Red Bank, NJ – On Saturday, September 14, 2019, hundreds of citizens, elected officials, and representatives from civic and environmental organizations gathered by land and sea along the Navesink River in Marine Park, Red Bank, NJ, to call on NJ Governor Murphy to permanently deny all permits for the proposed Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Pipeline. Citizens signed petitions, made and held signs, and chanted “Say No to NESE” and “NESE is messy.”
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is obligated to make a final decision on the proposed offshore pipeline section of the project by September 25, 2019, which puts the Murphy Administration’s green energy agenda to the test. At today’s press conference and rally, elected officials, citizens, and organizations urged that the decision to deny the permits be permanent, with no allowance to the company to reapply.
According to the event’s lead organizers, Clean Ocean Action, NESE is the proposed unnecessary, dirty, and environmentally destructive project designed to bring fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York City. The NJDEP denied permits this past June; however, the type of denial allowed Williams Transco to reapply, which they did. To date, the public comments on the project submitted for the record and reviewed by Clean Ocean Action shows nearly 4000 comments opposing the NESE Project, and four comments in favor of the project.
Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action said, “We are here overlooking the governor’s home – which has a remarkable view of our waterways – because he faces a critical decision: whether or not to approve the NESE project. Fortunately, this has to be one of the easiest decisions he has to make. It’s a lose, lose, lose project for our environment, our economy and our future, and has no benefit for New Jersey. The answer based on science, facts and law on whether this project should be approved is ‘no.’”
"The stewardship of our resources is a moral imperative for our time. We have had enough of corporations dumping on our environment. Keep us focused. Keep all elected officials informed. We say no to NESE. Let's make NJ Governor Murphy hear us," exclaimed Red Bank Mayor, Pasquale Menna.
Monmouth County Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger said, "On behalf of the Monmouth County Freeholders, we oppose this pipeline. Monmouth County is dependent on tourism. This year was a banner year. We don't see the value of this project based on the risks. We are united against this project and hope NJ Governor Murphy will not approve this project, which threatens our coastal economy."
“We need Governor Murphy to say no to this project. We need him to stand up and declare a moratorium on all fossil fuel projects," Matt Smith of Food and Water Watch exclaimed as the crowd chanted “Stop NESE Now!", "Moratorium Now!" and "Say No to NESE!"
"Everything we do as humans has an impact. When we make decisions, we have to look at the impacts those decisions will have on everything. The consequences of the NESE project are not found in one place. They will be found in the air, land, and water, and in Franklin, NJ, Raritan Bay, and the ocean. When we make a decision, we need a really good reason to go forward. There is one good thing about this project: this is an easy 'no.' There is no reason for the NESE project," stated Greg Remaud of NY/NJ Baykeeper.
"What we do here and going forward will determine if the planet will be safe and healthy for generations to come. We are calling on the governor to stand up for the people and our planet and say no to NESE," said Jeff Tittel of the NJ Sierra Club.
"The health effects of this entire project are a public health outrage. We don't need the project and don’t have to tolerate polluted air, land, and water. This project is the direct opposite of Governor Murphy's campaign promises. Approving this project would be an epic failure and is not in the interest of the public good, land, and the environment," advised Jean-Marie Donohue of Waterspirit.