Guest Blog: Patrick Robbins, Sane Energy Project
The message below comes to you from Patrick Robbins, an ally and activist working to promote wind power for Long Island's energy future for the following petition.
Sometimes you have a choice that’s just a no-brainer. Right now, Long Island is considering whether or not to lease part of the ocean off of its south shore for wind power. This area could generate up to 700 MW of energy for New York homes, and would be far enough offshore that most residents would never see it. The wind power companies are ready to go, and studies indicate that such a project would generate many thousands of jobs. Sounds great, right?
Here’s the thing—there’s also a liquefied natural gas (LNG) port being considered in the exact same location. This is Liberty Natural Gas’s Port Ambrose project, a dirty energy project that would take offshore wind in this area off the table. Port Ambrose would present a security and explosion risk by bringing giant tankers of liquefied natural gas into one of our country’s most heavily trafficked ports. It would be destructive to the marine environment both during construction and operation—according to the company, construction for the mainline alone would impact 197 acres of ocean floor. This would impact the bottom-dwelling species that make the ocean floor their home, with consequences all the way up the food chain.
Finally, Port Ambrose would lead to further fracking up and down the northeast. While the company claims that Port Ambrose will be for import only, this claim doesn’t stand up—the market trend for American shale gas right now is for exports, and the same company is currently working on another project in the U.K. where they could get far higher prices. Once Port Ambrose allows fracked gas to reach foreign markets, drilling suddenly becomes much more profitable, and measures like New York’s hard-won fracking ban begin to look much more tenuous. We know that fracking impacts our soil, our water, our air, our health and our climate in ways that we cannot allow. These are some of the reasons why the coastal community of Long Beach, which would be most directly impacted by Port Ambrose, has unanimously opposed the project, and why more and more elected officials are opposing Port Ambrose every week.
Fortunately, the choice isn’t settled yet. Both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have veto power over this project. We can make our voices heard by commenting on the Port Ambrose environmental impact statement, by signing this petition calling for Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie to veto the project, or by reaching out directly to Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie here.
Tell them to choose wind over LNG—because really, how easy a choice is that?
Patrick Robbins is the Communications and Development Coordinator for Sane Energy Project. He is an activist and author based out of Brooklyn, New York.