New Jersey seems to be thriving with the steady flow of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, but once again, we are fighting the pipeline battle.
Imagine a presidential candidate promising an energy plan that would cut emissions immediately by more than 20%, add about 900,000 jobs, and save the average household over $2,000 per year in energy costs. That is something we all could get behind, isn’t it? Sadly, not so much, and it is not due to bipartisan squabbling as we might have come to expect.
The truth is, natural gas has already hit those milestones, but there are people who claim to be protecting the environment kicking and screaming the entire way. We are seeing it play out yet again in New Jersey. As a major beneficiary of the Marcellus Shale, New Jersey has become quite accustomed to having gas so readily available, but as the state’s energy providers gear up to add more natural gas power plants, malcontents and special interests determined to stop growth are screaming foul.
Despite the fact it is funded by the William Penn Foundation and usually engaged in promoting an anti-fracking agenda, the NJ Spotlight reports Genesis Power, LLC is in the midst of adding a natural gas power plant in Hillsborough Township with the capacity to power 700,000 homes. This plant alone could employ up to 800 construction workers and 30 full-time operational staff.
There are four other plants in various stages that are continuing this positive trend, but they do need to have a way to receive fuel and that is where the Sierra Club chimes in. “What we see happening is we are awash in natural-gas electricity,’’ scoffs Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. He goes one to state the abundance of the gas projects is a consequence of the expansion of natural gas pipelines in the state. Here we go again, Pipeline Avengers, Part Deux.
I looked at the New Jersey Sierra Club’s website, and saw firsthand how much they hate pipelines. They have a page just for pipelines; well, not really, it’s just the first four issues they speak of. The PennEast, SJG Pinelands, NJNG Pinelands, and Pilgrim pipelines are at the top of their list – each accompanied by a separate manifesto of opposition, for lack of a better term.
The Genesis plant is the fruit of their biggest fears as it is proposed to sit at the intersection of three Texas Eastern interstate gas lines.The more gas, the more pipelines; the more pipelines, the more power plants; the more gas-fired plants, the less money is invested into renewables — so they would have you believe — and we know renewables is their religious-like cause against which no facts or logic shall be allowed to intrude.
You only need to read back to the beginning of the PennEast extravaganza to hear Jeff Tittel compare gas companies to Hessians:
“Back then, we were invaded by the British and Hessians. Now it’s the natural gas companies and pipelines,” he said. “They’re today’s Hessians trying to take our land. … This pipeline turns 50 years of public policy and change on its head.”
It is amusing to hear him compare gas companies to 18th century German mercenaries while his foundation receives funding from a foundation that a 19th century German chemist started. Here’s an excerpt from a Philly.com piece, in fact, extolling the money being given by the William Penn Foundation:
It’s a lot like Josh Fox comparing gas companies to cigarette companies while he gets his Doris Duke tobacco check, don’t you think? This is how things work in the world of fractivism, where hypocrisy is a virtue and the mission is to ensure the progress one enjoys is denied to others. New Jersey has made a lot of progress in recovering from decades of high taxes and jokes about the New Jersey Turnpike. The future looks better all the time with more natural gas, in fact. But, for Jeff Tittel and other fractivists, the future is always glum except when something good is defeated, delayed or destined for the scrap heap. The New Jersey Turnpike jokes seem to live forever in his mind; he just thinks of it as the New Jersey Turn-Pipe. What a sad way to live your life; attacking the prosperity of others and, even worse, their dreams of it.