BREAKING: Activists Disrupt Roseland Compressor Station Construction Site
Two arrested in civil disobedience action at site of controversial fossil fuel project
ROSELAND, NJ, May 22, 2019 – A group of local residents and environmentalists participated in a civil disobedience action in support of their campaign to stop the controversial plan to expand a fossil fuel infrastructure project in Roseland.
Seven of the participants walked onto the construction site and linked arms in the main driveway, peacefully blocking construction equipment from moving onto the site and disrupting work on the compressor station expansion. Police officers arrived, and two people — Ted Glick and Karlos Edmonds — were arrested.
The compressor station has been vigorously opposed by local residents, environmentalists and political leaders, who are concerned by the safety risks posed by the facility, along with its role in exacerbating local air pollution and further entrenching dependence on dirty fuels.
The activists are calling on Governor Phil Murphy to stop construction while the project is subject to legal appeals, and to declare an emergency moratorium on all 12 fossil fuel expansion projects currently proposed or moving forward in New Jersey.
“We should be arresting massive corporations like Williams that continue exploiting our health, safety and future for their own profit,” said Food & Water Watch senior organizer Matt Smith. “By approving dirty and dangerous fossil fuel expansion projects like the Roseland compressor expansion, Governor Murphy is siding with Oklahoma oil companies over the people of New Jersey. We need a moratorium now!”
“I am participating in this act of civil disobedience at the Roseland compressor station because this project is unnecessary and dangerous,” said Carol Gay, President, New Jersey State Industrial Union Council. “I am deeply concerned for the safety of the 16 communities and Montclair State University through which this 60-year-old pipeline passes. Governor Murphy has the power and the authority to stop this, and he must do so if he truly means to reach the renewable energy goals he promised. We have a serious climate crisis and urgent action is needed before it is too late.”
“This new compressor operation is supported by hardly anyone in the area. It is being unjustly imposed by the federal and state governments,” said Ted Glick, President of 350NJ. “For Governor Murphy to support this is hypocritical given his often-stated belief in the need to move to renewable energy in New Jersey. For us, action is the best antidote to imposed wrong, and a necessity for positive change to happen.”
“If built, this gas compressor station–like so many other harmful and dangerous fossil fuel projects across our state–would keep Roseland and New Jersey on a path that has no future,” said Karlos Edmonds, New Brunswick resident and organizer with the Extinction Rebellion NJ. “When governments aren’t doing their job to protect the people, the people armed by their vigilance have to step in and do it for them.”
“I am outraged that even though the Williams/Transco Gateway Expansion Project is under appeal by the town of Roseland and a coalition of several environmental groups, this company has been allowed by the Department of Environmental Protection to start construction,” said Bloomfield resident Jane Califf. “This project will push more gas through a 60-year old-pipeline that passes under Bloomfield where I live, 15 other towns and Montclair State University, threatening leaks, fires and explosions that put our health and safety in peril.”
“I’m risking arrest today to bring visibility to the continued expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in New Jersey, which is putting us on a crash course with climate catastrophe,” said Sid Madison, a resident of Piscataway. “The expansion of the Roseland compressor station is to ship more fracked gas to the region for other new polluting projects like the Meadowlands power plant – one of a dozen new fossil fuel projects that must be stopped. I’m taking action today to call on Governor Murphy to stop all new fossil fuel projects by declaring a climate emergency moratorium.”