Thursday, April 10, 2008

Paterson Says No to Broadwater Because It Would Turn Over Part of the Sound to a Private Company and Exclude the Public

New York State's reasoning for rejecting Broadwater was exactly right. Governor David Paterson, speaking at Sunken Meadow State Park within the last hour, officially announced New York State's rejection of the proposal. Newsday cited Paterson as saying

"... the facility would not guarantee low cost natural gas to Long Island. He said it would disrupt commercial and recreational fishing and would, in essence, turn over a section of the sound to a private company at the exclusion of the general public.

Calling energy "our new currency," Paterson spent much of his speech talking about energy alternatives could be developed to replace whatever capacity Broadwater would have provided. Paterson spoke to a cheering crowd of activists and legislators gathered on the park's boardwalk.

Broadwater of course says it won't give up:

John Hritcko, senior vice president and regional project director, said in a statement, "The regulatory process provides Broadwater a number of options going forward and we intend to fully review the decision and findings, then evaluate the project's next steps."

Those options including appealing the state's rejection to the U.S. Department of Commerce, and going to court.

The Long Island Power Authority, which of course is a state authority, said it supports the state's decision. Kevin Law, LIPA's president and chief executive:

"Broadwater was never the be-all and end-all for Long Island's energy future," he said, adding that he supports Paterson's decision. He said, however, that altenatives like added pipeline capacity or a liquid natural gas terminal in a different location should be explored.

And I agree with this (as do the environmental groups that were Broadwater's chief opponents, Citizens Campaign for the Environment and Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound):

Matthew T. Crosson, president of the Long Island Association, the island's largest business group and a conditional supporter of Broadwater, said, "As proposed, the Broadwater project would have disproportionately burdened Long Island without producing a corresponding benefit to the region...[However] it is now incumbent upon Governor Paterson to clearly state how New York will help Long Island meet its energy needs in practical, low-cost ways that can be achieved in the near future."

As of now, nothing about the decision yet on this website.

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2 Comments:

Blogger CT Bob said...

Well, the good news is that Paterson's decision will slow down the authorization process; and if we can continue fighting Broadwater at every turn, we might just be able to delay it long enough for saner politicians to put the kibosh on the whole project.

Paterson COULD have sided with Broadwater, which would have made their efforts to get the platform approved much easier. Good job, Governor!

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Bryan said...

That's done. Let's see if Broadwater appeals. Meanwhile, it's time to focus on what has come out of the process so far. What I expect to see is:

1. CT and LI environmental groups come to agreement on Islander East (and all future pipeline/cable projects): either work to kill it or support it. Their shouldn't be any middle ground. It's either an environmental disaster or it's not.

2. CT and LI environmental groups working with NJ, PA, MA and RI environmental groups to evaluate and decide collectively whether other proposed LNG facilities should be fought or supported. Sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option.

3. CT and LI environmental groups work together to get the LI power plants repowered and the Bridgeport coal plant either repowered or shut down.

4. CT and LI environmental groups work together to have all power plant cooling water systems on both sides of the Sound reworked or shut down (requiring the installation of cooling towers or air-cooled condensers).

5. CT and LI environmental groups to pay attention to all proposals for energy infrastructure that will benefit LI, to ensure that the environmental impacts are minimal. That means any gas pipeline running across PA or down through NYS, any hydro project in upstate NY or Canada, etc.

I hope this issue has raised awareness on LI of how local energy policy and consumption can impact others outside the immediate region. Like I said, there's no sitting on the sidelines anymore just because it's not being sited on LI.

4:41 PM  

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