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Pallone Urges Christie to Veto Proposed LNG Project Off of the New Jersey Coast

October 19, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to Governor Christie urging him to veto the ill-advised proposal to build an offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) port 24 miles off the coast of Long Branch, New Jersey. 

In his letter, Pallone wrote, “I ask that you use the authority vested to you under the Deepwater Port Act to veto this ill-advised project… The State of New Jersey should be promoting an energy policy that moves towards increased use of renewable energy sources that create jobs in America, and away from importing polluting fossil fuels from other countries.”

Governor Christie vetoed a similar proposed project in 2011, and in the letter Congressman Pallone asked the Governor to remain consistent in his opposition.

Congressman Pallone, who has fought against offshore oil and gas drilling throughout his career and worked successfully to end ocean dumping, submitted a statement at a public hearing in January expressing his opposition to the plan.  In his statement, he highlighted the potential dangers that the proposed LNG terminal poses to New Jersey's ocean and coastline, which are crucial economic engines for the state. 

The full text of the letter follows.

October 19, 2015

Governor Chris Christie

P.O. Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

Dear Governor Christie,

            I write today regarding the proposed Liberty Natural Gas offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) project planned for 24 miles off the coast of Long Branch, New Jersey.  I ask that you use the authority vested to you under the Deepwater Port Act to veto this ill-advised project.

A project strikingly similar to this one was proposed by Liberty Natural Gas in 2010.  The project was unnecessary then and it is unnecessary now.  In your letter to the Maritime Administration disapproving of the project you stated that “the environmental impacts could threaten the recent ocean water quality improvements the State has worked hard to achieve.”  I urge you remain consistent with your previous opposition to this project.  

            The State of New Jersey should be promoting an energy policy that moves towards increased use of renewable energy sources that create jobs in America, and away from importing polluting fossil fuels from other countries.  The Department of Interior recently finalized a plan to lease 343,833 acres off of the New Jersey coast for commercial wind energy development.  Energy development in the Atlantic Ocean should be focused on renewable resources, such as wind, and not polluting fossil fuels.

            Further, domestic natural gas production has been steadily increasing and is projected to continue to increase in the coming years.  It simply does not make sense to build a terminal to import natural gas into the United States, increasing our reliance on foreign fossil fuels and increasing carbon emissions stemming from transporting and re-gasifying the LNG.  Construction of this terminal will also be extremely damaging to our coastal environment, disturbing fish habitats and damaging marine life. 

            The law provides you the authority to put a stop to this project and I implore you to act upon that authority by formally disapproving of the project and standing by the position you took against the approval of this terminal in 2010.  Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

 

FRANK PALLONE, JR.

Member of Congress