For Immediate Release
Today, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) rejected key permits for the proposed Williams pipeline, which would transport fracked gas across central Jersey and under the Raritan Bay, terminating in Long Island. This is the third time the Cuomo administration has rejected the pipeline project, and now attention shifts to a looming deadline for Governor Murphy to decide on the New Jersey section of the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project.
On Monday, May 18th, the NJ Coalition To Stop NESE will hold a virtual rally calling on Governor Murphy to reject this dirty, dangerous and unnecessary fossil fuel project once and for all.
“Grassroots activists and central Jersey residents have waged a nearly four-year battle against this multi-billion dollar Oklahoma based fossil fuel company. For the sake of their health, to protect the remarkable recovery of the Raritan Bay, and to preserve his own climate goals, Governor Murphy must say no to NESE,” said Matt Smith, NJ Director for Food & Water Action. “The recovery from the COVID pandemic must prioritize public health while putting thousands of people to work. We can do both with a deep commitment to clean energy from the governor.”
"Governor Cuomo has remained true-blue to his word with this decision, promoting a green energy future and protecting marine life and public health for today and future generations. He will long be remembered for leading the region beyond the pandemic and into a world that restores an even better quality of life with greater, healthier economic growth," said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action.
Communities from Somerset and Middlesex County to the Raritan Bay Shore have worked together to stop the Williams/Transco project in New Jersey, which would include a 32,000-horsepower compressor station that would be built in Franklin Township and spew pollution into neighboring communities.
“Nobody in New Jersey wants this pipeline, and numerous studies show that the extra gas capacity is not needed.” said Mike Castellano, Chair of the Jersey Shore Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. “Renewable and clean energy are becoming cheaper and more readily available every day. Williams Transco wants a few more years of profit at the expense of the planet and nothing more.”
“We have been organizing and building opposition against Williams-Transco’s proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project for nearly four years to prevent the environmental, health and safety hazards this project poses. We applaud our NY allies for all their efforts, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) for their decision to stop this unneeded and dangerous project,” said Linda Powell of Central Jersey Environmental Defenders. “Now we need the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to preserve and protect our environment in New Jersey by denying the permits and stopping NESE.”
A report published in April by Synapse Energy Economics shows that Williams/Transco’s proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project, which would transport fracked gas through New Jersey from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania to energy markets in New York City, is completely unneeded.
"State regulators need to step up and reject NESE,” said Christopher Miller, Executive Director of The Eastern Environmental Law Center. “It's a dirty fossil-fuel project that would jeopardize public health and safety, trash our natural resources, and fly in the face of established climate commitments - and for what? Energy experts agree there is no genuine public need for NESE."
The coalition to stop NESE also includes some of the largest and most influential national organizations including The League of Conservation Voters and The Sierra Club.
“Once again Governor Cuomo did the right thing to protect our environment and health by rejecting NESE. Cuomo shows that he is a national leader on fighting dirty fossil fuel projects and protecting us from climate impacts. This is the fourth time NESE has been denied - haven’t you ever heard of “3 strikes you’re out”? It is more important than ever that Governor Murphy stands up and rejects this fossil fuel project. The project would cut through the already polluted and sensitive Raritan Bay and the New York Bay. An explosion or leak from their proposed compressor station could threaten communities and destroy important habitat while adding even more pollution,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Murphy must deny the NESE project if he wants to achieve goals like New York does of getting to 100% renewable energy and zero carbon.”
“The Williams-Transco NESE project is unneeded and dangerous for the environment and communities throughout central New Jersey, the Raritan Bay, and beyond,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey LCV. “The approval of this project would totally derail our strong and aggressive efforts to achieve our 100% clean energy and decarbonized future and would be a stain on Governor Murphy’s outstanding and nation-leading climate resume. We urge the Murphy Administration to follow New York and say no to this unnecessary and dangerous pipeline and project.”
The multi-year fight has led to the emergence of new local watchdog groups giving voice to the impacts that unnecessary fossil fuel infrastructure projects have on energy consumers and the local environment.
“Governor Murphy and the New Jersey DEP must deny the permit applications for the NESE project.” said Kin Gee, President of Consumers Helping Affect Regulation of Gas & Electric (“CHARGE”) “NESE is another example of an energy/utility project that was filed under pretext with significant collateral damage to New Jersey residents and the environment with no benefit to the State of New Jersey or New York.”
Diverse organizations including local waterkeepers, women’s clubs, public interest and faith groups have engaged their members in the fight for clean water and a healthy safe environment.
“This is a moral issue. To prioritize profits for the few over the health of our communities and our planet would be nothing short of ecological sin. I urge Governor Murphy to protect our health and well-being in the long-term by denying the NESE project once and for all,” said Blair Nelsen, Executive Director of Waterspirit.
“We’re encouraged by NY’s rejection of the unnecessary and environmentally damaging NESE Pipeline application,” said Michelle Langa, staff attorney with NY/NJ Baykeeper. “We stand in solidarity with all of our tireless colleagues in celebrating another win for clean energy and a future free from fossil fuels.”
“The shallow proposed burial depth of the pipeline bisecting Raritan Bay cannot be considered safe for the long term lifespan of the project and the ship traffic transiting the bay,” said Bill Schultz, Raritan Riverkeeper.
"Our 6,555 members in 184 clubs spread across the entire State of New Jersey are strongly opposed to the NESE pipeline project. This project threatens the environment, the health and safety of residents near the proposed compressor station, and threatens to reverse the remarkable recovery of the Raritan Bay," said Jan Hanson, President of the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs of GFWC. "Governor Murphy, please reject this project - it can only hurt New Jersey.