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Letter to the Editor

From the Oct. 14, 2019 Edition of NJBIZ

TO THE EDITOR:

Regarding the piece titled “The economic power of green” by Richard Lawton (Sept. 30): This is about understanding the economics of our energy needs, not spreading fringe environmentalist talking points.
New Jersey sorely needs additional natural gas capacity; without taking action immediately and moving forward on projects like PennEast, we’ll face damaging moratoriums just like our neighbors in New York.

Those moratoriums have already hurt small businesses, curbed construction and development, and left residential customers facing higher prices and shortages.

Even worse, they have put a halt to affordable housing development in the affected areas, hurting some of our region’s most vulnerable residents. PennEast is not just about the jobs that will be created during construction or operation. New Jersey needs adequate natural gas supply to support our businesses, residential customers, and energy needs and provide redundancy in our energy system, and right now that supply is dangerously limited.

As operating engineers, we build all of New Jersey’s energy systems – from renewables like solar and wind to gas pipelines and transmission lines. We’ve upgraded our training facilities to help our members work on renewable infrastructure, and we certainly support moving toward a clean energy future. But we also know what our grid needs and what it will take to ensure a smooth transition to renewables without jeopardizing our economy or interrupting our lives. PennEast will protect our state from moratoriums, improve our economy, create jobs, and help take dirtier fuels like coal offline.

We need to look at this situation – and our energy future in general – holistically. Unfortunately, Richard Lawton and his organization would prefer to look at this in a vacuum that ignores the urgent economic need for PennEast. Let’s look at the facts, not traffic in misleading data or biased talking points: PennEast will be good for New Jersey.

Mark Longo
Director, Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative.

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