Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Critics Accuse Christie of Trying to Remake Pinelands Panel in His Own Image

Gov. Chris Christie yesterday nominated two new members of the Pinelands Commission, a move that some environmentalists believe could more closely align the agency with the administration's policies.

Critics Accuse Christie of Trying to Remake Pinelands Panel in His Own Image

Gov. Chris Christie yesterday nominated two new members of the Pinelands Commission, a move that some environmentalists believe could more closely align the agency with the administration’s policies.

The nominations of two new public members would, if approved, replace two Pinelands commissioners who voted against a controversial 22-mile natural gas pipeline through the heart of the more than 1-million-acre reserve to allow the former B.L. England Plant in Cape May to convert to that fuel.

The $90 million project would allow the plant, now owned by Rockland Capital, to remain open, providing needed electricity to a region where power supplies to ensure reliability of the grid are in question, according to proponents.

But critics had a different view.

“This is alarming,’’ said Carleton Montgomery, executive director of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, which opposed the project. “The only inference I can draw given the timing and what’s been happening is this is going to help Rockland Capital get their pipeline.’’

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