Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rockaway Pipeline Missing from yet another Port Ambrose LNG map

Not only do all the maps Liberty Natural Gas LLC provides on the Port Ambrose Deepwater Port leave out the Rockaway Lateral Project, so does all the news coverage or editorials on it.

I wouldn't call this a conspiracy exactly as that would sound a little crazy, but it is a very collaborative effort to say the least. I could make a very long list of folks appearing to willfully ignore the connection between the Rockaway Pipeline project and the Port Ambrose projects, which includes not only the companies themselves, but astonishingly to me,  politicians and activists supposedly opposed to either or both projects now as well.  The deliberate choice to instead describe this port in connection to export or fracking  appears to be politically motivated or at best the product of well intended but misguided activism.

But perhaps the most astonishing part is that people pretending to educate on this project are responsable for this. Who are they? I could name names pretty easily. But instead I will just name the groups.

Occupy the Pipeline  who seem to find this project to be merely a piece of their theatre
Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline who just seem confused.
Sane Energy Project who cannot distinguish this pipeline from any other.

The nutshell? Even if I did name names the list would not be that long as these are by and large all the same people anyway. The sad thing is that while thousands of regular people were reached by Joe and who expressed their opposition to both the bill that would enable this project and other issues, it is this small group of people with revolving names, who do not represent those regular people, who have been dominating what the message on this project is.

Tags: Rockaway Pipeline, Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline, Sane Energy, Occupy the Pipeline

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Little Known Facts about the Rockaway Lateral Project

1. A draft EIS was issued not for the Rockaway Project alone, but rather for two projects, the Rockaway Lateral and Northeast Connector projects. The title of the draft EIS states this clearly.

2.The Rockaway Lateral Project and the Northeast Connector are only in small part about increased supplies of gas as even FERC clearly states in the draft EIS for these projects.

3. Of recently approved or proposed expansions into the New York City area, (already approved and running as of late 2013, both Spectra's expansion and Williams other expansion, which combined provide over 1 billion cubic feet of new capacity) the Rockaway Lateral plus Northeast Connector are the projects that provide the least amount of incremental gas supply into NYC.

3. Or as FERC puts it:  "According to Transco, the Projects would ...:
 provide firm delivery lateral service of 647 thousand dekatherms per day (Mdth/d) of
natural gas to National Grid’s distribution system on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens
County, New York through the Rockaway Project;
 provide as part of the 647 Mdth/d, 100 Mdth/d of new incremental (i.e., additional)
natural gas supply to National Grid through the Northeast Connector Project; and
 enhance the security and reliability of National Grid’s distribution system by providing
a new delivery point on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens County that would allow
National Grid to shift existing volumes of natural gas supply from an existing delivery
point in Long Beach in Nassau County, New York.

4. Every resource report for the Rockaway Lateral project alone said the rockaway lateral would provide 647 mdth/d, 100 Mdth/d of new incremental (ie additional) natural gas supply and yet the draft EIS for the Rockaway Lateral and Northeast connector provide exactly what Transco claimed the Rockaway Lateral alone was providing. Did Transco give any information about the Northeast Connector in their 7c application? Nah. Should they have? According to these regulations, the answer appears to be yes.

5. The Rockaway project and Northeast Connector are according to FERC 85% about redistributing existing supplies. Or specifically as they say" We note that a small portion (about 15 percent by volume) of the natural gas to be provided by the Projects to National Grid is incremental (i.e., additional).The majority (about 85 percent by volume) is replacement gas, which currently is provided to National Grid via the existing delivery point in Long Beach." According to Williams this redistribution will occur during peak demand periods.

6. Coincidentally, Port Ambrose is a deepwater port project which aims to deliver imported gas that is converted from liquid to gas  into the exact same 26 inch pipe that the Rockaway Lateral is being built off. And coincidentally of course,that project is also described specifically for peak periods. The MAOP (960 psi), diameter (26 inches) for the existing New York Lower Bay Lateral, the Rockaway Lateral expansion and the new pipeline that is part of Port Ambrose project are all the same dimensions.

7. The Port Ambrose application predates the Rockaway Lateral formal 7C application by more than three months. Yet Transco claimed to have no knowledge of any potential tie-ins to their existing lateral by LNG companies when they submitted their application in January 2013. Does it seem likely from how Port Ambrose describes their project that it can be built as described without the Rockaway Lateral Project? Not without some serious alteration to Williams and National Grid's existing infrastructure it doesn't.

