The No Solution Opposition to Meeting NYC Electricity Demands

DRBC fracking ban - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


A no solutions band of fractivists went to a construction and demolition waste site Tueday to oppose a power plant that would address NYC electricity needs.

The hollowness of the fractivist cause was exposed on Tuesday. A dozen or so enviros appeared at a construction and demolition wastes site in North Bergen, New Jersey. They were there to oppose building a brand new, super-clean, gas-fired power plant that would help meet NYC electricity needs. They had virtually nothing to say other than to threaten their favorite governor with litigation. There were no alternatives offered to the North Bergen Liberty Generating Plant proposal, no attempt to reason and no recognition of need even, just pure opposition combined with threats. It was classic no solutions fractivism, otherwise known as denial.

NYC Electricity

Proposed North Bergen Liberty Generating facility

The North Bergen Liberty Generating Plant is described very nicely on the project website but here are some the essentials from the Q&A page:

  • The NBLG project is a 1,200 megawatt, natural gas-fired electric generating facility proposed for an industrially-zoned site in North Bergen, New Jersey. NBLG will provide much needed power where the region needs it the most — Manhattan.
  • The NBLG project is 34% more efficient than the average power plant serving the NYC area today.
  • NBLG will also provide millions of dollars in annual taxes to the host municipality of North Bergen and the State of New Jersey, and provide over 620 high-paying construction jobs, as well as fulltime operating and maintenance jobs.
  • The plant will be designed to comply with all state and local noise regulations and will have minimal to no impact on noise levels in the area. Given the industrial nature of the area around the site, it is highly unlikely that there will be any noticeable noise variation during construction – however, the project will still utilize normal noise abatement methods to ensure this is the case.
  • NBLG emissions will comply with the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act and its implementing EPA regulations, as well as all New Jersey clean air regulations.
  • Transmission constraints limit the availability to import power from upstate while the limited availability of real estate within the densely developed New York City area prohibits the development of utility-scale renewable generation. In the NY Metro area, solar generation requires roughly four acres to produce one MW of electricity.  It would take a solar array almost six times as large as Central Park to produce enough energy as the proposed NBLG facility.  Conversely, to build a wind farm capable of generating 1,200 megawatts for electricity would require an area the size of Bergen and Hudson Counties combined.

Here is the views of the existing site within the context of surrounding industrial development:

NYC Electricity

It would be hard to find a better site anywhere in the metro area—surrounded by existing industrial activity, but here is a closeup showing how the site is used now for construction and demolition waste processing:

NYC Electricity

The North Bergen, in other words, is uniquely suited for a natural gas power plant to produce NYC electricity. It’s close by, it’s already industrial, it’s surrounded by other industrial activity, it operate much cleaner than many other existing metro power plants this allowing some to be phased out, it’s more efficient, it will meet all EPA and state clean air requirements and will provide increased energy security to the entire region, allowing the Indian Point Nuclear Station to be closed as well. So, naturally, Jeff Tittel and other shills for gentry class fractivist enablers are against it.

Here’s the story of their piddling, but extra whiny, protest:

There are two things about this protest that serve to expose the utter shallowness of fractivism.

First, there is the threat to Governor Phil “the Panderer” Murphy who recently made a big show of allying himself with DRBC fracking ban opponents and has pledged a new energy plan conveniently calling for 100% clean energy in 2050, long after he’s left office (emphasis added):

Environmentalists say they have the energy to fight it each step of the way, and if they can’t negotiate an end to the project, then they’ll litigate.

“Any Democrat who facilitates the construction of this will become a toxic waste site himself or herself,” said Brennan.

Environmentalists say they’re eager to see what the governor will do in what could be the first test of his quest for clean, renewable energy.

By “energy to fight” and litigate, these folks mean they’ve got the money to sue; money that will undoubtedly come from the usual suspects who fund the likes of the Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, et al. This is how the game is played today—in the courts using gentry class special interest money funneled through wholly political groups who claim to be “charities” for purposes of tax-exemption to which they’re not entitled.

