‘Coal Is Dead in New England’: Region’s Biggest Polluter Announces Plant Closure

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/10/08-5

Though celebrated as “victory” by some, the details behind shuttering of Brayton Point Station should not been viewed simplistically, warn climate campaigners

Jon Queally

Brayton Point Station, the largest coal plant in the northeast, is closing.

It won’t be soon enough for some of the campaigners who have made the Massachusetts coal plant the focus of repeated climate protests in recent months and years, but Monday’s announcement by the plant’s owner, a New Jersey-based private equity firm, still arrived as both a welcome development and chance to celebrate what activists and residents hope to claim as a victory for the ascendent climate movement.

“It is no coincidence that the announcement of this plant closing is coming so shortly after our actions to defeat it,” said the  climate action group 350 Massachusetts in a statement. “The people making decisions to close this plant were painfully aware of our efforts to shut it down. Our promise to continue fighting it until it closed absolutely weighed in on their decision not to keep fighting to keep the plant going.”

According local newspaper The Standard-Times:

Just five weeks after closing on the purchase of the Brayton Point Power Station, new owners Equipower, a subsidiary of investment partners Energy Capital Markets of Short Hills, N.J., disclosed Monday that they intend to shutter the plant as of June 2017.

The Conservation Law Foundation immediately declared this the “death knell” for coal-fired power plants in New England.

The decision was spurred by failure to agree with the region’s power grid managing company, ISO New England, which cut one-third from Brayton Point’s proposed pricing arrangement for future years.

Brayton Point Station is the largest of six coal-fired plants in New England, according to the Associated Press, and it was repeatedly target as the region’s single largest producer of carbon pollution by area residents and activists across New England.

350Mass also congratulated local activists who have been fighting to close the Brayton Point Coal Plant for over a decade. Without the “leadership, courage, and vision” of those local citizens, the group said, “this victory would not be possible” and they vowed to continue working with them to “ensure a just transition for the local workers” who might be impacted by the plant’s closure.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/10/08-5

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