2005-08-25 / Editorial

The LNG economic impact on Jamestown

This week two special reports detailed the longterm economic impact of liquified natural gas tankers navigating Narragansett Bay.

The reports noted that Newport and the surrounding area would undergo a subtle economic shift from a sailing capital to a community on a busy commercial waterway. That spells bad news for Jamestown.

The economy of Conanicut Island is closely linked to boating and the bay. Many businesses in Jamestown rely on trade brought to the island by boaters. That not only includes the marinas, but also the restaurants and shops. People choose to live in Jamestown because of its proximity to the bay.

Should LNG tankers begin navigating East Passage on a regular basis, we’ll see major interruptions of sailing regattas, as the required security zone will close a large portion of the bay. One Jamestowner pointed out that such a security zone would even impact the Fools’ Rules Regatta.

Traffic will be halted on the Newport bridge, delaying even ambulance runs to the Newport Hospital.

One also wonders if the economic ripple effect might impact the value of Jamestown real estate. Who would want to pay a premium price for waterfront

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