27 Oct

Business Leaders Call on Governor Cuomo to Veto Port Ambrose

For Immediate Release, Tuesday, October 27, 2015
For More Information, Contact: NYPIRG: Rose Barone, 615-512-2855 (cell)
Megan Ahearn, 212-349-6460 ext 1166
Sane Energy Project: Patrick Robbins, (917) 364 7461 patrick@saneenergyproject.org

Over 60 Local Businesses Call on Governor Cuomo to Veto Port Ambrose Gas Project – Business Leaders Join Together Ahead of November Public Hearings To Call Attention to Harms the Project Could Pose to the Local Economy

(Long Beach, NY)— Today, business leaders and elected officials from Long Island and neighboring communities joined advocates to unveil a letter (link HERE) to Governor Andrew Cuomo urging him to veto the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas facility.  Many of the over 60 businesses represented on the letter are located in front line communities such as Long Beach.  They are acutely aware of how Port Ambrose could harm local businesses, cost jobs, and damage fishing, recreation, and tourism in the area.

“This City Council has remained steadfast in its opposition to Port Ambrose,” said City Council President Len Torres. “We will continue to voice our disapproval of having an LNG terminal off our shore, and we are again calling on Governor Cuomo to veto this project. We must protect the safety of our residents and preserve our environment — we say ‘no’ to Port Ambrose.”

So far, 64 businesses from Long Beach and the surrounding area have joined the letter. That number is expected to grow heading into public hearings on the project, being held at the Long Beach Hotel on November 2nd and 3rd.  After public hearings in New York and New Jersey have concluded, Governor Cuomo will have a 45-day window in which he may issue a veto of the project.  Business owners and community members are calling on him to do just that.

The signatories expressed concern about potential public safety threats, as well as harm to beaches, ocean ecology, and wildlife that the project poses.  Critical sectors of the local economy could be left ravaged by Port Ambrose.  At the same time, it would preclude the creation of many more jobs in wind energy.”Nobody in the area wants this,” said Mark Taglianetti, owner of a local print shop. “No other business owners I’ve spoken with are for this project. I couldn’t believe it when I heard they were proposing a gas port right here off the coast. We are completely against it – it will hurt recreation and tourism, and that affects all of us. If it’s bad for some of our businesses, it’s bad for all of us.

Mark Tannenbaum, Executive Vice President of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, spoke on behalf of the over 200 businesses who are a part of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. “The beach is the driving force of our summer business. We are fortunate to have one of the highest rated quality beaches in the country. The ocean is not only a recreational jewel but also important to our fishing industry. Not only could Port Ambrose create possible environmental problems to the ocean where we swim and fish but it is not in harmony with the development of renewable, cleaner energy for our future generations. The development of Port Ambrose can eliminate the possibility of ever using that area of the ocean for wind energy. There is only one side to this project and that is to be against it. We must not permit the Port Ambrose project to go forward.”

“In Long Beach, we stand united against the Port Ambrose LNG terminal. Our businesses and neighbors alike seek to preserve the natural beauty of the Barrier Island and ensure that we are moving away from energy sources that promote climate change. This outpouring of opposition against Port Ambrose should send a clear message to Albany,” said Assemblymember Todd Kaminsky, who sent a statement.

The region where Port Ambrose would be built was hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy, so it’s not surprising that there is overwhelming public opposition. The group hopes that Governor Cuomo furthers his legacy as a climate leader by using his authority to veto the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas facility.Local business owners recognize that Port Ambrose is a bad deal for New York – for local jobs, businesses, and the communities in which they live and work. Furthermore, the project’s official Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) does not even address how construction will impact the local recreation or tourism economies.

Businesses and business associations from the region spoke out in solidarity with the local business community. “Businesses are proud to operate in NYC because it’s a center for progress and thinking about a sustainable future,” said Liz O’Donnell, NYC District Environmental Coordinator for Patagonia.

“This LNG facility flies in the face of those values held deeply by New Yorkers and sends the wrong message to the entire world.””New York businesses understand all too well the costs of climate change, from increased insurance prices to rebuilding storm-damaged infrastructure,” said Laura Ornstein, coordinator of New York State Sustainable Business Council. “Governor Cuomo has taken bold steps to lead the transition to 100% renewables and must continue this leadership by vetoing Port Ambrose, which would threaten the local economy and community character, and instead explore the potential for offshore wind development.”

Port Ambrose is an offshore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility proposed about 20 miles off the coast of Long Beach.  LNG is natural gas that is super cooled to -260 degrees F. At this temperature, the natural gas changes from a gaseous state to a liquid state, becoming 600 times denser and easier to transport, but also much more volatile.