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NJ Sierra Club Director: Fracking Bill’s About Clean Water, Not Politics

8-14-14

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have banned fracking waste from being trucked across the Garden State. New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that the fracking bill is not an issue about politics, it is about clean water.

Tittel wants that veto overridden, but the legislature has never once been able to override one of Christie’s vetoes. Tittel said that he thinks Christie made an error when he vetoed the bill and said it was unconstitutional. He said New Jersey has had a history of banning New York City from dumping garbage off New Jersey’s coast and other states from dumping sewage sludge in New Jersey’s water. He said all of that has been upheld so he thinks Christie was wrong about the fracking bill. He said that it is not an issue about politics, it is really about clean water. He said that he thinks the legislature, which overwhelmingly voted to pass the bill, was bipartisan. He said Christie vetoed this bill two years ago and it got more votes this time around, including more Republican votes.

“We believe by keeping to the issue of clean water and not making this a political issue, that the legislature will do the right thing and override the veto and protect New Jersey’s waterways from all of these toxic chemicals,” said Tittel.

There is a new natural gas pipeline that is being proposed, which would contain natural gas from fracking. Tittel said that there are a lot of concerns with that proposal, including that the fracking will add to water pollution in Pennsylvania. The other issue is that the pipeline itself would cause a destructive scar through the landscape going through streams and wetlands and the safety issues of when it gets close to houses, said Tittel. He said that this is the eighth pipeline that has either been proposed or under construction in New Jersey.

“We are actually concerned that all of these pipelines coming into New Jersey, bringing 10 times more gas than New Jersey needs, is going to end up being exported to Europe and the pipelines are going to end up at the coast and going off coast. We will get the pipeline and Europe will get the gas,” said Tittel.