The construction of a deep-water port in federal waters 19 miles off Jones Beach, New York, and 29 miles off Long Branch, New Jersey, is vehemently opposed by environmentalists and fishing groups who accuse the company behind it of concealing the true purpose of the terminal.
Liberty Natural Gas wants to build an underwater re-gasification station that would convert LNG imported from Trinidad and Tobago and, after turning it back into a gaseous state, pump it to the New York area during times of shortage, using an underwater Transcontinental Pipeline off Long Island.
However, the opponents of the project, called Port Ambrose, believe it’s a ruse that will allow Liberty to transform it into an export terminal after the facility’s been built.
“It seeks to bring us liquefied natural gas: a dirty, foreign, expensive fossil fuel that will be a target for terrorism, and threaten fisheries, clean ocean jobs and tourism,” Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action told ABC News.
Jim Lovgren, who runs the Fishermens’ Dock Cooperative in Point Pleasant Beach, called the proposal “an attempt to turn the ocean waters off New Jersey to Louisiana North. If this project is approved, the oil companies will line up seeking to build their own ports and start exporting the huge Marcellus gas reserves” that are currently being developed using fracking.
Among concerns voiced by the opponents of Port Ambrose is the risk of a leak which, they claim, could result in a “pool fire” if the leak happens in the water or in a flammable vapour cloud – but the agencies concluded that “even large flammable vapor clouds would not reach the shore and impact population areas.”
Liberty strongly denies it has any plans to use the terminal to export gas. For one, said Liberty CEO Roger Whelan, the area’s logistics would make it prohibitively expensive.
“This will never be an export project. We will never be part of an export project,” he said. “It’s crazy to try to export gas from that location; it would be the most expensive gas on the planet.”
Luke Jackson, an analyst with Bentek Energy, a unit of the Platts energy information firm, said such a project is not needed in the area right now, given similar terminals that already exist in Boston and Maryland.
“You have tons of shale gas being produced right next door in Pennsylvania, and additional pipeline capacity being added to get that gas into New York City,” he said. “It would honestly make more sense to build an export terminal.”
Source: ABC News
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