In a historic vote on June 17, the Hoboken City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing the plan to build a massive new fracked gas power plant on the Hackensack River in Kearny.
The vote is a sign that the grassroots campaign to stop the dirty energy project is building local political support. Opponents of the plan have been organizing informational forums, conducting outreach to directly impacted communities, and speaking out at board meetings of NJ Transit, the agency that is seeking to use Superstorm Sandy recovery funds to build the new fracked gas power plant.
“Hoboken has taken historic action against the expansion of dirty, dangerous and unnecessary fossil fuel projects in New Jersey,” said Food & Water Action organizer Sam DiFalco. “The TransitGrid project would worsen already poor air quality in the region, with a disproportionate impact on low income and black and brown communities in Kearny, Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken – many of the same communities who have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Allowing this project to move forward directly contradicts Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 23, which is supposed to protect the health of the state’s most vulnerable residents who already suffer from a disproportionate pollution burden in their communities. It would also be a massive long term investment in dirty fossil fuels, directly undermining Governor Murphy’s supposed clean energy plans. The only responsible course is for the governor to reject this dirty energy scheme and replace it with a clean renewable energy alternative for public transit resiliency.”
Part of the NJTransitGrid project, the NJ Transit power plant would be a major new source of toxic air pollution in an area already struggling with some of the worst air quality in the country. The plant is projected to release over half a million metric tons of carbon pollution every year
“I want to thank the Hoboken City Council for having the courage to stand up to the Murphy administration and demand that we build a power plant in accordance with our values,” said Michael Watson, elected member of the Hoboken Democratic Committee and the Chapter President of The Climate Mobilization – Hoboken Chapter. “The people of Hoboken don’t want to breathe in poison, and we don’t want to exacerbate climate change. What we want is to set an example for the rest of the country, to say that yes, we can power our railway systems with clean renewable energy.”
“If you care about the health and well-being of our global and local environment, if you care about the health and well-being of your family, friends and neighbors, then you must say no to the proposed NJ Transit fracked gas power plant!” said Liz Ndoye, a long-time Hoboken resident and leader of Hoboken Move On. “The future of social, environmental, and economic justice depends on Governor Murphy doing the right thing for NJ – rejecting this dirty pollution plant and investing our tax payer money into a solution that moves NJ Transit towards 100% clean renewable energy.”
Local residents and leaders in other towns around New Jersey are working to get their councils to pass similar resolutions against the NJ Transit power plant.