Empower NJ: Stop Fossil Fuel Projects Now

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
offshore wind turbines / photo: istock.com

Statement of Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director, Clean Water Action

State House, Trenton, NJ - If the governor can’t figure out a way to say no to new fossil fuel infrastructure while developing a 100% clean energy plan, then at least don’t say yes to any of the proposed 5 power plants and 7 pipelines. Many of them are not even intended to power up homes and businesses in the Garden State.  New Jersey needs to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not be undermined by more gas infrastructure approvals.  Low income and of color communities need relief from fossil fuel costs, pollution and siting impacts, not be disproportionately exposed to more of the perils of climate change. If as the governor stated, we are going to grow a “stronger, fairer” green economy and its corresponding jobs, then we need to take our foot off the gas and ensure high speed investment in wind, solar, energy efficiency, conservation, community solar, electric vehicles/fleets and public transit.

For background information, see below.


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. Clean Water Action has more than 100,000 members in New Jersey. www.cleanwater.org/nj

Background Information

As part of a 57 group and growing coalition, EmpowerNJ, we want Governor Murphy to impose a moratorium on all new fossil fuel power plants and to ban fracking, water withdrawals for fracking and frack wastewater in the Delaware River Basin and in the state. There are currently five new power plants and seven major pipelines proposed in New Jersey and potentially more to come and the current Delaware River Watershed fracking moratorium is under attack by industry.

New pipeline and compressor projects:

  • PennEast Pipeline: 110-mile pipeline that will bring natural gas from the Marcellus Region of Pennsylvania through Hunterdon and Mercer Counties in New Jersey. The pipeline will be cutting through communities, preserved open space, and farmland. 
  • Northeast Supply Enhancement: The project would put 3.5 new miles of pipe in Old Bridge and Sayreville and 22 miles under the Raritan Bay. This would attach to a compressor station in Trap Rock Quarry in Franklin Twp.
  • South Jersey Gas pipeline: 22 inch gas pipeline through 22 miles of the Pinelands  & Southern NJ.
  • Southern Reliability Link : New Jersey Natural Gas’s SRL is a partner with PennEast. It is a 28-mile gas pipeline that will destroy environmentally sensitive land in the Pinelands and threaten communities along the route in Burlington, Ocean, and Monmouth Counties.
  • Garden State Expansion project: Their proposed Garden State Expansion compressor station would connect into a New Jersey Natural Gas Pipeline in Chesterfield.
  • Rivervale South to Market: The Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) is seeking authorization for its Rivervale South to Market project. The project is supposed to provide 190,000 dekatherms per day of capacity to northeastern markets. The project will consist of uprating 10.35 miles of existing Transco pipeline as well as upgrades and modifications to existing pipeline facilities, all in New Jersey. In addition, there is a proposed 0.61 mile loop in wetlands environment of Bergen County.
  • Lambertville East Expansion (Lambertville): Will connect PennEast to Texas Eastern and the Transco compressor station so they can take PennEast gas through their system

New gas-fired power plant projects:                                                                     

  • Meadowlands Power Plant (North Bergen)- 1200MW
  • Phoenix Energy Center (Holland Twp)-  660MW
  • BL England (Upper Twp)- 450 MW
  • Keasbey Energy Center (Woodbridge)- 725 MW
  • Sewaren 7 (Woodbridge)- 540MW

Moratoriums Implemented by New Jersey Governors

  • Governor Byrnes - on all development in the Pinelands until the Pinelands law was passed.
  • Governor Kean  - on all new development hooking into sewer plants until the sewer plants were upgraded to protect clean water; and separate moratorium on freshwater wetlands to protect us from flooding until a wetlands protection law was passed.
  • Governor Florio - on all new incinerators and stopped them under construction to protect our air quality from toxic emissions

New Jersey’s Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gases:

Since 2005 the DEP has had the power pursuant to N.J.S.A. 26:2C-9.2i to regulate greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide. The DEP has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases and carbon well and deny air permitting and Title V permits

Global Warming Response Act:

Section 4.a-4: the rules and regulations establish a series of enforceable limits that will gradually limit GHG emission levels. The Global Warming Response act calls for a 17% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. and 80% reduction in greenhouse gases from baseline year 2006 by 2050. 

New Jersey’s Authority to Deny Title V permits for Natural Gas Power Plants:  

We want a Cap for 13 tons of C02- NJ is currently at 18 and these new natural gas power plants will put us at 25 tons probably more.

For More Information

Email njcwa@cleanwater.org or click here.

Amy Goldsmith, Clean Water Action