Breaking New Ground

In 2012, CLF started questioning New Jersey–based developer Footprint Power’s proposal to build a natural-gas-fired power plant to replace Salem Harbor Station, the polluting coal-fired plant slated to close this June. Proponents argued the plant would be cleaner, more efficient, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, serving as a much-needed bridge to clean energy. CLF challenged those assumptions, insisting that the bridge have a discernible end, with new infrastructure conditioned and constrained to ensure it meets the critical need to decarbonize our energy system.

The groundbreaking settlement reached with Footprint – requiring the plant’s emissions to decline annually and setting its retirement date for 2050 – is the first of its kind in the country. Now our work will be to ensure that this model of conditions and constraints applies to proposals to expand gas supplies across the region.