Thursday, July 23, 2015

Is natural gas pipeline through Pinelands inevitable?

BL England Power Plant
B.L. England coal-powered power plant 
In a matter of minutes, a state agency approved a proposal to build a controversial 22-mile natural-gas pipeline through the core of the Pinelands Forest, Tom Johnson reports today in NJ Spotlight.
For the second time in two years, the Board of Public Utilities endorsed the pipeline project proposed by South Jersey Gas, which would convert the B. L. England power plant from being coal-fired to using natural gas.
 The project, yet to be approved by the Pinelands Commission, is opposed by virtually all of the state’s conservation groups, as well as four former governors --Republicans Thomas Kean and Christine Whitman and Democrats Brendan Byrne and Jim Florio.
The five commissioners unanimously approved without debate a slightly modified version of the project originally given the nod by the BPU in April 2013. It is uncertain when the Pinelands Commission, which deadlocked on approving the project in January 2014, will consider the proposal.
Since then, Gov. Chris Christie replaced one of the commissioners who had voted against the pipeline. The project aligns with the administration’s Energy Master Plan, which calls for the state to phase out the use of coal to generate electricity and replace it with less-polluting natural gas.

You're not surprised by the BPU vote are you? Is Pinelands Commission approval equally predictable? Tell us what you think in the comment box below

Related news: 
BPU approves amended order for pipeline through Pinelands
Pinelands supporters outraged by vote to replace Commission member who voted against pipeline

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