Photo: Emma Lee/WHYY
Our blog posts most often focus on eminent domain and they almost always have a multi-year history. Such is the recent news that the state of New Jersey has denied permits for a $1.1 billion pipeline that would bring Marcellus Shale natural gas to the state. The project would run from northeastern Pennsylvania and end near Trenton, New Jersey.
Heading up the decision to deny is Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. It seems like there is a trend to announce news over twitter and such was the case with this matter. Gov. Murphy tweeted a copy of the Department of Environmental Protection's permit denial letter to the PennEast Pipeline Company. He also tweeted that he's "committed to transitioning New Jersey to 100% clean energy by 2050".
Talks of the project started in 2015 and the firm won federal approval for the project in 2018. It sounds like 2019 is the year of suffering setbacks.
Some additional details include that NJ's Department of Environmental Protection said it denied the permits based on a previous ruling by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That ruling that said PennEast couldn't use eminent domain to acquire approximately 42 properties owned by the state because the property is being preserved for farmland and open space. The DEP said that now PennEast no longer had the authority to carry out necessary requirements within New Jersey law.
What do companies always come back with on their lists of positives for a project? You guessed it! PennEast has argued the pipeline would bring jobs.
They also said it would bring low-cost natural gas to homes in PA, NY and NJ. Also easy to have guessed is the response from environmental groups who worry that the project will cut a scar across the landscape and harm wildlife.
PennEast said in a statement that it's not finished fighting for the pipeline. So, it is safe to say in this blog post statement that we’re not finished writing about it either.