Today at the Statehouse, elected officials are joining with environmental groups to speak out against the proliferation of pipelines and fossil fuels in New Jersey. Assemblyman Gusciora, Senator Bateman, Assemblywoman Muoio, Assembly McKeon and more invited officials will join the New Jersey Sierra Club, Environment New Jersey, and Clean Water Action during this lobby day.
“We have a battle for the future of our state. It’s a battle between clean energy future with well-paying jobs or being tied to the dangerous and dirty fossil foolishness of the past. This is not just about energy and jobs; it’s about our planet. Big Oil and Gas are trying to keep us addicted to their product, while forcing us to pay billions in subsidies for unneeded and dangerous pipelines. This is about public health and safety as well. The Legislature needs to take this seriously and do something about the bomb trains and pipelines threatening our state, while moving us to 100% renewable energy,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
We are coming together to call on our legislators to help our fight against more than a dozen destructive pipelines proposed throughout the state. We need the legislature to help block pipelines and oil bomb trains that will threaten our drinking water, destroy open space and risk public safety. We are gathering to tell our legislators that they need to join us in the fight against PennEast, Transco, New Jersey Natural Gas, and Pilgrim Pipelines! Now with the Fossil Fool in the Whitehouse siding with Big Oil and Gas, it is even more important that New Jersey takes the lead against dirty fuels.
“Ultimately, these pipelines are opportunities for energy companies to line their pockets at the expense of New Jersey consumer’s wallets and health. Study after study suggests that many of the projects currently under development are actually unnecessary in terms of meeting future natural gas demand; not to mention the very real danger that a pipeline break represents to the environment and surrounding communities. Overall, we’re looking at redundant and unsafe infrastructure; New Jersey certainly doesn’t need more of that,” said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora.
Sierra Club with Oil Change International released a report nationally titled “A Bridge Too Far: How Appalachian Basin Gas Pipeline Expansion Will Undermine U.S. Climate Goals.” The report examines the proliferation of natural gas infrastructure in the Appalachian Basin and the effect of this on climate change. In the report, they identify 19 key new proposed natural gas pipelines that will be especially harmful to the environment. One of those pipelines that the report specifically mentions is the PennEast Pipeline which would cross the Delaware River from PA to NJ.
“Now is the time to move away from fossil fuels instead of re-investing in them nationwide. New Jersey is no stranger to the threat posed by encroaching oil pipelines and fossil fuel spills. Pipelines pose a two-fold threat in terms of their immediate impact on the air, water and soil of the communities they trample through, as well as the long-term threat our continued obsession with fossil fuels poses to the global environment. We must band together in New Jersey and send a message to lawmakers in Washington that we will not tolerate this blatant disregard for our precious natural resources any longer,” said Assemblyman McKeon.
Since Governor Christie came into office we have had dozens of major weather events including a super storm followed by a Nor’easter. The effects that climate change could potentially have on New Jersey can be devastating from storm surges to flooding. Flooding in New Jersey will most likely become a regular occurrence and worsen if we continue to ignore climate change. New Jersey depends greatly on coastal tourism and many of our residents live along the coast. In order to lessen these effects we need start investing in clean energy sources now before it is too late.
“New Jersey should be building a pipeline of clean energy jobs, not doubling down on fossil fuels. In the waning months of the Christie era, we need the Legislature to stand up to fossil fuel projects that threaten our drinking water and climate and start building the bridge to a clean energy economy,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey.
Instead of fighting climate change, the Christie Administration is making it worse. The Governor closed the Office of Climate Change, ended DEP’s Coastal Program for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation, and failed to use updated flood maps based on sea level rise. Our Governor also refused to implement the state’s Offshore Wind Economic Development Act and has stopped the Fisherman’s Energy project. Offshore wind projects could provide 1/3 of our energy needs and provide 3,000 megawatts worth of energy by 2020, creating thousands of jobs building the turbines and assembling them at various New Jersey ports.
“New Jersey is at a crossroads and we must decide between being the Garden State or the Pipeline State. We need our Legislature to stand up against the push from Big Oil and Gas, developers and polluters to criss-cross our state with fossil fuel infrastructure. We need to protect our open space, drinking water, and communities from the threats of pipelines and oil bomb trains. We need to transition New Jersey to a cleaner, greener economy,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.