Controversial Pinelands Coal Plant To Shut Down Not Convert

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Above Photo: Victoria Pickering/Flickr

Eliminates Purpose of South Jersey Frack Gas Pipeline Big Step Towards Implementing Fossil Fuel Moratorium

Long Branch, NJ — Clean Water Action sang the praises of today’s overnight news that the owner of the BL England (aka Beasley Point) power plant in Ocean City has decided to retire it instead of continuing with a controversial plan to try and convert if from dirty coal to equally problematic frack gas power.

The decision is perhaps the last nail in the coffin for South Jersey Gas’ even more controversial proposed pipeline through the core forest of New Jersey’s Pinelands as the plant was the pipeline’s justification to exist and get approval from the Pinelands Commission.

“This shows what can be accomplished through our unwavering perseverance to protect the Pinelands,”said Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director, Clean Water Action. “By stopping the fossil fuel plant and rendering the unwarranted pipeline moot, it sets the right course for 100 percent renewables by 2050.”

“We’d like to give a special shout out to other lead groups in this effort: Don’t Gas the Pinelands, Sierra Club, Pinelands Preservation Alliance and Environment New Jersey, their grassroots efforts and litigation were key and it shows what happens when you stay strong and don’t sell out,” added David Pringle, Clean Water Action’s former NJ campaign director.

Empower NJ, a coalition of 58 progressive, environmental and faith-based groups whose leadership also includes the BlueWaveNJ, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Don’t Gas the Meadowlands, and Food and Water Watch, has called on Governor Murphy to impose a moratorium on 12 pending frack gas projects, including these two so this decision just made the governor’s job easier.

“We never gave up the fight. We didn’t give in,” said Janet Tauro, Clean Water Action, NJ Board Chair, who attended and testified at Pinelands Commission hearings on the pipeline. “And we stayed true to our commitment to protect the fragile forest preserve. There must be no compromises when it comes to protecting the Pinelands. Once gone, it would be gone forever.”

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Clean Water Action has more than 150,000 members statewide in New Jersey and is the nation’s largest grassroots group focused on water, energy and environmental health. Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress. www.cleanwater.org/nj