Ed Potosnak looks on as Tom Gilbert speaks against the PennEast pipeline
Ed Potosnak looks on as Tom Gilbert speaks against the PennEast pipeline

New Jersey voters know it: our state’s energy future rests upon clean, renewable energy, not polluting fossil fuels. This was clearly demonstrated in November with the election of Gov. Phil Murphy, who campaigned on a platform of setting the state on a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Moving forward on this path shouldn’t include investment in unneeded fossil fuel infrastructure that would work against the state’s efforts to reach that critical goal.

An example of infrastructure that is a threat to the governor’s goals is the proposed PennEast gas pipeline through central New Jersey. Overwhelming evidence shows that PennEast is not needed to meet New Jersey’s energy demands. Besides the issue of building unneeded infrastructure that utility consumers would pay for, PennEast also brings the harmful health and safety impacts of fossil fuels. After all, natural gas is not “clean energy;” it spews CO2 and leaks methane into our already-beleaguered atmosphere.

Similarly, the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline that would traverse New Jersey to carry fracked gas to New York also poses a threat. Of particular concern to local residents is Compression Station 206, which would be sited near residential areas in South Brunswick and Franklin Township. Compressor stations emit toxic chemicals, including benzene, formaldehyde, and ammonia, that can cause cancer, asthma, birth defects, and other illnesses. Because it would be located near an active quarry, the station also brings the risk of explosions and fires. This is a high price to pay for gas we don’t need and that would not benefit New Jersey.

The PennEast project recently received conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), despite volumes of expert analysis debunking claims that the pipeline is needed and documenting the threats to our air, water and natural resources.

To read the full letter, click here.