Hardy Plumbing
May 17, 2006

How Stupid Can We Be?

"Laughing and crying, you know it's the same release," sang folk icon Joni Mitchell. For well over a year opponents have cried out against Broadwater Energy's plan to site a Queen Mary-sized liquid natural gas platform off the north shore of Long Island. Now, they're looking for a laugh.

The Anti-Broadwater Coalition announced a "Dumber than Broadwater" contest, challenging Long Islanders to come up with a plan that makes less sense than the LNG proposal. "There's nothing wrong with sarcasm," Dick Amper of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society noted. "We're just pointing out how preposterous Broadwater's proposal really is."

Here's how it works: Imagine — in 75 words or less — a project more ill-suited to Long Island and mail a submission to Dumber Than Broadwater, PO Box 800, Riverhead, New York 11901. Winners will be announced on June 12, and what prizes they'll receive!!

Among the booty is dinner for two at La Plage restaurant, which boasts a (so far) unobstructed view of the Long Island Sound, a handy evacuation backpack, and 50 gallons of gas "to remind Long Islanders that Broadwater would continue reliance on expensive foreign fossil fuel," a release from LIPBS explains. That last prize isn't guaranteed, joked Adrienne Esposito of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "Gas was a lot cheaper when we thought of it," she pointed out. LIPBS and CCE are among dozens of environmental and civic organizations that have joined together to oppose Broadwater.

"The contest would be funny if it weren't for the fact that real people, real schools, real hospitals, real businesses are suffering from high energy costs. Broadwater is a solution to a serious problem," regional project director John Hritcko said in a statement forwarded from the company in response to the contest concept.

On a more serious note, Amper reported that the Coalition is asking state officials to hold a local hearing on the project. County officials, he said, are also petitioning the Federal Emergency Management Agency to hold evidentiary hearings locally.

And back to the contest — The Independent surveyed a number of local lawmakers, asking for proposed submissions. Not one offered a contest entry, the prevailing sentiment being the issue is too serious to lampoon.

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