FAR HILLS, N.J., Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- PennEast's most recent claims of public benefit don't hold up to serious scrutiny, according to documents filed today by the Eastern Environmental Law Center (EELC) with the federal agency deciding whether to approve the project.
"PennEast's arguments are after-the-fact rationalizations for a project that isn't needed to meet existing or future need," said Jennifer Danis, senior attorney for EELC, which, together with Columbia University Environmental Law Clinic, made the filing within the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on behalf of New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJ Conservation) and Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (SBMWA).The filing included new research from gas market expert Skipping Stone that affirms recent comments and analysis from New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel - the consumer watchdog for utilities issues. Both experts conclude that there is no need for the PennEast pipeline and that costs to consumers could increase rather than decrease. "PennEast continues to claim public need for a pipeline that's really designed for private profit," said Tom Gilbert, campaign director of NJ Conservation and ReThink Energy NJ. "That does not justify damaging tax-payer preserved lands, polluting pristine waterways, or taking land from hundreds of homeowners through eminent domain."