2015-10-28 / Features

LNG Project A Disaster

A copy of this letter was received at the Queens Gazette
October 19, 2015
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor, State of New York
Executive Chamber
NYS Capitol Building

Albany, NY 12224
Re: Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Facility
Dear Governor Cuomo:
I hope that this letter finds you well. I am writing to respectfully request that you reject the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas project currently being proposed off the coast of Rockaway Beach. It is my strong belief that this facility, quite simply, would be a potential disaster waiting to happen. The project contains the components of harming the environment, presenting a serious threat to public safety, derailing a clean offshore wind energy project that is already moving forward, and producing little, if any, economic benefit to our city or state.
If built, this facility would degrade the environment in many ways. Chemicals would be discharged into the ocean, and the project would require the dredging of more than 20 miles of sea floor. It would encourage more hydrofracking in nearby states that allow the drilling. In addition, liquefied natural gas is itself polluted – resulting in 40 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than domestic natural gas.
This facility would not only present an attractive and deadly target for terrorists, but a ruptured tanker could have catastrophic ramifications. Such an accident could produce a huge gas vapor cloud which, if exposed to any kind of ignition, could catch on fire. A 2004 study by the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that this type of fire could be hot enough to melt steel at distances of 1200 feet and result in second-degree burns on exposed skin a mile away. In addition, its proximity to JFK International Airport and residential communities must be considered.
There is no economic need for this project and there are other, safer ways to ensure adequate power in the Long Island and downstate region. The United States has more than enough natural gas supplies and it seems obvious that the Port Ambrose “import” facility would ultimately lead to the export of domestic natural gas to Europe or to the highest bidder, with no benefit to New York State residents. This proposal is purely a money-making scheme by Liberty Natural Gas, a sketchy company that is really only known as a bank account in the Cayman Islands.
Moving forward with the Port Ambrose project would make it almost impossible to build an already proposed offshore wind power project for the same site. It is my understanding that the New York City Offshore Wind Project, comprised of Con Edison, Long Island Power Authority and the New York Power Authority is in the process of securing federal permits for this project. While energy has been harvested from the wind for decades, it is only in the past few years with the threat of climate change that the development of wind power has skyrocketed. Since 2010, wind power has contributed 2.5% of the world’s electricity. China has now surpassed the world in generating electricity from wind power, and Denmark gets 28% of its power from wind turbines. I believe that the development of a wind farm off the shores of Rockaway is compatible with our states’ other clean energy initiatives, such as the development of Solar City in western New York. Continuing to invest in dirty and dangerous energy facilities would surely undermine these efforts.
I appreciate the leadership that your administration has demonstrated in banning the practice of hydrofracking in our state, due to the potentially disastrous environmental and public safety implications. New York State must reject the Port Ambrose project for these same reasons.
Thank you for your consideration of this important issue.
Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.
New York State Senator
15 District

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