By letter dated March 31, 2016, Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D) of the 14th District of the New Jersey General Assembly offered his support of the PennEast pipeline to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), his arguments being primarily to fill the need for job and energy creation. In response, environmental groups and local municipalities have urged Assemblyman DeAngelo to reconsider his interpretation of the facts and his support of the pipeline, which ultimately will not be passing through his district.
“As chairman of the New Jersey General Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee, I have direct oversight of energy issues pending before the State. As such many individuals, advocacy groups and business entities have shared their opinions with me regarding the PennEast Pipeline that would traverse much of central Jersey.
While the proposed line’s potential route is a matter of great concern for some impacted by it and should be a matter of examination for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the pipeline could deliver potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in energy savings for residents and business alike each year. For example, a recent study found that the PennEast Pipeline would have saved New Jerseyans $378 million in gas and electric energy costs during the 2014-2014 polar vortex. Our state needs to strive to provide savings for our resides as we maintain the diverse energy portfolio where approximately 95 percent of our power needs comes from natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy.
Furthermore, energy industry improvements can be an economic driver for our state. One economic impact study has found that approximately 12,160 jobs — 2,500 of which would be regional direct planning and construction jobs — could be created by the PennEast pipeline alone. The project would have an economic impact of potentially $1.62 million.
I respectfully urge a timely review and ruling of this important project…”
From September 2015, see Bipartisan Opposition Stands United Against PennEast Pipeline, FERC and NJDEP Urged to Deny Proposal
Assemblyman DeAngelo’s position conflicts with six Legislators who represent people along the PennEast route and who oppose the project: Senator Kip Bateman and Assembly members Jack Ciattarelli, Elizabeth Muoio, Reed Gusciora, and US Representatives Leonard Lance and Bonnie Watson-Coleman.
“Not only is he going against the opinion of six legislators from the proposed pipeline route, but he’s also going against the people of New Jersey,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “The project has already been delayed multiple times due to lack of data and public opposition. In New Jersey, more than 70% of the people on the route have said NO to this pipeline and won’t let PennEast on their land to complete the surveys they need…. By supporting this dirty and dangerous pipeline, Assemblyman DeAngelo is turning his back on the people and environment of New Jersey.”
“The Assemblyman’s reasons for supporting the pipeline are unsubstantiated and untrue. The pipeline will not save consumers money or create jobs; instead it will create negative economic impacts. The pipeline cuts through scenic areas and farmlands impacting tourism and the arts. The tourism industry in the Delaware Valley is worth billions of dollars, impacting communities like Lambertville and Frenchtown. The pipeline runs through preserved farmland impacting soil and crops hurting farms financially. The agriculture and fishing industry will be impacted, both are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. For 98 jobs and false claims for ‘consumer savings’ we will ruin the Delaware Valley and all people love about it,” continued Tittel. “Assemblyman DeAngelo is a big supporter of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Renewable energy such as wind and solar creates more jobs than fossil fuel projects do. These high paying jobs come without the fracking and destruction of pipelines and natural gas.”