ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION No. 202

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JANUARY 15, 2015

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  CAROLINE CASAGRANDE

District 11 (Monmouth)

Assemblyman  BRIAN E. RUMPF

District 9 (Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean)

Assemblywoman  DIANNE C. GOVE

District 9 (Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean)

Assemblyman  SEAN T. KEAN

District 30 (Monmouth and Ocean)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges federal and State officials to prevent construction of Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas facility off NJ coast.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Assembly Resolution opposing construction of the Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas facility off New Jersey’s coastline.

 

Whereas, Liberty Natural Gas, LLC has submitted an application to the federal Maritime Administration, in the United States Department of Transportation, and to the United States Coast Guard, seeking approval for the construction and operation of a deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal – identified as “Port Ambrose” – which would purportedly allow for the increased and more cost-effective import and delivery of natural gas to the State of New York; and

Whereas, Port Ambrose would consist of a submerged buoy and subsea pipeline system, situated in federal waters, 16 miles from the coast of Jones Beach, New York and 25 miles from the coast of Long Branch, New Jersey; and

Whereas, Port Ambrose would be located near fishing grounds and scallop beds within the New Jersey/New York Clean Ocean Zone (COZ) – an area that includes the waters from Montauk Point, New York, to Cape May, New Jersey, and the unique physical, hydrodynamic, and biological characteristics of which are dependent upon a clean marine environment; and

Whereas, Port Ambrose would also be situated near the large Ambrose shipping channel, which provides vessel access to the Port of New York and New Jersey – the busiest shipping port on the East Coast; and

Whereas, The construction and operation of Port Ambrose in the COZ, near busy shipping lanes, fishing grounds, and scallop beds, could ultimately have detrimental environmental and ecological impacts on surrounding coastal areas and marine systems, and could dramatically affect shipping traffic patterns, interfere with port traffic, and increase the risk of shipping accidents in the area; and

Whereas, Because Port Ambrose will be constructed and operated in a high traffic area, at a site that saw some of the most violent wave action created by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the likelihood of port accidents resulting from natural or manmade causes is higher than would be true at a different siting location; and

Whereas, Any accident stemming from operations at Port Ambrose could prove to be catastrophic to the area’s coastal and ocean environments and the State’s shipping, fishing, and coastal tourism industries; and

Whereas, Although Liberty Natural Gas, LLC indicates that Port Ambrose will deliver significant benefits to the State of New York by creating jobs, reducing energy costs, and increasing energy security in peak winter and summer months, Liberty Natural Gas does not contend that the proposed project would provide any benefit, whatsoever, to the State of New Jersey; and

Whereas, Because the Port Ambrose project encourages the continued and more expansive use of natural gas by creating a financial incentive to facilitate the increased use of this resource in New York, the proposed construction and operation of Port Ambrose is at odds with the Obama Administration’s goal of promoting increased wind energy production off the Atlantic Coast, and, if approved, may threaten the long term viability and success of the renewable energy industry in the region; and

Whereas, Although, in 2008, Liberty Natural Gas, LLC submitted a similar proposal seeking to construct a deepwater LNG facility off the coasts of New York and New Jersey, that project was ultimately vetoed by Governor Chris Christie pursuant to the veto authority granted to the governor of an adjacent coastal state under the federal “Deepwater Port Act of 1974,” 33 U.S.C. s.1501 et seq.; and

Whereas, Upon his veto in 2011 of the 2008 LNG project, Governor Christie recognized that “LNG facilities . . . are not the answer for New Jersey’s needs . . . ,” and he indicated, moreover, that his “administration will oppose any application for liquefied natural gas” since it is inappropriate for New Jersey to assume the environmental and other risks associated with LNG facility projects, when the benefits to the State are weak, at best; and

Whereas, Because the construction and operation of the proposed Port Ambrose deepwater LNG terminal would endanger New Jersey’s coastal and ocean environments, as well as its shipping, fishing, and coastal tourism industries, while providing no benefit to the State or its residents, and because the authorization and approval of this port project would be contrary to the goals and positions espoused by government officials at both the federal and State level, it is altogether fitting and proper for federal and State officials to use their respective authority to prevent the construction and operation of this LNG port facility off of New Jersey’s coast; now, therefore,

 

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

 

     1.    This House opposes the construction and operation of the Port Ambrose deepwater liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of New Jersey, and it urges the United States Coast Guard, the federal Maritime Administration, and any other federal entity engaged in review of the Port Ambrose project to disapprove of the project, and thereby prohibit its construction off of New Jersey’s coastline.

 

     2.    This House also urges the Governor of the State of New Jersey to veto the Port Ambrose deepwater port project, pursuant to the authority granted to governors of adjacent coastal states under the federal “Deepwater Port Act of 1974,” 33 U.S.C. s.1501 et seq., and to thereby prohibit the port’s construction and operation off of New Jersey’s coastline.

 

     3.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly to the Governor of the State of New Jersey, the Administrator of the federal Maritime Administration in the United States Department of Transportation, the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, each member of the United States Congress from the State of New Jersey, and the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution urges federal and State entities to take appropriate action to prevent the construction of the proposed Port Ambrose deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal off the coast of New Jersey.

     Liberty Natural Gas, LLC has submitted an application to the federal Maritime Administration, in the United States Department of Transportation, and to the United States Coast Guard, seeking approval for the construction and operation of a deepwater LNG terminal – identified as “Port Ambrose.”  The port would be constructed in federal waters, 19 miles from the coast of Jones Beach, New York and 24 miles from the coast of Long Branch, New Jersey, and purportedly would allow for the increased and more cost-effective import and delivery of natural gas to the State of New York.

     The port would be sited near fishing grounds and scallop beds within the New Jersey/New York Clean Ocean Zone, which has unique physical, hydrodynamic, and biological characteristics that are dependent upon a clean marine environment.  It would also be situated near the large Ambrose shipping channel, which provides vessel access to the Port of New York and New Jersey – the busiest shipping port on the East Coast.