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A Dirty Deal for Dirty Power

Date : Tue, 05 Aug 2008 11:59:47 -0400

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Tittel August 5, 2008 (609) 558-9100

A Dirty Deal for Dirty Power Sierra Club Condemns PSE&G for New Power Line Through the Highlands

This week PSE&G selected a route for its new - and unnecessary - power line through New Jersey's Highlands region. The new line will be used to bring cheap, dirty coal power from Pennsylvania into New Jersey, undermining our efforts to deal with global warming and protect our environment. "PSE&G says that they are a green company," said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, "But the only thing green about this deal is the money PSE&G will be making from New Jersey ratepayers."

PSE&G has gone forward with this new line so that it can sell the clean power it produces in-state to New York City at a rate 50% higher than it could charge in New Jersey. As a result of a lawsuit by the Sierra Club and the State of New Jersey several years ago, PSE&G was forced to clean up its Ridgefield Generating Station in Bergen County, converting it to much cleaner natural gas. Now that New Jersey rate payers have paid for this conversion, PSE&G wants to ship the power from this plant out of state to New York, replacing it with dirty power brought in from the Pennsylvania through the new line.

PSE&G proposed three different routes for the line, playing one community against another in the fight over who would have to deal with the new power line. The chosen route is Plan B, which would run through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Delaware River Wild and Scenic Area, the Kittatiny Ridge, the Appalachian Trail, the Highlands Preservation Area, more than a dozen parks and open space areas including Tourne Mountain, dozens of areas with endangered species, and numerous wetlands and Category 1 streams. It will replace an existing 85-foot line with a 250-foot tower, creating a scar on the landscape and bringing with it dirty power and additional pollution from coal plants blowing in from Pennsylvania.

This power line is part of the Bush Administration's giveaway to the utilities in which the entire state of New Jersey was designated as a National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (NIETC). This designation allows the Department of Energy to run power lines through any part of New Jersey without proper environmental analysis and without demonstrating any actual need for the power line, other than to satisfy the greed of the utilities. The Department of Energy also has the power of eminent domain within the corridor, usurping the rights of state and local governments to deny access to certain lands based on local interests and values and trumping the rights of property owners.

The Sierra Club, along with the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, are in federal court to oppose this designation, a contention which would also block PSE&G's new power line. The club has also supported bills introduced by Senator Menendez and Congressman Hinchey to overturn the designation.

"This new line is only the first of many proposals to come," concluded Tittel. "The federal government and PSE&G are trying to undermine New Jersey's efforts to fight global warming, reduce pollution from mercury and other toxics, and protect the Highlands."

##########

Becca Glenn, Program Assistant New Jersey Sierra Club

145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618

609-656-7612: phone

609-656-7618: fax

Received on 2008-08-05 09:10:01

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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Page Last Modified 8/7/2008


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