LINDEN – A group of 37 environmental and social groups and concerned residents known as the “Stop PurGen Coalition” have announced that their fight to defeat a proposed coal and carbon sequestration power plant in Linden is finally over.
Since 2009, the coalition fought the construction of “PurGen One,” a proposed experimental 750 MW coal and carbon sequestration plant that would have used a 140-mile long pipeline through New Jersey’s coastal waters to pump liquefied carbon dioxide one mile below the Earth’s surface.
The group discovered an announcement on the Massachusetts-based company SCS Energy’s website that stated, “PurGen One is no longer under active development.” According to the coalition, SCS Energy’s contract with the city of Linden expires this year.
“This is a wonderful victory for the environment over dangerous dirty coal,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “This is a clear win for grassroots activists over the power of the coal lobby. Stopping this dirty plant will lead to clean energy and green jobs. This not only will protect Linden and surrounding communities from pollution, but dangers of a potential accident….This plant was dangerous using unproven technology we did not believe would work as well as being a big waste of money. The cost of this project could have provided around 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind.”
For three years the community members of Linden, environmental organizations from Cape May up to New York City, and elected officials have worked diligently to stop this proposed coal plant. The coalition spent countless hours canvassing door-to-door educating the residents on the proposal and alerting them to speak out at public hearings and meetings. They also successfully worked with municipalities and counties around the state to pass resolutions in opposition of this plant. Lawn signs were made, pamphlets were distributed, and events were held up and down the coast to raise awareness about this proposed plant.
“As someone who has worked in the energy sector and on energy projects, the concept of CCS & not emitting CO2 into our atmosphere is one that maybe environmentally sound, but there is still not enough known about the effects that the carbon capture storage would have on our oceans and in our underground geologic formations in the long term,” said Rebecca Kerins-Tattoli, a Stop PurGen Coalition activist.
“Once again, organized people with a just cause won out over big-pocketed, well-connected developers. This is a victory for the people in Linden and surrounding communities but also for all of us in New Jersey who understand the urgent need to end our addiction to coal, oil and gas and move rapidly to a renewable energy based economy,” said Ted Glick, chair of the Green Party of Essex/Passaic Counties.