Hudson reporter – fighting back environmental groups hold press conference denouncing proposed power plant gas dryer vs electric dryer singapore

####

Representatives of environmental groups gathered near the site of a proposed natural gas power plant in North Bergen on May 8, arguing it will hasten greenhouse gas emissions, or emissions that pose a danger to the earth’s atmosphere. They called on Gov. Phil Murphy to take action against the plant.

North Bergen Liberty Generating, the company behind the plant, says that using natural gas will lead to fewer emissions than other types, and can provide more electricity with less land use than renewable options. Natural gas is still considered a fossil fuel contributing to global warming, although at a lower level than coal or oil.

“These people will tell you that this is the best deal that we can get, and it’s not,” said Hackensack Riverkeeper Bill Sheehan, at the conference in Ridgefield, just across the Hackensack River from the North Bergen site. “What we’ll get is the CO2. We will get the other impacts, and we will get none of the energy benefits.”

Sheehan said he found out about the plant before it was officially announced, which led him to organize other groups to resist. He first got in contact with Matt Smith, a senior organizer with Food and Water Watch, a national organization that protects clean and healthy drinking water and food.

Smith referenced a report from a public policy advocacy group, identifying the Meadowlands as the region at most risk from rising sea levels and flooding from climate change. Last year, the Regional Plan Association, an urban research and advocacy organization based in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut region, released a regional plan for saving the area. It claimed that permanent flooding from sea level rise will likely displace between 4,000 and 8,000 Meadowlands residents by the century’s end.

Jeff Tittel, director of the grassroots New Jersey Sierra Club, called the protest against the plant “ground zero” in environmentalists’ fight for a clean energy future. “We want to make sure we have clean air and clean water, and we fight climate change,” Tittel said.

NY/NJ Baykeeper Greg Remaud pointed out that the site is within a few miles of PSEG’s Bergen Generating Station, a natural gas firing plant. That, the environmentalists argue, could produce a cumulative pollution impact in the future, if the state greenlights NBLG’s proposal.

Bill Brennan, from Franciscan Response to Fracking, a faith based group from Pompton Lakes, also asked Murphy to sign the executive order against non-renewable power plants. He ran against Murphy last year for governor in the primary election but lost.

“Our facility would displace less efficient – and higher emitting – forms of electric generation,” the release said. “Over the first 15 years of NBLG’s operations, an average reduction of approximately 25 percent in annual emissions of NOx and 32-percent in annual emissions of SO2 from older power plants located in New York City is projected.”

Officials from the town of North Bergen have welcomed the plant, citing tax money and jobs. In a past story covering the press conference announcing the plant, Mayor Nicholas Sacco said, “It is no drain on services to North Bergen. It’s going to bring millions of dollars in taxes.”

Last week, town spokesman Phil Swibinski added in a statement, “We are committed to ensuring that the site is built safely and believe that its remote, industrial location is appropriate. The state Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies will be thoroughly reviewing the proposal to ensure that it meets all environmental, air quality and public safety standards, and if any aspect of the projects does not meet those standards, it will not be built."