The Clean Water Blog

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13 Gas Projects Undermine Murphy Energy Plan, Threaten Climate Catastrophe

Today, Empower NJ released PDF icona groundbreaking new report documenting the devastating climate impacts of 13 fossil fuel projects in New Jersey. The report makes a powerful case for a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure until New Jersey has rules and standards in place to achieve our state’s 100% clean energy goals and comply with existing law and other state policy. It describes the major actions needed during the moratorium and provides an analysis of the key economic factors involved in effectively transitioning to a green economy. Read the report here.

Clean Water Action is a member of Empower NJ: No Fossil Fuel Projects, a growing coalition of over 58 progressive, faith, environmental and citizen groups calling on Governor Murphy to initiate the moratorium. You can sign our petition here.

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“The verdict is in. The world must act now to curb the cataclysmic effects of climate change. In NJ, we set a path to 100% clean energy by 2050, signed sweeping clean energy legislation and are protecting our land and water. Our children deserve nothing less.” - Governor Murphy, 11/24/18

There is a profound disconnect between these words and the actions and inaction of Governor Murphy’s Administration. The new report, Fighting Climate Change in NJ: The Urgent Case for a Moratorium on all Fossil Fuel Projects, documents the extent of this disconnect and the need for an immediate moratorium on all new fossil fuel projects as a key step in putting New Jersey on track to meet the Governor’s goal of achieving 100% clean energy.

The Governor also declared that the State would aggressively combat climate change. Achieving these goals will be challenging enough with the existing fossil fuel infrastructure in New Jersey; it will be impossible to achieve them if the 12 new (and unnecessary) fossil fuel projects (eight pipeline/compressor station projects, four power plants), in various stages of planning and execution, are allowed to go forward.

If these 12 gas-based projects are put into operation (plus one power plant that started operation in mid 2018), they would increase GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions by approximately 32 million metric tons per year. This would cause new, and exacerbate existing, cases of air pollutant-related diseases, lead to more premature deaths and increase health care costs.

Climate change is an immediate and grave threat to the 9 million people who call New Jersey home. The combination of rising sea levels, increasingly destructive storms, severe and more frequent flooding events, and other devastating climate impacts represent nothing short of an emergency.

Investing in renewable energy and clean renewables will create more jobs than investing in new fossil fuel projects. Creating a strong green jobs program including training and placement in the new green economy, built on and driving living wage union jobs in emerging sectors (solar, offshore wind, electric car infrastructure, efficiency, etc.).

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“A 2017 US Energy Department report found clean electricity jobs outnumber paychecks provided by the fossil fuel industry by at least five to one. New Jersey’s long term economic stability is dependent on creating more family supporting union jobs across the green energy spectrum and in environmental justice communities. In our call for no more fossil fuel projects, Empower NJ seeks a just transition (wages, skill transfer and employment) for displaced fossil fuel and union workers. Whether an electrician, carpenter, laborer… there is a great role and union job for you in the green economy,” - Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director of Clean Water Action.

The Governor has an enormous and immediate opportunity to be a climate change leader and protect the health and welfare of the residents of NJ by using his authority to stop the following 12 fracked-gas infrastructure projects currently in various stages of planning, permitting and implementation in the State:

Pipeline and Compressor Projects:

  • PennEast Pipeline
  • Northeast Supply Enhancement (aka NESE) (Somerset and Middlesex Counties and The Raritan Bay)
  • Cape Atlantic Reliability Project (aka South Jersey Gas Pipeline) (Pinelands)
  • Southern Reliability Link (Pinelands)
  • Garden State Expansion Project (Bordentown, Chesterfield)
  • Gateway Expansion Project (aka Roseland Compressor Station) (Roseland and Paterson)
  • Rivervale South to Market (Bergen, Hudson Counties and Meadowlands) 
  • Lambertville East Expansion (Lambertville)

Gas-Fired Power Plant Projects:

  • North Bergen Liberty Generating Station (aka Meadowlands Power Plant) (North Bergen) 
  • Phoenix Energy Center (aka Highlands Power Plant) (Holland Township)
  • BL England (Upper Twp)
  • Keasbey Energy Center (Woodbridge)

The Governor has an enormous and immediate opportunity to be a climate change leader and protect the health and welfare of the residents of NJ by using his authority to stop these fossil fuel projects. Sign the petition calling for a fossil fuel moratorium today.

Learn more and get involved!

We are launching the "NJ Tour for a Fossil Fuel Moratorium", a series of 5 public forums where experts will discuss the key findings and policy demands outlined in our report, and grassroots leaders will share testimony from the front lines of their struggles against dirty, dangerous and unnecessary fossil fuel projects in their communities. Please join us - RSVP here.

  • Friday, February 15th - Ridgefield Park. Rally and press conference to stop the Meadowlands Power Plant and amplify our call for Governor Murphy to enact a moratorium on fossil fuel projects! We'll meet from 12-1 pm at the base of our new billboard, located at 279 Bergen Turnpike in Ridgefield Park. RSVP and share on facebook here.
  • Monday, February 18th - Summit. Public forum to learn more about the 12 proposed fossil fuel projects in the state, how they harm our health, safety and environment, and how Governor Murphy can stop them. We'll meet from 7 - 9 pm at the Unitarian Univeralist Congregation in Summit. RSVP and share on facebook here.
  • Wednesday, February 20th - Ridgefield. Public forum to learn more about the Meadowlands Power Plant and 12 other proposed fossil fuel projects, how they harm our health, safety and environment, and how Governor Murphy can stop them. We'll meet from 7 - 9 pm at the Ridgefield Community Center. RSVP and share on facebook here.
  • Thursday, February 21st - Rumson. Public forum to learn more about the 12 proposed fossil fuel projects in NJ, how they harm our health, safety and environment, and how Governor Murphy can stop them. We'll meet from 6:30-8:30 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Rumson. RSVP and share on facebook here.
  • Thursday, March 7th - South Brunswick. Public form to learn more about the NESE compressor station, Raritan Bay pipeline proposal and 12 other fossil fuel projects in NJ, how they harm our health, safety and environment, and how Governor Murphy can stop them. We'll meet from 7-9 pm at the South Brunswick Senior Center. RSVP and share on facebook here.
  • Thursday, March 14th - Lambertville. Public forum to learn more about fossil fuel projects proposed in the Garden State. We'll meet from 7-10 pm at the Phillip L. Pittore Justice Center 25 S Union St, Lambertville, NJ. RSVP and share on facebook here.

Governor Murphy has all the evidence and tools he needs to enact a moratorium on new fossil fuel development. It's up to us to build the political power to make him do it.  Sign the petition today and join us at one or more of our upcoming public events.