NJ Gubernatorial Candidate Positions on Pilgrim Pipeline Vary Significantly

CAPP representatives have been meeting with New Jersey’s gubernatorial candidates to educate, discuss and obtain position statements on Pilgrim’s plans to build dual oil pipelines through Northern New Jersey from Mahwah to Linden. CAPP has compiled candidates’ statements based on these meetings and other written and verbal statements made by candidates and published them here.

“The Pilgrim Pipeline proposal has not received a lot of publicity,” according to Ken Dolsky, a CAPP organizer from Parsippany, “but make no mistake, there are major risks associated with this proposal that could significantly impact millions of residents and businesses in New Jersey. It is critical that our next governor understand the issues and get this right.”

“These proposed pipelines are so wrong for New Jersey for many reasons,” said Peg Bost, a CAPP grassroots volunteer from Mahwah. “They threaten our drinking water, our property values, our health and our local economies. New Jersey has the fourth lowest cost of water in the nation because of the natural filtering performed by the Highlands. These pipelines also threaten water supplies from aquifers and rivers across Northern New Jersey. Over five million people depend on Highlands water for some or all of their needs and these pipelines will put this in jeopardy for over 30 years. Imagine the economic impact to a town if its aquifer is polluted for years.”

Kathy Abbott, another CAPP member and former Chatham Township Committeewoman, also pointed out that, “on top of the risk, there is no gain for New Jersey from these pipelines. Pilgrim’s business plan is to take oil, currently shipped on barges from Albany to a refinery in Linden with refined products returned via barges, and instead just use a pipeline to replace barges. No driver or homeowner in New Jersey will see a drop of additional gasoline or home heating oil from these pipelines. We are just a pass through. We get all the risk and Pilgrim gets all the gain,” she declared.

“We have been educating gubernatorial candidates on these and other issues pointing out all the fallacies that Pilgrim uses such as pipelines spilling less than other forms of transport or replacing trains in NJ,” explained Dolsky. “Several CAPP member organizations have 501(c)3 status and CAPP does not endorse or campaign for any candidates. We are educating the candidates and educating the public as to their positions.”

As can be seen in the position summary, some candidates have simply stated they are totally opposed to these proposed pipelines regardless of route. Others have a more nuanced approach. One is against the pipelines if they run through the Highlands but not if they take a different route to Linden while another prefers to make a final decision based on new energy plans for New Jersey. Others have yet to weigh in and their statements will be added as they are provided to CAPP.

“We simply want voters to educate themselves,” stated Dolsky. “We encourage them to learn about the proposal and its risks and dangers and how the candidates say they will address them if elected.”

About the Coalition Against the Pilgrim Pipeline

CAPP is a volunteer, activist organization in New Jersey and New York supported by 79 environmental and activist organizations in both states. Its objective is to stop the proposed pipeline from being built anywhere in these two states. CAPP has been successful in generating resolutions of opposition from 73 municipalities in New Jersey and New York, from six New Jersey and New York counties, from both houses of the NJ legislature, and from 12 other entities including school boards and watershed organizations. In addition, 12 New Jersey municipalities have passed ordinances strictly controlling construction of unregulated hazardous material pipelines.

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