Home > Uncategorized > Murphy DEP Admits Commitment To Continued Reliance On And Expansion of Fossil Fuels

Murphy DEP Admits Commitment To Continued Reliance On And Expansion of Fossil Fuels

DEP Commissioner La Tourette Dismisses Climate Activists At NJ BIA Climate Denial Conference

A Sister Soulja Moment


(Photo: NJ DEP Commissioner LaTourette (DEP website))

For years, we’ve been trying to warn people that:

1) the Murphy administration’s Energy Master Plan explicitly and actively promotes continued expansion and long term reliance on fossil fuels;

2) the Murphy DEP has done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and they have no intention of doing so in upcoming climate PACT regulations; and

3) DEP Commissioner LaTourette is a dangerous former corporate and fossil industry lawyer who relies on identity politics for cover. (A human Trojan Horse)

Those warnings have been ignored by NJ climate activists and media, who have instead praised and cheerlead for the Murphy climate record.

Incredibly, we now have the Murphy DEP Commissioner’s own words that confirm our criticisms.

I buried this important quote in my prior post, which focused on the NJ business community’s promotion of the fossil fuels’ industry climate denial propaganda campaign now under investigation by Congress.

So, here is the Murphy DEP Commissioner LaTourette’s own words:

No immediate end to fossil-fuel use

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said he has told advocates pushing to shut down all fossil fuel projects that that is not going to happen anytime soon.

“We need carbon-based fuels to power our economy,’’ LaTourette said. “It is why we don’t see the DEP responding to calls for a fossil fuel moratorium.’’

There is so much that is so wrong with this quote:

1. NJ Spotlight failed to report on a previous DEP rejection of a petition for rulemaking filed by climate activist. For details, see:

2.  Instead of reporting on this very bad and unprecedented DEP decision on the merits when it occurred, NJ Spotlight allowed DEP Commissioner LaTourette, weeks later,  to instead attack climate activists before an audience of climate deniers in the NJ business community.

That is gross cowardice.

It would be like LaTourette speaking before a Christian Nation conference to oppose and dismiss demands by gay rights activists.

What LaTourette did is a classic political tactic now known as a Sister Soulja Moment, whereby political hacks intentionally discredit and marginalize activists as unrealistic “radicals” in order to appear reasonable.

3. But DEP Commissioner LaTourette not only attacked climate activist before a climate denial audience, he factually mis-represented their petition to make them appear radical, unrealistic, and not credible.

Specifically, the climate activists petitioned DEP to : a) stop approving expansion of fossil infrastructure ;and b) stop approvals of pending permit applications for expansion of fossil infrastructure.

Commissioner LaTourette twisted and misrepresented a demand to stop expansion, to a “shut down all fossil fuel projects”.

Obviously, there is a HUGE difference between stopping the expansion of fossil infrastructure and shutting down all current fossil fuel projects.

LaTourette and NJ Spotlight did not accidentally conflate these two issues – they basically misrepresented and lied about them.

4. Here are fossil infrastructure expansion projects the Murphy DEP has already approved and/or are pending projects they have effectively now embraced: (source: petition)

In the last three years, the following projects have been built:

  • Garden State Expansion Project (Bordentown, Chesterfield)
  • Gateway Expansion Project (aka Roseland Compressor Station) (Roseland andPaterson)
  • Rivervale South to Market (Bergen, Hudson Counties and Meadowlands)
  • Lambertville East Expansion (Lambertville)
  • Sewaren 7 PSE&G gas-fired power plant (Woodbridge)

The following major fossil fuel projects are currently in the pipeline and/or pending DEP review:

Pipeline and compressor projects:

  • PennEast Pipeline. On June 29, 2021, the US Supreme Court reversed a Third Circuit ruling and allowed fossil fuel developers to seize state land for this massive pipeline. (Note: recently allegedly cancelled, but no binding decision or documentation)
  • Northeast Supply Enhancement (aka NESE) (Somerset and Middlesex Counties and the Raritan Bay). While New York and New Jersey denied permits for this project last year, Williams/Transco is actively seeking to revive the project and is asking for a two-year extension of their federal approval.
  • Southern Reliability Link (Pinelands). This project remains under construction despite massive leaks and cost overruns.
  • South Jersey Gas pipeline. Even though its original purpose no longer exists, SJG is exploring other options.
  • Expansion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, including expanded/new compressor stations in Wantage and New Milford. (Considered to be 2 projects)
  • Regional Energy Access Pipeline with 3 compressor stations

Gas-fired power plant projects:

  • Phoenix Energy Center (aka Highlands Power Plant) (Holland Township)
  • Keasbey Energy Center (Woodbridge)
  • NJ Transit Meadowlands Power Plant (Kearney). Despite agreeing to rethink the project to build a 140 MW gas-fired power plant and use renewable energy, it is unclear how much renewable energy technology will be used in this project.
  • PVSC power plant (Newark). Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission plans to build an 84 MW gas power plant for operating power when commercial power is not available.

Liquified Natural Gas

• In December 2020, the NJ, PA, DE and Federal members of the Delaware River Basin Commission voted to approve a liquid natural gas (LNG) export port at Gibbstown, NJ. DEP already issued permits for this project

NJ Spotlight and NJ climate activists have allowed LaTourette to get away with this gross abuse.

But we told you so, and for years now.

We’re not happy about being right about this disgusting policy and politics of the Murphy Administration.

And we’re disgusted by the failure by media and activists to tell the truth.

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