To the Editor:
I read May 31 that layoff notices are starting to come out for employees of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station. This has been in the works for some time; it's no surprise that the 49-year-old plant will close in 2019. Now, it becomes necessary to address the B.L. England Generating Station (BLE) in Upper Township.
The state's 2011 Energy Master Plan and the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) required that BLE stop burning coal. BLE's owner has proposed building a gas-fired plant at the site. This would provide the baseload electricity needed to supplement any wind or solar facilities, and greatly reduce emissions in the process.
To convert BLE to gas, the South Jersey Gas Cape Atlantic Reliability Project is needed. This pipeline project is critical to providing the gas that will allow BLE to be converted. Granted, the pipeline will run through the Pinelands. But, it will follow Routes 49 and 50. It will be within the highway right-of-way. It won't require any trees to be taken down. And, when it's complete and buried, there will be virtually no evidence it's there.
The Pinelands Commission has approved this route several times, although the special interest groups continue to use their power to try to block it. Now, they have a friend with Gov. Murphy, and who knows what roadblocks will appear.
Unfortunately for the citizens of Cape May County, these special interests have been doing their utmost to kill this project for years. It's time the politicians in this state do the "common sense" thing and get the pipeline built. We need it for energy security and to provide a reliable gas supply for Cape May County homes and industries.