Opinion: Don’t let PennEast fool N.J. into thinking gas pipelines are needed

Penneast pipeline, new jersey environment news

JEFFREY R. SHAFER / STAR-LEDGER – PennEast tells New Jersey energy consumers (in other words, everyone in the state) that we need a new gas pipeline.

What PennEast really wants to build is a financial scheme disguised as a pipeline.

PennEast seeks permission to build a pipeline through Mercer and Hunterdon counties. Homeowners and elected officials, Democratic and Republican, are far from convinced the pipeline is needed — and for good reason.

PennEast’s problem is that — thankfully — no one can just seize private land, cut down trees and construct a pipeline without approvals from a variety of state and federal agencies. The process is intended to provide property owners with the protection of the Constitution from taking property without a public benefit.

Jeffrey R. Shafer is a former undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury, and former vice chairman for Citigroup. Shafer’s house is on the route of the proposed PennEast pipeline.

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