Brayton Point Bows Out!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Brayton Point Power Station is featured in the film. From Conservation Law Foundation:

“On Monday, Conservation Law Foundation cheered the news that New England’s largest coal plant, Brayton Point Station in Somerset, Massachusetts, will shut down by 2017. Brayton Point has loomed over Somerset and neighboring environmental justice communities on the South Shore for nearly 50 years, belching pollution into the air and destroying wildlife in Mt. Hope Bay.

Many organizations have protested the plant over the years, and many are claiming victory as well as credit for its decision to shut down. We thought you would like to know the leading role CLF has played on the long path to this outcome.

  • For over 20 years, CLF has held Brayton Point’s owners accountable for cleaning up the air and water pollution it causes. CLF’s legal pressure forced Brayton Point to install modern pollution controls that significantly reduced toxic emissions into the air and their dire health impacts, and ended the dumping of billions of gallons of superheated water into Mt. Hope Bay every year.
  • In February 2013, CLF, along with our community organizing partners Toxics Action Center and Clean Water Action, sued its then owner Dominion for ongoing violations of the Clean Air Act. Despite the upgrades to the plant, it continues to pollute the air. A report issued last August estimated that even in 2012, Brayton Point’s emissions were responsible for a myriad of health problems from asthma attacks to as many as 39 premature deaths. The litigation is ongoing.
  • Also in February, 2013, CLF released a report exposing Brayton Point’s financial vulnerability. Entitled Dark Days Ahead, the report showed that a perfect storm of factors – including low natural gas prices – spelled imminent doom for the plant. The report sent a warning signal to prospective buyers of the plant, which was purchased by private equity firm Energy Capital Partners in March.
  • CLF, Toxics Action Center and Clean Water Action, have been working closely with members of the Somerset community to plan for a future without Brayton Point. No plant closing can be truly celebrated without a viable plan to ensure a just transition to a healthier future.

The End of Coal in New England

Brayton Point’s decision to shut down by 2017 is a harbinger of things to come in New England’s aging coal fleet. As the region’s biggest and most modern coal plant, with the lowest cost of production, it’s safe to say that if Brayton Point can’t survive, then none of its older, less efficient counterparts can.

One by one, our region’s oldest and biggest polluters are succumbing to the market and the march of technology:

Somerset Station, Somerset, MA, SHUT DOWN
AES Thames, Montville, CT, SHUT DOWN
Salem Harbor Station, Salem, MA, Will SHUT DOWN in 2014
Brayton Point, Somerset, MA, Will SHUT DOWN by 2017
Mt. Tom Station, Holyoke, MA, Expected to SHUT DOWN by 2016
Bridgeport Harbor Station, Bridgeport, CT, Running at 4% capacity
Schiller Station, Portsmouth, NH, Running at 12% capacity
Merrimack Station, Bow, NH, Running at 35% capacity*

CLF is on the case on all of New England’s remaining coal plants. Our advocacy calls upon a portfolio of highly effective strategies, from targeted litigation to hold coal plant owners’ feet to the fire to control illegal emissions, to robust participation in the Public Utilities Commissions’ decision-making processes, to a seat at the table in planning for the future of our electric grid. As we have for decades, CLF is applying pressure at the right times and in all the right places to achieve our goal of a Coal Free New England by 2020 – or sooner, with your help.

New England’s remaining coal plants are on the brink. Please consider making a gift today to continue our quest for a Coal Free New England as we pursue a clean energy future. Together, we can end coal’s dirty legacy for good.

N. Jonathan Peress
N. Jonathan Peress
VP, Director, Clean Energy and Climate Change”

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10 2013

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