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A Letter to the WMGLD: Rethink Role in New Fossil Fuel Plant

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

A letter to the Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Commissioners asking for a review of Wakefield's participation in construction of polluting power plant to be built in Peabody, MA. Additional information available here.


October 15, 2020

Board of Commissioners (via email)

Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department

Wakefield, MA


Dear Commissioner,


I am disappointed to learn that the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department has agreed to a 35-year power purchase agreement that will help enable the new construction of a 60 megawatt (MW) natural gas- and oil- fueled power plant in Peabody. While I appreciate that the electricity system must still partially rely upon fossil fuel power generation to meet demand, I am dismayed that Wakefield would commit ratepayers to shouldering the cost volatility and environmental degradation inherent in this project, particularly since there are other viable options available to us.


I applaud the advances WMGLD has made over the past several years to adopt new and cleaner technologies. I have been encouraged by the collaborations the Town Council and WMGLD have had on important projects like streetlight conversion and electric vehicle chargers. This progress will be significantly diminished by investing in a dirty power plant that our children and grandchildren will have to pay for financially and environmentally.


With the climate crisis nearing a point of no return, I implore the Commissioners of WMGLD to reevaluate this decision in light of the extraordinary climate, technology, legislative and regulatory changes that have occurred since this project first came before your Board.


One of the unique aspects of having a public power utility is the ability for residents and ratepayers to have a say in where our power comes from. I ask that you publicly share the full details of Wakefield’s involvement, alternatives, and local and regional impacts of building a new fossil fuel power generator.


Sincerely,


Julie Smith-Galvin,


Vice Chair, Wakefield Town Council



cc:

Ann Santos, Chair, Wakefield Town Council

Peter Dion, General Manager, WMGLD



Stephen Maio, Town Administrator, Town of Wakefield

Jason Lewis, State Senator

Kate Lipper-Garabedian, State Representative

Donald Wong, State Representative

Martin Suuberg, Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)

2015A Letter to Commissioners_10.15.20
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©2020 by Committee to Elect Julie Smith-Galvin