For Immediate Release
October 16, 2019
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement that he will refuse to issue pipeline permits to the Penn East pipeline project:
“New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s announcement last week that his administration will refuse to issue permits to the Penn East pipeline project is troubling news for the region’s economy and its environment and is, at best, legally questionable. The project would have served to deliver gas to thousands of homes and businesses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, helped keep energy prices low for the entire region and would have supported energy, manufacturing and supply chain jobs throughout Pennsylvania. The Governor’s statement makes clear this decision was not made on the basis of the project’s ability to comply with environmental regulations, but in the pursuit of an aspirational energy policy goal of 100 percent renewable energy decades into the future. The governor has also pointed to a lower court’s decision that effectively grants states unilateral veto power over interstate projects that had already received federal approval – a decision that, to be clear, has not been affirmed by appeals courts and involves a matter still in litigation.
“At a time when mid-Atlantic and northeast states are engaging in what we had hoped would be productive discussions on moving forward on energy policy, it is clear this region and this country need more of Pennsylvania’s abundant and clean-burning energy, not less. It is our hope that as the legal process surrounding this and other infrastructure projects plays out, the long-standing precedent involved with permitting interstate projects is restored. This type of political gamesmanship on infrastructure projects also reinforces the need for the Trump administration’s recent proposals to limit political interference by states for these vital projects. Pennsylvania businesses, consumers, manufacturers and energy producers should not be forced to pay the costs of other states’ misguided approaches to energy and environmental policy.”
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.