I’m excited to announce that a citizen’s group is being created called the West Amwell Citizens Against the Pipeline. The purpose of this group is to do our part to help preserve our township’s character and its investment in conservation and open space by opposing the PennEast pipeline. This will be a non-profit organization that will serve as both an informational source to let residents know what’s going on with PennEast, and also as a platform of active opposition to the pipeline company itself.
I know many people in the township believe that PennEast is inevitable and that fighting it is pointless. I don’t believe this is the case. Not at all. While the government has a history of rubber stamping these projects in the past, this time it’s different. I’ve talked to journalists in the area and they’ve said that they have never seen the level of opposition that they’ve seen in against PennEast. One reporter I spoke to said “I’ve been writing for 20 years and I’ve never seen as much push back by so many”. People here and around the country are waking up to the reckless over-exploitation of resources by fracking companies, and how pipeline consortiums are rushing in to lay pipe as fast as they can before the money runs out. Politicians are waking up to this fact, and old policies of going easy on energy companies are being looked at in a very hard light. We are at a unique point in history where we can stand up and make a change, and together we have an excellent chance to stop PennEast dead in its tracks.
At the core our organization objects not only to the route that PennEast has proposed through West Amwell, but we also object to the entire idea of the pipeline in general. No matter what route this pipeline takes, it is an unwanted blemish upon the country side, a source of constant danger to people living nearby, and a project that will further the purposes of the fracking industry. Its construction and ongoing operation will cause unwarranted damage to the ecosystem and foster increased use of fossil fuels.
We contend that this entire project is unnecessary, and that our existing natural gas infrastructure is more than adequate to meet our current energy needs. Development for the future should focus on investment in renewables, not in hydraulic fracturing.
The organization will assist landowners directly impacted by the pipeline and get them the information they need to help understand their legal rights, including their right to deny survey access to the pipeline company. We’ll help educate residents on how to deal with PennEast, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commmision (FERC), and other government entities. And we will work in conjunction with other regional CAP organizations such as Delaware Township Citizens Against the Pipeline, Hopewell Township Citizens Against the PennEast Pipeline, stoppenneast.org, and others here in NJ and in PA to organize our opposition against PennEast.
We’re still in the early stages of forming the group. A web site is being put together, I’m working on incorporation and non-profit status, and also talking to other citizens groups in the area to see how best to proceed.
If you would like to join the organization and help out, or just want more information on what we’re doing, please contact me. Also please forward this to any of your neighbors who you think might be interested.
If you’d like to get more information in person I’ll be attending the Delaware Township Citizens Against the Pipeline meeting today, Thursday, May 14th. Sorry for the short notice! The meeting will be held at 7:30 at the Delaware Township School (http://www.dtsk8.org/). The DTCAP organizers have graciously invited all West Amwell residents to attend and get more information about fighting the pipeline.
We’ll get more information sent out once it’s available, including the web site information and particulars for a first formal meet up.
Please note that this group will not be officially tied to the West Amwell Township municipal government, but we will strive to work with our elected officials wherever possible. Together we can make a difference and beat this thing!