Secondly, there is the response of Governor Phil “the Panderer” Murphy:

“I always scratch my head with something that is being done here that some other state will benefit from, but beyond that I don’t an opinion.”

Really, Phil? Are you not aware New Jersey could not grow or even survive today without natural gas from other states, the consumption of which has grown 39% since 2006? You do know New Jersey doesn’t producer the stuff, don’t you? Surely, you also realize any utility scale solar or wind generation would have to be produced elsewhere as well, given that you don’t have the room for it or the political willingness to accept it.

You understand, too, don’t you, that any solar or wind (even distributed versions) will still require backup power plants fueled by gas to supply dispatchable energy when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow? If you don’t know these things, it’s easy to understand why you’re scratching your head, I suppose, and maybe even why you’re bald, but somehow I think you do know and you’re just pandering.

This is fractivism, a useless cause that offers no solutions whatsoever, other than wildly unrealistic plans to go solar in the mostly densely populated state that is part of the nation’s largest urban area, where placement of such facilities is physically and financially impossible on the scale required. The more impractical and unrealistic the idea, in fact, the more fractivists embrace it. It is a substitute religion for these true believers. Yet, even the New York Times realizes the futility of such nonsense:

While there are tens of thousands of residential and commercial solar energy systems, only one utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plant is included in the Nyiso’s estimates of solar production.

Large-scale wind has had more success, and the state is pushing for more; about 30 wind farms are planned upstate. And the state recently approved the nation’s largest offshore wind farm, which could power 50,000 homes on Long Island by the end of 2022. A second site near the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens is in the works but is years away.

The cost of building wind and solar plants has fallen, but these power sources are intermittent. Until more storage is plugged into the grid, like batteries or pumped hydro plants, which pump water into reservoirs to store power for later use, other generators must be available to supplement solar and wind power.

A standard part of the electric arsenal are generators called “peakers,” which are needed to keep the grid reliable but might run only a few days a year. New York City has about 16 such plants, mostly around the waterfront, which spring into action on the hottest days of the year or if transmission lines or power plants upstate malfunction. Some sit on barges, and all are designed to switch on quickly. The trade-off for the rapid response is usually higher costs and carbon emissions.

As a result, customers pay for plants and wires that “a lot of the time are hardly used,” said Mr. Kauffman, the energy czar.

Shifting to solar and/or wind still requires the power plants, with consumers paying for both highly subsidized renewables and power plants made uneconomical by the renewables is beyond insane. It’s destructive. Yet, this what that tiny band of sad sacks protesting the North Bergen Liberty Generating plant wants.It’s also what Phil “the Panderer” is likely to give them if he gets the chance. New Jersey is that kind of place today, a land of no solutions, just posturing.

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3 thoughts on “The No Solution Opposition to Meeting NYC Electricity Demands

  1. Simple – Turn off all sources of energy that the residents object to. When they revolt – make sure they say please and issue a blanket permit to do what is necessary to keep the lights on, heat and A/C on, transportation running, etc.

    Who knows, with an action like that – maybe the folks in Massachusetts will take note? I doubt it.

  2. In a few years, I plan to go to “The Close Cover Before Striking School of Environmental Law”… make a bunch of money off these patsies… errr I mean, “clients”… make big $$$$$$ , then go find some other “clients” that will be fighting the massive offshore wind farms because they legitimately have a negative impact upon marine life… time to back up the Brinks truck! !! $$$$$ wooohooo $$$! 🙂

  3. Governor Murphy must not be aware of this part of the story when he claims it will not benefit NJ:

    “◾NBLG will also provide millions of dollars in annual taxes to the host municipality of North Bergen and the State of New Jersey, and provide over 620 high-paying construction jobs, as well as fulltime operating and maintenance jobs.”

    Classic case of open mouth and insert foot.

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