For Immediate Release
Ridgefield, NJ - Opponents of a massive gas-fired power plant proposed for the Meadowlands are stepping up their campaign to convince Governor Phil Murphy to stop the project, citing the facility’s compounding of already poor regional air quality, and how its emissions - including a projected 3.5 million metric tons of C02 released per year - would exacerbate the climate crisis.
The proposed 1,200 MW gas-fired power plant would be built in North Bergen Township near the border of Bergen and Hudson Counties, and just one mile from an existing PSE&G power plant that is already one of the largest sources of air pollution in the state. The proposed facility would sit in an environmentally sensitive area on the banks of Bellmans’ Creek, a tributary of the Hackensack River, threatening the historic environmental recovery underway in the New Jersey Meadowlands.
The proposal is to send 100% of the electricity to New York City via submarine cables under the Hudson River. Last month, the New York Public Service Commission denied the company’s request to bypass an important needs assessment, insisting that it must prove that the power from the plant is actually needed.
"The proposal to pipe dirty fracked-gas through the Meadowlands for a power plant that isn't needed is corporate exploitation, plain and simple,” said Matt Smith, Senior Organizer at Food & Water Watch. “If Governor Murphy really wants to protect our environment and fight climate change in New Jersey, he must start by rejecting this ill-conceived project."
Don Torino of the Bergen County Audubon Society added, "The Meadowlands region is in the midst of a historic recovery. This power plant would be a huge step backwards, and we cannot go back.”
The power plant has been opposed by nearby municipalities, and local elected officials are joining the calls to stop the project. "The Meadowlands Power plant proposal is a direct threat to our public health, safety and environment, not just in Ridgefield but for the whole region," said Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez. "It's mind boggling that in the year 2018 we have to demand that we want something as fundamental as clean air,” added Glen Rock Mayor Bruce Packer.
In a statement read at the Tuesday rally, Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson wrote:
“New Jersey stands at a crossroads. As a state, we have committed to making our grid 100% renewable by 2050. We have agreed to reduce our carbon emissions under RGGI. Earlier this year, we joined the United States Climate Alliance, joining other states in their commitment to abide by the Paris Agreement.
“But we have a long history of missteps when it comes to our environment. Too often, we have chosen the side of the polluter under the belief that the jobs or investments will be worth it. Such short sightedness has, time and again, exacted a high toll on our water and air quality. We have a choice to make. We can choose the quick buck today and choke on unbreathable air for decades. Or, we can say ‘No, not this time!’"
“This power plant is bad for the Meadowlands, and a bad deal for New Jersey. Senator Weinberg and Assemblyman Johnson are with you: Let's stop this now."