New York Governor Vetoes Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Project
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Deepwater Port last week, citing security and economic concerns along with the potential to negatively impact off-shore wind development.
The project involved creating a deep-water docking station 19 miles into the Atlantic Ocean, and an underwater pipeline that would pump 400 million cubic feet of natural gas per day into the existing Transco Lower New York Bay Lateral pipeline.
The project, which had been proposed by Liberty Natural Gas, LLC, required approval from both Governor Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie under the federal Deepwater Port Act. Christie, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, had not weighed in on the project yet, but had vetoed an earlier version in 2011.
“My administration carefully reviewed this project from all angles, and we have determined that the security and economic risks far outweigh any potential benefits,” said Cuomo. “Superstorm Sandy taught us how quickly things can go from bad to worse when major infrastructure fails—and the potential for disaster with this project during extreme weather or amid other security risks is simply unacceptable. Port Ambrose would also hinder the local maritime economy in a way that negatively impacts businesses throughout Long Island, and that is simply unacceptable. This is a common-sense decision, because vetoing this project is in the best interests of New Yorkers.”
The Deepwater Port Act requires approval from the governor of each adjacent coastal state before a deepwater port license is issued. For the Port Ambrose project, both New York and New Jersey are adjacent coastal states.
In a letter to the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), Cuomo also mentioned that the project posed significant disruptions to commercial and recreational maritime activities, and would also have interfered with an offshore wind-power project proposed by the New York Power Authority.
“We are disappointed and very surprised with Governor Cuomo’s decision today to not allow a cleaner, more affordable energy supply to reach New York consumers,” said Roger Whelan, the chief executive officer of Liberty Natural Gas LLC. “We had hoped that the safety and environmental concerns raised by the governor had been thoroughly addressed and dismissed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.”
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