Friday, July 26, 2013

Rockaway Lateral Pipeline Expansion Missing from Port Ambrose LNG Port/Pipeline Maps

Typical Map offered by Liberty Natural Gas LLC, seen in news stories always leaves out the proposed Rockaway Lateral Pipeline expansion through Riis beach and Gateway National Recreation Area

 I have been counting news stories about Port Ambrose, the LNG Deepwater Port/pipeline project currently proposed for offshore Long Island and the most likely expansion to follow the Rockaway Lateral Project though Williams has long been saying no LNG project would be associated with their project. So far only one reporter has connected the Rockaway Lateral Project with this proposal, Sarah Crean over at Gotham Gazette who has done a few stories and some of the most involved on the Rockaway Pipeline to date. Right now the ratio of stories that mention Rockaway Lateral pipeline along with Port Amrbose looks a lot like the odds of winning at a Roulette table. Maybe 36 to 1.

What's missing from the map above is the proposed Rockaway Lateral Expansion through Gateway National Recreation Area. How bad a map is this one provided by Liberty Natural Gas LLC? Pretty bad if one considers that pipelines are regulated by the PHMSA which is part of the Department of Transportation. I mean wouldn't a road map that left out the Verrazano bridge be a little ridiculous? Obviously Rockaway Lateral is not built yet as we are still waiting on the draft EIS for this project, but anyone who has seen a map of the Rockaway Lateral can see where it is going to go. Jacob Riis beach and Floyd Bennett Field are clearly visible on the map above and the green line from New Jersey to Long Beach, Long Island represents Transco's existing 26 inch New York Lower Bay Lateral which the 26 inch Rockaway Lateral will be built off of. The black and white line represents the proposed 26 inch pipeline that will from the proposed Port Amrbose LNG import facility to interconnect with the existing New York Bay Lateral just a hair east of the Rockaway Peninsula. . Exactly how difficult would it have been for Liberty Natural Gas LLC to add another line representing the proposed Rockaway pipeline through Riis beach and Floyd Bennett? I mean they registered as an intervenor in the Rockaway Project under docket CP13-36 over 5 months ago so it's not like the project is a mystery to them.

Wonder what the odds are that another reporter makes the connection before the Rockaway pipeline is approved? Pretty slim I imagine. So the story of the Rockaway Project and the real facts of it will remain as illusive to find out as ever. Pretty handy I would say for the companies and politicians that want these projects built.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Following that Rockaway Pipeline

                 Image of Joe's Protect Your Parks Postcard Letter Writing Campaign Against Hr2606

It seems like a lifetime ago when I first learned about the Rockaway Lateral Pipeline Project via a breaking NY1 news item that the bill that would give the National Park Service the authority to approve both the right of way through Riis beach and the acre city gate metering and regulating station in Floyd Bennett had just passed in the House. But it was only last February. And just about exactly a year later, this year in early February, the Army Corps of Engineers revealed what the project will be that would follow this one in a simple sentence they wrote to Transco which said "Contact the United States Coast Guard to obtain information on the currently proposed Liberty Natural Gas Project in NY state waters."

They were referring to Port Ambrose, an LNG Deepwater Port/Pipeline Project currently proposed or rather reintroduced in nearby waters.  So far only one reporter at the Gotham Gazette has managed to write a story that connects these two projects with one another even though the Port Ambrose project has been all over the news lately. Personally I have been contacting news agencies for months about that port project and its connection to the Rockaway Lateral, so I know it isn't just a matter of not knowing that is preventing reporters from covering how the two are connected.  All you would really have to do is make a map of the two projects together (link to one map on Liberty's website) and read a bit and it becomes clear. In fact the folks who want to build that project help make the connection with two things they list as selling points for their project in fact:

  • Completely eliminates the need for coastal land use;
  • Makes optimal use of existing offshore pipeline capacity;
What Port Ambrose folks don't say is that technically not all of that offshore pipeline "capacity" actually exists yet. Some of it is still working its way through the FERC process under docket CP13-36.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Ridiculous Antics of the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline

 Some Letters Joe wrote against HR2606  to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcomittee on National Parks last year in May.

For too long now, I have watched a group of people that I first met last year ruthless and systematically use my own efforts and the efforts of other Floyd Bennett Field gardeners to suit their own purposes. That group of people go by the name of "Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline" and it is a group of people that are responsable for spreading many untruths about the Rockaway Pipeline despite the very best efforts of Floyd Bennett Field users to bring the real story of this pipeline project to light. This Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline is mostly made of folks who belong to other organizations. Those organizations are Brooklyn for Peace, Sane Energy, United for Action and Occupy the Pipeline. The list of ridiculous antics these folks have engaged in for almost a year now is pretty long and I actually think it would take a book to tell that whole tale. I will just start out though by saying just a few of the ridiculous and kooky or otherwise completely non-factual things that these people have promoted or said.

1. That HR 2606 was a bill "bundled" with a host of other bills passed last year infringing on public lands.
2. That National Grid and Williams were actually secretly the same company and not two entirely different corporations
3. That Jamaica Bay was being trenched as part of the Rockaway Lateral Project
4. Post Hurricane Sandy, they along with Occupy Sandy and Occupy the Pipeline promoted the idea that the Rockaway Lateral Project was actually running straight through neighborhoods in the Rockaways and not through Jacob Riis beach and Gateway National Recreation Area.
5. That the gas that will be delivered through the Rockaway Lateral Project is not intended for use in Brooklyn and in NYC but is somehow mysteriously being delivered into Brooklyn but is actually intended to be used by people overseas.

Now that last one is my favorite and I should give credit to some of the people actively promoting this particularly kooky conspiracy theory. They are J.K. Canepa, Martha Cameron, Gary Goff of the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipline and since this is something one can read on CARP's website, apparently it is now the official line of everyone in their organization. Having actually been associated with this group of people and this Coalition for about three months before realizing very quickly that they were deeply misinformed people, their antics and what they say about the Rockaway Pipeline project have been deeply disturbing for me to watch play out for a while now.

Still despite the ridiculous antics of the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline, I hold out hope that the truth about this project will eventually come out. This week reporter Sarah Crean connected the Rockaway Pipeline with the currently proposed offshore Port Ambrose Deepwater LNG port and that upcoming project in her story for the Gotham Gazette so I have reason to be hopeful.

It is enormously disappointing to have watched a group of activists, the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline for almost a full year now willfullly and deliberately hurt my own efforts to reach politician's, government officials and other people about this project. The story of how the Rockaway Project got promoted and pushed through by politicians, the companies and the national park service is actually troubling enough without the added nuisance of misguided activists thrown in for good measure too.