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Dear Pipeline People: The Christie DEP Is Not Your Friend

Rethink Energy NJ is lying to and manipulating you for their own selfish reasons

At this point, anyone who applauds the Christie DEP has Zero credibility

Activists were told not to criticize DEP or Gov. CHristie - these messages were suppressed

Activists were told not to criticize DEP or mention Gov. Christie – these messages were suppressed

For many months, I’ve ranted against the incompetence and mendacity of some of the “leaders” of the anti-pipeline activists.

Most all of that was targeted at the “Rethink Energy NJ” campaign, who are leading the charge against the PennEast pipeline.

My criticism has been premised on an assumption that the problems were primarily a function of incompetence or lack of experience or political misjudgments (as they say, legitimate differences over strategy and tactics, not goals and objectives).

At worst, I thought that perhaps they were greedy in trying to control the access to Foundation grants and wealthy donors, and were being opportunistically entrepreneurial in their greed.

But, I assumed that they really did want to stop the pipelines, but were just doing a very poor job of it.

Today, they’ve gone over the line into knowingly and actively causing harm – including hijacking other pipeline opponents and misleading people about basic political and regulatory reality.

I think the phrase “useful idiots” is apt.

Join the 6 other YouTube people and take a good hard look at what co-opted, mendacious, timidity looks like – watch.

The thought that the Christie DEP is a friend of the environment and willing to fight big gas corporations – and that they should be APPLAUDED – is BIZARRE.

That is an incompetent, incredibly naive, and warped interpretation of the recent DEP letter to FERC on holding a public hearing on wetlands permits.

A few historical facts are in order for Ms. Cronheim:

DEP is working with Transco to issue the Clean Water Act Section 401 WQC approval, and with zero pushback from activists or press coverage. Transco’s July 1, 2016 letter to FERC documented that:

Transco submitted its FWWIP application in July 2015 and continues to work with NJDEP to resolve outstanding issues.

Just in case some anti-pipeline people out there still believe that DEP is their friend, a few facts:

1. Governor Christie’s Energy Master Plan supports significant expansion of gas infrastructure – pipelines and power plants. DEP answers to the Governor.

2. The DEP and the BPU approved the SJG Pinelands Pipeline, the SRL pipeline, and all others that I am aware of. Although by law BPU is an independent regulatory commission, the BPU effectively reports to the Governor.

3. DEP would never contradict the Governor and a sister State Agency.

4. DEP Commissioner Bob Martin is a former corporate energy consultant who is very pro energy industry and pro-gas.

5. DEP Commissioner Martin takes the position – incorrectly – that FERC preempts DEP environmental permitting.

In recent testimony to the Legislature, Martin said:

They (FERC) are the overall controlling entity on it at the end of the day. They could over-ride anything we could even do from the State of New Jersey. […]

We can not fight that .. If we did reject a pipeline it would end up in court very quickly.

6. Martin’s incorrect view on preemption is echoed by Democratic lawmakers, including Assemblwoman Liz Muoio, who works closely with the PennEast activists.

At a recent legislative hearing, Muoio whined about NJ’s powerlessness:

… there is little we can do as a State to stop them [FERC].

How could Muoio, who works closely withPennEast opponents, possible have that false legal view?

Who is whispering those lies in her ears? (Answer: Dale Florio).

Who has failed to educate her – and fellow activists, the press, and the public – on the law of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act? (Answer: Rethink NJ, Cronheim and Company).

7. Lastly, DEP has been a rubber stamp and cheerleader for pipelines.

If you doubt that, just recall their performance before the Pinelands Commission in support, see:

The only way DEP does the right thing is in response to huge political pressure mounted by pipeline opponents.

That has not happened –

These are facts – yet Ms. Cronheim wants to APPLAUD this?

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