August 29, 2013 | 3173 views
LNG port raises environmental and security concerns
It’s been more than a month since hundreds of people attended a meeting at the Allegria Hotel to voice their opposition to a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in the Atlantic Ocean, 17 nautical miles southeast of Jones Beach. If built, a pipeline extending from the station would hook up to an existing pipeline 2.2-miles south of Atlantic Beach.
According to Larry Ragonese, press director for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has not changed his position on LNG terminals ever since he vetoed a similar proposal in 2011. “What he said on the record at the time hasn’t changed”, Ragonese told the Herald. “We haven’t had a change of heart.”
Christie’s veto letter stated that the project “would present unacceptable and substantial risks to New Jersey’s residents, natural resources, economy and security.”
The latest proposed station, Port Ambrose, is also a liquefied natural gas terminal, a deepwater port that imports and exports natural gas. It would allow enormous LNG vessels — as long as the Empire State Building is tall — to directly connect to the region’s natural gas system.
The port would be located near the entrance to the New York Harbor, in two active Coast Guard training areas; in the middle of a proposed offshore wind farm area, and among several fishing zones and wildlife migration routes. The port south of Jones Beach, and east of Monmouth Beach in New Jersey, would connect to an offshore pipeline two miles off Atlantic Beach.
Liquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been super-chilled — it is clear, colorless and extremely volatile. This gas is compacted so that large volumes can be shipped overseas. LNG should not be confused with gasoline or compressed natural gas; each LNG tanker has the energy equivalent of 55 Hiroshima bombs. All LNG imports are from
foreign countries — over two-thirds of the world’s natural gas is in Russia and the
Middle East. Sources include Russia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and soon, Iran.