HALT APRIL 2020 NEWSLETTER
At the end of our recent monthly member meeting with Congressman Tom Malinowski, the Congressman sounded a very positive note. In the long fight against PennEast he stated, for the first time, we are in a much better position than they are. He cited:
- The NJ state win in the 3rd Circuit Court which said PennEast constitutionally does not have the right to claim eminent domain over NJ state owned land on the proposed route.
- The possibility that PennEast’s appeal of that case might not be accepted by the US Supreme Court. Even if it is accepted it could be rejected after being heard.
- The surprising fact that, for the first time, FERC pushed back on PennEast’s request for a two-phase project, instead of its typical rubber stamping of any PennEast request.
- Given the falling price of oil and gas, the natural gas distribution companies investing in PennEast will have trouble coming up with the funds to begin construction.
Unfortunately, PennEast keeps trying and, as they have the FERC certificate, they can decide to come back sometime in the future if their current plans don’t work out.
Nonetheless, given the difficult times we are currently living through with COVID-19, we should celebrate our good fortune, while staying vigilant. There will be no April member meeting. The next member meeting will be held on May 27 (it may be virtual).
Once the Supreme Court decision on whether to take the 3rd Circuit Case is announced we will put out the word. In addition, HALT’s “due process” case before the US Circuit Court of Appeals in the DC Circuit against FERC is still on the docket awaiting action once steps are cleared with the status of the 3rd Circuit Case.
HALT is announcing a change in our Board of Trustees and a change in our Chairman. Gary Brackenridge of Delaware Township has recently been added to the HALT Board.
Vince DiBianca, the current Board Chair, has asked to step down as Chairman. Vince founded HALT at the initial meeting at his home. Vince has worked tirelessly for the interests of the homeowners along the proposed PennEast route. Leading an all-volunteer, not for profit community organization against 5 multi-billion-dollar corporations is a challenging task. While HALT members attend our monthly meetings, read our newsletters and appreciate the organizations community and legal efforts, someone has to drive the organization on a regular basis. Vince has provided energy, intelligence, thoughtfulness, putting in long hours to serve our community. He’s worked with the CAP groups, Congressman Malinowski’s office and other environmental groups engaged in the fight against PennEast. We all owe him our gratitude.
Gary Brackenridge will be stepping up as the new Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Vince will serve on the Board as Chairman Emeritus, helping Gary and continuing to contribute as an active member.
NEXT MEMBER MEETING WILL BE WEDNESDAY, MAY 27
(it may be virtual)