Soapbox: Port Ambrose problems: Reso. 549 would stop it

By Anne Lazarus

A liquid natural gas facility has been proposed to be built, approximately 15 miles off the shore of Long Island. When Methane is chilled to -260 degrees, it becomes a highly-volatile, potentially explosive liquid. The port would allow two LNG (liquified natural gas) vessels (which are as long as the Empire State Building is tall) to directly connect to the region’s natural gas system. This capacity could be increased.

Port Ambrose has been presented as an importer of natural gas (Methane), but the United States is awash in natural gas and is looking for opportunities to export this fossil fuel. Prices for Methane abroad are higher than domestic prices. This facility can easily and will be used as an export facility. Liquifying and reversing to vapor form of natural gas is fossil-fuel intensive. Port Ambrose is a stimulus to the tracking industry in the Marcellus. What are the dangers and problems with Port Ambrose?

This facility is within a few miles of three international airports and densely-populated areas. It is located near highly-trafficked navigational areas, including tankers carrying chemicals and petroleum. A collision could be disastrous. Hundreds of thousands of boats and ships navigate in the area of the proposed LNG. During Hurricane Sandy wave heights were nearly 30 feet. We are expecting more intense hurricanes. Scarce resources will be spent for security.

LNG tankers, plus the operation and construction of this facility will destroy billions of fish eggs and other benthic and marine life. Avian life will also be severely affected. The fishing industry will be negatively affected. The quality and safety of fish caught in this region will also be questionable. Whale species such as Fin and Humpback, Dolphin species and other marine mammals and reptiles, such as endangered sea turtles will be exposed to the harmful effects of this LNG. Tourism and recreational use of the oceans will be curtailed.

Who owns Liberty LNG, Port Ambrose?

Liberty Natural Gas is a foreign entity. The corporation may be licensed in Delaware.  It has an office in New York City, but managed by an investment group in Canada and entirely owned by a bank in the Cayman Islands. We do not know who is behind the company.

Port Ambrose can be stopped. If either Governor Cuomo or Governor Christie of NJ veto the project, it will not be built. Resolution 549 in the NYC Council, if passed will request Gov. Cuomo to veto Port Ambrose. This resolution has been introduced by Councilman Donovan Richards and many Council members are supporting it, but more are needed. Hopefully, Resolution 549 will pass. More than 24,370 citizens submitted comments on the first phase of Port Ambrose and only 17 were in favor. Only six permanent jobs will result from the port. Go to CleanOceanAction.org for more information.

Anne Lazarus is a resident of Stuyvesant Town and an environmental activist. She is the guide for the seasonal bird watching tours organized by the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association.