New Jersey environmentalists seek to slowly starve New Jerseyans of the fossil fuel energy they need and want. First, the so-called New Jersey Pinelands Commission rejected a proposed 22 mile natural gas pipeline through the “ecologically fragile” Pinelands region in the southern part of the state, with four former governors joining environmentalists in opposition. Then a liquid petroleum pipeline proposed for the Northern part of NJ ran into vehement opposition. Now, a proposed natural gas pipeline in the Western part faces stiff opposition. In all three cases, the NJ Sierra Club is leading the charge against.
The Western pipeline, which would pass through parts of my county of Hunterdon, was the subject of a my letter, The rights of fossil fuel producers, published in the Hunterdon County Democrat on 8/25/14:
To the editor:
A recent Hunterdon County Democrat article on PennEast Pipeline’s proposed natural gas pipeline in Hunterdon cited the Sierra Club’s “almost immediate opposition” to the pipeline. The article quoted Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel as labeling the pipeline “an ugly scar through the land,” and reported that “Tittel said the pipeline will hurt the environment by promoting fracking in Pennsylvania, promoting the use of fossil fuels and discouraging the transition to renewable energies.”
What “environment” is meant here? Human beings survive and thrive by altering the natural environment by productive work so as to transform raw nature into a hospitable, livable human environment featuring technologies like central heating and cooling, electric lighting, water purification and delivery systems, modern transportation, clean healthcare facilities, and advanced agriculture, among much else.Fossil fuel producers, including frackers and pipeline companies, are and have been instrumental in providing most of the clean, affordable, reliable, plentiful energy that drives our advanced, flourishing lifestyles.
Ideologically, environmentalism is not concerned with a livable human environment, but with preserving raw nature — consistent environmentalists even oppose wind and solar [and the transmissions lines needed to carry “renewable”-generated electricity]. That’s why when environmentalists look at amazing, human life-promoting industrial technologies like “fracking” and pipelines, they see “an ugly scar through the land” rather than heroic human benefaction.
Some futuristic transition to so-called renewable energies may or may not be possible. But, as with all commercial endeavors, the need for the PennEast pipeline — which Tittel questioned — is properly determined by the market through the voluntary choices of consumers. Adding wind and solar to the power mix is fine if it is produced without government favors and without hampering competing forms of energy production.
The government’s proper job is to equally protect everyone’s fundamental moral right to freely produce, contract and trade. It has no business promoting or discouraging one form of energy or another. Environmentalists should not be allowed to use government force to violate the rights of fossil fuel producers to work, trade and compete for the consumer’s dollar in the energy market — and in the process progressively starve Americans of the vital energy provided by fossil fuels — while waiting for some distant transition to occur.
MICHAEL A. LAFERRARA
"Clean" Energy Subsidies vs. Oil Industry "Subsidies"