Today's news reports that the Congress gave final approval to the Keystone XL pipeline bill, and that President Obama will now have a veto showdown. But you may not be aware - and it certainly doesn't get as much media attention - that New Jersey has at least 5 of its own proposals for the construction of new pipelines.
These are pipelines that will transport gas and oil from supply sources and cross NJ to deliver fuel to distribution and export points. Pipelines that cross state lines must be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
- One is the PennEast pipeline for natural gas from the Marcellus Shale "fracking" region of Pennsylvania to a location north of Trenton. That would send it across some preserved lands and watersheds in Hunterdon and Mercer counties, which sends up environmental red flags.
- Another proposed project is the Diamond East pipeline which would run on a parallel route a few miles to the east.
- The Pilgrim Oil pipeline would bring shale oil (produced in North Dakota) from Albany, N.Y., to Linden, NJ and would cross Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Essex and Union counties.
- The NJ Natural Gas pipeline is proposed to run through Burlington, Monmouth and Ocean counties.
- The South Jersey Gas pipeline would be in the Pine Barrens of Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties.
If these issues concern you, you can contact your U.S. Senators and Congressmen and ask them to change federal policy to require comprehensive planning for energy and infrastructure. To find your Congressman, go to www.house.gov/representatives/
find/. To contact Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, go to www.senate.gov/general/ contact_information/senators_ cfm.cfm?State=NJ.
For more information about PennEast, go to www.njconservation.org/