8. Is above ground infrastructure like this metering and regulating station which is about the size of a football field typically placed in parks or recreation areas? Nah not according to these federal regulations. In historic hangars in a federal park as an adaptive reuse and supposed park improvement? Probably a first.

The rockaway project was complicated when it just involved Williams expansion, National Grid's BQI and a bill. The project was in pre-file an extraordinarily long time and there is still 4 and half years later information on the environmental effect of the HDD exit pit that is outstanding and a lot of confusion about what it does or doesn't do. Nearly two weeks after a draft EIS that is the size of a large telephone book in print was released, Williams revealed that agencies had been in discussion on an entirely new construction time frame for the work at Riis and offshore. The new time frame? Memorial Day through Labor Day or here on the east coast what is known as prime beach season.

Has this project been accurately described by activists or covered properly in the news? Not by a long shot. Think you will read any of this somewhere else? Nah. With the exception that is of the FERC docket for the project. (CP13-36).

Top Sites for Misinformation on Rockaway Pipeline (Sane Energy Project and Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline)

Image from postcard letter writing campaign against HR2606 run by Joe. He was told by self-appointed leaders at the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline that doing a letter writing campaign at the same time as a petition was impossible.

When I began researching and writing about the Rockaway Pipeline more than a year and half ago, I could never have predicted that the top sites for misinformation on the Rockaway Pipeline project would be activist sites.  Yet, the top sites for misinformation on the Rockaway Pipeline, which happen to also be the first two sites that come up on a google search on the project, are the Sane Energy Project and the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline. Although I wouldn't have been able to predict this in winter of 2012,  after meeting and working with the activists that run both these sites last summer, it became clear to me incredibly quickly that the people in these groups were primarily interested not in first learning anything about this project and then educating people, but instead favored a strategy of mostly fabricating information about it.  Where does Sane Energy and the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline get the information they put out on their website and flyers when much of it cannot be found in any of the paperwork on the project found in the FERC docket for this project (probably tens of thousands of pages and counting). Answer? In large part, they mostly either make it up or distort facts so far that they become unrecognizable. What empowers these activists to feel entitled to lie? Only their belief that they are engaged in a just war against either fracking or all fossil fuels and that everything and anything at all is fair in that war. The casualty? As ever, in any war the first casualty is the truth.

Friday, November 8, 2013

US Coast Guard Seeks Information on Existing Capacity of New York Lower Bay Lateral for Port Ambrose LNG project review

No matter how many maps Liberty Natural Gas LLC provides for their proposed LNG port and pipeline project offshore, they never fail to leave out the Rockaway Lateral Pipeline expansion

I have seen a lot of maps now on the proposed Port Ambrose Deepwater LNG project, but I have yet to see one that displays the Rockaway Lateral Pipeline through Gateway National Recreation Area even penciled in as dotted line. Since the company that wants to build this project is well aware of the proposed Rockaway expansion, having formally filed as intervenors in the FERC docket, there doesn't seem to be a good explanation for this glaring omission from their maps.  Port Ambrose lists as one of the benefits of their project their use of existing pipeline capacity or rather their purported ability to make optimal use of existing capacity. Since it seems very much that the Rockaway Pipeline expansion, which is capable of diverting gas normally delivered to Long Beach, Long Island instead into Brooklyn, has a part to play in this matter of what the "existing capacity" of Williams New York Lower Bay Lateral is, it seems to me that the Rockaway expansion belongs on these maps. Considering that the last company that had a proposed LNG import project offshore said that the Rockaway Pipeline expansion would help facilitate their ability to delivery supply, it would appear to make a lot of sense that the same thing is true for Port Ambrose ability as well.

Recently the U.S. Coast Guard asked about this existing capacity issue and is requesting documentation regarding this along with a whole host of other outstanding information that will be necessary in order to review that project's impact. You will not read that this issue was raised in the news anywhere though and at this point there is no reason why I would be surprised by that fact at all.

Even though once approved the Rockaway Pipeline will still be in my life as the construction of the M&R in the hangars at Floyd Bennett alone will take almost a year, I will be relieved to stop following this project and just get back to gardening.