Report: New Yorkers Pay the Price for Peaker Plant Emissions

Climate and Energy Justice, Coronavirus, Environmental Justice

NYLPI’s report reveals that New York City residents, through their electric bills, have paid more than $4.5 billion over the past decade to owners of power plants that emit high levels of harmful pollutants in communities of color in New York City. The report, Dirty Energy, Big Money: How Private Companies Make Billions from Polluting Fossil Peaker Plants in New York City’s Environmental Justice Communities – and How to Create a Cleaner, More Just Alternative, is authored by the newly-launched PEAK Coalition, which includes NYLPI along with the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, UPROSE, THE POINT CDC, and Clean Energy Group.

As New York City battles the coronavirus crisis, it is especially urgent to reduce peaker plant emissions of fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, which have been shown to elevate the risk of illness and severe infection from COVID-19. The 16 peaker power plants currently operating in New York City are all powered by fossil-fuels and primarily located in low-income, communities of color. Many have been operating since the 1970s and earlier, and have little or no pollution-control equipment to reduce emissions. The report highlights how New York City can transition away from the outdated, inequitable, and polluting energy system that relies on peaker plants, and toward a clean, renewable energy and battery storage system that invests in environmental justice communities and enhances community resiliency.

The full report is available below, and more information about the PEAK Coalition is available here.



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