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Report: State's Last Coal-Fired Power Plant No Longer Profitable

An independent report says it would be prudent for the City of Bridgeport, the State of Connecticut and ISO New England to begin preparing for its retirement.

Image of smoke stacks courtesy of ct.gov
Image of smoke stacks courtesy of ct.gov

The following report is based on a press release from the Health Connecticut Alliance:

It's time to retire the state's last coal-fired plant, according to the findings of an independent study released Jan. 23.

The independent report, put out yesterday by Cleveland-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, found that PSEG’s Bridgeport Harbor Unit 3 is economically unsustainable. 

“The future for Bridgeport Harbor Unit 3 looks bleak,” the report states. “[…It] would be prudent for the City of Bridgeport, the State of Connecticut, and ISO New England to begin to prepare for the unit’s eventual retirement.”

The plant pays $2.5 million in taxes each year to the City of Bridgeport, according to an article by the Connecticut Post, and helps meet electric demand for 500,000 homes in Fairfield County. It sits along the harbor and is easily visible from Interstate 95, most notably by its towering smoke stack.

"Unjust Pollution" — Health, Environmental Concerns Aired

“Low-income and minority communities are burdened by more than our fair share of pollution,” said Elaine Thompson-Ward of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice, which is based in Bridgeport. “Here in Bridgeport, the most obvious polluter is the coal plant. It hurts the physical health of our neighbors and it hurts the economic health of our neighborhoods. We need to start planning for a Bridgeport without this unjust pollution.”

“Coal-burning is known to raise the risk of cancer and heart issues, and it act as a trigger for any respiratory disease like asthma. It is absurd that PSEG continues to burn coal in a residential neighborhood and within a mile of six schools,” said Claire Miller of Toxics Action Center. “Bridgeport can do better for its citizens—it’s time for the City and PSEG to make a plan to retire this old, unprofitable plant."

"It's time for Bridgeport to innovate again" 

“Based upon the comprehensive market analysis released yesterday, if and when PSEG decides to retire its Bridgeport Harbor Station coal-fired plant, we look forward to working with all stakeholders to help plan for and ensure a just transition for both the community and workers,” said Diane Lentakis for the Connecticut Chapter of the Sierra Club. 

“Bridgeport is a city that historically was on the vanguard of innovation, but coal was the way they heated their houses in the 1800s!” said Maisa Tisdale, president of the Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community. “This old, dirty plant should be a historical artifact, not something that we're still using today. It’s time for Bridgeport to innovate again.”

The Healthy CT Alliance is committed to retiring Bridgeport Harbor Station, ensuring a just transition for its workers, and redeveloping the site to revitalize the neighborhood and reinvigorate Bridgeport’s economy. 

The Alliance will hold a community forum from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, at the Bridgeport Library’s North End branch, 3455 Madison Ave., to discuss the report and the need for a redevelopment plan. On hand will be David Schlissel, one of the authors of IEEFA’s report, and Jeremy Brecher of the Labor Network for Sustainability and author of Jobs Beyond Coal

Members of the public are encouraged to attend and bring their ideas for Bridgeport’s future.

The report may be read at http://www.ieefa.org/report-when-not-if-bridgeports-future-and-the-closing-of-psegs-coal-plant.

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