Persistence has paid off for members of our Society, led by Janet Glass and our Social Action Committee, who protested plans for a natural gas-fired power plant in the Meadowlands. On Oct. 9, Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted: “I am unequivocally opposed to building the North Bergen Power Plant in the Meadowlands and increasing emissions. The project simply doesn’t make sense for New Jersey.”
“I applaud the governor’s decision to oppose building the North Bergen power plant,” said Janet, who is also a leader in Central Bergen GreenFaith Circle. “I do believe that all the loud, tenacious and well-researched opposition he has been facing had something to do with that change of heart. I am proud to be a part of that.”
Two days after Gov. Murphy’s announcement, North Bergen Liberty Generating, majority owned by Mitsubishi subsidiary Diamond Generating Corporation, issued a statement saying it is not backing down. “While we are disappointed with the governor’s statement, we intend to move forward with this project,” the statement reads. “It’s important to the economic, employment and energy interests of the region and — once again — we underscore that the project will be supportive of all environmental considerations.”
Janet says the governor’s opposition to the plant is a victory, nonetheless. “I believe that the timing of Greta Thunberg’s compelling speech to the UN, coming just before [the governor’s] recent Town Hall in Teaneck, made it especially hard to justify flouting the science in public,” Janet said. “He said he admired her speech. Building a polluting fracked-gas power plant in a floodplain in the minority community of North Bergen has so many flaws in common sense, it’s just ethically indefensible.”
“That fueled my efforts at giving testimonies at state public hearings and press conferences, bird-dogging the governor at public events, attending rallies, marches and town council meetings, getting presenters on the subject to speak at Ethical, making numerous calls, writing letters, and signing petitions,” she said. “But it was clearly a group effort led by many dedicated environmentalists. And there’s still much to do.”
Earlier this year, our Society’s Social Action Committee Chairman Dan Rosenblum wrote a letter to Gov. Murphy to ask that he keep his campaign promise to focus on renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.
In its news coverage of Gov. Murphy’s stand against the power plant, NorthJersey.com featured a video of Janet with the governor at a rally against the plant earlier this year.