Tag Archive: Pipeline

It’s Not What You Think

BY DECIMINYAN At today’s rally against the PennEast pipeline, New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel delivered impassioned remarks on why the pipeline should be rejected. And as he put it, “it’s not what you think.” It’s not about a…
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If Frogs Could Only Vote

Pine barrens tree frog Over the past 30 years, the Republican Party has been the epitome of hypocrisy, and the Burlington County GOP is no exception. Just ask any frog in the Pinelands Preserve.

The Pine Barrens tree frog is one of the many species of animals and plants whose only home is within that South Jersey preserve. If a disaster happens in that ecosystem, entire species may be lost forever.

So what does the Republican-controlled Burlington County Freeholder Board have to do with frogs? And why are they being hypocrites?

With UPDATE: NJ Senate revotes on much-opposed pro-Pipeline Barr’s nomination, passes it

UPDATE 2:34pm: Gannett reporter Michael Symons reports the vote – though announced at 22-16, was recorded 21-17 with Sen. Joe Pennacchio switching from No to Yes and Sen. Sweeney added as a Yes vote.

UPDATE 2:25pm: Revote on Barr nomination. Pro-pipeline Barr gets 22 votes. He is approved with much jeering from the gallery. Reporter Melissa Hayes (The Record) reports several environmental advocates have been removed from the room.

Deciminyan has been live-Tweeting today’s Senate session, part of which was devoted to the nomination of Robert Barr to the Pinelands Commission by Gov. Christie. Barr is widely seen – not only by environmentalists but also by former governors of both parties, Florio and Byrne, Kean and Whitman – as a poor choice, Christie’s attempt to strategically swing a pro-pipeline vote, risking the environmentally sensitive Pinelands, a New Jersey treasure.

“This appointment is really designed to stack the deck,” said Sen. Bob Smith today. Christie proposed Barr to replace Robert Jackson, a dissenting vote when the Commission deadlocked on the question more than a year ago. Barr works for state senator Jeff Van Drew, a proponent of the pipeline. Sen. Nia Gill spoke passionately in defense of the Pinelands. And Senator Smith’s remarks urging rejection of Barr was met by a huge cheer from the gallery, with Senate President Steve Sweeney visibly disturbed at the reaction.  

Norcross and Sires – again, these two – vote with Republicans on KeystoneXL

Here’s the list of Democrats who voted with the Republicans today to approve the $5.4 Billion Keystone XL pipeline. Two of the 29 are from New Jersey; Donald Norcross (NJ-1) and Albio Sires (NJ-8). House vote was 270-152, on a bill identical to one passed by the Senate in late January.

If you want to say anything to them about it, you can use Twitter. Tweet to:



Neither has posted on this vote; both know it wouldn’t be their best play (Norcross’ Twitter account is inactive since Jan. 21).

Oddly enough, the tweets at the top of both congressmen’s accounts are about jobs; Sires here (from today) and Norcross here (pinned form Oct. 22, 2014).

President Obama will have 10 days to issue a veto, which he’s very likely to do. Speaker John Boehner says the president is “standing with a bunch of left-fringe extremists and anarchists. (Watch). Norcross and Sires are standing with Boehner and the Republicans.  

Watch: Menendez talks Keystone XL pipeline on Senate floor

Here’s video of Bob Menendez on the Senate floor a short time ago, speaking against the Keystone XL pipeline, and in support for Sen. Edward Markey’s amendment to ban the export of all oil shipped through the pipeline – an alteration to the bill his office says would make it serve American consumers, rather than Big Oil. Senate Dems have been trying today to add amendments to the legislation that would greenlight the pipeline, to make it serve this country better. That is, instead of what is now;  a too-big environmental risk, which won’t improve this country’s energy needs or job creation.

Cory Booker also opposes. NJ House reps Donald Norcross and Albio Sires made news in November breaking with their caucus to support building the pipeline. Star-Ledger’s unscientific reader poll posted a few days ago, is running about 54-45% against the pipeline. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released yesterday shows more clearly American trepidation, showing 61% of respondents favor a full review of the project to make sure it’s actually in this country’s best interest.

Latest Christie Defector – Renna Married to Gas Pipeline Exec


According to this article by Matt Friedman (my latest journalist crush) which was tweeted tonite by Senator Linda Stender, Christina Genovese Renna, who had just resigned this weekend worked in Christie’s Administration is married to an executive at the parent company of the pipeline company that tried unsuccessfully to force thru the Pipeline in the Pinelands.  

Was Christie doing a little diversion tonite on the radio so we wouldn’t see this story? “Look over here, I’m talking about Bridgegate”.

It looked like an abuse of power, but now there appears to be a clear conflict of interest in the Pinelands story.  This information may be why Renna decided to bail. She may have known the story was about to hit the news and it was already known that the Christie Admin had pressured the Commission to approve the pipeline that would have directly benefited her husband’s company.

I wonder how many confilicts of interest were involved in the pushing of the Pipeline thru the Highlands in the North, after Christie weakened the Highlands Commission….