Letter: Add Context to Pipeline Proposals

Posted January 17, 2016

Your recent editorial, “Keep fighting Pinelands pipeline scam,” correctly admonishes the political maneuvering taking place at the expense of the Pinelands and, just as importantly, highlights the absence of a process to review the onslaught of new natural gas pipeline proposals and determine whether they are needed — not simply displacing gas supplies transported through existing pipelines.

As it stands now, each proposed pipeline is reviewed — and some approved — in isolation, without regard to whether more gas is actually needed, the cumulative impact all of these pipelines will have on our communities and our environment or whether alternatives exist.

A surplus of natural gas from Marcellus Shale wells in Pennsylvania has energy companies scrambling to get it to market to increase their profits. But New Jersey has all the gas it needs and the need will only decrease as renewable energy options grow. Citizens throughout New Jersey are standing up and fighting to protect their homes, environment and communities from unneeded and unwanted gas pipelines like PennEast, South Jersey Gas, the Southern Reliability Link, as well as the Pilgrim Oil Pipeline.

The recent Paris agreement on climate change marked a momentous step forward in the world’s quest to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that are harming the planet and move away from our reliance on outdated fossil fuels, including natural gas, which is methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Before we add new unneeded pipeline infrastructure to further the use of those fuels, before we negatively impact preserved lands, the air we breathe, and the water we drink, and permit the taking of private property for pipelines, our lawmakers should ensure that there is a rigorous process to ensure that the need and risks are fully evaluated, and that all viable alternatives are considered.

Tom Gilbert
Campaign Director
ReThink Energy NJ
New Jersey Conservation Foundation

This letter to the editor originally ran in the Daily Record

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