Sea Bright: Hundreds of citizens gathered for a hearing organized by Clean Ocean Action to speak on the proposed project by Liberty Natural Gas at Sea Bright Public Beach in Sea Bright, NJ on Thursday, July 11, 2013. The citizens blasted the project and called for its rejection based on its threats to tourism, commerce, and the marine environment, the connection to hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the deficiencies in the application, and the fact that an identical project was vetoed by Governor Christie. Citizens were outraged that the federal agencies ignored the coast and did not set up a public hearing along the Jersey Shore.
“Last October, the Jersey Shore suffered terribly at the hands of Superstorm Sandy. Many people are still recovering to this day. Instead of walking away, we are fighting to restore our home; a home we love very much,” said Oceanport Council President Joseph Irace. “The Atlantic Ocean is the heart of our Shore. It is not a place for a LNG facility!” added Irace.
‘Port Ambrose’ has been proposed off the coast of Long Branch, NJ, and 17 nautical miles south of Jones Beach, NY. The project is the same proposal that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed. The only difference is the name. The project, if licensed, would allow both exports and imports of natural gas, resulting in accelerated hydro-fracking in the region and higher energy costs.
“Like a bad skin condition that won't go away the Liberty Natural Gas Port Ambrose project is back to irritate the NJ NY shore,” saidSurfers’ Environmental AllianceExecutive Director/East Coast Director Richard Lee. “Salves, creams, even a Governor’s veto have had difficulty controlling this short sighted proposal. Let's work together to overcome this proposed blight on the coastal waterways and beaches,” added Lee.
While the application is for an import facility, existing Department of Energy approvals have authorized up to 40% of our domestically-produced natural gas to be exported to certain nations around the world, and more approvals are in the pipeline for exports to the rest of the globe. Opponents of the project say any LNG facility will be for both import and export and it will create demand for “fracking” via exports.
“If energy independence is our national priority, and it should be, that means that neither import nor export of natural gas is in the national interest,” explained long-time Clean Ocean Action Volunteer Robert Bennekamper. “That alone is enough reason for denial of this project!” said Bennekamper.
“Unless we stop it, the ‘Port Ambrose’ liquefied natural gas project will carry Marcellus Shale gas through our shore and into the existing Transco Pipeline, ever connecting our communities by fracked gas. Governor Christie credits himself with restoring our beloved shore, but he has not yet rejected this second proposal Liberty LNG has put forth, intended to export gas to Europe and Asia. This project must not go through,” said Mothers Project for Sustainable Energy New Jersey Member and New Jersey Food and Water Watch Organizer Rachel Dawn Davis. “New Jersey has been a national and global leader on a clean and renewable energy future and we must be a leader now,” she added.
“Liberty Natural Gas, an unknown and well-connected foreign company is using their significant money, lobbyists, and influence to bring this floating disaster to our region. By holding this hearing in Edison, NJ, the Maritime Administration is trying to ignore the Jersey Shore, which is why we hosted a “Citizen’s Hearing” tonight in Sea Bright, NJ,” explained Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action. “Citizens who were unable to get to Edison came and testified and their comments will be officially submitted for the record,” said Zipf.