Environmental groups are calling on a liquified natural gas company to come clean about its intentions to not only import LNG into the tri-state area, but to export it overseas as well.

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Liberty Natural Gas is seeking federal approval to build the Port Ambrose LNG terminal in the ocean 24 miles off the coast of Long Branch to deliver natural gas to the tri-state area. However, Cindy Zipf of Clean Ocean Action (COA) says claims that they only plan to import LNG are a myth.

"Once the import facility is licensed. It's just a matter of paperwork internally by federal agencies for the port to be deemed an export facility," Zipf says.

In a written response, Liberty CEO Roger Whelan says "There is no truth to the claim. He says the facilities will not have the cooling equipment that would be needed to liquify gas for exports, and the project permits would not allow exports to occur through the facility under any circumstances."

COA Policy Attorney Sean Dixon says he has evidence to the contrary. During a teleconference Tuesday he drew the connection between Liberty Natural Gas and an overseas company Hoegh LNG, both owned by the same company West Face Capital.

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"Hoegh LNG is leading the world in the technology needed to liquefy from STL Submerged Disconnectable Turret Buoy Systems, which are the exact same design at Port Ambrose and Port Meridian," Dixon explained.

Zipf also says there are also a number of combined U.S. policies that have already been put into place that set the stage for there to be a direct access for the export of natural gas that will make the NY/NJ harbor the gateway for natural gas fracked from Marcellus Shale.

According to a Liberty press release, "Whelan has gone on record many times to explain that the project will never be used for exports, and that Port Ambrose can actually serve as an alternative to fracking in New York." It also says, "the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Maritime Administration, the lead federal agencies for the permitting of Port Ambrose, have made it clear that the project cannot be used to export gas."

State Senator Jennifer Beck, introduced a resolution Tuesday calling on New York and New Jersey to reject the proposed Liberty Natural Gas Port Ambrose Project.

In a written statement, Beck says "LNG is trying to get a second bite at the apple.... but we've already said no once, and for good reason. The environmental implications of this project are too great and the long-term consequences are unforeseeable, she adds."

The public comment period for Liberty's application closes this Thursday. Get to the application link by clicking here.