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greenpoint williamsburg waterfront task force
What's Happening
The Inside Story
Do We Need This Plant? 5 Energy Myths

What do you know about New York City Energy Policy? How much is based on fact, and how much on reports circulated by private speculators who stand to profit from short-sighted and misconceived energy projects? Read on to clear up a few of the myths surrounding the "necessity" of more power plants!

Myth 1: New York City Needs to License More Power Plants.
False. New York City needs to build those plants currently approved for construction. The state has already licensed over 1,900 megawatts of new plants for New York City in the past two years. An additional 1,100 megawatts, not including TransGas, is also expected be approved over the next. In addition, there are plans to import another 1,800 megawatts of additional energy via new out-of-state transmission. Energy experts predict that if New York commits to real conservation, and adds up to 3,000 megawatts of new energy from these projects, we will have the most efficient and competitive energy market in the United States. Most of those projects cannot get built, however, because after Enron and the market crash investors do not want to put their money into building power plants in New York City.

Myth 2: New York City Needs to Build More Power Plants to Avoid Blackouts Like the One Following the Con Ed Fire at the 14th Street Plant on July 20, 2002.
False. The Con Ed fire blackout had nothing to do with needing to build more power plants. Rather, a short circuit caused the problem. No blackouts in New York City, including the Great Blackout of 1977, have been the result of a lack of power supply. Rather, it is the result of an old and outdated citywide transmission grid that cannot meet demand. In fact, the Con Ed fire occurred at a time when energy demand was 29% less than a typical weekday.

Myth 3: Building New Power Plants Will Result in Less Air Emissions.
False. Companies like TransGas claim that their projects will reduce air emissions because their plants will replace older dirtier plants. In fact, TransGas has no agreement from any operators, including Con Ed, that plants will be shut down if the TransGas project is built.

Myth 4: Power Plants Need to be Built Along the Waterfront.
False. Companies like TransGas want to build along the waterfront because the natural gas and transmission lines were originally laid along formerly industrial waterfront areas. However, new power plants can easily run gas and transmission lines to place facilities in locations that will not destroy scenic waterfronts like the coastline of Greenpoint and Williamsburg.

Myth 5: Nothing Can Be Done to Stop TransGas.
False. The Task Force has been working for over a year to stop the TransGas project and save the Greenpoint/ Williamsburg waterfront. The Task Force has retained legal experts and is conducting an intensive media and political action campaign based on past successful efforts to stop the construction of heavy industry on our local East River waterfront. We have succeeded in the past and we will do it again. Please join us in this fight!

Contact your elected representatives now and tell them that another power plant in our neighborhood is short-sighted and misdirected energy policy! Contact TGE and tell them their energy thinking is incorrect and their plant is not welcome in our neighborhood.

For references and related reading see the excellent document file at, including:

  • Table of Pending Article X Cases
  • Statement of City Councilman James Genarro, New York City Council Environmental Protection Committee Hearing, July 22, 2002.


And the Testimony of Joseph Ranna, Con Edison Director of Manhattan Electric Operations, New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection, July 22, 2002.

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