ExxonMobil has announced it intends to build a $1 billion floating liquefied-natural-gas terminal 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey. The offshore location is intended to make the venture less objectionable to opponents who worry about pollution, leaks, catastrophic explosions, and other environmental impacts from the facility that aims to produce 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day. Since 2002, 18 LNG terminals have been approved in the U.S., while still others have been halted by local opposition. An Exxon vice president said that the offshore location of the proposed terminal, “gives it a minimal footprint in the environmental, safety, and security aspects.” Clean Ocean Action’s Cindy Zipf called it “industrial sprawl into the ocean.” Pending approval, the terminal could be operational by 2015 or so and would be the first new LNG terminal along the U.S. East Coast in some 30 years.

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