Lloyds List: New York LNG project faces uphill task to win hearts and minds: A third of Long Island homes and half of those in New York City are heated with natural gas. But opposition is building in the region to a liquefied natural gas project that could fulfil a quarter of its supply. Rajesh Joshi delves into 'not in my backyard’: "HILARY Rodham Clinton, the Democratic Senator for New York and a touted presidential hopeful, declared in August that 'she has already learned enough to determine that Broadwater doesn't make sense for Long Island'.": Thursday December 08, 2005
HILARY Rodham Clinton, the Democratic Senator for New York and a touted presidential hopeful, declared in August that 'she has already learned enough to determine that Broadwater doesn't make sense for Long Island'.
Ms Clinton has a right to her opinion. Nonetheless, if her political party is preaching patience as a virtue in denigrating certain defence decisions made by the incumbent president, it might just behove her to invoke the same virtue before passing so sweeping a judgement on a project that is not even past the draft approval stage.
Or reach out to LNG people who, at any rate, know what they are talking about. One man in Connecticut, who stresses he is not a 'friend' of Broadwater and has nothing to gain financially or otherwise from the project, says he is willing to meet any political or advocacy official to explain facts surrounding LNG, but no one has looked him up.
Warren Bluestein, president of MOL's Stamford-based LNG subsidiary BGT the former Burmah Gas Transport can claim to speak from experience.
A career Burmah man and an original Brooklyn boy, Mr Bluestein has overseen the flawless worldwide transport of about 4,400 LNG cargoes over the past 28 years, in US-built LNG ships that are still capable of trading for another 20 years.
Such statistics impel a streak of righteous passion, as guests at a recent event discovered amid some initial astonishment and belated applause.
Mr Bluestein declared from the floor of a recent Connecticut Maritime Association luncheon with the title 'Battle over Broadwater' that 'opponents of the project ought to have their heads examined'.
'LNG is an industry with a wonderful track record,' he points out. 'Broadwater's benefits far outweigh any perceived drawbacks. The opposition is nothing but Nimby (not in my backyard) gone berserk.
'In fact, I believe people with ulterior motives are behind the uproar over Broadwater.'
Froydis Cameron, a Shell geologist who has relocated to Long Island to work on the Broadwater Project, offered the audience what she said were incontrovertible facts surrounding LNG and New York.
New York and Connecticut pay the highest prices for LNG in the US, Ms Cameron said. The cost of natural gas has again skyrocketed this year, and the situation is expected to worsen in winter.
Aside from not having any local sources of natural gas supply, New York and Connecticut are at the end of the pipeline grid that brings gas from the US Gulf to the southwest and the Alberta basin in Canada. Most of the gas that flows through these pipelines is consumed by cities along the way, and there is nothing at all with which to replace it.
'We can certainly build more pipelines in an effort to increase New York and Connecticut's gas supply,' Ms Cameron says. 'But the problem is that there is no more gas to run through them.'
Nuclear and coal power is highly unlikely in today's environment, Broadwater officials state. LNG is a familiar energy source and makes sense in New York and Connecticut, they argue.
Ms Cameron listed several 'benefits' of Broadwater, including diversification of New York and Connecticut's energy and natural gas supplies, increased electricity and gas reliability, and, critically, lower energy bills.
Since natural gas power plants reduce nitrous oxide, sodium oxide and carbon dioxide, it would lead to improved air quality and a reduction in asthma and other respiratory illnesses, Ms Cameron declared.
'LNG is not new,' she continued. 'There are 240 natural gas plants worldwide and 113 in the US, including four import terminals. There are three facilities in New York City and Long Island and two in Connecticut.'
In addition to the other benefits of such a commonplace project, Broadwater officials say it will 'directly contribute $500m to local communities over the 30-plus year life of the project'.
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