WOODBRIDGE, NJ – Local residents and climate activists rallied this evening in front of Woodbridge Town Hall to stop a proposal by CPV to build a second gas-fired power plant in Keasbey.
If the Murphy administration grants approval for the plant, it would be one of the state’s largest climate polluters. According to the company’s air permit application it would also be responsible for hundreds of tons of toxic air pollutants – including carbon monoxide, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, sulfuric acid, and lead.
The rally is part of “Governor Murphy: Walk Your Talk on Climate,” a walk for clean air and climate justice from Newark to Red Bank to draw attention to dangerous fossil fuel expansion projects.
The rally began with a warm welcome for the walkers, who arrived at the rally after the second day of their journey.
“Probably the most common illness that my students have is asthma,” said Pranita Bijlani, a public school teacher who is walking the entire length of the route for her students. “I’m very concerned about the health of my students. We’re already a very overburdened community over here.”
“We want to communicate to Governor Murphy that there is an incongruence between his words and his actions, and as adults, we know that sincerity depends on actions, and we want Governor Murphy to align his actions with his words,” said Bijlani, before leading a chant of “Governor Murphy, don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk!”
Other speakers represented the diverse coalition of groups opposing the CPV power plant.
“Nothing about this is sustainable… The amount of pollutants that we are actually unleashing into the environment that we and our children occupy is not sustainable,” saidDan Jimenez, a member of Woodbridge Youth and Liberation Equity (WYLE).
Local opposition to the plant is growing. Nearby municipalities have passed resolutions calling on Governor Murphy to reject the project (Franklin, Edison, Highland Park, Hoboken, and Perth Amboy), with more expected in the coming weeks.
Jimmy Dabrowski, a lifelong Woodbridge resident and member of the Perth Amboy branch of the NAACP, commended the municipalities that have come out against the proposed CPV power plant.
“What needs to happen is political courage,” said Dabrowski, echoing the words of Inger Andersen, the head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “We’re proud of the municipalities that have thus far passed resolutions coming out against this power plant… As it turns out, air pollution doesn’t just stay within the lines drawn on a map.”