NJ Radical Organization Sues FERC in Bid to Stop PennEast Pipeline

PennEast Pipeline is a $1 billion, 120-mile primarily 36-inch natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Dallas (Luzerne County), PA to Transco’s pipeline interconnection near Pennington (Mercer County), NJ. The pipeline is an important conduit to move gas from the prolific gas fields of northeastern PA to markets in southeast PA and New Jersey. From the beginning of the project there have been a collection of so-called environmental organizations opposing it–including THE Delaware Riverkeeper, NJ Sierra Club, and the NJ Conservation Foundation. All radical groups, far far out of the mainstream. They also share something else besides an irrational hatred of fossil fuels–they’re part of a conspiracy to defeat PennEast funded by the William Penn Foundation. William Penn funds the aforementioned groups, as well as buying their own “media” in news outlets by funding StateImpact Pennsylvania and a news site called NJ Spotlight. William Penn sits in the background, pretending to be apart and aloof (to protect their IRS non-profit status) while pulling the strings and directing the opposition. Why the IRS turns a blind eye, we can’t say. At any rate, William Penn pulled another string this week–prompting their serfs at the NJ Conservation Foundation to file a lawsuit against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The cockamamie claim is that IF FERC approves PennEast, the pipeline will then be able to invoke eminent domain to allow it to enter properties and complete route mapping for the pipeline. Right now some hardened antis who live along the route refuse to allow PennEast to step one foot on their property. So NJ Conservation Foundation has filed a lawsuit (copy below) to prevent FERC from issuing a final certificate for PennEast because PennEast will then gain the right of eminent domain. The lawsuit claims PennEast using eminent domain to build the pipeline would be an improper “taking” of private property under the Constitution. The only problem (for the William Penn-backed NJ Conservation Foundation) is that no “taking” has actually happened until FERC approves the project. That is, the lawsuit anticipates a harm that hasn’t happened. We expect that little fact will not escape the judge’s notice and that the lawsuit will be tossed in short order…

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