ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION No. 59

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 11, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN F. MCKEON

District 27 (Essex)

Assemblyman  NELSON T. ALBANO

District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)

Assemblyman  DAVID W. WOLFE

District 10 (Monmouth and Ocean)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Milam, Assemblywoman Stender, Assemblyman Holzapfel, Assemblywoman Gove, Assemblymen Rumpf and Diegnan

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Opposes development of liquefied natural gas facilities off NJ coast.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Assembly Resolution opposing the development of liquefied natural gas facilities offshore of New Jersey.

 

Whereas, The New Jersey/New York Clean Ocean Zone (COZ) is defined as the waters from Montauk Point, New York, to Cape May, New Jersey, extending offshore 100 miles to the outer edge of the Continental Shelf, and consists of over 19,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean; and

Whereas, The COZ is an ecologically rich area the economic viability of which is dependant on a clean marine environment, and the COZ is now targeted as the location for industrial liquefied natural gas (LNG) port facilities; and

Whereas, The physical, hydrodynamic, and biological characteristics of the COZ are extraordinarily unique, as more than 300 species of fish, nearly 350 species of birds, five species of sea turtles, 20 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, and several species of seals frequent this region, which serves as an essential migratory pathway for many of these species; and

Whereas, Neighboring states, New York and Connecticut, rejected a LNG proposal for the Long Island Sound, instead offering two sites off the New Jersey coast and south shore of Long Island as locations for LNG facilities, and three other LNG facilities are currently proposed off the New Jersey coast; and

Whereas, Construction of a LNG facility will devastate important fish habitat, impact endangered, threatened, and protected species, damage seafloor habitat, destroy vast quantities of marine life when ocean water is used to refill huge emptied tankers with billions of gallons of seawater to replace LNG cargos, and create potential exposure to stronger and more frequent hurricanes, nor’easters, and wind and wave risks; and

Whereas, The proposed LNG facilities will straddle shipping lanes in the New York/New Jersey Harbor region, the busiest port on the East Coast and third busiest in the country, dramatically affecting shipping traffic patterns when tankers approach and depart the facility, interfering with port traffic, and increasing the risk of shipping accidents; and

Whereas, The additional lifecycle stages of liquefaction, transportation, and gasification emit harmful greenhouse gases (GHG), and LNG produces approximately 20% to 40% more GHG than domestic natural gas; and

Whereas, This country is energy independent for natural gas with 97% of the natural gas used in the United States coming from North America, and recent discoveries of new natural gas fields in the United States and Canada supplement an already growing domestic supply, while existing LNG ports are significantly under-utilized and can more than meet the region’s energy needs; and

Whereas, LNG imports will increase the nation’s dependence on foreign fossil fuels, with over two-thirds of the world’s natural gas reserves located in Russia and the Middle East, and the likely sources of energy for the facilities proposed for the COZ include offshore drilling in Russia, Trinidad, Libya, and other locations where environmental laws and controls are often less stringent, thus increasing this country’s use of and dependence upon LNG from unstable foreign energy sources; and

Whereas, LNG is expensive, and will only become more so as the world competes for LNG, making it globally priced and locked into price wars; and

Whereas, The ever-increasing amounts of GHG from burning fossil fuels is changing the chemistry of the sea by increasing its acidity, and thereby diminishing the ocean’s ability to serve the vital role as the earth’s largest and most effective absorber of major GHG emissions, as well as making the sea itself harmful to marine life; and

Whereas, LNG projects will permanently exclude the public from the ocean as vast areas of ocean will be off limits to the public, boaters and fishing vessels; and

Whereas, It is altogether fitting and proper for this House, and in the public interest, to oppose the development of LNG facilities off the New Jersey coast; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    This House opposes the development of liquefied natural gas facilities off the New Jersey coast, and supports increased energy efficiency and energy conservation and the promotion of renewable energy technologies and projects.  

 

     2.    Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the Speaker of the General Assembly and attested by the Clerk thereof, shall be transmitted to the Governor, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the President of the Board of Public Utilities, the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, each commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Administrator of the United States Maritime Administration and the Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in the United States Department of Transportation, the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration in the United States Department of Homeland Security, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and each member of the United States Congress elected from this State.


STATEMENT

 

     This resolution opposes the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities off the New Jersey coast.  The resolution further expresses support for increased energy efficiency and energy conservation and the promotion of renewable energy technologies and projects.  

     By focusing efforts on energy efficiency, energy conservation measures, and renewable energy technologies, the region can create a win-win situation by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging long-term job creation in the field of renewable energy technologies.