Pallone urges Christie to veto LNG plan
Before November's public hearings regarding a proposal for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) port in the waters between New York and New Jersey, shore Representative Frank Pallone (D-6) urges Governor Christie to stay the course and veto it, as he did the first in 2011.
Pallone, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, opposed the original project submitted by Liberty Natural Gas, as well as the revised Port Ambrose terminal.
The company has not wavered in its assessment of environmental, safety and economic aspects, despite fears raised by environmental groups and lawmakers on the local, state and federal levels. There has been little in the way of public statements from the business community or utility companies.
Public hearings take place November 2 and 3 in Long Beach, NY,and November 4 and 5 at the Sheraton in Eatontown, NJ.
The terminal, according to published details, would be a transfer site for imported LNG to piplines running to the mainland.
Documents for the first proposal were filed in New Jersey. The planned site was in the waters off Asbury Park. The second filing went through New York, and the spot was moved to a spot in the New York Bight about 26 miles from Sandy Hook.
In a message to the Governor, Pallone advised invoking the Deepwater Port Act and underscored the advantages of a gradual shift to renewable energy, away from fossil-based fuels.
Pallone is scheduled to take part in WOBM-AM'S listener-interactive "Ask The Congressman," November 23, 7 to 8 PM. The full text of his letter:
October 19, 2015
Governor Chris Christie
P.O. Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625
Dear Governor Christie,
I write today regarding the proposed Liberty Natural Gas offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) project planned for 24 miles off the coast of Long Branch, New Jersey. I ask that you use the authority vested to you under the Deepwater Port Act to veto this ill-advised project.
A project strikingly similar to this one was proposed by Liberty Natural Gas in 2010. The project was unnecessary then and it is unnecessary now. In your letter to the Maritime Administration disapproving of the project you stated that "the environmental impacts could threaten the recent ocean water quality improvements the State has worked hard to achieve." I urge you remain consistent with your previous opposition to this project.
The State of New Jersey should be promoting an energy policy that moves towards increased use of renewable energy sources that create jobs in America, and away from importing polluting fossil fuels from other countries. The Department of Interior recently finalized a plan to lease 343,833 acres off of the New Jersey coast for commercial wind energy development. Energy development in the Atlantic Ocean should be focused on renewable resources, such as wind, and not polluting fossil fuels.
Further, domestic natural gas production has been steadily increasing and is projected to continue to increase in the coming years. It simply does not make sense to build a terminal to import natural gas into the United States, increasing our reliance on foreign fossil fuels and increasing carbon emissions stemming from transporting and re-gasifying the LNG. Construction of this terminal will also be extremely damaging to our coastal environment, disturbing fish habitats and damaging marine life.
The law provides you the authority to put a stop to this project and I implore you to act upon that authority by formally disapproving of the project and standing by the position you took against the approval of this terminal in 2010. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
FRANK PALLONE, JR.
Member of Congress