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State House Commission Violates Public Trust for PSEG

Date : Thu, 27 Sep 2012 11:10:56 -0400

For Immediate Release
September 24, 2012 Contact: Jeff Tittel, Director, 609-558-9100

State House Commission Violates Public Trust for PSEG Today the State House Commission approved the use of public lands for PSEG's Susquehanna Roseland transmission line expansion project.The expanded lines would allow PSEG to import more coal-fired energy from Pennsylvania.This project will destroy the scenic vistas and important natural resources of our public lands, which belong to all of us.The project will cause significant environmental damage and violates public trust.It takes away the wilderness experience because it cuts through some of our last remaining wild places and now you will be able to see the lines across all those areas.Action by the State House Commission came before final federal approvals and DEP permits are approved and issued for the project.PSEG is paying pennies on the dollar for the use of our public lands.The Commission approved a 20 year even though the project will be on our public lands for longer than that because if they had enters a 25 year or greater lease there would have been stronger public input and review requirements.PSEG has started construction on their existing right of way and are trying to rush approvals as the grid operator PJM cancelled two similar projects in the past month, the PATH and MAPP lines.

"This is a dirty deal done cheap. This transmission line will ruin the scenic viewsheds and recreational value of our public lands.The State House Commission took the side of dirty coal over protecting our public lands from the impacts of this project.What makes it even worse is that they are allowing PSEG to get away with paying pennies on the dollar for our public lands instead of fair market value," *said Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club*. The National Park Service (NPS) released a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project but have not issued a final Record of Decision and permits.The EIS found the project would cause $89 million in damage to our national parks, but no such study was prepared for the impacted state park land.

"At a time when the state is running out of open space money, not getting proper compensation hurts the tax payers twice.Once because we are giving away our public lands too cheap and by not getting proper compensation we will not have enough to buy replacement land," *said Jeff Tittel*. The Susquehanna-Roseland line is unnecessary as we improve our energy efficiency and demand response programs and as energy demand drops.The line will bring dirty coal-fired energy into New Jersey while cutting across our public lands.The Susquehanna-Roseland line is a major infrastructure project that raises electricity rates, increases our dependence on fossil fuels, and does not increase grid reliability.The State House Commission approval comes just weeks after the grid operator PJM announced the cancellation of two similar transmission expansion projects, the Mid Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) and the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH).The cancellation of the lines was based on falling demand, new generation plants, and the efficiency of demand response programs, the same issues opponents to the Susquehanna-Roseland line have raised.

"We are seeing a drop in energy demand as a result of demand response and energy efficiency programs and we are seeing more local clean energy sources supplying New Jersey.We do not need transmission expansion projects to meet our energy needs, especially the Susquehanna-Roseland line which will destroy our public lands for corporate profit," *said Jeff Tittel.*

-- 
Kate Millsaps
Conservation Program Coordinator
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
609-656-7612
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Received on 2012-09-27 08:10:56

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