The movement to stop a pipeline and compressor station in central Jersey flexed its muscles this month, with hundreds of residents showing up at a pair of public hearings called by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But our message wasn’t really intended for FERC, which is nothing but a rubber stamp for the dirty energy industry.
We wanted to make sure Governor Phil Murphy heard us.
Here in New Jersey, the fracking boom in neighboring Pennsylvania has created a pipeline-building frenzy across the state, creating acute environmental hazards and air and water pollution, while deepening our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. But since our new governor campaigned on a pledge to go 100% renewable, New Jersey is poised to halt this dangerous buildout of fracking infrastructure.
A surprising turn in the fight against this project came on April 20, when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo denied a water quality certificate for the New York section of the pipeline. And that’s got communities close to the compressor station site and along the pipeline route asking: Will Governor Murphy do the same?
The movement to stop this dangerous project has steadily built political power. Township councils in Princeton, Montgomery, Franklin and South Brunswick have both come out in opposition to the compressor station, and the Somerset and Middlesex County Freeholders have both filed formally as intervenors, thanks to citizen pressure. And Senator Cory Booker, along with Rep. Frank Pallone and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, have sent letters condemning the project to federal regulators.
This movement to protect central Jersey continues to grow, and now the clock is ticking for Governor Murphy’s administration to make a decision. During the campaign, Murphy said he wanted to steer our state’s environmental policy away from dirty energy and towards 100% renewables.
The deadline for a decision from his administration is June 23. Is he ready to act?