Antis Oppose Tiny Pipeline Thru Scrub Pines in N NJ at Hearing

In January 2016, MDN told you about a $130 million, 30-mile natural gas pipeline proposed by New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) to connect NJNG’s distribution system serving customers in Ocean, Burlington and Monmouth counties (in NJ) and the interstate pipeline system adjacent to the New Jersey Turnpike. The idea came about after Superstorm Sandy. How can NJNG create reliable natgas service in the region, preventing major disruptions like that which happened after Sandy? The “Southern Reliability Link” pipeline project was the result, and in January the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved it 5-0 (see Southern NJ NatGas Pipeline Approved by State BPU). Because its natural gas and because the Sierra Club has an irrational hatred of all fossil fuels (and loads of money to burn), the nutjobs from the Sierra Club threatened to sue to stop it. Stop 30 miles of pipeline that would improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. They made good on their threat in April 2016 (see Radical Sierra Club Sues NJ to Stop Much-Needed NatGas Pipeline). A fair bit has happened since that time. A state appellate court told the Pinelands Commission, which oversees a protected area of pine trees stretching from northern to southern NJ, that the Commission would have to have public participation (i.e. a public hearing) before the Commission could approve the pipeline plan. So the Pinelands Commission held a hearing this past Wednesday, with a predictable result. Sierra Clubbers and other virulent anti-fossil fuel freaks turned out in droves to badmouth the project. Over some 15 miles of pipeline that would pass through a stand of scrub pines…

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