For Immediate Release
Governor Murphy announced an executive order today stopping non-essential construction work around the state in response to the COVID-19 epidemic.
In response, Food & Water Action New Jersey State Director Matt Smith released the following statement:
“Governor Murphy’s order must include bringing a halt to work on fossil fuel expansion projects, including active construction on the New Jersey Natural Gas SRL pipeline through Monmouth, Ocean and Burlington Counties, as well as preliminary work on New Fortress’ liquified natural gas export terminal, which is still pending some permit approvals in Gibbstown.
“In the short term, workers on both projects, as well as their families and the general public, are all being put at immediate and unnecessary risk. Workers are unable to adhere to social distancing requirements, and roads are being shut down in both directions while heavy construction takes place, preventing access to needed deliveries like food and medicine while residents are ordered to stay at home.
“No one will go without utility service by halting the SRL pipeline, a transmission redundancy project, or the Gibbstown LNG export terminal. But in the long run, both of these projects will only deepen our dependence on dirty fossil fuels, contrary to Murphy’s own clean energy goals for New Jersey.
“A study released by scientists at Harvard yesterday found that the COVID-19 pandemic has been made more deadly by dangerous levels of particulate matter pollution, which would only be made worse by building more polluting fossil fuel infrastructure.
“The massive economic recovery that will be necessary in the coming months and years must be centered around creating green jobs to build the world we need to survive and thrive in-- a world that is responding effectively to the climate and public health crises by moving quickly off fossil fuels and rapidly shifting to clean, renewable energy.”