Pinelands Protectors Hold Protest March To Stop Pipeline
Protests Mount As Pinelands Commission Scheduled to Meet on February 10
Today, in brisk 20 degree wind chill weather, over 100 Pinelands defenders held a protest march along the route of the proposed South Jersey Gas (SJG) pipeline through the Pinelands.
The march – with support from the Bus for Progress and a lengthy car caravan – began at the BL England power plant – slated to receive gas from the pipeline –
After a rally by the plant, the group moved to Tuckahoe.
The event culminated in a Pinelands forest tour to observe sensitive natural resources that would be impacted by the pipeline – in Peaslee Wildlife Management Area.
The event was held after over 100 people were forced to stand in the cold rain last week outside of a Pinelands Commission meeting on the pipeline in Browns Mills, see:
Bill [Wolfe], the gentleman with the loud voice, tells me that it is getting close to the point where more direct action, such as creating a Pinelands version of Standing Rock, may be necessary. “They can’t vote on it today. But the next meeting in February, they’re going to approve it, guaranteed. The only thing we have left is direct action and civil disobedience…. The only other thing we have is lawsuits.”
As a result of public outcry, the Pinelands Commission was forced to extend the public comment period until February 8, in a desperate attempt to fix major legal flaws related to denying over 100 people an opportunity to comment on the pipeline. As we wrote, that extension is a sham that does not resolve fatal flaws.
The Commission next meets on February 10 at the Commission’s headquarters – they legally could vote to approve the pipeline at that meeting. Let’s hope that protesters jam that meeting.
Clearly, opposition is growing – and growing more aggressive.
Even the mainstream press recognizes this mounting frustration – see the Philadelphia Inquirer story on today’s march:
And the Press of Atlantic City emphasized the passion:
Some photos of today’s event: