LEADING POLITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION OPPOSES NJTRANSIT “TRANSITGRID” MICROGRID PROJECT

LEADING POLITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION OPPOSES NJTRANSIT “TRANSITGRID” MICROGRID PROJECT

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey League of Conservation Voters urges Governor Murphy to push the pause button on plans to build a transitgrid microgrid and gas-fired power plant in Kearny. NJ Transit has proposed constructing a microgrid that will predominantly burn fossil fuels to power NJ Transit facilities that provide transportation between and within Northeastern New Jersey and New York City.

“We believe this project would take New Jersey in the wrong direction and away from the clean energy future that has been promised to residents by the Murphy Administration,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “Despite the good intentions of the project, burning gas and increasing pollution would be a step backward and out of line with New Jersey’s current economic and environmental vision that calls for a cleaner, more sustainable, fairer and stronger future.”

In a letter to Governor Murphy Potosnak outlines several reasons why the transitgrid microgrid project and the gas-fired plant in Kearny should be blocked:

● The Energy Master Plan disconnect: The Kearny gas-fired power plant does not fit with the governor’s clean energy goals, which are clearly laid out in the Energy Master Plan.

● Renewable alternatives were not adequately considered: The original 2014 study did not adequately examine green alternatives.

● New Jersey is a state of innovation and should be a leader in clean energy solutions: While there is a clear understanding on the part of NJTransit management about how to accomplish their objectives with natural gas, they need to expand their knowledge of sustainable energy solutions.

● Environmental Justice: This project runs contrary to Executive Order 23 and the Environmental Justice (EJ) cumulative impacts bill. The TransitGrid project would worsen already poor air quality in the region, with a disproportionate impact on low-income and Black and Brown environmental justice communities in Kearny, Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken – many of the same communities that have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

● Cost: It makes no sense to invest taxpayer money in costly, hazardous, and outdated fossil fuel infrastructure on a throwaway power plant expected to be replaced within 30 years.

New Jersey LCV is asking Governor Murphy to form a committee that better represents all stakeholders to take a closer look at clean energy alternatives and to conduct an independent energy analysis with renewable energy experts.

“This committee can provide a much needed new set of eyes and fresh ideas to accomplish the goals of this project, while reducing pollution and keeping New Jersey on track for the clean energy future the people of New Jersey overwhelmingly say they want,” added Potosnak.

New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to elect environmental champions, hold public officials accountable, and support laws which protect our environment and improve the quality of people’s lives.

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