Gas facility opponents to meet in Connecticut

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Nearly 200 people from Connecticut and New York are expected to meet Sunday for a panel discussion and information session about a proposed liquefied natural gas facility to be sited in Long Island Sound.

“A Bi-State Day of Celebrating Long Island Sound” will take place July 31 at a waterfront location in Branford, Conn. Members of Connecticut organizations Save the Sound, Hands Across Our Pond, Sound Alliance, and Connecticut Fund for the Environment, which oppose the proposal, will be in attendance. Members of such New York organizations as the Anti-Broadwater Coalition and the Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment will be on hand as well.

The event will include videotaped statements from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Pat Widlitz (D-Branford). The featured speaker will be Gaddis Smith, Yale University professor emeritus and former member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

“We’re hoping this discussion will help unite the citizens of Connecticut and New York, and to educate the public about this proposal that affects our beautiful Long Island Sound,” says Hands Across Our Pond member Felise Cressman.

Broadwater Energy of New York, with TransCanada and Shell Oil, has proposed a floating LNG terminal in the broadest part of Long Island Sound, about nine miles from Long Island and 11 miles from Connecticut. The 1,200-foot-long, 70-foot-high terminal would accept LNG from tankers, convert it back to a gaseous state, and pump it into a pipeline for consumer use.

Proponents say the project will help the region meet its demand for gas, enhance energy reliability and security, improve air quality, and contribute to local economies. Opponents argue that the facility will be a safety risk, will negatively affect boating and fishing because of increased barge traffic, and have said they’re against using the Sound for industrial purposes.

Jason Fell