Tuesday, April 1, 2008

News12 Town Meeting Bashes Broadwater

News12, Long Island's Cablevision news operation, made the Broadwater proposal look bad from every angle last week during a well-researched 90-minute town meeting. An excellent panel including East End Congressional Rep Tim Bishop, Suffolk County Exec Steve Levy and Adrienne Esposito of Long Island Neighborhood Network exposed fundamental flaws, while former LILCO exec Mathhew Cordaro and Bill Cooper, from the LNG trade association, made feeble arguments that at one point drew jeers from the audience.

Cordaro, of course, as LILCO's vice president for engineering, is one of the utility leaders who foisted the Shoreham nuclear plant on Long Island, stubbornly refusing to change direction even when it was clear that residents would never allow it to operate. In his book, Power Crazy, Karl Grossman quotes a Dec. 13, 1979 letter that Cordaro wrote to a local newspaper minimizing the danger from Shoreham even if an accident forced an evacuation from the area.

"Any emissions to the atmosphere following" a loss of coolant accident, he wrote, "would form a plume, similar to smoke from a chimney...Once the plume passed, it would be safe to come back to the area." Chernobyl anyone? It's amazing how such failed leaders manage to hang on to their "expert" credentials instead of being shunned because of their past mistakes. (Karl Grossman, meanwhile, continues to hammer away at the real dangers of nuclear power.)

Regarding Broadwater, Cordaro, now ensconced in academia, insisted that an LNG spill resulting in a vapor cloud posed no risk at all because it probably would never reach land.

Esposito pointed out that such a cloud could travel more than 4 miles. While it might not touch land, it could incinerate boaters and fishers who happend to be there at the time. Apparently this doesn't trouble Cordaro.

Scaredy-cat Broadwater declined to even send a representative.

Significant parts of the discussion included:
  • "The choice is not Broadwater or nothing," said Bishop, who added that he has introduced legislation that would "start a national conversation" about the 40 LNG terminals proposed nationally to decide which ones provide needed energy at the least cost to the environment and with the fewest risks of terrorism, fire, etc. "There's no way we need all of them," said Bishop.
  • Cooper of the LNG trade group, responded that we might as well extend this idea of giving the public a say in which projects to build to other industries, like supermarkets. The public could tell the stores what food to sell. The crowd listening in Brookhaven town hall hooted at this off-the-wall comparison.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard, noted Levy, said last fall that it doesn't have the resources to protect the Broadwater terminal and the LNG delivery ships as they transit through the Sound. If Broadwater expects the county to come up with money for that effort, they should read Levy's lips: it will never happen.
  • Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal called the recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval of Broadwater "deeply deficient" and promised to fight Broadwater all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Maybe Broadwater should take a hint from Shoreham's fate and withdraw its proposals. If taking the case to the Supreme Court doesn't stop this proposal, then I'd place my bets on the people of Long Island finding some other way. ##

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's about time our Officials Did the right Thing. This Broadwater Deal Helps No One but EXON good job they did on all of us.

Hope The elected officials wake up and Save our Sound
Joe Bata