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  • Writer's pictureAshley Park

Victory! NJ Transit stops fracked gas plant and moves forward with renewable energy

After 18 months of relentless lobbying, protesting, and organizing, New Jersey Transit has finally halted the proposal to build a fracked gas power plant in Kearny and announced to move forward with a renewable energy alternative.

If the power plant were built, millions of tons of toxic pollutants would have been released into the atmosphere, air quality would have degraded exacerbating respiratory illnesses, and New Jersey’s history of environmental injustice would have been perpetuated. To prevent such catastrophes from occurring, to protect public health, and to ensure a safe climate for the future, environmental organizations, elected officials, and local residents across the state demanded for Governor Murphy to take steps towards the goal of his energy master plan to achieve 100% clean energy, instead of moving backwards by implementing more fossil fuel infrastructure. In the midst of a health pandemic when clean air and healthy lungs could not be more important, New Jersey needed Governor Murphy to stop the power plant immediately.

Food and Water Action led a coalition of more than 60 organizations and “held in person and virtual educational forums, organized rallies on land and water, lobbied their elected officials, and spoke out at NJ Transit board meetings in opposition to the proposed fossil fuel power plant.” Additionally, 16 municipal governments passed strong resolutions opposing the proposal and supporting a renewable energy alternative, and 13 state legislators signed onto a letter in support of the movement to stop the power plant.

To the great excitement and triumph of many environmental organizations and all who were opposed to the power plant, NJ Transit announced the major shift to a clean energy solution on October 21st at their board meeting. According to Food and Water Action organizer Sam DiFalco, “Communities across the state came together to tell Governor Murphy to find a better alternative, and today’s announcement shows that his administration is listening.”

But until Governor Murphy commits to major investments in clean energy and green jobs and implements a moratorium on all fossil fuel projects, the people will continue to fight for the NJ residents who already suffer from respiratory issues, those who already face the dangerous and unjust burdens of pollution, and for all young people, whose very lives and futures depend on it.

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