Nassau Civic Groups Oppose LNG Port

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CONCA, (The Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations), the largest association of Nassau County civic associations, to which Point Lookout Civic Association belongs, has come out against the Port Ambrose LNG Terminal off our shores.

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Their letter to the Regulators:

(On CONCA letterhead to the Maritime Administration)

Dear (Maritime Administration):

The Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations (“CONCA”) is comprised of multiple civic associations, representing hundreds of thousands of respective resident-taxpayers, located in Nassau County.
CONCA is writing this letter to oppose Liberty Natural Gas and its plan to build a deepwater liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) facility, called Port Ambrose, 19 miles off the south shore of Nassau County; and is doing so for the following reasons:

First is climate change. Due to global warming, severer weather events are being forecasted for Nassau County, and more frequently. Keeping in mind Nassau’s south shore is still struggling to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy, situating Port Ambrose less than 19 miles south of Nassau County would stress communities to the breaking point if the facility was damaged by another extreme storm.

Second is security. In recent weeks, LNG facilities in Yemen were reportedly on Al Qaeda’s target list. Port Ambrose’s proposed location is at the entry of New York Harbor. Given the U.S. Coast Guard’s drastic funding and personnel cuts, this poses a security threat to the entire region. Simply, Nassau County’s southern coast could not be assured adequate protection if reassigned USCG vessels were forced to undertake the full-time job of guarding LNG tankers coming in and out of NY Harbor.
If there was a terrorist attack on Port Ambrose or the facility was damaged by an extreme storm (or otherwise ruined), the domestic natural gas currently feeding Long Island would be severely compromised, possibly causing Nassau residents and businesses to lose their entire supply.

Third is intent. Perhaps of greatest concern is not that Liberty intends to import natural gas to Long Island; but rather the technical ease in which it can convert Port Ambrose from an import to an export facility; requiring only written permission, but neither a public hearing nor comment period. In addition, the process of liquefying our domestic natural gas has become conveniently simplified in recent years, to the point where it can be effected on board ship.
Like water, natural gas is a local, natural resource. Also, our supply is not infinite. It is indeed limited; and should neither be owned nor mined by a foreign company to be sold outside the U.S. CONCA’s concern is Liberty will hasten domestic depletion at the expense of current and future generations. And, as the demand for natural gas grows overseas, exportation is sure to increase as well. Already, licenses have been issued to export 40% of all the natural gas mined in the United States. The bitter irony is as overseas energy markets profit, Nassau will not reap any of the benefits, financial or otherwise. In fact, by depleting our own inexpensive, domestic supply, we will be increasing its price here on Long Island. Evidence shows exporting natural gas will increase the cost to heat our homes, as foreign energy enterprises reap massive profits overseas.

Fourth is hydrofracking, which CONCA deems an environmental death sentence. Given natural gas is in great demand and will fetch much higher prices overseas, the Energy Information Administration has already predicted record setting production rates; and the most financially expedient way to satisfy this accelerating demand is hydrofracking, the fastest and cheapest method of mining the resource. If NY State were to lift its current ban on hydrofracking, this would, in effect, free the energy companies, allowing them free reign to contaminate the land; pollute ground and drinking water; and change the State’s landscape forever. And, since they will require a terminal to export the gas, the Port Ambrose facility will satisfy their needs and facilitate their ambitions, including justifying over-mining the resource and advancing hydrofracking in NY State.

Lastly, alternatives to fossil fuels must be aggressively pursued to assure our future welfare. Advancing natural gas production for sale in foreign markets is not in the best interest of Nassau County nor the Country.

Therefore, CONCA, on behalf of the multiple civic associations and myriad resident-taxpayers it represents, requests the Maritime Administration deny Liberty Natural Gas any and all permits to construct Port Ambrose off the south shore of Nassau County.

Respectfully submitted,

Philip Franco, President

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