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|Tuesday, November 25, 2014|
NYS REVISES LNG RULES
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has revised its proposed draft regulations for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) by prohibiting new facilities with a capacity in excess of 70,000 gallons. This is a significant improvement over rules drafted last year, which would have opened New York State to giant storage facilities capable of holding millions of gallons of LNG.
Photo credit: Staten Island/Landov
WHO PAYS FOR FRACKING?Governor Cuomo may announce by year’s end whether or not he will permit high-volume fracking. If he permits it, even on a limited basis, you can be sure he’ll justify his action by citing the economic benefits of drilling. You can also be sure he’ll try to avoid any discussion of the very real economic burden that gas extraction will place on New York State taxpayers and host communities.
These hard truths are detailed in “Who Pays for Fracking?” —a trifold brochure Catskill Citizens is mailing to 78,000 households in Putnam and Rockland Counties. Earlier in the year, we sent this brochure to over 400,000 households in Westchester County.
COMPRESSOR STATIONS = FORMALDEHYDE
A new peer-reviewed study shows that compressor stations emit dangerous levels of formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen that can cause everything from allergies and asthma to neurological damage and reproductive problems. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) should be asked to respond to this report every time it considers licensing a compressor station.
PIPELINE REVERSALS RESPONSIBLE FOR OIL SPILLS
As the fossil fuel industry scrambles to move a glut of fracked oil and gas around the country, it has increasingly resorted to reversing the directional flow of pipelines. Now the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration has warned operators that this practice can jeopardize safety—it’s already resulted in crude oil spills in North Dakota and Arkansas.
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR …
#GivingTuesday is a movement that supports over 10,000 organizations around the world, including ours. When you plan your year-end donations, please remember Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy. We’re an all-volunteer organization powered by thousands of hours of unpaid volunteer work —and the generous support of people like you.
ASK PRESIDENT OBAMA
TO STAND STRONG ON KEYSTONE
Photo courtesy of Risewall
On the same day, on a strict party-line vote, House Republicans defeated a motion that would have required Keystone XL to contribute eight cents a barrel to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. New York Republican Chris Gibson (R), who ran for reelection as an environmental moderate willing to work across the aisle, voted with the rest of his party to give the owners of Keystone a free ride.
In the Senate, fourteen Democrats joined a solid Republican bloc in support of Keystone but still came up one vote short. This may be just a temporary reprieve. The bill is likely to be reintroduced in January when the Republicans take over the Senate.
President Obama has been uncharacteristically blunt in his response to the congressional action. He insisted that all legal challenges to the pipeline be allowed to run their course—and he debunked the key arguments that have been used to sell Keystone to the American people. “I have to constantly push back against this idea that somehow the Keystone pipeline is either this massive jobs bill for the United States or is somehow lowering gas prices,” he told reporters. The president went on to point out that Keystone simply gives Canada the ability “to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else.” This is the strongest sign to date that the president may veto Keystone XL when it reaches his desk.
Ask the president to kill this disastrous project that will play havoc with the climate and do little for the American people.
MARAD MOVES TO BAR IMPORT/EXPORT FLIPPING
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has proposed a new policy that would prevent offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) ports holding import lhttps://www.catskillcitizens.org/files/updates/icenses from exporting gas unless they first go through a new licensing process—including public hearings, a fresh environmental review, and the possibility of being vetoed by governors of adjacent states.
The issue of “flipping” import facilities first concerned us when we examined the application to construct an offshore LNG port nineteen nautical miles off Long Island. The proposed facility, Port Ambrose, would ostensibly be used to import LNG, but that made no sense, because expensive, imported LNG simply can’t compete in a market flooded with cheap shale gas. We suspected that once Port Ambrose was built, it would be quickly repurposed to export Marcellus Shale gas overseas. We raised this concern in a letter to MARAD and were told, “The authority to export natural gas through the … facility would constitute such a significant change from the proposal now under review that it would require a new license application in its entirety.”
We are encouraged that MARAD has now proposed a written policy that would apply to all deepwater LNG ports. Ask MARAD to adopt this policy to prevent an import/export “bait and switch” somewhere down the road.
OBAMA’S POWER PLANT RULE SUBSTITUTES FRACKED GAS FOR COAL
As we reported last June, the Obama administration has proposed a rule that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by increasing the consumption of fracked gas—that is, methane, a greenhouse gas that is pound for pound far worse as a driver of climate change than CO2. By ignoring the science on methane, underestimating the chronic problems of gas leakage across the country, and suggesting pitifully weak goals for renewables, the president has missed the mark with a rule that does little to tackle climate change. Unless this rule is substantially improved, it could actually heat the globe faster.
TELL GOVERNOR CUOMO:
NOT ONE WELL!
Rally Against Fracking and for Renewable Energy at Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address
Wednesday, January 7, 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Empire State Plaza
For more information: Not One Well Rally
Please share this Update link, cut and paste to Facebook and Twitter: http://bit.ly/1zLQgKi
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