2009-05-08 / Columnists

The Councilman's Corner

Commentary By Councilman Eric Ulrich

Councilman Ulrich Councilman Ulrich The notion that a manmade island acting as a filling station for highly flammable liquefied natural gas should be built near the Rockaway coastline is simply ludicrous. Elected officials and community activists alike must unite against this assault on common sense. From a common sense point of view, it is universally recognized that this project does not have the best interests of the Rockaway community at heart and it must be stopped now!

Firstly, it is important to note that there has never been a manmade island built for this purpose before. Floating platforms have been constructed in the past, but never a permanent manmade island. Such an unprecedented structure - one that is nine times the size of Giants Stadium - would push the limits of scientific engineering to the breaking point. How can we even be assured that such a monstrosity could withstand the ferocity of future Atlantic storms, let alone the average tidal fluctuations?

Secondly, the liquefied natural gas will be coming from overseas while the United States already has an abundance of natural gas. Estimates show that the Unites States has a natural gas supply of well over one hundred years. Therefore, there is no need, or demand, for us to do business with foreign countries, such as Iran, that have little regard for the American way of life. Let the U.S.A. produce and store its own natural gas and keep those good paying jobs right here on American soil.

Thirdly, our beautiful coastline is too precious to risk a potential environmental catastrophe. What impact would such a project have on our local fishermen, both those who earn their wages on the sea as well as those who find comfort and relaxation off our shores? Could the dredged up fill used to create a manmade island be toxic and disturb the fragile harmony of our aquatic ecosystems? We simply cannot take this chance!

In conclusion, concerned citizens need to know that the only individuals who have the ultimate power to give the L.N.G. Proposal the thumbs down are our own Governor David Paterson and the U.S. Maritime Administrator.

Our fate and our future are in their hands.

Together we must speak out and be heard. The governors of California and Florida have already rejected similar proposals off their coastlines. Governor Paterson must do the same for the citizens of Rockaway, Broad Channel, and all of New York City.

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