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Urgent: LNG Export Hearings July 9th and 10th; Comment and Call Now

July 9, 2013

If an empty LNG tank can kill 40 workers, as happened in Staten Island in 1978; and a train full of fracked shale oil can kill still-uncounted people (the death toll stands at 13 but 50 are unaccounted for), as happened this past weekend in Lac Megantic, Quebec — a town of 6000 — what might the death toll be if LNG export terminals are allowed in heavily populated areas like Long Island or Philadelphia?

Firefighters work to remove the bodies of workers killed in the 1973 LNG tank explosion on Staten Island.

The town continued to burn following a train derailment and explosion in Lac Megantic, Quebec.

The town continued to burn following a shale oil train derailment and explosion in Lac Megantic, Quebec. On 7/9/13  the death toll stood at 13. Photo: Jean Gauthier, Reuters

We urge you to oppose all LNG export terminals not just because of their huge accident potential but because they induce fracking, harming health, air, climate, drinking water and surface waters. LNG exports would turn us into an export colony instead of creating a sane and sustainable economy. Renewable energy creates 9.8 jobs for every 3.7 jobs the fossil fuel industry creates.

The answer to the “problem” created by energy efficiency and lack of demand for natural gas in the U.S. is not to grow exports, but to embrace sustainability.

ALL HANDS ON DECK: The alert below from our friends at Sane Energy Project includes where and how you can participate in LNG export hearings in New York (tonight) and New Jersey (tomorrow) AND if you can’t make it, how to comment and to call. This impacts the entire Mid-Atlantic region and the entire country. Please step up! Let’s go sane.

The “Port Ambrose” deepwater liquified natural gas port would allow LNG tanker ships to connect to a submerged pipeline off Jones Beach, the Rockaways and Sandy Hook. These areas are not even fully recovered from last year’s superstorm Sandy. With the same area also being considered for an offshore wind farm, the choice for New York’s energy future could not be more stark.

What are the chances that Liberty’s LNG port could become an export facility?

In 1978, following an explosion in Staten Island that killed 40 workers who had been cleaning an empty LNG tank, a statewide moratorium was instituted on liquified natural gas storage and transport. In 1999, the moratorium was allowed to lapse except within the five boroughs of NYC.

Industry has lobbied to remove that prohibition ever since, and Liberty Natural Gas has been dogged in its pursuit of an LNG port in the metro area, with earlier attempts to place one on the Jersey shore. Why is Liberty so eager to supply Caribbean gas to NYC, when multiple pipelines are simultaneously planned to deliver shale gas from Pennsylvania? This would appear to be a coals-to-Newcastle situation were it not for the possibility of converting the port to an export terminal once approved. But to export, Liberty would need a liquefaction facility (a cryogenic process that chills the gas to -260 degrees, converting it to a liquid).

For the proposed site for the LNG port to connect to an on-shore liquefaction facility, the 5-borough moratorium might have to be lifted (always a threat, given the ongoing industry push).

However, the development of floating liquefaction terminals, such as Shell’s Prelude vessel, pictured above, could provide an offshore export option. Shell’s project, expected to be operational in 2021, will be as long as the Empire State Building and six times the weight of the largest aircraft carrier. A similar project by Exxon will be even larger.

Floating LNG is projected to be almost 20 per cent cheaper to build than facilities on land. According to a Business Day article, Australia and US drillers are now in a race to supply Asian markets with shale gas. Given that, Liberty’s relentless push for a port near the Marcellus begins to make sense. More info on the port can be found here and here.

Attend the LNG Hearings, July 9th & 10th; Deadline for Public Comment, July 23rd

A massive response is called for. Please alert all your lists, your friends in New Jersey, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.

Hearing: Tuesday July 9th, at the Allegria Hotel, 80 West Broadway, Long Beach, NY, readily reachable by LIRR. Trains depart Penn Station at3:21, 3:52, 4:15, 4:40, 5:00, 5:20, 5:23, 5:33,5:55, 6:13 and arrive Long Beach approximately 55 minutes later. Fares $9 (off peak) or $12:50(peak).

Hearing, Wednesday, July 10th New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, 97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison, NJ, reachable by NJ Transit to Metuchen and public bus. Trains depart Penn Station at 3:38,4:07, 4:29, 4:31, 4:54, 5:12, 5:21, 5:31, 5:45, 5:54, 6:12 and arrive Metuchen approximately 40 minutes later. Then take the 813 bus.

Both nights: Public comments will be heard from 6-8pm, arrive early to sign in. An open house where the public can ask questions of project developers precedes the hearing from 4:30-6pm. More info about the project can be found here. Further details on the hearings, trains schedules, other vital info, can be foundhere. You can also comment online by July 23rd.

Can’t make the hearings?
This project is being fast tracked for approval and CAN be stopped by gubernatorial veto.

Call Cuomo: (518) 474-8390 or sign the petition.
Call Christie: (609) 292-6000

Keep in mind that whether an LNG export facility is offshore or onshore, LNG exports mean an explosion of natural gas pipelines… which means, among other impacts, more explosions:

Emergency responders and local residents struggled to contain the inferno sparked by a natural gas explosion in San Bruno, CA on Thursday. (image: AP via gulfnews.com)

Emergency responders and local residents struggled to contain the inferno sparked by a natural gas explosion in San Bruno, CA in 2010. (image: AP via gulfnews.com)

6 Comments
  1. J. Jonik permalink
    July 9, 2013 6:37 pm

    Hi…     I’m no techno-head, but I know that some sites (like Op-Ed-News) provide the option of “printable version” for articles…i.e., without the photos and colors and all. 

    Is that a difficult, or easy, thing to do?  

    I mean…one can Copy-Paste stories to Word, then do the work to trim everything into just plain copy….but, …just wondering.

    I’m guessing that people would be more likely to forward stories to others IF they didn’t have to do the work of putting things into Plain Text.

    ________________________________

    • Iris Marie Bloom permalink
      July 10, 2013 10:10 am

      Great idea, thanks — working on it! We always welcome suggestions for improvement like this. We often see people at public meetings with printed copies of our blog posts in their hands and it will be excellent to make that easier.

Trackbacks

  1. Urgent LNG Export Hearings 7/9 & 7/10 – Comment & Call Now! | Occupy Union Square
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