Watson Coleman, Malinowski Call on Biden Administration to Reverse its Stance Supporting PennEast Pipeline
Today, Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman and Tom Malinowski issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court defending PennEast’s ability to seize land owned by New Jersey for pipeline construction.
“We are disappointed that the U.S. Department of Justice has submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in which it defends the PennEast Pipeline Company’s efforts to exercise eminent domain to seize public lands. We agree with the State of New Jersey – and the 2019 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit – that the Eleventh Amendment expressly bars private companies, like PennEast, from condemning state-owned land for their own private use. New Jerseyans should not have to live in fear that their land will be taken and irrevocably altered to make way for a pipeline project that our state doesn’t want or need.
“Over the past several years, we have met with landowners who live up and down the proposed pipeline route and have seen firsthand the farms it would ruin, the water it would pollute, and way of life it would destroy. As policymakers, we have been active and steadfast in our opposition to its construction, and we will continue to pursue legislative and regulatory remedies to protect landowners in New Jersey should the Supreme Court ultimately rule in an unfavorable manner later this year.
“Whatever its views on the legal issues raised by this case, we urge the administration to stand with our constituents, with New Jersey, and with its stated commitment to environmental protection in opposing this unnecessary pipeline.”