This Monday, Dec. 14 @ 1PM, the Senate Environment Committee will vote on Oyster Creek cooling towers. YOUR IMMEDIATE HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED (1) Phone Senator Ciesla, 732-840-9028, or Senator Connors, 609-693-6700 (2) Attend 1 PM Monday hearing, State House Annex, 1st Floor, Committee Room 4.
Dear Friend of Barnegat Bay,
Because you live in New Jersey’s 9th (south of Toms River)or 10th Legislative (Toms River and north) District, you are in a position to do something extremely important to the future of Barnegat Bay. In fact it is literally a matter of life and death.
On Monday, December 14 @ 1 PM, our Senator, Andy Ciesla, 732-840-9028, will vote “yes” or “no” on a bill to require cooling towers at the energy plant at Oyster Creek.
Senator Ceisla, 732-840-9028, is one of only six members of the NJ Senate Environment Committee, which on Monday will vote Oyster Creek cooling towers up or down.
Passage of this bill, S-3041, through Committee would be virtually assured if our other Senator Chris Connors, 609-693-6700, would stand up for Ocean County and New Jersey’s largest water body and support the cooling towers bill.
Every day, Oyster Creek’s antiquated “once through” cooling system strains 2.8% of the total volume of Barnegat Bay. (1.7 billion gallons out of the Bay’s total 60 billion gallons) of life. All fish eggs and clam larvae entering the plant are destroyed. Cooling towers, which use the same water over and over, can end this devastating practice.
2.8% of the Bay’s volume per day is over 1,000% of the Bay’s volume strained of life per year.
Notwithstanding the claims of the company, cooling towers will in no way make it necessary to close the plant. The cost is easily affordable by Exelon, which is in excellent financial condition, earns about 3 billion dollars profit a year and has a an extraordinary operating margin (net profit as a percentage of revenues) of 32%.
Neither would it increase electric rates because Exelon is not a utility. They do not set the rate the consumer pays. Instead they sell electricity into the grid at competitively bid prices. What all this means to the Exelon is that their earnings would be very slightly reduced. The stockholder’s dividend would not be threatened because at present their earnings per share ($4.29) are twice their dividend ($2.10) Neither would their CEO’s salary of 3.3 million dollars or the $27.2 million in options he has exercised be threatened. See Environment New Jersey’s excellent Fact Sheet focusing mainly on the economics of this issue.)
Barnegat Bay has experienced a near collapse of the shellfishing industry, an extreme decline in the all-important eelgrass, which is heat sensitive, and a plague of stinging jellyfish, which like warm water. Straining and super-heating 1.7 billion gallons of Barnegat Bay water daily may be contributing to these problems and is certainly not helping to relieve any of them.
Please phone Senator Ciesla’s office at 732-840-9028 and urge that he vote in favor of common sense, that New Jersey’s largest water body should not be strained of life. “Yes” in favor of cooling towers at Oyster Creek. “Yes on S-3041”. With Senator Ciesla’s vote, the bill will likely pass the six member committee.
Given the facts, this vote should not even be close — and yet it is. The plant’s owner, Exelon, is reportedly sending its CEO and hundreds of union workers (who have been deceived into thinking that requiring cooling towers would require Oyster Creek to be closed) to the Committee hearing in Trenton on Monday morning, December 14 @ 1 PM.
In addition to the necessity of phoning the Senators, if you are able, you can help by attending Monday’s Hearing at 1 PM. We will be distributing “Don’t Strain the Bay” stickers, so they can know which side you are on. (Directions are below.)
For information on carpools, email Willie deCamp at email@example.com
Barnegat Bay is the largest body of water in Senator Ceisla’s and Senator Connor’s districts, the largest in Ocean County, and the largest in the state of New Jersey. If Senators Ciesla and Connors will not stand up for it, what hope can there be for Barnegat Bay?
Oyster Creek has been re-licensed for 20 years. Barnegat Bay cannot be restored to health if Oyster Creek does not have cooling towers.
Please phone one the Senators as soon as possible, because they may be committing their vote by the end of the week.
PS If by any chance you are a personal friend of Senator Ciesla or Senator Connors, it would be especially helpful if you could speak to them.
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Directions to the State House:
Be careful about using GPS because it may take you to the front of the State House (State Street) where there is no parking. You want to go the rear of of the State House (the downhill side facing the river) where there is underground parking. From the shore take I-195 West all the way to Route 29 North. Follow Route 29 North through a tunnel, and under U.S Route 1. After passing the Market Street exit, take the exit marked “Capitol Complex“; (Calhoun Street is too far.) At the light at the bottom of the exit ramp you want to turn left but you have to effectuate that by means of a jughandle (careful: the jughandle looks like a parking lot) Then you will see a police booth, where you can get directions for parking. From the parking garage take the elevator up to the highest (main) floor, and ask for directions to the Senate Annex, 1st Floor, Committee Room 4 10.
(Note: We will be giving out stickers you can put on during the hearing that read: “Don’t Strain the Bay”. To get some in advance call SBB and then drop by to pick them up.)
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More Comprehensive Explanation of the problem.