New York and New Jersey Chapters scored a major victory along with dozens of environmental and energy groups when NY Governor Andrew Cuomo rejected the Port Ambrose Liquid Natural Gas facility off of Long Island.
Less than one week into the forty-five day period where either the NY or NJ Governor could veto the project, Governor Cuomo came to Long Beach, NY for a raucous event where he announced he’d be halting the project much to the delight of members of the NYC Chapter, the Central long Island Chapter, and the Jersey Shore Chapter.
In announcing his veto, Cuomo cited climate change as a reason, and he referenced how devastated Long Beach, NY was by Hurricane Sandy. Watch this embedded video where he makes the connection in the first four minutes.
The New York City Chapter’s Nick Lynn and Nikita Stewart were there for the announcement, and deservedly so as two people who ran the Chapter and this campaign respectively during this fight. The same can be said for the Central Long Island Chapters’s Marvin Weiss, Amanda Moore, Michelle Stewart and Laura Swan- O’Shaugnessey. Surfrider staff member Matt Gove made Port Ambrose a priority in recent years thereby assisting the Chapters.
Governor Christie of NJ vetoed an identical project in 2011 called Liberty Gas. Port Ambrose was essentially the same project in a different location. While many ocean environmental groups like Surfrider and Clean Ocean Action in NJ fought the previous LNG project, Port Ambrose brought out many other groups, mostly concerned with fracking. Groups like Food and Water Watch, Catskill Mountainkeeper, United for Action, Environmental Action, and Riverkeeper, as well as energy groups like Sane Energy Project and All Our Energy.
This victory reminds us of the difficulties inherent in environmentalism. Dozens of groups devoted scores of staff members and turned out hundreds of volunteers, logging thousands of hours of time, and spending tens of thousands of dollars over the course of years, all to make sure that nothing happened. To the casual observer, it may seem that way. There is no LNG facility offshore today, just as there was not one yesterday. Those not paying close attention may ask themselves what these environmental groups do with themselves all day long? Where does all that donated money go? At the end of the day, it all goes to make sure that nothing happened. So we are thankful to our activists who dedicate years of their lives to make sure that nothing happened.