McKeon Statement Denouncing Pilgrim Pipeline Proposal

Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee Vice-Chair John F. McKeon (D-Essex/Morris) issued the following statement Monday on the proposal for the Pilgrim Pipeline, a 178-mile oil pipeline that would cross 30 towns, including Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, East Hanover, Florham Park, Livingston and Madison:

“The very notion of running Bakken shale crude oil – one of the most flammable fuels in the world – through the backyards of New Jersey residents is entirely irresponsible. When we also consider that the Pilgrim Pipeline would go through the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to numerous plants and animals, and the Highlands, which supply drinking water for more than two-thirds of New Jersey’s population, it’s easy to see why strong bipartisan opposition to this plan exists.

“The temporary construction jobs this will create are no match for the risk of long-term pollution, tarnished property values and danger to the public welfare caused by a pipeline shipping fracked oil that won’t even benefit New Jersey residents. There’s no going back after the damage of an explosion or an oil spill. There’s no going back once wetlands have been destroyed. There’s no going back after the water supply is poisoned and the soil is contaminated.

“Protecting New Jersey families must always be the first priority of legislators in our state. This plan inherently entails a number of potential hazards both to people and the environment, and as such, it is imperative that we remain steadfast in our commitment to stand against it.”