NJ Pinelands Commission Approves 22-Mile Pipe Thru Scrub Pines

In January 2014 MDN brought you the story that due to incessant nagging from the NJ Sierra Club and the NJ League of [Liberal Democrat] Women Voters the Pinelands Commission, which oversees a stand of scrub pines in South Jersey, nixed a plan for a new natural gas pipeline to bring cheap, clean, abundant Marcellus Shale natural gas to South Jersey for use by residents and to feed an electric plant a local utility wants to convert from burning coal to natgas (see Sierra Club, LWV Chooses Coal over NatGas in South Jersey). In May 2014, NJ Gov. Chris Christie replaced two of the “no” voters on the Pinelands Commission, much to the consternation of the antis (see Marcellus Pipeline May Come to South Jersey After All). In August 2015, the staffers who actually do the work of the Commission decided to act, saying that they had the authority to approve the pipeline without a full Commission vote to do so. A panel of three New Jersey Appellate Division judges last November rejected that claim and said if you want to build a pipeline through the scrub pines, the full Commission must vote to do so (see Court Setback for NJ Pipeline Slated to Run Through Scrub Pines). So in January, the Pinelands Commission held a public hearing before scheduling a vote of the full Commission on the project (see Large Crowd Turns Out For/Against 22-Mile Pipeline in NJ Scrub Pines). Last Friday the Commission met and voted to approve the project. Finally! Of course the vote was not without incident. Anti fossil fuelers, behaving like petulant 3 year-olds, continually disrupted the meeting and tried to drown out the voting process with hollering, singing and chanting. In the end the misbehaving children–which included a priest and the head of the NJ Sierra Club–lost. They reacted like the petulant children (in adult bodies) they are, with threats and innuendo…

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