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The Business Council of New York State opposes this legislation, which is intended to impose a new regulatory hurdle for the review and potential approval of the LNG terminal proposed in Long Island Sound, generally referred to as Broadwater.
With the high cost of energy in New York State, and our state's increased reliance on natural gas – particularly for the purpose of generating electric power – it is essential that New York expand its capacity to bring gas supplies into the state. This LNG proposal is one of several major natural gas supply proposals under consideration. The Business Council believes these projects will provide the expanded energy infrastructure needed to expand energy supplies, moderate energy prices, and support on continued economic growth. We oppose measures such as this which would impose a redundant administrative review process, whose primary purpose is to impose an additional barrier to project approval.
Specifically, this bill would establish a new review requirement that would be in addition to, but not necessarily consistent with, existing federal, state, county and local land use review agencies, including the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) and New York's State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). It also removes the six month time period for state decisions on coastal zone consistency certifications.
This proposal is contrary to the public's interest in securing both a greater supply of cleaner energy sources and reducing the prices for business and residents (as a consequence of increased supply). New York presently suffers from both a supply and price gap, especially in terms of natural gas. If it becomes a matter of New York State policy to set up redundant regulatory schemes to frustrate and block the siting of such projects, we will not be able to meet the long-term energy needs of our state.
The Business Council agrees that fair, predictable and stringent regulatory reviews are essential, but alteration of such processes, via conflicting and duplicative regulatory schemes is not prudent public policy.
For the abovementioned reasons, The Business Council strongly opposes this legislation and urges that it not be adopted.