Canadian Superior Energy Inc. or an affiliate plans to announce Monday that it will apply for permission to build a liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of New Jersey.
The possibility of building offshore LNG terminals off Sandy Hook and other New Jersey locations has already sparked protests from activists like Clean Ocean Action and politicians like Rep. Frank J. Pallone Jr., a New Jersey Democrat, who argue that LNG facilities harm the environment. Also reportedly exploring such terminals are ExxonMobil Corp. and Atlantic Sea Island Group.
Isn’t natural gas supposed to be the low-carbon, “clean” energy source? Why would any group oppose additional LNG facilities unless they were opposed to the manufacturing sector, well-heated homes and prosperity in general?
Rhetorical questions aside, here’s a recent column by Carl Gustin, president of the New England Energy Alliance, on how Connecticut is acting its own interest in opposing LNG terminals to supply needed energy. Gustin examines the opposition to Broadwater, a joint venture of Shell Oil and TransCanada, and Islander East Pipeline, a joint venture between KeySpan, now National Grid, and Spectra Energy. Both have gone through the required regulatory reviews, addressed the public’s concerns (and those of critics) and still meet opposition.
These examples exemplify the contradictory nature of energy policy — use more natural gas, but don’t increase supply. Unfortunately, opposition to large-scale projects designed to provide a fuel source that public policy encourages puts the region at risk of not having enough reliable and affordable energy. It discourages investors, undermines economic development, and puts our citizens and businesses at an economic disadvantage. And it’s not limited to natural gas policy.
Wind development in New England faces the same challenges, with policies that encourage its use followed by actions that discourage project development. New England would benefit if the states would adopt energy plans that send consistent messages — messages that align goals, policies and actions.
And meets the demand of a growing economy.
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