Stop the LNG Port Off Our Shore
I and over 300 people attended the hearing and press conference in the Allegria Hotel Conference center, Too bad, two hours was nowhere near enough to let the 60+ people who signed up to speak get a shot at the microphone.
The Maritime Administration has extended comment period 30 days to August 22, 2013.
I will note that although that was what was said, as of now, the date for comments online still ends July 14, 2013 and has not changed for some reason.
No representatives of the company spoke. They sent union members hoping to get a job, to speak for them. (More later)
click here for all the information regarding the hearing and the LNG Port licensing request :
A transcript of the speakers from the Allegria is supposed to be coming any day here(still has not 6 days later)
You can also see comments people have left on the bottom of that page
YOU CAN Comment on the project by clicking here
The overwhelming majority of the room were defiantly against the project,
Besides the people quoted, other people of note in attendance:
Jack Schnirmann Long Beach City Council
Michaelle Solages NY State Assembly.
Members of Operation SPLASH
Im just going to let people talk for themselves.
The US Coast Guard representative opened and gave a brief synopsis they are neither for nor against the project. “The governors of NY and NJ have veto power over this project. “.
H. Keith Lesnik from Maritme Administration:
“This is a license to import only”. “The Maritime administrator has the authority to approve the project”.
“The applicant is financially responsible and must operate in the national interest and environmental policy”.
I found it curious they said that it could be shown that the governors dont have to approve, they can “seem” to have approved. (?)
The speakers, their quotes from both the news conference and the hearing:
Eileen Goggin, Long Beach City Council spoke first at the hearing:
“Long Beach has not been apprised of this project. I am here to insist there be full, thorough and transparent review. The identity of those that stand to benefit should be exposed.
We are only 8 months after Sandy and still recovering -our needs must be taken into consideration.
I will stand up for the residents”
Dave Denenberg, Nassau County Legislator from Merrick:
“The Public has no idea. We need more info, more time, more hearings and more comment. That infrastructure is just 2 miles out. Does getting in with import license open you up for export?
I want to study… the information the environmental groups brought out. ”
“Thank you for extending it(the 30 day extension of public input). But how about 90 or 120 days”
“We had similar proposal and gave the project a chance to explain, which they never did.
We’re not going to risk anything … we’re going to do everything to make our public aware and you will hear from me again. I want you to know how sensitive this issue is and how tight knit our community is”
“NYC stands with Long Beach in protecting the health and safety of our community. Disappointed that you are only doing the minimum meetings. On behalf of our people we oppose your taking this project around us in the dark of night.
I will let the governor know how the people who have been cut out of this process feel.
They(Liberty Natural Gas) are trying to side step this neighborhood. “
Larry Moriarty, chair of Central Long Island Surfriders, Long Beach:
“Our local businesses are already struggling from hurricane Sandy We can’t afford even the perception of further degradation of our oceans waves and beaches by dredging up the seafloor. That might be enough to keep some people away from our beach and in their neighbors pool”
Bruce Ferguson, Catskills Citizens for Safe Energy:
“the market doesn’t support imports:it will be used for export overseas. They have skirted the bottom edge of the law only 2 meetings and 30 days. ”
Of the 4000 pages filed by Liberty Natural Gas, 2500 pages are not available to the public.”
Eric Weltman, Food and Water Watch:
“This Threatens to lock in decades of dirty energy. Governor Cuomo must reject the plan.”
Adrienne Esposito, Citizens Campaign for the Environment :
“LNG is not a bridge to renewable energy, it’s a brick wall”
“This exact location is 8 years in the making for the offshore wind projects. Millions of dollars spent on its studies. Hundreds of meetings. Now it’s being turned over to an LNG port?
“We are rejecting for a second time a dirty dangerous project in our waters”
Jeremy Samuelson Concerned Citizens of Montauk:
“In a community trying to put their lives back together they are putting a shackle on moving forward .. By repeating the mistakes of the past.
“We need not to look 18 months out , we need to look 18 years, 50 years out.
Fracking in NY State will be made possible by this project. “
Cindy Zipf, Clean Ocean Action:
“Make any outreach to governor Cuomo. Join the Email campaign. By law he cannot veto it yet, until the environmental impact statement is in.
By letting them know how we feel, we make it easier for them to say ‘no.'”
Clean Ocean Action lawyer Sean Dixon updated her:
“A veto can come into full effect now” “To the issue of exports under Deepwater port act: the company (Liberty Natural Gas) can just petition to (become) export, and the license can be amended.” It can be done by just a letter requesting it.
The Federal government can amend (the import license) by simple request. That’s what (NJ) Governor Christy was afraid of when he vetoed it.
The lack of transparency and timing during the holiday weekend is appalling but this is not a new tactic.”
Local union leaders spoke:
“On behalf of project owner I want to show my support for the project to dispel the myths”
“My union will be for offshore wind industry. This project will not impede the wind turbines. “
Sadly they made some assertions that really only the company should be making and were shouted down.
I do not support this shout down – most of their points would come back to extremely short term self-interest, not what’s good and right for the community and the people.
When they sat back down I realized the six of them were the guys that sat there mocking every single speaker before them. The lady sitting behind them argued and did not let them off the hook about it.
Long Island Sierra Club’s Energy Chair, Peter Gollon, followed up this little incident, bringing the discourse back in a calm, meaningful way, denouncing the shout down and speaking on the environmental concerns we all have with the project.
Another Speaker said that she has done hours and hours of research to find out who exactly Liberty Natural Gas is and all she can find is that they are somehow far flung connected to a Calgary, Canada shale gas (fracking) company.
Another speaker talked on the fact that there are virtually no studies on the explosivity of a tanker, “All the studies are based on small gas leaks- no studies done about large breaches, only pencil point or pinhole size leaks.” are what proponents are citing to say a large explosion can’t happen.
A woman who identified herself as one of the lawyers for Suffolk County in the failed Broadwater LNG project talked about the explosivity of the tanker. She said that the textbook necessary to know, to work on an LNG tanker says
” if the whole tanker’s contents exploded at one time,
the explosion could knock the earth off its orbit!
This project should fail at the earliest possible time”
Another great speaker, maybe the best, came from Pennsylvania with his 1 gallon jug of what he said was his well water which was virtually orange in color from fracking in his hometown. He showed documentation of the way the companies handle themselves: the lies they tell the public, their own internal memos showing that they’re lying about what they are doing, and the effects of it. He had quite a bit of documentation and spoke of how they were taking people’s property by public domain if they couldn’t get around them. He said how did this happen?
“Follow the money- All 5 former living PA governors are currently working for the gas industry.”
300-400 people, ostenbsibly with no financial gain, no personal money interest to be had; attended, stood up and / or spoke against the plan. The people who stand to make tens of millions off it annually… Not here, not required to answer any of the public’s questions.
My big question:
Did LIPA / National Grid / PSE&G say they don’t have enough gas, need more or request a proposal?
Commentary to follow.
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