Friday, March 28, 2008

LNG Floating Terminal A Bad Idea

One of the things that's so galling about Broadwater is the pretense that there's no better way of delivering Liquid Natural Gas to our part of the world (leaving aside for the moment whether we really need more imported supplies.)

But there is a better way, and we need go no further than Massachusetts Bay, 18 miles east of Boston, to see it.

Texas-based Excelerate Energy has just finished the Northeast Gateway LNG terminal there with a capacity of 800 million cubic feet of gas per day. But instead of building a huge floating regasification terminal to take in the gas, as Broadwater wants to do, it installed only a floating buoy system. The special ships that deliver the gas do the whole job, hooking up to the buoy and then heating the LNG to gaseous form so it can be transported through a pipeline. Even more impressive, these environmentally-superior ships use a water re-cycling system that avoids spilling heated water into the ocean, reducing the impact on marine life.

Compare this to what Broadwater would do. Last September, I attended an informational meeting where a Broadwater representativer said that the water discharged by their operations in Long Island Sound would be raised 3 degrees and contain chlorine. This representative characterized the impact as "minimal and temporary."

Well, not quite, says the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. It estimates that the operation of the ships at the floating terminal will kill 270 million eggs, larvae and juvenile fish, each and every year.

But hey, we didn't really expect to keep fishing in Long Island Sound, did we?

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