July 18, 2017

Rep. Watson Coleman to NJ Enviro Leaders: “House Republicans Damaging Legislation is Hidden in Plain Sight”

On Conference Call Highlights H.R. 2910 & H.R. 2338 and reveals proposed Amendments

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman reminded close to a dozen New Jersey leaders that headlines and trending news stories cannot distract from damaging legislation being proposed by House Republicans.

“This week my colleagues and I will vote on H.R. 2883 and H.R. 2910, two unnecessary and damaging bills that are solutions in search of a problem,” Watson Coleman said. “All over America, FERC is rubber-stamping projects with very little regard for public interest, environmental impact or safety. These bills would give them further authority to do so with limited input from other agencies. We’ve seen this before – without state input, citizens are in danger. New Jersey is an example.”

Last month, Watson Coleman applauded New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to deny PennEast’s two permits needed to complete its application for approval. Watson Coleman also re-introduced the SAFER Pipline Act – legislation that would reform the gas pipeline approval process undertaken by the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC). Watson Coleman offered two amendments to H.R. 2910 – one that would require advance permission from property owners for an aerial/remote survey to be accepted and another that would require that FERC find it in the public interest before allowing a holder of public convenience to exercise eminent domain. However, House Republicans refused to allow votes on these amendments on the floor.

“I know we are overwhelmed with coverage on healthcare and this Administration’s collusion with Russia, and the continual attacks on our democracy from the White House, but I raise this issue to you all and other because you need to know that further damage is being done in plain sight,” Watson Coleman said on the call.

Participants in the conference call included representatives from Sierra Club, NJ Conservation Foundation, League of Conservation Voters, Halt Penn East, Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association among others.

“With Washington trying to take us backwards on energy policies, the journey to a clean energy future depends upon leadership from the states,” said Tom Gilbert, campaign director for Rethink Energy NJ. “We appreciate that Rep. Watson Coleman, in the face of the chaos that engulfs Washington, is working to stop these damaging policies that attempt to undermine important protections for our land, air and water here in New Jersey and nationwide.”

Rep. Watson Coleman is a member of the House of Representatives Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition whose purpose is to advance policies that promote clean energy technology innovation and domestic manufacturing, develop renewable energy resources, and create green collar jobs throughout the product supply-chain and promote legislative action to help arrest global warming and protect our nation’s clean air, water and natural environment.