Some Rockaway representatives are not thrilled about the proposal to build a natural gas pipeline 19 miles off the coast of New York, saying there are safety and environmental concerns involved in the construction of the project.
“A lot of it has to do with our reliance on fossil fuels,” Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) said. “We have to do more to move away from fossil fuels.”
Richards was expressing opposition to the proposed Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas terminal, which if approved by the state, would be built in the Atlantic Ocean 19 miles away from Jones Beach and about 20 miles away from the Rockaways.
Ships would bring LNG to the facility, where it would be regasified and then brought to shore via a new pipeline connected to an existing one in Lower New York Bay, which serves both the city and Long Island.
Richards, the chairman of the Environmental Protection Committee, said the pipeline goes against the city’s plan to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
He also said the continued use of fossil fuels would contribute to catastrophic natural disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy.
“Superstorm Sandy was a wakeup call to anyone who thinks climate change isn’t real,” he said. “How many times can the Earth show us that we’re moving in the wrong direction?”
Richards on Jan. 22 introduced a resolution to the City Council that, if passed, would call on Gov. Cuomo to veto the pipeline.
He has received the support of Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), who in an emailed statement said, “While I support efforts to develop domestic sources of energy and decrease our dependency on foreign oil, I respect the voices of my constituents and our neighbors on Long Island who are against this proposal.
“For the many concerns raised by Rockaway residents, I urge Governor Cuomo to veto this application.”
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) has also voiced opposition to the proposed project.
“Just because the bulk of the project will take place on Long Island doesn’t mean the risks stop at the city limits,” he said in a statement. “I urge Governor Cuomo to immediately veto this potentially dangerous plan.”
Richards said he would like to see wind farms or solar panels placed in the Rockaways or on Staten Island to help the city reduce its carbon emissions.
“This is the direction we need to go in New York City,” he said. “LNG is a step back in the wrong direction.”