The Sierra Club is troubled by the Obama Administration’s support of the Susquehanna-Roseland project. The transmission line will be part of a pilot program to fast-track federal permitting on major power line projects. However, the unnecessary Susquehanna-Roseland line will bring dirty coal power into New Jersey while cutting across our public lands. The project is being used by PSE&G to increase exports of cleaner energy produced in state to New York City, where they can charge higher rates.

The president is wrong. The Susquehanna-Roseland project is not about renewable energy and will not create long-term jobs. The Susquehanna-Roseland line undermines green energy jobs as we invest in antiquated technology instead of a smart grid, energy efficiency and demand response programs.

President Obama is moving us in the wrong direction on energy issues. This is the third disappointment in the past two months. First, the approval of the Keystone pipeline to carry tar sands oil across the country, then scrapping the smog rule, and now promoting the expanded exportation of coal-fired energy through this pilot program and the Susquehanna-Roseland line.

The Susquehanna-Roseland line is unnecessary. Energy demand has dropped significantly and energy efficiency programs, local renewable generation, and grid reliability have increased in New Jersey. We do not need the power line and investing in clean energy programs in New Jersey would create many more jobs than shipping our money to Pennsylvania for dirty coal.

The National Park Service is currently reviewing the environmental impacts of the project as it crosses our federal public lands at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Middle Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, and the Appalachian Trail. This new pilot program could jeopardize the NPS environmental review and put our public lands at risk. The NPS review could ultimately dramatically alter the route of the line or determine that the project is not needed at all under the “No Build” alternative and an expedited review under this pilot program would interfere with that process. The NPS review must not be rushed. They are examining eight alternatives, including three that would move the project entirely outside of the Delaware Water Gap.