2009-04-24 / Editorial/Opinion

We Prefer Wind Over LNG

There are two competing proposals for the use of the ocean spaces off the shores of Rockaway. Most Rockaway residents now know that a private group called the Atlantic Sea Island Group has proposed a massive, man-made sea island off the shore of Far Rockaway that would serve as a terminal for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as well as a storage facility for the gas and a re-gasification facility. The second proposal competing for a portion of the ocean, east of where the LNG terminal is planned, is for a wind farm that would bring several dozen windmills off the shore of Breezy Point. The two proposals, while not exactly competitors, seek to control a large chunk of ocean right off the vital channel that brings shipping into New York Harbor. Environmentalists, who are actively fighting the LNG proposal and who turned out in large numbers for a meeting in Belle Harbor last weekend, say that neither of the proposals are good for the ocean and its ecology, but that the wind farm would be less intrusive to the environment and to the people who live in Rockaway. We agree. The wind farm proposal comes from the two power giants who impact the local area - the Long Island Power Authority and Con Edison. Those power companies are subject to government regulation. We have been told that the windmills will have the capacity to turn off during a large storm and would remain safe. We get none of those promises from the LNG proposal. All in all, we would like to see the ocean left in peace, but if something must be done to bring cheaper, more environmentally friendly, local energy to Rockaway, we prefer the windmills over the sea island. We hope the Coast Guard, the agency that must vet the two proposals, and Governor David Paterson, who has the veto power, agree.

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