LEADING POLITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION APPLAUDS THE MURPHY ADMINISTRATION DECISION TO REJECT PERMITS FOR NESE PIPELINE PROJECT
TRENTON, NJ May 16 – The New Jersey League of Conservation Voters (NJLCV) is celebrating the recent decision by the Murphy Administration to reject the Williams-Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Pipeline Project.
The Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Pipeline Proposal would have linked fossil fuel from Pennsylvania to New York, cutting across Central New Jersey into the Raritan Bay, emitting 9 million metric tons per year of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas and exposing local residents to toxic fumes from its compressor, and increasing water pollution. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation denied the permit on May 15 and New Jersey has now joined them in rejecting this unnecessary project.
The New Jersey LCV believes this is a major victory for the environmental movement, and a win for the residents of Franklin Township, Central New Jersey, and all of the Raritan Bayshore. We are grateful for Governor Murphy and New Jersey DEP Commissioner McCabe’s environmental leadership. Even in the face of pressure from major corporations Governor Murphy has demonstrated his commitment to a 100 percent clean energy future by rejecting projects that are not needed and would derail efforts for a decarbonized New Jersey.
“This decision shows that the right things can happen when you work hard and stick to what you know is right,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. We and our environmental partners have been fighting the NESE Pipeline Project for nearly four years, but now both New York and New Jersey have said no with a one, two punch, and it feels great.”
The states are not the only ones rejecting the NESE pipeline project. In addition so have some of the most influential national energy research groups. Synapse Energy released a report in April showing the NESE Pipeline Project was not needed. The Rocky Mountain Institute also critiqued and helped to show the complete lack of need for this project – the same Rocky Mountain Institute that assisted in the creation of the most recent and forward-looking Energy Master Plan. Even National grid, the company that would actually be using the natural gas from the NESE project and tried to force its own customers by enforcing a false moratorium on new natural gas hookups, stated in their May 8th 2020 “Natural Gas Long-Term Capacity Supplemental Report” that other alternatives including enhancements to existing infrastructure combined with incremental energy efficiency and the appropriated demand response measures would be more than sufficient to achieve New York’s energy needs, and better weigh cost and environmental impacts.
Communities from Somerset and Middlesex County to the Raritan Bay Shore also have worked together to stop the Williams/Transco project in New Jersey, which would include a 32,000-horsepower compressor station that would-be built-in Franklin Township and spew pollution into neighboring communities. Towns up and down the Bay Shore and inland as far as Princeton passed resolutions opposing this project. Their local officials also took a stance showing their residents they care for the health and the environment in their communities.
“I would have lived closer to the compressor station of this project than my closest grocery store. These projects, in New Jersey especially due to our density, are extremely dangerous and will only lead to a continuation of the environmental problems we have with air quality that Governor Murphy and his team are working to rectify. That is why we are overjoyed that the Governor and NJDEP stepped up and stopped this project,” Potosnak added.
New Jersey LCV has collected over 5000 signatures and actions just in the past year and a half opposing this project. Together with our coalition partners we have conducted dozens of demonstrations, informational meetings, and other forms of outreach to ensure that the public is aware and educated on the threats of this project. The people showed up in the past 4 years, the Governor and NJDEP took notice, the non-profit community banded together, and overcame and rejected a project that is not needed, wanted, or warranted in the state of New Jersey.