From my Remarks at Cartaret Waterfront this morning...
At the kick-off of a wonderful Water Walk for Life
...I am honored to be here. This event highlights something that is quickly becoming one of the centerpieces of my campaign—a desire to block all pipeline development in the state and a desire, as governor, to work with governors nationwide to shape a renewable energy future. It is not the time to wait for Washington to come up with a national solution... The stakes are just too high, for our own generation and for the future of the earth, to let oil and gas companies, and their investors (and their politicians), determine our future.
I want to thank the Ramapough-Lenape Nation, Food & Water Watch, CAPP (Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines) NY & NJ, 350.org-NJ, Indian Point coalitions, Green Party/Essex, Resist SPECTRA-AIM, the Grafton Peace Pagoda, and especially Reverend Jun-san Yesuda for this import walk.
A few weeks ago I visited the Split Rock-Sweetwater Prayer Camp of the Ramapough-Lenape Nation. I spent a couple of hours just trying to listen to what Chief Perry, and 3 other men there, had to say. I wanted them to give me the ins and outs of the details of Pilgrim Pipelines. I wanted them to be able to show me exactly where the pipes would run and how it would impact their land. But instead, I quickly realized, sitting with them by the fire, that what I really needed that morning was to be asking the bigger questions.
What is it that makes life beautiful?
Is there anything more precious than the environment?
I was reminded, by these men, that Water/earth/sky is our tabernacle.
Water, earth and sky is the dwelling place for humans and the staging ground for the interaction between humans and all that is holy.
Pipelines, whether we are talking about Crude Oil Pipelines, or Gas Pipelines, are an assault on water, earth and sky. We know they are. We know that to continue the web of pipelines is to build a path toward world catastrophe.
What sort of a world do we want to build? Do we want that kind of a world, where profit is GOD, and where the planet and people are nothing? No. Absolutely not.
Instead, we want to build a world that is consistent with the beauty of what has been provided for us. We want to build a world that utilizes the gifts Creation readily, and non-violently, offers up to us in ways that allow those gifts to serve us and serve our neighbors and generations yet to come. We don’t need to assault the earth in order to receive energy. The sun, the wind, the water…they all provide.
This walk, that begins today, is a walk to draw awareness to the Pilgrim Pipelines, and to Spectra-AIM and to the rest of the web of pipelines and new compressors and “compressor enhancements” that are being proposed and/or approved all around this state.
I hope that the march leads the NJ community to rise up angrily as they see the assault, the unnecessary, backward assault, being waged on the earth and its people.
But you are being guided, on this march, by Reverend Jun, a woman whose pushback against the Powers That Be is not defined by anger, but rather by grace. You are being guided by the “Walks Far Woman” (as the Lakota call her). You are being guided by a woman who chants “one earth, one sky, entirely at peace.” You are being guided by a woman who does not let hearts and minds get restricted by anger and defeat, but, instead, is, in herself, renewable energy. She, in her walking, in her praying, in her connections with people formed over miles and miles and thousands of miles, shows the resilience of beauty.
I hope that this walk is both a walk against Pilgrim Pipelines but that it is also a walk for a renewable energy future. I hope it is a walk where dreams for a day where a new energy infrastructure is imagined, and maybe even developed. May it be that one day we can replace the map that shows 1500 miles of pipeline running all over our small state, with, instead, 1500 renewable energy projects that provide for the needs of the people and that simultaneously highlight the beauty of the earth.
Thank you very much.