Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Some Misinformation on Port Ambrose LNG making news

The usual suspects, ministers of misinformation- Jessica Roff (center) and Patrick Robbins (far left) described as representing New Yorkers Against Fracking and Sane Energy Project this time. 

1.)  I've pulled a few lines from On Rockaway.com's coverage of a recent informational "community" meeting on the Port Ambrose LNG deepwater port that demonstrate what I have seen over the last several years with fractivists, the news and the Rockaway Project.
"On Monday night, two environmental activists came to the Macedonia Baptist Church in Arverne to point out their opposition to a small group of residents, journalists and politicians. In fact, of the fifteen people at the meeting, only four were residents without a financial reason to be at the meeting."

My interpretation of the two succinct sentences above is that they are spot on. They essentially describe what I have observed with the antifracking "movement's" efforts with the Rockaway Project and Port Ambrose project over the last two and half years: a small number of people with it seems unbelievable influence can produce almost complete misinformation campaigns from start to finish and never be called out for this.  These activists have incredible access mainly to journalists and politicians who often simply repeat what the activists say with zero fact-checking as the story in the Rockaway Times below demonstrates.

2.) The Rockaway Times prints misinformation written by Community Board 14 member John Cori on Port Ambrose,  brought to them by it seems the usual suspects at a community "informational hearing". The usual suspect sources are Patrick Robbins, now of Sane Energy formerly of Occupy the Pipeline, who generally considers himself to be an expert on all things energy, pipeline (and capitalism too) and Jessica Roff of New Yorkers Against Fracking. There is a direct link between the misinformation in John Cori's piece and the misguided and frankly obnoxious activism by the antifracking movement on the Rockaway pipeline project.

This time around though, we have a new twist to the equation, what is the true planned use of the LNG Port off of our shores?
Liberty Natural Gas LLC, Port Ambrose deepwater port, the projects applicant, claims the port’s use is solely for import only! The fears, raised by Jessica and Patrick, are that once the application is approved the port can and will easily be approved to become an export facility. This concern makes a lot of sense as New York State may very soon become the latest state to allow fracking.'

It's unlikely that John Cori actually realizes just how profound and sustained the misinformation campaign that Patrick Robbins and Jessica Roff are part of has been. I've witnessed it personally for two and half years and it still blows my mind. Mr. Cori perhaps still thinks the Rockaway project is a project that delivers 650,000dths per day of fracked gas straight from upstate New York which is probably how Jessica Roff has described it to him. Even though he attended the draft EIS hearing on the Rockaway project its likely he didn't realize that this draft was for two projects that were 85% about redistributing existing supplies and only 15% by volume about incremental gas. What I've noticed is that the loudest people tend only to hear themselves.

3.) And Dan Radel has a piece published over in Jersey  where Jim Walsh of Food and Water Watch opines that "there is no doubt in his mind the long term plan for this is to send this stuff overseas."  I doubt that Mr. Walsh of Food and Water Watch has ever read a single document on the Port Ambrose project, which has always been described as an LNG delivery project.

There is an alarming thing happening with activism, very specifically fractivism and the environmental groups or progressive "coalitions" associated with it today. Recent history is being erased and completely fictional accounts take their place. There are many many many times more inaccurate accounts produced by "reporters" on the Rockaway pipeline project than accounts that even come close to reality or fact. The same is true for social media information on the Rockaway project and for news on Port Ambrose.  More than a year ago even the NYtimes reported on Port Ambrose, mentioning the exporting conspiracy theory and featured Bruce Ferguson saying:

 Skeptics contend that the port is just a backdoor way for Liberty Natural Gas to build an export business, which would be more profitable than importation. The port would operate near the Marcellus Shale, which lies beneath parts of New York and Pennsylvania and contains natural gas that could be tapped, should a state moratorium on the extraction process known as hydrofracking be lifted.
 “I think these companies are determined to get in early,” said Bruce Ferguson, a founder of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy. “An import facility just isn’t credible. If there’s a deepwater port off Long Island, it’s going to be irresistible to fracking.” 

What isn't credible in that article is Bruce Ferguson's theory that Port Ambrose was going to be "irrestible to fracking". The narrative that Port Ambrose is secretly or obviously for export is deliberate misinformation. It was a year and a half ago when the NYtimes article on Port Ambrose featuring antifracking activist Bruce Ferguson, (who describes himself at that New Yorkers Against Fracking Link essentially as proud to be loud ) was published and it still is today. The unfunny joke is that many of these same activists will give great speeches about democracy and truth or public participation at public hearings. Currently they are asking MarAD to extend the public comment time frame on the Port Ambrose draft EIS all the while making it almost impossible for the public to even understand what it is they might be commenting on.

I'm pretty sure I am commenting right now right here on something that is profoundly wrong.

 (I used a screenshot of onrockaway.com's coverage in this post.)


Anonymous said...

You haven't said what any of the correct information is, just that there is misinformation being spread.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%!

Sweetgum Thursday said...

The correct information is that Port Ambrose is what it is described as in the tons of paperwork on file on it-- it is an LNG delivery project. The activists in the photo are saying the opposite.

Howard Schwach said...

Glad to see you have used my story and pix in your blog. Have been covering environmental projects in Rockaway for twenty years and have never seen wrong statements made so often as in the Port Ambrose project. Some of the comments made by environmentalists have been strange to say the least. For example, recently a local talked about the problems of the release of nuclear material or radiation from the proposed site and the environmentalists said nothing to debase the fact that there is no nuclear material involved.

Sweetgum Thursday said...

I have never seen anything quite like what I have seen the last few years myself either.

I'm glad you were happy I used your material and not otherwise--.