Coalition Kicks Off Urgent Holiday Mobilization;
Informational Meeting Thursday in Lincroft, NJ
Sandy Hook, NJ – Liberty Natural Gas’ proposed “Port Ambrose” is an offshore facility for liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers that would be located just a few miles from the NY/NJ harbor and our beaches. The purpose of the port would be to import LNG, including from foreign sources. LNG ports are a target for terrorism; threaten fishing, jobs, and tourism; and are a disaster for our climate. Furthermore, imports of natural gas are not needed, and Port Ambrose would steer us away from efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy.
Last week, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Maritime Administration (MARAD) released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Port Ambrose offshore deepwater LNG port, thereby beginning the 60-day public review and comment period and announcing one public hearing each in New York and New Jersey.
In a letter the Anti-LNG Coalition sent to the USCG and MARAD before the release of the DEIS, the coalition made the case for a robust comment period of at least 90 days and called for at least three public hearings each in New York and New Jersey. The coalition argued that Liberty LNG has had well over one year to review and address data gaps identified during the project scoping process, so the public has the right to sufficient time to review the updated information. The coalition additionally stated that given the scale of the project, broad scope of potential environmental impacts, and significant public interest across Long Island, the Jersey Shore, and beyond necessitates multiple public hearings in each state.
The Anti-LNG Coalition, a bi-state (NY/NJ) coalition of community groups, maritime organizations, faith-based, union, and civic leaders, has worked for years to oppose several proposals for offshore LNG facilities, including a prior proposal by the Port Ambrose project applicant, Liberty Natural Gas, LLC.
"There is no public benefit from Port Ambrose; it is assault to our region, which is why Governor Christie vetoed the same proposal a couple years ago. Now the federal government has released 1,800 pages for public review, just before the holidays, and scheduled one hearing in state for the week after New Year’s. Clearly, this will negatively impact our time with family and friends. It’s a typical Grinch-like tactic and we should expect more from our own government, but unfortunately we must now call on citizens to rally to defend our communities,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action.
The Anti-LNG Coalition isn't wasting precious time; it is kicking off its holiday mobilization in New York and New Jersey with phone banking, social media alerts, visits with elected officials, and community meetings; in New Jersey, there is a community information meeting about Port Ambrose at 7pm on Thursday, December 18th at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation located at 1475 West Front Street in Lincroft, New Jersey.
The coalition aims to alert the public about the dangers of the proposed LNG port and mobilize hundreds to attend each of the public hearings scheduled for early January.
“The Port Ambrose LNG project is a bad deal for the people of New York and New Jersey. For the prospect of six permanent jobs, we get in exchange: probable higher energy prices, environmental degradation, and a dangerous fossil fuel delivery system right outside the New York - New Jersey Harbor,” said Matt Gove, Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager for the Surfrider Foundation.
“Building a LNG facility off the Jersey Shore is a clear and present danger," said Doug O'Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey. "Doubling down on dirty gas is wrong for our ocean and clean energy, and the public will once again rally against this project."
"Governor Christie and Governor Cuomo should veto Port Ambrose, a dangerous project that will threaten coastal communities that depend on fishing and tourism, as well as lock us into generations of water pollution and climate change caused by fracking," said Jim Walsh, Mid-Atlantic Director of Food & Water Watch.
The New York public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 6:00pm at the JFK Hilton, 144-02 135th Ave, Jamaica, NY 11436; the New Jersey Public Hearing is scheduled for Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 6:00 pm at the Eatontown Sheraton, 6 Industrial Way E, Eatontown, NJ 07724. Open houses will run prior to the hearings in each location from 4:30pm to 5:30pm.
The DEIS was released almost a year and a half after federal agencies and the Anti-LNG Coalition identified gross deficiencies in Liberty Natural Gas’ application for Port Ambrose.
Both Governor Christie and Governor Cuomo have executive authority to stop this project.