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newsday.com: Taking Broadwater’s LI gas barge plan to the public

BY TOM INCANTALUPO | [email protected]
February 6, 2008

Broadwater Energy and its parent, Shell Oil, are cranking up an advertising and public relations campaign to win more support for their controversial Long Island Sound liquefied natural gas barge proposal in the final days before Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s administration is to either approve it or reject it.

TV, radio and some print ads say the metropolitan area needs the extra billion cubic feet a day of natural gas that the floating terminal would provide and that the extra fuel would help lower Long Islanders’ energy bills — by a claimed $300 a year.

Opponents, meanwhile, have their own, more modest campaign under way: e-mail blasts by the group Citizens Campaign for the Environment asking members to urge Spitzer to kill the Broadwater project.

Broadwater’s campaign, being conducted with help from two well-known Long Island public relations firms, Epoch 5 and Zimmerman/Edelson, includes appearances on Long Island and in the city this week by John Hofmeister, president of Houston-based Shell Oil, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell Co. “I’d like for people to understand the importance of energy security to this nation and this region,” he said yesterday after a ceremony in Deer Park during which Broadwater made another donation, $150,000, to the United Way.

A Broadwater spokeswoman declined to provide details of its campaign. “As you can appreciate, this level of detail can be used by others,” she said.

Although federal energy officials have primary responsibility for approval of the terminal, the proposed site in New York waters allows state officials to block it. The state Department of State has until Tuesday to announce a decision. Spitzer has said he would not state his own position before then.

Hofmeister met with Spitzer last month for what Hofmeister said was about 30 minutes.

Stu Loeser, a spokesman for Michael Bloomberg, said Hofmeister spoke with the mayor by telephone Jan. 24 about Broadwater. “Politics aside, if that’s possible, a proposal like this is the kind of thing we envisioned when we discussed a sustainable future for New York by 2030,” Loeser said.

Broadwater opponent Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Citizens Campaign, said Spitzer phoned her Sunday and asked her to contact his staff to arrange a meeting with him.

http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-bzbroad065565886feb06,0,5185267.story?track=rss

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