On February 24, the Pinelands Commission voted to approve the South Jersey Gas Pinelands Pipeline. The contentious 22-mile pipeline project will run from Millville to the B. L. England Generating Station in Upper Township, traversing through the federally protected New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve. The new pipeline will add to New Jersey’s already robust natural gas infrastructure.

The Natural Gas sub-sector in the United States consists of 514,000 natural gas production and condensate wells, 304,000 miles of transmission pipeline, and 1.2 million miles of distribution pipelines. New Jersey is the 10th highest consumer of natural gas in the US, using it primarily for electric power generation and heating. Seventy-five percent of homes in the state use natural gas for heating.

New Jersey has five interstate pipelines that are the primary suppliers of natural gas from the Gulf to the northeastern US. Untapped natural gas reserves in nearby states have created an additional product source for New Jersey and the East Coast, leading to increased natural gas infrastructure in the State. This includes two new electricity generating stations fueled by natural gas, including the Newark Energy Center and Woodbridge Energy Center.

The proposed Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines pose little impact to New Jersey due to the State’s robust, independent infrastructure and the lack of credible threats from anarchist or environmental extremist groups.

The Dakota Access Pipeline will transport crude oil from the Bakken shale oil fields in northwest North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois, where it will travel to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico and the Midwest. The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed project awaiting US State Department approval, which will provide a more direct route to transport crude oil from Alberta to Nebraska.