A coalition of groups is urging the Murphy administration to intervene with a federal agency that approved a major interstate pipeline expansion project through NJ.
In January, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a certificate of convenience and necessity to the Williams-Transco company for its Regional Energy Access Expansion (REAE) project. The project includes plans to expand an existing compressor station in Somerset County, and build a new compressor facility in Gloucester County.
Several of the groups are filing a motion for rehearing with FERC, and in a letter sent this week to Governor Murphy’s Administration they urge the Board of Public Utilities and the Ratepayer Advocate to file their own motions as well.
“FERC is once again rubber stamping a dangerous and unnecessary fossil fuel expansion project – one that would increase climate destroying greenhouse gas pollution and hike energy costs when New Jerseyans can’t afford either,” said Matt Smith, New Jersey State Director of Food & Water Watch. “Governor Murphy did the right thing by challenging the PennEast pipeline in the courts. If he is serious about fulfilling his climate commitments, his administration must do everything in their power to stop this dirty energy project too.”
The BPU and Ratepayer Advocate had both pointed out that the project is unnecessary to meet the state’s energy needs. Ratepayers would pay for the costs of this additional and unnecessary fossil fuel project, which also runs counter to the administration’s stated clean energy and climate goals.
“The harms of this project – massive greenhouse gas emissions, more pollution in overburdened communities, and increased costs to ratepayers – far outweigh any purported benefits, particularly given evidence from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities that there is no need for additional gas capacity in New Jersey,” said Tom Gilbert, campaign director, ReThink Energy NJ, and co-executive director, New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “The Murphy administration should continue to protect New Jersey citizens against the impacts of this unneeded project by urging FERC to reverse their flawed decision.”
As the letter states, “The choices we make today affect our future, and if constructed, this project would result in fossil fuel infrastructure lasting 30 years or more. By 2052, we hope to see a New Jersey that has transitioned to renewable energy sources, not still reliant on dirty fossil fuels.”
“FERC made the wrong decision approving the dirty REAE fossil fuel project, and we need the Murphy Administration to let them know. REAE will increase carbon pollution by double digits and undermine New Jersey’s goals for reducing greenhouse gasses,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey LCV. “FERC’s decision ignored the New Jersey BPU’s study showing we don’t need the gas and the ratepayer advocate’s strong concern because of its high cost, and we are asking the State of New Jersey to take the next step and file a motion to rehear FERC’s decision. We need all hands on deck to prevent this dirty, unneeded fossil fuel project from becoming a reality.”