Hopewell Township will be passing a resolution opposing the proposed Penneast pipeline project at the next Hopewell Township Committee meeting.
Hopewell Township Mayor Vanessa Sandom shared these words with us about her reasons for supporting a resolution:
“Following our informational meeting with PennEast and other research, it has become clear to me that this proposed pipeline provides no benefit, and a great deal of harm, to the residents of the Township.
My understanding is that there are 15 proposed pipeline projects underway in the state of NJ and every single one, except this project, is planning to co-locate on existing rights of ways with existing pipelines. Instead, this pipeline would permanently scar forests, farms, wetlands, and streams on both private and public land across our valley. In fact, the sad irony is that the proposed path seems to intentionally target land that has been acquired or protected by taxpayers, because it is financially expedient for PennEast. What’s more, once built, future rights to PennEast’s pathway would likely be sold to others, as State policy strongly encourages co-location. This is the worst possible rendition of “If you build it, they will come.”
Other PennEast claims about benefits to Hopewell seem entirely hollow. Initial indications are that any boost to employment through construction jobs will be enjoyed entirely by out-of-town workers. Hopewell residents will not even enjoy improved availability of natural gas as there will be no change whatsoever to residential availability. Elizabethtown Gas will continue to hold the local gas monopoly, and currently unserved residences will continue to bear the cost of running local piping to their homes or developments.
I understand the overarching need to meet our society’s energy demands, but this is a case where a utility is trying to avoid co-locating on existing right of ways because it is more profitable for them to cut a new pathway that just happens to permanently scar the environment that we all cherish. I urge residents to join forces with our environmental groups and municipalities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey affected by this travesty to say NO to this pipeline.”
While the resolution language has not been officially released, Township officials plan to read and pass the resolution at the Township Committee meeting on Tuesday October 14 at 7PM.
MercerMe will see you there!