Home > Uncategorized > Pipeline Activists Declare Energy Independence In Celebration of the 4th – Urge Sweeney To Block The Pinelands Pipeline

Pipeline Activists Declare Energy Independence In Celebration of the 4th – Urge Sweeney To Block The Pinelands Pipeline


Taking a pause from the Trenton scene and the veto of DEP flood hazard rules (I’ve done about all I can do on that issue), I went down to Senate President Sweeney’s West Deptford district office today to join with about 40 south jersey pipeline, climate and renewable energy activists. It was great to see lots of folks I haven’t seen in awhile:

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Activists and organizations supporting a transition to clean renewable energy and opposing the pipelines through New Jersey will have a July 4th potluck picnic at the office of Senate President Stephen Sweeney to oppose his support for the oil and gas industry, and invite him to sign a declaration of energy independence. They will deliver 1,000 petitions calling on him to take action to stop pipelines through the Pinelands.

“Senator Sweeney’s support for the oil and gas industry is a direct threat to the Pinelands, and to a sustainable future for New Jersey,” said Food & Water Watch organizer Lena Smith. “He is vocally supportive of the dirty fracked gas pipelines through the Pinelands and is twisting the arms of New Jersey’s elected officials to clear the way for these pipelines to be built.

Sweeney was invited to attend the gathering, which was organized by Food & Water Watch, the Pinelands Pipeline Action Network, the Coalition for Peace and Justice, Unplug Salem, 350 South Jersey, Ramapough Lenape Nation, Don’t Gas the Pinelands Coalition, New Jersey State Industrial Union Council, People Over Pipelines, Citizens United for Renewable Energy and Progressive Democrats of America.

Senate President Sweeney

Senate President Sweeney

Sweeney needs to be told flat out that his chances to be the next Governor are significantly diminished by his continuing support for the fossil energy industry.

With respect to the South Jersey Gas Pinelands pipeline he supports, 4 prior Governors have opposed that, so he is completely out of touch with even main stream NJ bi-partisan politics.

So, let’s rehash the day’s events.

There was a road detour, and I took a wrong turn on “Kings Highway” – a troubling address for a Legislator with Gubernatorial ambitions, no? – on the way there and ironically ended up at massive pipeline and fossil infrastructure:


Arriving at Sweeney’s offices, the view didn’t get much better – he is in the belly of the fossil beast:

the view from Sweeney's Office

the view from Sweeney’s Office

As the group assembled on a grassy knoll in front of Sweeney’s office (ironically a pipeline ROW), the police showed up. Alleging the need to protect us from some non-existent threat of attack from the rear flank and to keep us off private property, the cop wanted the group to move away from the grassy knoll to an island on a nearby roadway. The island location the cop pushed us onto was dangerous, because cars drove by on both sides.


I took exception to the lack of respect for and interference with constitutionally protected activity, especially  in the absence of any no trespassing signs or complaint by the private property owner. I suspect the ROW was public land anyway.

I explained this to the cop with no success – he immediately admonished me for having an “attitude” based on my tone of voice –  so went to Sweeney’s office to ask them to support us, because they didn’t want the political controversy of activists arrested outside Sweeney’s office. They agreed. I told the cop this. He backed off and went in to talk. But came out of Sweeney’s office and said Sweeney’s District Office manager said they merely rented the property and were not authorized to allow us to use the grassy knoll. What two faced wimps.

Here are photos of the event (still learning new camera – a used Sony mirrorless I picked up at a bargain price when I sold my lenses).











Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
You must be logged in to post a comment.