Thursday, September 19, 2019

With NJ Governor’s Murphy’s Home in the Background, Hundreds of Citizens Rallied Against Fossil Fuels

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Watch WATERSPIRIT's speech.

Hundreds of citizens urged Governor Murphy to give the Williams/NESE project the thumbs down, while Captain Bill Schultz of the Raritan Riverkeeper rallies from the water in the background

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, hundreds of citizens, elected officials, and representatives from civic and environmental organizations gathered by land and sea along the Navesink River in Marine Park, Red Bank, NJ, to call on NJ Governor Murphy to permanently deny all permits for the proposed Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Pipeline.  Citizens signed petitions, made and held signs, and chanted “Say No to NESE” and “NESE is messy.”

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is obligated to make a final decision on the proposed offshore pipeline section of the project by September 25, 2019, which puts the Murphy Administration’s green energy agenda to the test.  At today’s press conference and rally, elected officials, citizens, and organizations urged that the decision to deny the permits be permanent, with no allowance to the company to reapply.

Captain Bill Schultz on the Raritan Riverkeeper

According to the event’s lead organizers, Clean Ocean Action, NESE is the proposed unnecessary, dirty, and environmentally destructive project designed to bring fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York City.  The NJDEP denied permits this past June; however, the type of denial allowed Williams Transco to reapply, which they did. To date, the public comments on the project submitted for the record and reviewed by Clean Ocean Action shows nearly 4000 comments opposing the NESE Project, and four comments in favor of the project.

 Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action said, “We are here overlooking the governor’s home – which has a remarkable view of our waterways – because he faces a critical decision: whether or not to approve the NESE project. Fortunately, this has to be one of the easiest decisions he has to make. It’s a lose, lose, lose project for our environment, our economy and our future, and has no benefit for New Jersey. The answer based on science, facts and law on whether this project should be approved is ‘no.’”

Mayor Menna of Red Bank speaking at the press conference against the NESE project

"The stewardship of our resources is a moral imperative for our time. We have had enough of corporations dumping on our environment. Keep us focused. Keep all elected officials informed. We say no to NESE. Let's make NJ Governor Murphy hear us," exclaimed Red Bank Mayor, Pasquale Menna.

Councilperson Kate Triggiano of Red Bank speaking at the press conference against NESE

"We as elected officials in Atlantic Highlands stand with all of you, and our town is with you. We need clean energy, which brings multiple jobs and opportunities. No fracking. No pipelines," stated Red Bank Councilperson Kate Triggiano at the press conference.

Citizens holding signs rally together against the NESE Pipeline with Governor Murphy’s home in the background
Monmouth County Freeholder Gerry Scharffenberger

Monmouth County Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger said, "On behalf of the Monmouth County Freeholders, we oppose this pipeline. Monmouth County is dependent on tourism. This year was a banner year. We don't see the value of this project based on the risks. We are united against this project and hope NJ Governor Murphy will not approve this project, which threatens our coastal economy."

Councilperson Lori Hohenleitner, Atlantic Highlands
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, District 16 at the Rally against the NESE Pipeline
“We need Governor Murphy to say no to this project. We need him to stand up and declare a moratorium on all fossil fuel projects," Matt Smith of Food and Water Watch exclaimed as the crowd chanted “Stop NESE Now!", "Moratorium Now!" and "Say No to NESE!"

"Everything we do as humans has an impact. When we make decisions, we have to look at the impacts those decisions will have on everything. The consequences of the NESE project are not found in one place. They will be found in the air, land, and water, and in Franklin, NJ, Raritan Bay, and the ocean. When we make a decision, we need a really good reason to go forward. There is one good thing about this project: this is an easy 'no.' There is no reason for the NESE project," stated Greg Remaud of NY/NJ Baykeeper.

Elected officials, groups and citizens rallied by land and sea to stop the NESE pipeline

"What we do here and going forward will determine if the planet will be safe and healthy for generations to come. We are calling on the governor to stand up for the people and our planet and say no to NESE," said Jeff Tittel of the NJ Sierra Club.

Cindy Zipf of Clean Ocean Action with Linda Powell who read a statement from Mayor Kramer, Franklin Township in front of WATERSPIRIT's "No to NESE Once and For All" sign

"The health effects of this entire project are a public health outrage.  We don't need the project and don’t have to tolerate polluted air, land, and water. This project is the direct opposite of Governor Murphy's campaign promises. Approving this project would be an epic failure and is not in the interest of the public good, land, and the environment," advised Jean-Marie Donohue of Waterspirit.

Rally attendees advocate to protect our environment for this generation as well as generations to follow – say no to NESE!

Central Jersey Environmental Defenders, Central Jersey Safe Energy Coalition, Clean Ocean Action, Clean Water Action, Environment New Jersey, Food and Water Watch, Indivisible Bayshore, J.T. White Clammers, Canyon Pass,  League of Women Voters of New Jersey, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, New Jersey Friends of Clearwater, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, ReThink Energy NJ, The Watershed Institute, and Waterspirit


NESE is an unnecessary, dirty, and environmentally destructive project designed to bring fracked natural/methane gas from Pennsylvania to New York City. To do so, Williams and their subsidiary Transco have sought permits to build both a massive new compressor station in Franklin Township and a 23.4-mile offshore pipeline through the Raritan Bay. The compressor station is being built next to an active quarry where blasting regularly occurs. Reports indicate that the compressor station will emit millions of tons of harmful pollutants annually into the air we breathe. Permits for these facilities are being evaluated separately by the NJDEP and a decision is expected in the fall. The nearly 24-mile pipeline, called the Raritan Loop, will rip Raritan Bay in half and continue all the way to the ocean spewing nearly a million tons of toxin muck and drilling mud into the waterways in which we swim and fish.  If approved, NESE will also rollback over 35 years of environmental progress for our waterways.