STOCKTON, N.J., May 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ReThink Energy NJ, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing fossil fuel use and bringing clean, renewable energy to New Jersey, together with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, Conservation Voters of PA and 10 other organizations, today reported petition results that clearly illustrate strong bi-state opposition to the proposed PennEast pipeline.
The nearly 9,000 petition signatures that were collected demonstrate widespread public opposition to PennEast throughout NJ and PA, spanning 1,800 different zip codes and even including seven percent of signatures from other states.
The signatures will be hand-delivered to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Washington, D.C. on May 11 by six elected officials from NJ municipalities along the pipeline's proposed path.
"This petition with nearly 9,000 signatures represents the overwhelming bi-state opposition to the proposed PennEast pipeline. That opposition is based on facts presented by experts that New Jersey doesn't need this pipeline and it would have no public benefit. It is time for New Jersey to move forward with renewable energy, not backwards by building more fossil fuel infrastructure. I implore FERC to consider the evidence against the pipeline and reject it," said Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16).
"In Holland Township PennEast poses a serious threat that could bring irreversible damage to the health of our community's residents, drinking water and preserved agricultural spaces. I am deeply disturbed that FERC would consider allowing a massive new fossil fuel installation such as PennEast in this environmentally sensitive region, especially when it has been repeatedly demonstrated that there is no market demand for it," said Mayor Ray Krov (R) of Holland Township.
"As we have heard at every public hearing on PennEast, there is intense opposition to this proposed pipeline. This petition confirms that this opposition is not only along the pipeline's proposed route, but from counties across NJ and PA, and beyond," said Tom Gilbert, campaign director for ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation.
"PennEast would cause significant damage to thousands of acres of preserved lands and some of the cleanest streams in our region, and threatens the drinking water supply for over 1.5 million people. That's why there is such intense opposition to this unneeded and dangerous pipeline."
"The PennEast pipeline is a threat to environmentally sensitive land, water resources, habitat for endangered species, and the property of many New Jersey families. There are more than enough existing and approved pipelines cutting through our communities. With no clear benefit to New Jersey, I urge FERC to reject PennEast," said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12). "FERCs process for evaluating new pipeline proposals needs a complete overhaul. On this application, and every application that it considers, FERC should take into account whether there is a true need for more pipelines, their cumulative impact and whether alternatives, including renewable energy, present a better option."
"New Jerseyans on all sides of the political spectrum are united against the PennEast pipeline. There's consensus that we should not tear up preserved open spaces or jeopardize our cleanest waterways so that PennEast can turn a profit," said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
"Last month's devastating pipeline explosion in western Pennsylvania offered more clear evidence that these pipelines pose a serious threat to Pennsylvania's safety. We do not need PennEast putting more of our families at risk," said Josh McNeil, Executive Director of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania.
The signatures were collected collaboratively by 13 different organizations in NJ and PA, including: Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions; Conservation Voters of PA; Hopewell Township Citizens Against the PennEast Pipeline; Hunterdon Land Trust; Kingwood Township Citizens Against the Pipeline; New Jersey Conservation Foundation; New Jersey Highlands Coalition; New Jersey League of Conservation Voters; PennFuture; Pinelands Preservation Alliance; Raritan Headwaters Association; ReThink Energy NJ; Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association.
To view a map of where the petition signers live, click here: http://rethinkenergynj.org/strong-regional-opposition-to-proposed-penneast-pipeline/
"Over the years, New Jersey has taken bold action to protect the state's waters," said Jim Waltman, executive director of Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association. "But the proposed PennEast pipeline would rip through more than 30 of the state's most sensitive streams and at least 50 distinct wetlands. If FERC and NJDEP approve this pipeline, it will not only degrade these outstanding natural resources, it will also severely undermine the state's framework of environmental protection."
"The proposed PennEast pipeline would cut through the middle of the township affecting every resident's drinking water. If the wells fail or the water is undrinkable, the homes will have no value and the families lose everything. This is an unnecessary risk that no homeowner, or municipality is willing to take."
-Committee member Richard Dodds (R), Kingwood Twp., NJ
"PennEast could potentially seize preserved public land, paid for by the taxpayers of New Jersey, for their shareholders' gain. I am appalled that PennEast has the audacity to threaten protected open spaces and drinking water for millions of residents, and then request a rate hike for consumers. PennEast is an unneeded project that would be obsolete within years and would put the health, well-being and safety of Bordentown residents in jeopardy, leaving taxpayers to clean up the mess left behind."
-Mayor Jill Popko (D), Bordentown Twp., NJ
"We stand in opposition to the proposed PennEast pipeline, as it would take advantage of public investments for corporate gain. More than a third of Hopewell Township is preserved open space and farmlands, and we made these investments for future generations, not the benefit of a private consortium. New Jersey is already over-supplied with natural gas by existing pipelines, so there is no "public need" for more. We should be investing in cleaner energy alternatives, not building redundant fossil fuel pipelines."
-Mayor Kevin Kuchinski (D), Hopewell Twp., NJ
About ReThink Energy NJ
ReThink Energy NJ, a not-for-profit organization, aims to inform and empower New Jersey citizens about the need for reduced use of fossil fuels and pipelines that threaten our preserved lands, water, environment, public health and communities; our goal is a swift transition to efficient, clean and renewable energy. ReThink Energy NJ is supported by New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association and Pinelands Preservation Alliance. For more information, visit rethinkenergynj.org and find Rethink Energy NJ on Facebook and Twitter @rethinkenergynj.
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SOURCE ReThink Energy NJ