I grew up near the Jersey Shore in Monmouth County and largely lived the stereotype of typical NJ inhabitants. I knew my stop on the GSP (120). I held my nose going passed the oil refineries in Elizabeth NJ. I listened to Bruce Springsteen and I visited the Stone Pony. We called New Yorkers down for a day at the beach rude names and emulated their way of talking anyway.
Then I moved away to NYC for 20 years….
And finally I landed in Hunterdon County NJ, and was man was I amazed. Hunterdon County is not the NJ that I grew up in. One of the most popular stores in the area is Tractor Supply (I kid you not!). Many trucks have bumper stickers saying “No Farms/No Food”. I didn’t know what a 4H Fair was 3 years ago, but I sure do now. Hunterdon County has one a few miles from my house that is simply awe inspiring in its size and depth, and we go every year. There is far, far more farmland here than land for housing.
Lauren of Hunterdon County NJ let’s the FERC know that NJ is a very varied place, and that the pipeline is going through some of the most beautiful and productive land in the United States:
I’m writing to express opposition to the PennEast pipeline set to run through my town. Hunterdon County does not meet the NJ stereotype. We are a progressive, close-knit community that greatly values its natural surroundings. We have fought for our beautiful open space.
At community meetings to discuss the pipeline several farmers who have existing pipelines running through their property said that the land where the pipeline was dug has never been the same: the base shale gets put where the topsoil should go, therefore making those areas of land un-farmable. Vegetation doesn’t grow on shale. You’ve probably seen the bumper sticker “No Farms/No Food.” We need our farmers, and they need their land to remain fertile.
We are lucky to have lush pockets of delicate eco systems for wildlife. If someone from FERC took a drive around these parts, you’d see how passionate we are about keeping it that way. There’s hardly a driveway that doesn’t have a sign at the end of it saying “Stop the PennEast Pipeline.”
We are tapping (literally) an antiquated source to make energy that will soon be exhausted. The money for the proposed pipeline should instead go to energy means that support the future. We live in a modern age where we now can successfully harness the energy of the wind and sun, which are far cleaner ways to power our lives. I’m asking you to please consider funding solar, wind, and geothermal energy options as a way to create jobs, protect the environment, and help put our country in a greener spotlight.
Lauren’s submission is available below: