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Apr 14, 2009 2:17 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Federal government upholds state rejection of Broadwater proposal

Apr 14, 2009 2:17 PM

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Monday upheld New York State’s rejection of a proposal by Broadwater Energy to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in the middle of the Long Island Sound.

Governor David Paterson and the state’s Department of State rejected the proposal last April. Broadwater, a joint venture of Shell Oil and TransCanada Pipelines, appealed the state’s decision in June.

The 1,200-foot-long gas barge was to be built 9 miles off the coast of Wading River. In addition, 22 miles of underwater pipeline was to be laid to transport natural gas to existing pipelines in Long Island and Connecticut.

Broadwater argued the project would lower natural gas prices for homeowners in the Tri-State region and would improve national security by lowering the country’s dependence on foreign oil. In 2008, the project received unanimous approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and a positive letter of recommendation from the U.S. Coast Guard.

But Monday’s decision, signed by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, agreed with Mr. Paterson that the project was not consistent with New York’s Coastal Zone Management Plan, which governs how companies can use the state’s coastal resources, including the Long Island Sound. The decision noted that the possible environmental impacts of the project outweighed its economic benefits. In addition, it said that Broadwater’s claims that the project would further national security efforts were dubious.

“The national interest furthered by the project does not outweigh the project’s adverse coastal effects,” the decision stated. “The record also does not establish that the project is necessary in the interest of national security.”

In a prepared statement, U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, who has consistently fought against the project since taking office, hailed Monday’s decision as “the final nail in Broadwater’s coffin” that “has affirmed once and for all that Broadwater is not a cost-effective energy solution for New York.”

Broadwater Senior Vice President John Hritcko said the company was disappointed in the ruling. “We believe the region will need additional natural gas to ensure a reliable supply of energy, help reduce price spikes and meet air quality and climate change goals,” he said.

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This is a victory for the entire East End. This was a poor concept from the get-go with little concern by the promoters for the people of Long Island - an arrogant and totally self-serving advance of their own interests. They tried to ram this project through by using the most specious of arguments, defenses and fear-mongering. I can only hope that this presages years of careful consideration, with all the stakeholders included, by our government, of decisions that are so obviously likely to wreak ...more
By barberosa (39), Westhampton on Apr 13, 09 5:33 PM
It's been a bad week for the pirates, wherever they are.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Apr 15, 09 8:59 PM