Shell Can Rejoice At Latest Blunder Of Bush Administration
It is official, folks.
The Federal Energy Regurgitory Commission (FERC) has given final approval for the natural gas boondoggle formally known as Broadwater, a move that, should this project come to fruition, would undoubtedly make FEMA's screw ups in the gulf coast look like child's play.
Yes, the wink and nod approval of the very people who, once they leave office (which won't be soon enough, as far as we're concerned), will be getting hefty paychecks from Shell, Exxon-Mobil, and the other gas and oil conglomerates that have made profiteers like Dick Cheney and George Bush very, very wealthy men.
So what if we foul up the environment?
Who cares about placing a bull's eye in the middle of Long Island Sound?
Never mind the conflagration that would follow an accident, the proportions of which could make Long Island the next Three Mile Island, or worse yet, Chernobyl.
What does public opinion matter, anyway?
Its all right. We have the assurances of the United States government, after all.
Yes, the same morons (and we use that word meaning no disrespect to morons everywhere) who brought you the invasion of Iraq, the collapse of the dollar, and with it, the American economy, leave every child behind, and a national debt that your great-great-great-great grandchildren will still be paying off.
"On Monday," writes Newsday, "Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell wrote to Kelliher asking him to postpone the commission vote until Paterson makes a decision. Asked about that Thursday, (FERC Commissioner) Kelliher said he would write to Rell and added,'I didn't realize she had that level of concern for New York and New Yorkers.'"
Arrogance and ignorance from FERC, typical of an administration that has lied and blundered its way through the past 7 1/2 years.
Yes, we need the energy. No, we do not need the ticking time bomb posed by a floating powder keg, endangering life, property, and our precious Long Island Sound, which, as a practical matter, is likely to produce little in the way of savings to local ratepayers.
Dick Cheney and his friends at FERC may not care about the court of public opinion. Let's hope Governor Paterson will.
We urge NY Governor David Paterson to say NO to Broadwater, and New Yorkers to contact their State Legislators to register their opposition to what has rightfully been called "Fraudwater."
- - -
Feds OK Broadwater gas barge for LI Sound
BY TOM INCANTALUPO
Approving the Broadwater liquefied natural gas barge Thursday, federal energy regulators took swipes at political leaders in New York and Connecticut who want to keep it out of the Long Island Sound and tossed a hot potato directly into the lap of newly-minted Gov. David Paterson, whose administration can approve or kill it.
The unanimous decision by the five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission came with more than 80 stipulations that Broadwater must take to reduce the environmental and safety impacts of what would be the nation's first floating liquefied natural gas processing plant.
"Our environmental review shows that without increased natural gas supplies in the region, consumers will experience higher prices and reduced reliability of natural gas supply," commission Chairman Joseph Kelliher said in a statement before the vote. "That is certainly the case on Long Island and in New York City and Connecticut."
He also said that local political leaders opposing Broadwater -- a long list, but none of whom he named -- "have chosen to exploit and inflame public fears," adding, "these public officials have done a great disservice to the citizens of the region, which is regrettable."
Primary responsibility for approval of the giant barge rests with the commission -- there is no appeal process, except the courts -- but the proposed site in New York waters allows any of three state agencies to block it. Former governor Eliot Spitzer was to have decided by April 12 whether state permits should be issued. But Paterson said on March 13 he might postpone a decision for further study.
The state environmental conservation department is to consider air and water quality impacts, and the state Department of State would determine whether the project conforms to federal coastal zone protection guidelines. The state Office of General Services has to agree to lease the Sound bottomland to Broadwater.
Citizens Campaign Executive Director Adrienne Esposito, a leading Broadwater opponent, said any delay by Paterson will be brief and that he could take the matter up as early as next week. "The [state] agencies have reviewed this for three years and a new governor doesn't really change the way this project does or does not conform to state and federal laws," said Esposito, who had talks this week with Paterson environmental officials.
On Monday, Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell wrote to Kelliher asking him to postpone the commission vote until Paterson makes a decision. Asked about that Thursday, Kelliher said he would write to Rell and added, "I didn't realize she had that level of concern for New York and New Yorkers."
Rell didn't comment on that yesterday but in a statement said, "FERC's decision is ... an insult to the people of Connecticut and New York, a discourtesy to [Paterson] -- who has been in office less than a week -- and an assault on the most precious environmental asset our two states possess: the reinvigorated Long Island Sound."
Broadwater Energy, a partnership between Shell and TransCanada that wants to site the 1,200-by-200-foot floating plant about nine miles north of Wading River, said after the commission vote, "Without new energy supply, energy consumers will continue to face volatile and increasing natural gas prices in New York and Connecticut."
Gary Hale, a Broadwater lobbyist in Connecticut, said project delays are expected, saying opponents "will probably appeal this in the courts."The developers, and business groups and labor unions who support it say the project would help mitigate rising energy prices and create jobs. But politicians and environmentalists on both sides of the Sound say it would decimate local fisheries and ecosystems, mar the visual landscape and present an easy target for terrorists.
If New York approves the project, opponents can seek to block it in court and both Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal have said they might go that route.
"I will fight this project at every agency and in every court up to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary. Next stop: the D.C. Court of Appeals," Blumenthal said yesterday. "The battle has just begun."
Through a spokesman, Levy said, "We will continue to look to the governor to intercede. As far as a potential lawsuit goes, we are keeping our options open."
Copyright © 2008, Newsday Inc.