Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal LAW ’73 on Monday threatened New York with legal if the state decides to go ahead with construction of a liquefied-natural-gas pipeline in the Long Island Sound.
With a decision from New York Gov. David Paterson on the proposed Broadwater Energy gas terminal due later this week, several Connecticut officials, including Blumenthal, gathered in Stony Creek, Conn. yesterday to reiterate their own stance: Broadwater must be defeated.
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Approved by the Federal Energy Regulations Commission on March 20, the proposed barge-like terminal would convert liquefied natural gas in the Long Island Sound into oil for use in both New York and Connecticut. Positioned about 10 miles south of New Haven, the terminal would officially be considered to be located in New York waters, giving New York — but not Connecticut — control over its future.
But with Paterson’s position on the project unknown — the newly inaugurated governor previously announced plans to push back his decision, although he now plans to make an announcement by his original deadline — Blumenthal said in a press release Monday that he is prepared to challenge a green light from Paterson.
“Broadwater blatantly violates New York’s own law — its Coastal Zone Management Plan — and it is a security and environmental catastrophe waiting to happen,” Blumenthal said in the press release. “It threatens both sides of the Sound, and Connecticut must protect both if necessary.”
Last year, Blumenthal successfully brought a halt to the Islander East project, which proposed to construct a natural-gas pipeline under the Long Island Sound. Islander East, which was formed by subsidiaries of Spectra Energy and Keyspan Energy, would have delivered natural gas to Connecticut and New York.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who represents New Haven and also attended the press conference, said Connecticut must have a final say in whether the Broadwater project goes forward.
“There is too much at stake for the people of Connecticut to remain on the sidelines here,” DeLauro said, according to the New Haven Independent.
Adrienne Esposito, the executive director of the Long Island-based Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment, who recently met with Blumenthal, told the News yesterday that to defeat Broadwater, “[Blumenthal] only needs to be half as effective as he was with Islander East.”
“The bottom line is that New York State has to realize that Broadwater is not a quick fix,” Esposito added. “It will be tied up in court for possibly a decade based on Connecticut commitment.”
If approved, Shell Oil and the TransCanada Corporation would cooperatively manage the site.