Pipeline’s “Universal Opposition” demonstrates systemic failure

The Saint ReportEnvironmental Planning, Land Use Campaigns, Politicians and Planning

By Patrick Fox, CEO

There is no reason for any project, regardless of how controversial it is, to have universal opposition. Pipelines, like quarries, mines, power plants, casinos, landfills and a host of other land uses, are very controversial because no one wants to live near one. That’s a fact that everyone knows going in. This is a systemic failure brought about by a development team that was not prepared, ill-equipped or in denial. On projects like these, you need to start early and identify, build and leverage support from wherever you can get it. When the abutters are passionately opposed, move to the other side of town to get support. Work with business groups, associations, trade unions, job seekers and others who stand to benefit ideologically or economically. While the opposition have fear and passion to draw upon, demonstrating support is significantly harder but if you walk into a fight like this without doing anything to show officials you have some support, you are walking in front of a firing squad and wasting vast sums of time and money needlessly. It never has to be this way.


MAHWAH – A controversial proposal to pipe 400,000 barrels across protected watersheds in North Jersey every day suffered a big setback last week.

That’s because two companies that the owner of the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline told the New York Department of Environmental Conservation that it would use to build pumps at their terminals have disavowed the project.

“Given the almost universal opposition of communities along the pipeline route, it is extremely unlikely that the Pilgrim Pipeline proposal will move forward,” one of the companies, Global Partners of Albany, N.Y., wrote to the New York DEC. “Regardless, Global has no involvement in that proposal.”