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On Friday, U.S. Senator Cory Booker joined the growing chorus of state agencies, conservation organizations, and concerned citizens that are urging FERC to rehear its conditional Certificate for PennEast pipeline.
In a letter to the federal agency, Sen. Booker warned FERC that “fundamental Constitutional rights are at stake” because PennEast is threatening to seize land for a pipeline that is not approved. Sen. Booker said that the “critical” pipeline situation, which would impact dozens of individual landowners as well as environmentally sensitive preserved lands owned by county, municipal, and State-level governments, made him “extremely concerned.”
“By calling upon FERC to reconsider its flawed Certificate for PennEast, Sen. Booker has taken a definitive step to ensure that private and public lands can’t be seized when the pipeline does not have all of the necessary approvals in place,” said Tom Gilbert, campaign director, NJ Conservation Foundation. “We share Sen. Booker’s serious concerns about the threat that PennEast poses to the property rights of more than 100 homeowners in New Jersey.”
“Senator Booker focused his compelling letter on the troubling ways in which FERC tramples on Constitutional rights when it fails to follow the law and engages in practices that are designed to limit judicial review. The Senator laid out the case for why PennEast’s land grab should be stopped,” said Jennifer Danis of the Eastern Environmental Law Center. “FERC ought to be concerned that elected officials are seeing the whole picture — and it doesn’t look pretty.”
Other agencies and elected officials that have asked FERC to protect landowners’ rights and take a harder look at PennEast’s flawed Certificate include the NJDEP, DRCC, NJ Attorney General, NJ Division of Rate Counsel, NJ Natural Lands Trust, Senators Kip Bateman and Shirley Turner, and Assm. Reed Gusciora.