On Thursday, June 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. a coalition of three dozen environmentally concerned groups will lobby legislators and hold a rally for clean energy at the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton.
Morning briefings will begin at 10 a.m. in Committee Room 9 on the third floor of the Statehouse Annex. The rally for clean energy will begin at noon on the front steps of the Statehouse Annex.
The coalition will lobby in support of a suite of bills that are under consideration in the state Senate. SR106 opposes the Pilgrim Pipeline, a proposal to install two brand new pipelines across New Jersey to carry crude oil and refined petroleum products. The Senate will also consider two bills and a resolution (S2858, S2979, SCR165) improving safety standards for rail cars carrying explosive Bakken crude oil, produced by fracking.
Calling for a 30 percent increase in energy efficiency and 100 percent carbon-free electricity production by 2030, and 100 percent production from renewable sources (wind, solar, water, geothermal) by 2050, the coalition will present some of the following arguments:
“We have a choice. Dirty, dangerous fuels that make people sick and put them in harm’s way or clean renewables that not only don’t do that but also create more jobs at less cost. We choose the latter, are calling on decision makers to do the same, and will be mobilizing our ground forces to make it happen.”
— David Pringle, New Jersey campaign director, Clean Water Action.
“Pipelines are a known and growing source of water pollution, air pollution, forest and wetland devastation. They threaten our lives and when they fail inflict hundreds of millions of dollars of damage a year. They are responsible for the increased taking of private and public lands through the exercise and/or threat of their eminent domain authority. Pipelines are the big bully partners of the gas drillers.
“New Jersey does not want or need the pipeline cuts through our Rivers, state and region — clean energy options are here today and can provide us the energy we need, while creating a greater number of jobs, and protecting our communities and environments at the same time. The drillers, pipeline companies, and even FERC want us to think we are powerless in the face of a pipeline proposal, we are here to take hold of the peoples’ power to defend ourselves.”
— Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.
“From the Jersey shore to the Highlands and Pinelands, every corner of the state is being threatened by infrastructure projects like pipelines, oil trains, and LNG. These projects coupled with the potential for fracking in central and northern New Jersey and the dumping of radioactive fracking waste must be stopped. But stopping these projects is not enough, we need to make a conscious decision to invest in renewable energy. We are launching this coalition to unite forces around New Jersey who are fighting these dangerous and unnecessary projects around a bold new agenda to move us away from fracking and fracking-related infrastructure and toward a clean energy future.”
— Jim Walsh, New Jersey director, Food & Water Watch.
“The more we learn about the transport by rail of highly volatile Bakken crude oil through our communities, the more we become alarmed. Most people — even those living in the ‘blast zone’ within one half mile from the tracks know little if anything about the dangers, from fiery derailments happening across the country, the puncture prone trains, or the lack of accountability of railway companies to state and local authorities. Outraged citizens are starting to change that, by shining a light on the risks and pressuring elected officials to protect the public — not in five or ten years — but now. That requires an immediate ban on unsafe oil trains and a rapid shift toward investing in clean, renewable energy here in the Garden State.”
— Rosemary Dreger Carey, coordinator, 350NJ.
“We can rebuild New Jersey’s economy by embracing clean energy technology. Expanding dirty energy sources in our state is both environmentally and economically unsustainable.”
— Dena Mottola Jaborska, associate director of New Jersey New Jersey Citizen Action.
“Air pollution from burning fossil fuel is a major source of nitrogen in Barnegat Bay. Years of research has concluded that nutrient loading, specifically nitrogen, is the primary cause of the bay’s decline. If elected officials are serious about saving Barnegat Bay, they need to be quantitative about the impact of nitrogen to our waterways.”
— Britta Wenzel, executive director, Save Barnegat Bay.
“The benefits of protecting New Jersey from shale gas infrastructure extend beyond its border to Pennsylvania where we are not only fighting many of the same projects, but are also fighting to end extraction itself. More pipelines in New Jersey means more fracking in Pennsylvania.”
— Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth.
“The moral and practical imperative for this platform couldn’t be clearer. The Pope’s recent encyclical stated clearly what we all know: the time for decisive action to protect the earth is now, and we need our political leaders to act.”
— The Rev. Fletcher Harper, executive director, GreenFaith.
“Transporting highly volatile Bakken crude oil by rail through our communities is unacceptable. A Department of Transportation report estimates that there will be at least 15 derailments of trains carrying Bakken crude each year. Yet the new rules issued by the D.O.T. won’t be fully implemented for up to 10 years. In the meantime, the people of New Jersey are left to simply hope nothing happens. Accidents don’t wait to happen.”
— Paula Rogovin, Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains.
“The goals are achievable, the technology available, and the majority of the population in support of battling climate change. We are at the tipping point. We have to change how we use, consume, and generate energy. If we don’t, our children’s children will look back at us, shake their heads, and sadly wonder why we were so very selfish, greedy and short sighted.”
— Janet Tauro, a founding member of GRAMMES (Grandmothers, Mothers, and More for Energy Safety).
“In California, Colorado, Hawaii, Germany, Italy, China, and many other places all over the world, a new vision of a clean and sustainable energy future is taking hold — and taking shape in the form of legislation. New Jersey used to be a leader in this accelerating trend, and can be again. This coalition’s plan would create tens of thousands of jobs, prevent environmental destruction and community disempowerment, and generate a huge net economic benefit for the state.”
— Lyle Rawlings, president, Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association.