The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to allow the PennEast Pipeline Company to condemn state conservation lands last month was a blow. But The Watershed Institute and other environmental organizations will continue their seven-year fight against the company’s proposed $1 billion, 116-mile pipeline from northeastern Pennsylvania to Mercer County, New Jersey.
Please thank Gov. Phil Murphy for his efforts to fight the pipeline so far and remind him of the harm this unneeded, polluting pipeline would impose on the Garden State.
PennEast can still be halted and the project faces numerous legal challenges and regulatory hurdles. Please use this button (below) and send a letter to the governor to urge him to defend our lands, water, wildlife, and ecosystems. New Jersey has the authority to determine whether the project can meet the strict standards that protect wetlands and water quality in our state.
On June 29, the court’s ruling allowed the PennEast to condemn more than 42 properties along the route of its proposed fossil gas pipeline.
New Jersey contested PennEast’s use of eminent domain over the state lands, arguing that the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution precludes private parties from suing states in federal court. The Third Circuit agreed with that argument and ruled in New Jersey’s favor in 2019.
The State of New Jersey, counties, municipalities, and non-profit organizations have spent billions of dollars over the past several decades to preserve farmland, wildlife habitat, recreational lands, and areas important for water supply and watershed protection. These lands were supposed to be legally protected from further development.
In addition to undermining protections for the conserved lands in question, the proposed PennEast fossil pipeline would also rip through some of New Jersey’s most pristine streams, including 31 designated by NJDEP as “Category One” waterbodies due to their outstanding ecological values.
The Watershed Institute believes that our future energy needs would be better met through greater investment in renewable energy sources, not an additional expansion of fossil fuel projects that contribute to climate change.