The North Bergen Power Plant and The Truth

Dear Editor:

“Students join local fight against generating plant.” This 05-29-19 Hudson Reporter article starts out as a news article and inappropriately ends as an editorial: “Hearings on Clean Air Act permits are slated for later this year. A green light is likely.”

As far as I know, hearings are not scheduled for later this year and on what did the reporter base his opinion  on, when he wrote “a green light light is likely?”

Thousands of people are relying on Gov. Murphy to keep his green energy promises and hope he will stop the huge unneeded polluting North Bergen power plant from being built.

All its electricity would be for NY and NY hasn’t even asked for it. This power plant would be a for-profit venture, not a needed utility.

“The revenue could offset property taxes or be used for other public projects in North Bergen.”
What is the factual basis for this statement, or is it also an opinion? Did an official say the power plant PILOTs would lower property owners’ taxes and if one did, who?

Did an official say the power plant PILOTs would fund “other public projects”, and if one did, who, and what other projects? The article failed to mention that PILOTs enrich the North Bergen township and pay nothing to North Bergen schools as property tax owners taxes do.

There is no legal agreement specifying that the township would transfer a penny of the PILOTs to the Board of Education. Further, PILOTs can easily end up in the pockets of local officials because unlike property taxes, PILOTs lack transparency and accountability to the state.

Township spokesman Swibinski’s statement that the project would not be built if the DEP thought it posed serious health hazards is callous. DEP is concerned with whether individual power plants meets certain minimal guidelines.

It’s already known that power plants like this pose serious health hazards! Swibinski’s statement is like saying it’s okay to directly inhale the exhaust from a car’s tailpipe, because the car passed emission standards. News articles should be fact-based and not opinions; that’s what editorials are for.

For more information:

Robert Walden