Opposition grows to LNG facility off North Jersey coast

 New Jersey Sen. Jennifer Beck speaks out against construction of a  liquefied natural gas facility off the North Jersey coast. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

New Jersey Sen. Jennifer Beck speaks out against construction of a liquefied natural gas facility off the North Jersey coast. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

A concerted effort, led by environmental groups and state Sen. Jennifer Beck, is forming in opposition to construction of a natural gas facility 28 miles off the North Jersey coast.

Liberty Natural Gas has proposed wants to build to import liquefied natural gas, gas that’s been converted to liquid form for ease of storage or transport.

“This facility holds no value for New Jersey. We don’t benefit by its construction, and it poses serious detriment to our waterways and to our beachfronts,” said Beck, R-Monmouth, at a Wednesday news conference.

The federal Maritime Administration has extended the public comment period on the project until mid-March.

Environmentalists say the facility would add to reliance on fossil fuels as well as posing a risk to shipping lanes and fisheries. They also contend that it would become eventually become an export facility.

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a similar plan in 2011, saying it posed unacceptable risks to the state’s natural resources, economy, and security.

“Every opportunity we’ve had to speak with the governor, he has said, ‘My position has not changed.’ He is going to take a look at the proposal because the federal government thwarted his veto last time,” said Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action.

Clean Ocean Action and other environmental groups are hoping Christie will veto the latest plan.

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