Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image Connecticut hopes to persuade New York to deny Broadwater permits

Feb 12, 1:02 AM EST
Associated Press Writer
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut leaders said Monday that they are working to persuade New York officials to deny state permits for a liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound.

They’re sending personal messages to New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and submitting testimony to agencies pushing for what they say are more environmentally sensitive and safer alternatives to the Broadwater Energy project.

“It’s to convince the New York officials that it’s a bad idea and to deny it,” said Sen. Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford, co-chairman of the governor’s task force studying the gas terminal project.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said that if New York grants any approvals, Connecticut will appeal.

New York’s Department of State decided last week to postpone a key decision on the project for two months. Officials said they needed more time to determine whether the project is environmentally safe.

Gary Hale, a spokesman for Broadwater, said other projects touted by the Connecticut officials as alternatives to Broadwater would not deliver natural gas to the state. Also, he accused them of trying to hold up a project that could help families and businesses.

“It sounds to me like they intend to use taxpayer money to make absolutely sure that we continue to have the highest energy rates in the nation,” Hale said.

Broadwater Energy, a consortium of Shell Oil and TransCanada Pipelines Ltd., wants to build a $700 million terminal that would be 1,200 feet long and 82 feet high, located 9 miles from Long Island, N.Y., and 10 miles from the Connecticut shoreline.

The site is located in New York waters, but most Connecticut officials oppose the project, including Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell. Spitzer, a Democrat, is waiting until his Department of State rules before announcing his position.

Meanwhile, Connecticut officials said they’re gearing up to challenge what they believe will be a final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. While FERC took into consideration some of the concerns from Connecticut in its draft environmental impact report, the officials described some responses as cursory.

“In our view, it just doesn’t go far enough,” said Sen. Leonard Fasano, R-North Haven, co-chairman of the Broadwater task force.

Environmentalists also oppose the project, claiming it will harm the fragile ecosystem in Long Island Sound and could pose danger to nearby residents, especially if the site is targeted in a terrorist attack.

Blumenthal said the presidential candidates should be asked about their positions on Broadwater. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is vying for the Democratic nomination, opposes the project, he said.

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