LNG hearing draws more-than-capacity crowd in Albany

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A standing-room-only crowd quickly filled a conference room Wednesday to have its say on the state’s move to lift an effective ban on liquefied natural gas.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation’s public hearing on its proposed regulations for siting liquefied natural gas — or LNG — facilities drew a more-than-capacity audience, as the 125-person hearing room quickly filled up, leaving a few dozen to wait outside for their turn to speak.

The DEC moved earlier this year to issue rules for permitting new LNG storage sites and fueling stations, 40 years after a deadly explosion at an empty facility on Staten Island led the state to put them on hold three years later.

But the DEC’s proposed regulations have drawn the ire of highly organized groups opposed to hydraulic fracturing, who have said the regulations don’t include basic safety measures — such as a limit on the size of facilities.

At informational sessions before the hearing, DEC officials said they moved to issue new rules because of demand from the transportation industry. As the price of natural gas has dropped to near-historic lows over the past several years — in part due to the expansion of fracking across the country — the demand for LNG as a trucking fuel has increased and companies like UPS shift their fleets.

Karin Kennett White of the New York State Motor Truck Association testified that New York trucks are at a competitive disadvantage because the state is the only in the country to ban LNG fueling stations, which she said leads to an increase in the price in consumer goods.

The hearing was held inside of a conference room at the DEC’s headquarters in downtown Albany. It had a capacity of 125, which was met within minutes of the agency opening its doors.

An hour after the hearing had started, about a dozen people were still lined up outside the DEC’s front doors, waiting their opportunity to enter the hearing as speakers left.

Peter Constantakes, a DEC spokesman, said everyone was allowed an opportunity to speak at the forum. At one point, speakers who were traveling back to New York City by bus were allowed to speak out of turn. The hearing, which started at 2 p.m., continued after 5 p.m.

A pre-hearing rally from anti-fracking groups attracted about 150, where speakers called on the DEC to withdraw the proposed regs. Here’s a taste:

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7 Comments

  1. Sandra Stiengrabber and her puppets could easily be sidelined if Cuomo had the guts to release the regulations. These puppets in the video above saying Boom Boom Boom need to explain why there are over 4632 gas stations in New York in the yellow pages and thousands more not listed. Each one of these gas stations hold 100,000 gallons of gas. The fact is that these people protesting are targeting a fuel that will save hundreds of millions of dollars a year because they are afraid of drilling a gas well, Something we have done in NY for over a hundred years without serious incident. These people protesting are going to make it impossible for NY to compete in global and domestic manufacturing with their demand to switch to very very very costly renewable’s. The technology to use them as a replacement fuel is just not there

  2. Stiengrabber and the other paid activist are losing momentum as after 5 years of exposed lies are catching up to them. A month ago I heard Sandra plead her case about how important it ewas to shut down anything that enables natural gas driling. In that phone call she revealed plans for another Albany Rally where busses will be provided and famos actors and singers will help draw a crowd at the state of the State address in Albany this comming Jan. 8th.

    We need thousands to show at the DEC hearing to show the state that we mean business and 125 people showed and most were paid to. The DEC however did not allow Craig Stevens to carry his brown jug of BS thats never been tested into the hearings. I think albany is finally catching on to the misinformation this camp is spreading in its fear tactics

  3. Mr Furman,
    Mr Furman,
    Mr Furman,
    Mr Furman,
    Your four comments are flawed. Ms Steingraber was awarded the Breast Cancer Fund’s “Hero Award” along with Teresa Heinz Kerry. The $100,000 award was given in recognition to honor and publicly thank those who have significantly helped advance our mission to identify and eliminate the environmental—and preventable—causes of breast cancer. She then donated the entire $100,000 award to NY’s Against Fracking.
    She’s hardly is in it for the money.

  4. Smart move… donating the money to the organization giving it back to her in a paycheck great tax move