Urge Cuomo to Veto Pt. Ambrose, Support Off-Shore Wind

Renewable Energy Advocates Urge Cuomo to Veto Pt. Ambrose, Support Off-Shore Wind

(Brooklyn, NY) The Campaign for 100% Renewables Now NY today called upon Governor Cuomo to veto the Pt. Ambrose Liberty Natural Gas Facility off of Long Island. Cuomo has the authority to veto the project up until December 21. Nov. 6th is the first date that he can veto it.

“The choice cannot be clearer. To prevent catastrophic climate change, we need NY to say no to natural gas infrastructure and say yes to renewable energy like off-shore wind,” said Mark Dunlea, chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund. and co-coordinater of 100% Renewables Now.

Earlier this year hundreds of groups wrote to Cuomo urging him to veto the project, noting that it “would pose a significant explosion and pollution threat to nearby coastal communities, would increase dependence on fossil fuels and fracking throughout the region, and would impede the prospect of offshore wind energy development in the same location.”

“It is time to stop allowing new natural gas infrastructure, whether it be new gas fired power plants, new pipelines to transport natural gas, or new export or import LNG terminals. Instead, we must immediately transition to 100% renewables and increased energy efficiency.  Such a transition will not only address climate change, but it will improve the economy.  Port Ambrose will take us in the wrong direction,” noted Dr. Jannette Barth, Pepacton Institute LLC and a member of the steering committee of the Campaign.

The liquefied natural gas facility has been proposed for the same area as a proposed wind farm. The off-shore wind farm has been put on hold by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management until the status of the LNG application is resolved. The wind farm proposal is for 700 MW, enough to power 200,000 homes.

A study on how New York could get 100% of its power from clean, renewable energy indicates that 40% of it would come for off-shore wind, primarily off of Long Island and NYC. The University of Delaware estimates that there is the potential for 23,000 MW of electricity there.

Whatever state builds the first major off-shore wind project is likely to attract the infrastructure investment in manufacturing, shipping, ports, and supply chain that will position it to be the center of the off-shore wind built out along the east coast. Groups are calling for the state to make a commitment to purchase at least 5,000 MW of off-shore wind by 2025 to facilitate its development.

The deadline for Pt. Ambrose was triggered on Oct. 5 by the US Department of Transportation (Maritime administration) and US Coast Guard. They announced the final 45 day comment period. Both New York and New Jersey have been designated as Adjacent Coastal States (ACS), enabling the Governors of either state to veto it.

According to the Sane Energy Project, “Liquefied Natural Gas is methane that is cooled to approximately -260 degrees to liquefy it; concentrating its volume by 600 times, in order to transport it in tanker ships that can be as large as the Empire State Building. Not only is the process of liquefying, transporting and re-gasifying extremely expensive—making LNG a costly fuel—it also costs our climate: LNG has a carbon footprint 40% larger than domestic shale gas (in itself a greenhouse gas with an effect on warming that is 86 times worse than carbon dioxide).”

Although LNG is nonflammable in its liquid form, it is highly volatile during the time when it changes from liquid to gas. If a tanker were ruptured, the LNG would form a vapor cloud. If the cloud was to ignite, the results would be catastrophic. Department of Energy studies indicate that such a fire would be hot enough to melt steel at distances of 1200 feet, or result in second-degree burns on exposed skin a mile away. Such vulnerability makes Port Ambrose an obvious terrorist target. LNG has been cited as a target by Al Qaeda.
Though some temporary construction jobs may be created by Port Ambrose (an estimated 800), only six permanent jobs would result.

NYPA funded studies show that a single OSW project could generate total economic activity of $1 billion in sales, 8,700 job-years and $610 million in wages for New York State.[1] A 2014 study by Stony Brook University found that if 2,500 MWs of projects were developed, Long Island would get 58,457 construction and operations phase jobs, as well as approximately $12.9 billion in local economic output.”[2]

A 2012 survey found that 85% of Long Island residents support off-shore wind if it is located at least 12 to 15 miles off shore.


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[1] Economic Impact Assessment: Long Island – New York City Offshore Wind Project. Prepared for NYPA by AWS Truepower and Camion Associates. Contract No. 4500191884. at 10 (November 1, 2010.)

[2] New York Energy and Policy Institute- Stony Brook University, “Offshore Wind Energy and Potential Economic Impacts in Long Island”, 12-13 (Nov. 24, 2014).