Friends - good discussion on the proposed South Jersey Gas pipeline through the pines.
Virtually all the larger NJ environmental groups oppose this pipeline, not just PPA. And the impacts would go well beyond the pines. Here are some reasons why a fisherman or conservationist should oppose this project:
1) The line would provide 20 billion cubic feet per year of gas to repower the BL England plant, which is under a DEP Order to shut down, meet air quality standards, or repower. The BL England plant slaughters billions of fish and aquatic organisms and harms the fishery. It should be shut down. Corporate BL England chose to repower. Repowering will allow the plant to continue to slaughter aquatic life in the bay and harm the fishery.
As far as I'm concerned, that alone is adequate grounds to oppose the pipeline, which would to be economically feasible without the BL England plant.
2) Some have argued that the long term strategic agenda for this project is to get the pipeline nose under the Pinelands Commission tent, set a precedent, and use that to build more pipelines along the same route to the coast in order to export Pennsylvania fracking gas. That makes this a very big risk for a huge infrastrucrute project that would harm the entire coast by bringing in more pipelines, storage, processing, shipping, and gas export terminal infrastructure. Bad news for fishermen, The alleged benefits do not justify these risks.
3) The pipeline will use horizontal directional drilling to cross 15 streams, a river and several wetlands and lakes. Accident happen - any drilling accidents would harm tributaries and fisheries - the benonite they use for drilling mud would kill aquatic life in those waterbodies for a long time.
4) Pipelines are dangerous - lots of accidents - a fire or explosion would set off an inferno in Pines forests. Wiildlife and fisheries severely harmed by that.
5) THis is fossil infrastructure - BL ENgland would emit more than 1 million tons of CO2. Methane from gas pipeline is 23 times more greenhouse gas warming that CO2.
Pines forests are already being severely impacted by clainmte change - pine battle infestation alone is huge. Obviosuly, ocean acidification, changes in fish migration and populations, etc are already being impacted adversely, again bad news for fishermnan. We need to stop fossil infrastructure and make transition.
6) The energy is not needed - demand is down and over 2,000 megawatts of gas power is under construction. WE can do far more on efficiency and reneables. We don't need to spend another $500 million when we can do far better and create more jobs for far less.
7) There is a principle involved - we all should oppose the idea that corporation can buy regulatory approvals from government - that is flat out corrupt bribery. The pipeline is inconsistent with the Pines Comprehensive Management Plan - the Commission may allow South Jersey Gas to cicumcvent the CMP with a $8 million bribe. Little guys could never do this, just the corporations - and all with YOUR MONEY -
You will pay for this boondoggle in your gas and elctic bills and SJG will make a 10% profit on a bribe!