Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jersey enviros look to topple power line proposal


Like fellow-activists in New York state (Catskill Mountainkeeper rallying opposition to NYRI power line), New Jersey environmental organizations have come out swinging against a proposed high-power line through a section of the state's northern tier.

The state's largest power utility, PSE&G, is expected to asked the state Board of Public Utilities to approve the 45-mile, 500-kilovolt power line that the company wants to build at a cost of $650 million. It would run from the town of Hardwick in Warren County, through Sussex and Morris counties to Roseland in Essex County.

PSE&G says the line is necessary to prevent overloads and blackouts on the power grid.

“No one disputes that North Jersey’s electricity highways are congested and need relief to avoid price spikes and blackouts in the future. But New Jersey’s energy future should not be tied to dirty coal plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania, when home grown renewable energy and energy efficiency can provide the solution,” said Dena Mottola Jaborska, the executive director of Environment New Jersey, at a media event held with regional municipal leaders yesterday in Montville, Morris County.

“We cannot support or oppose this project without answers to our concerns,” stated Byram Township councilman Scott Olson, speaking on behalf of six municipalities who have formed a coalition to address this proposal.

“We do not feel that PSE&G has shown a proven need for this expansion, or that all other options have been exhausted and this is the only viable alternative to address their needs. And they have yet to prove the potential for health effects are lessened or that the economic impact to our municipalities and our residents will be addressed,” Olson said.

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