On the eve of New Jersey’s deadline to act on crucial environmental permits for a pipeline and compressor facility in the central part of the state, the company Williams Transco abruptly withdrew and re-submitted its application.
The project, dubbed the Northeast Supply and Enhancement project (NESE), has drawn intense opposition from community members, environmentalists, and local political leaders. Not only that, the company faces another obstacle: A new governor who has spoken loudly about supporting clean energy.
The permit decision is no doubt a huge setback for the company. But if Williams Transco thinks the movement to stop them is resting, it is mistaken. This extra time gives our movement more opportunities to build power behind our demand for Governor Murphy to kill this dirty and dangerous pipeline once and for all.
For the past two years, communities across New Jersey have raised their voices in opposition to this fracked-gas pipeline, which would include 23 miles of new gas pipeline through central Jersey, which would cut through residential communities in Sayreville and Old Bridge. The company also wants to construct a massive new compressor station in Franklin Township, polluting the air and endangering nearby residents with the threat of a leak or explosion.
Not only that, but the pipeline would be built along the floor of the Raritan Bay on its way to New York, disturbing major clamshell fisheries as well as migration routes for threatened and endangered marine life.
We will continue organizing in the coming months, amplifying our demand that Governor Murphy deny any and all permits for the Raritan Bay fracked gas pipeline.
Working together, our movement generated thousands of comments to Governor Murphy, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. We have built a strong coalition that includes dozens of organizations and front-line communities, and our efforts have been supported by elected representatives at all levels of government, including Senator Cory Booker and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman.
Our coalition met with Governor Murphy's staffers this week, urging him and the DEP to deny Williams Transco this crucial water permit. The administration will face considerable pressure from the company to issue these permits before the new one-year deadline. But they also know that thousands of New Jerseyans are actively opposing this project, and our resistance in defense of clean water and a livable planet must continue to grow.
Governor Murphy campaigned on the promise of a clean energy future for New Jersey. It's up to us to hold him accountable to that promise. We will continue organizing in the coming months, amplifying our demand that Governor Murphy deny any and all permits for the Raritan Bay fracked gas pipeline.