Gov. Patrick – Retire Salem Harbor Now

by Guest Blogger

November 17, 2010

Check out this new blog from our coal campaigner Kelly Mitchell:

The Salem Harbor coal plant tells an all-too-common story in this country. Dominion Energy operates a dirty, old coal plant in this small New England town, contributing to nearly 20 premature deaths, 36 heart attacks, and 316 asthma attacks every year. The company has consistently shown a complete disregard for communities and the environment. When state regulators forced Dominion to reduce emissions at Salem Harbor, they opted to import low-sulfur coal from Colombia – from a mine that ignores workers rights and environmental protections – rather than clean up the plant.

Local citizen groups are standing up to this energy giant, and demanding that Salem Harbor close as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Dominion has publicly toted a party line that they intend to keep the plant open for the foreseeable future. And the Governor has yet to use his power to pressure state agencies to close the plant.
Shut Down Salem Harbor

Now, our friends at the Conservation Law Foundation have caught Dominion Energy in some interesting double speak.

While Dominion continues to tell Salem residents they don’t intend to close the plant, in a recent meeting with investors, Dominion CEO Mark McGettrick delivered the following message:

“We have announced that two of our coal plants will shut down in the future when the environmental rules are clear. The first is Salem Harbor in the Northeast… But in the near future, certainly within this five-year horizon, we would expect Salem Harbor plant to shut down. We will not be investing any capital for environmental improvements at Salem Harbor”

Check out this blog from the Conservation Law Foundation to learn more.

So, we now know Dominion wants to close the plant. And if they refuse to invest in environmental upgrades, ratepayers will foot the bill for keeping an old, dirty, unnecessary plant in service. Local residents have paid for Salem Harbor with their lives and their health; they shouldn’t also have to hand over their hard-earned money.

Why should we keep this thing open another day, let alone another five years?

Governor Patrick needs to step in, and pressure state agencies to clear the way for shutting down the Salem Harbor plant as soon as possible. Keeping this plant open for even one more year will result in more deaths, more heart attacks, and more asthma attacks.

Greenpeace Says Quit Coal Now!Greenpeace will continue working with the people of Massachusetts to ensure that Governor Patrick is doing everything in his power to close this plant immediately. Check out this recent blog post Roll Against Coal from our local organizer David Lands, where Greenpeace activists expressed solidarity with Salem residents and organizations (Bikes Not Bombs, Students for a Just and Stable Future, SAFE and HealthLink) by biking 19 miles to visit the coal plant and meet the incredible activists standing up to Dominion Energy.

Governor Patrick should show his support for the residents of Salem and demand that the Salem Harbor plant is shut down immediately.  

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