The owners of a South Jersey power plant have abandoned plans to draw fuel from a proposed Pinelands pipeline, handing environmentalists a big win and casting doubt on the pipeline's viability.


But environmentalists see this material change as an opportunity for Gov. Phil Murphy, who campaigned on a platform that embraced clean energy and made several steps in that direction last year, to quash the pipeline project once and for all.

The approval process will need to begin anew, giving the Pinelands Commission (with two new members appointed by Murphy) another chance to decide if the pipeline is "primarily for the benefit of the Pinelands" — the standard for development within the protected land.

"Governor Murphy and his administration have steadfastly stood by their commitment to 100 (percent) clean energy by 2050, and because of that, we are beginning to see the makings of a fossil-free New Jersey," said Ed Potosnak, executive director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, in a statement this morning.

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