Christie’s Oily Fingerprints Revealed in Hunterton County

10 Jan

Via New York Times: As it happens, those who dust for the governor’s fingerprints have found another hardball example in southern New Jersey. The South Jersey Gas Company wants to thread a 22-mile-long pipeline through the heart of the Pinelands, a 1.1-million-acre protected expanse of scrub pines, gnarly oaks and yellow-brown river deltas.

The Pinelands Commission, a state agency, oversees this reserve, which includes a trillion-gallon aquifer that provides freshwater to residents. Board members traditionally have treated proposals to trespass into this reserve with deep skepticism.

But the Christie administration badly wants this pipeline, and has crafted a highly unusual agreement. The gas company has offered to pay $8 million to the commission. The commission staff members, who are state employees, have blessed the project. And the law firm of the governor’s good friend David Samson — the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — is representing the power plant that would receive the gas.

Fighting a Pipeline, but Feeling and Fearing Christie’s Influence

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