Friday, July 08, 2005

NH & NJ... DEM DERE FIGHTIN WORDS

FROM: OPINION JOURNAL'S-POLITICAL DIARY -- by Christian Knoebel

"The State of Delaware has seized upon this obscure body of law (costal zone management) to launch a NIMBY war against economic development plans on neighboring New Jersey's side of the Delaware River.

The tiff began when oil giant BP proposed building a $500 million natural gas terminal in Logan Township, which sits on the Jersey side of the river. Delaware, citing terrorism and pollution, immediately asserted what it called its right to block the building of a necessary pier that would jut out in the river. Delaware's lawyers pointed to a 17th century pact between Mr. Penn and Lord Baltimore, which set Delaware's territorial boundary up against New Jersey's shoreline. That ancient pact has long been a bone of contention -- so much so that, in 1935, the U.S. Supreme Court not only upheld the peculiar border but reportedly enjoined citizens of either state from ever bringing the issue back before the Court.

So instead of litigating, New Jersey and Delaware at first mulled other ways of pursuing their disagreement. Delaware officials threatened to mobilize the National Guard if New Jersey proceeds with its plan to invade Delaware by building the pier.

New Jersey's acting governor, Democrat Richard Codey, wasn't worried. "I'm sure we'd kick their ass," he said, adding that the state could defend itself with the U.S.S. New Jersey, a mothballed dreadnought now berthed on the Camden waterfront, whose 16-inch guns last saw action during the ill-fated U.S. intervention in Lebanon in the early 1980s.

OK, Dover, Del. is beyond the range of the New Jersey's guns (though not the cruise missiles it once carried!). New Jersey Assemblyman John Burzichelli has proposed instead a boycott of one of Delaware's biggest industries, its credit card issuers, and also pulling state pension money out of Delaware-registered corporations and other assets.

Costal zone management laws, which aim to improve water quality and protect fisheries, are often used to restrict growth or send development projects into bureaucratic purgatory. Delaware is pushing NIMBY to a new level by trying to block development in another state.

As much as the Supreme Court once hoped to be rid of the issue forever, the Justices very likely will be hearing from both parties in coming weeks -- unless, of course, the Supremes want to be responsible for a new civil war along the Delaware."

You have a right to your own opinions - You do not have a right to your own facts!