Controversial appointment to Pinelands Commission OK’d in NJ

The New Jersey Senate has confirmed Gov. Chris Christie’s nominee to sit on a board overseeing a million-acre pine preserve.

Robert Barr’s nomination succeeded after earlier falling two votes shy Monday of passing before Senate President Steve Sweeney held up the vote.

Members of the public in the gallery booed the decision.

Christie picked Barr to succeed Robert Jackson last year, but the nomination has proved controversial.The controversy stretches back to a January 2014 vote when the commission blocked a plan from South Jersey Gas to connect a pipeline from Maurice River Township in Cumberland County to the BL England plant in Cape May County.

The Christie administration supported the project, but environmental groups and Jackson opposed it.State Sen. Bob Smith says the nomination seemed designed to stack the deck with regard to the pipeline.

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