Monday, March 17, 2008

When FERC Approves Broadwater This Week, Call It What It Is -- A Sham Decision

It seems as if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will make its Broadwater decision at a meeting in Washington on Thursday (here and here for details). The decision of course will be an approval – the FERC staff has already said it doesn’t think the project poses any environmental risk, and the commission itself will rubber-stamp it.

The question is, what will it mean?

Broadwater will try to use it as a major component of its public relations push.

It will spin the FERC decision as a major victory, proof that the liquefied natural gas platform it wants to put in the middle of Long Island Sound is not just harmless but beneficial.

It will take out ads, issue a press statement, perhaps generate phony letters to the editor, in an effort to gull residents (of Long Island in particular, but elsewhere in New York too and in Connecticut) into believing that we really need a permanent energy factory in the Sound.

The press of course will go along with Broadwtaer, framing their stories as a major victory instead of as the inevitability that many of us have said it would be almost from the beginning.

And Broadwater will use the decision and whatever publicity it generates in its effort to convince New York’s new governor, David Paterson, that he should approve the project.

How should opponents view it? As it really is: a sham decision by a commission that has not given enough consideration to the environment, to safety and to local wishes.

In fact they should start sending that message now.

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Blogger Sam said...

Well, the job of the FERC is to approve large energy projects such as LNG ... this comes almost directly from Dick Cheney's secret energy task force where industry wrote the rules. President Bush also hired a director named Pat Woods at FERC (now gone) who got the mandate to approve 200 LNG facilities in the United States. Somewhere there is a map of the US with exactly 200 possible LNG sites on it, with an update on each as to its status.

So it should not be mystifying that the Broadwater EIS is so dumbed down and overtly political. The strategy is to pooh-pooh the technical nerds and convince people "aren't you're utility bills high; wouldn't you want to save $400 a year on your bills?"

If you look at the issue from 30,000 feet I'd have to agree it is a sham but completely compatible with Bush's ability to steamroll most environmental laws including the Clean Air Act ... so his buddies could make a killing in the energy "bidness." I didn't fall off the rutabaga truck just yesterday, ya know! -sam

11:45 AM  

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