication with the Governor’s office throughout this process and appreciate her willingness to listen to the community,” said City Council vice president Liz Treston. “We fully support the  Governor’s renewable energy goals, including offshore wind, but this proposal and this company were wrong on just about every level. In case this veto doesn’t send a strong enough message to Equinor, I’ll take it a step further by calling on them to withdraw their proposal immediately.”

“We’ve done the research, listened to the residents, retained experts and have been ardent in opposing the high voltage transmission lines running through our densely populated community,” said Councilwoman Tina Posterli. “Today’s veto is a shining example of government and residents working together to do what’s right for the community. Thank you to the Governor for listening and doing the right thing.”

Councilmember Tina Posterli said "for a little under two years, Long Beach residents felt unheard, unseen, and uncared for by Equinor — who for their part made no attempts to bridge that divide. Today’s decision by Governor Hochul should be reassuring to all Long Beach residents: your voice matters."

Councilman Roy Lester thanked Hochul for "protecting our coastline and community."

Councilmember Karen McInnis said she is "grateful all voices have been heard and the process worked."

State Sen. Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick, U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito and Assemblyman Ari Brown also backed the decision.

“This is a major win for Long Island’s South Shore residents and I thank all of them who have consistently raised awareness about this issue in conversations and community forums,” Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick said.  “Gov, Hochul's veto demonstrates that our residents' voices have been heard loudly. Equinor's poor business practices, lack of transparency, and blatant disregard for the democratic process have consequences."

"Through unwavering perseverance and grassroots determination, we witnessed the triumph of David over Goliath," Brown said.

 "I have been working extremely closely with South Shore community members and colleagues in government to rally against Equinor's proposed Empire 2 offshore wind project, and I am pleased to learn Gov. Hochul heard our calls and vetoed legislation that would have advanced this large-scale development," D’Esposito said. "I am grateful Gov. Hochul has listened to Long Islanders this time, but the fight to preserve our
South Shore from Equinor's corporate greed will continue."

 This veto comes on the heels of the NYS Public Service Commission unanimously, denying Equinor a rate increase of over 30 percent before the project even began.