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In Your Opinion: Our Future Is Not For Sale

Submitted by the Franklin Township Task Force on CS206 & NESE.

It’s bad enough that we’ve been told not to worry about the dangers of the NESE Project even though we often hear about leaks and explosions of natural gas pipelines and compressor stations.

It’s a fact that the NESE Project will add greenhouse gases and toxic chemicals to the air and will churn up toxins by digging in Raritan Bay.

It’s a fact that 2018 was New Jersey’s wettest year on record since 1895 (18.43-inches above the statewide normal).

It’s a fact that 9 of the 10 warmest summers on record since 1895 have been in the last 20 years.

Then, insult is added to injury when we see that NESE’s costs would be passed on to consumers even if there’s no real urgent need for additional gas in New York, and the investors in the NESE Project would be guaranteed at least a 14% return in their investment.

If this NESE Project is built, it is predictable that Williams/Transco will add more compressor units and pipeline in the near future, and this will add increased risks, air pollution, and greenhouse gases for NY and NJ.  All of this goes against the goals of NJ and NY to transition to clean, renewable energy sources.

The final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Project was published by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on January 25, 2019, and it’s predictable that Williams/Transco will be given FERC’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity anytime between the end of February and late April 2019.

The NESE Project can only be stopped if NY or NJ denies required water permits.

In honor of Black History month and our fight to stop NESE, think about what Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

“There comes a time when people get tired of being plunged into the abyss of exploitation and nagging injustice.”

The issue in today’s letter addresses concerns that NESE is not in the Public Interest; there is a questionable need for this added gas in New York; and NESE thwarts NJ & NY clean energy goals.

  • NESE would deliver more than twice the amount of gas that the customer, National Grid would need to convert its customers’ oil boilers to gas-fired ones.
  • New Jersey & New York have clean energy goals that would make our air safer to breathe, but NESE would add more greenhouse gases and toxins to the air.

According to people following the push for the NESE Project in New York:

  •  Those who benefit from the current fossil fuel energy system aren’t going to just quietly pack their bags and embrace renewable energy.  ConEd is already creating a manufactured gas shortage crisis in Westchester to try and scare elected officials and business developers into supporting the expansion of fracked gas infrastructure.
  • National Grid and Williams/Transco are already doing the same on Long Island and will be soon in New York City.
  •  Despite the claims of Williams/Transco and National Grid, which both have an interest in protecting their business models by keeping New Yorkers hooked on gas, New York City does not have a shortage of gas.  This means that the NESE Pipeline is not needed.  Williams/Transco and National Grid have failed to provide adequate evidence for any need, basing their conclusions on faulty math related to boiler conversions and customer data, and ignoring the effect on demand of increases in efficiency and renewable energy.
  • Allowing a company to build a $1 billion fracked gas pipeline to solve a problem that doesn’t exist would be an abdication of regulatory responsibility.  It would also create the risk of a stranded asset (an asset that is unexpectedly devalued, in this case, because the gas is no longer needed).

For more information about the impacts of the NESE Project showing the questionable need for this gas in NY, the benefit to the company (at the expense of risks to us), and the ambitions of NJ and NY to transition to clean, renewable energy rather than be stuck for decades with the dirty fossil fuel transported and processed through the NESE Project, (and more), see the Action Alert – Our Health And Safety Are Not For Sale & Urge Governor Murphy & NJDEP to Deny Water Permit Applications for CS206 – on the website, www.scrap-NESE.org.

Earlier letters to the editor this month included information about other concerns with NESE that will put all of us at risk:

  • Impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from NESE
  • Air Quality & Health Impacts
  • Risks from Construction in Raritan Bay
  • Safety Risk – Fires or Explosions
  • Risks to Water Supply and Groundwater

WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO TO GET THE ATTENTION OF GOVERNOR MURPHY AND THE NJDEP?

  1. A letter to download/print, sign and mail to Governor Murphy and the NJDEP Commissioner can be found on the website, www.scrap-NESE.org.   Share it with your family, friends and neighbors to ask them to do the same.
  2. Look for online petitions to the Governor and NJDEP with a message to them asking for denial of the permits.  One can be found at:  https://secure.foodandwaterwatch.org/act/deny-nese-permits
  3. You & your friends can also call the Governor at 609-292-6000 often and let him know that you are counting on the NJDEP to scrutinize the applications and hold Williams-Transco to the high environmental requirements of NJ with the expectation that the permits will be denied.  Tell him why you care.  Remind him of what he said in August 2018:  “Being responsible stewards of the environment is not a campaign promise, it’s a moral, philosophical, and economic obligation that we have to ensure a strong economy and quality of life for all New Jersey residents today and for generations to come.”
  4. Contact the Franklin Township Task Force on CS206 & NESE if you need copies of the letter, have ideas, or want to get involved – stopFTcompressor@yahoo.com.  You can also find updated information on our website, www.scrap-NESE.org & on the NY coalition’s website, www.stopthewilliamspipeline.org.
  5. Plan to attend a free public meeting:
    When: Thursday, March 7 @ 7pm
    Where: South Brunswick Senior Center, 540 Ridge Rd., Monmouth Junction 08852
    More Info: https://fwwat.ch/NESEMeeting

 

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