Can the Coast Guard Keep Us Safe if Broadwater is Built? The Federal Government Says No
Is that bad news for Broadwater? Over the short term, it should be. How can the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approve Broadwater's plan for an LNG terminal in Long Island Sound if they can't guarantee it will be safe? That's what three Congressmen from the Sound area contend.
The question of course is this: if one branch of the federal government -- namely FERC -- decides that Broadwater is needed and would be a benefit to the region, isn't it the responsibility of the other branches to help figure out how to make the project work, in this case by providing more funds for the Coast Guard? Or would that amount to a public subsidy of private industry? We already subsidize lots of private businesses by providing security (also known as police). So why shouldn't we do the same for Broadwater?
One reason perhaps is that the public subsidies are starting to add up. There's the use of the publicly-owned waters of Long Island Sound for the terminal itself. There's the closure of parts of the Sound as tankers come in and out. There's the loss of fish, a public resource, killed by the Broadwater cooling system. There's the destruction of scenic views cherished by the public. I'm sure readers can add others as well. And at some point the cost-benefit ratio begins to tilt more towards the cost than then benefit.
If you're a staunch opponent of Broadwater to begin with, the government report is not another point to debate. It's another reason to say no. That seems to be what Congressman Courtney, Bishop and DeLauro are saying, here, in the New London Day.
Denise Civiletti, on eastern Long Island, has a news story about the U.S. Government Accountability Office report, here. And a sumary of the report itself is here.