Power line fight

Joseph Pannullo, the mayor of East Hanover, is  among those leading the fight against the PSE&G power line project through northern New Jersey.

“I don’t want to be the mayor who rolled over and played dead,”  and let this happen, he said at a meeting today at the Daily Record.

Pannullo was joined by Byran Councilman Scott Olson. The men made three main points: the power line would reduce property values, and hence, town tax revenues; it would be a health risk and it’s not needed.

The state Board of Public Utilities is scheduled to make a decision on the plan in October.

Showing the depth of opposition, seven towns have retained a public relations/lobbying firm to help them fight PSE&G. That would be the MWW group of  East Rutherford. The towns are Parsippany, East Hanover and Montville in Morris County and Byran, Andover, Fredon and Hardwick  in Sussex.

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About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

9 Responses to Power line fight

  1. Scott Olson says:

    It’s Byram with an “m” Fred. 🙂

    Thanks for taking the time with us today. This line IS unnecessary, no doubt in the minds of many.

  2. Thanks to the Daily Record for noticing that there’s more to this story than the PSE&G press releases! This line is not needed, it’s desired. It began at a FERC meeting where the goal was to utilize economic dispatch to move cheap coal generation around the region, and Project Mountaineer was born. The Susquehanna-Roseland line is the NE part of the Project’s “line 1.” It begins at the Amos plant in West Virginia, arguably the dirtiest coal plant in the US, and sends four lines to New York. PJM participated in that labor of economics and this is just a part of that much larger plan. New Jersey doesn’t gain from this, other than “gain” increased risk from breathing coal emissions facilitated by this line and from increased EMF exposures of those living under it. New Jersey would lose because it does not comply with New Jersey’s Energy Plan and encourages consumption rather than conservation. That’s not where the state plans to be. PSE&G needs to take this transmission line and go away and focus on conservation, rationally sited renewable energy within the state, demand side efficiency and supply side efficiency (think about the waste of shipping MWs of energy on long transmission lines!). Contact the Governor and let him know what you think, let him know what you think of his failure to stop the Highlands Council transmission for dollars “mitigation,” your support of New Jersey’s Energy Plan and your own efforts in conservation. 609-292-6000 and his “contact” page: http://www.state.nj.us/governor/about/contact/ The deadline for Comments to the BPU about the line is quickly approaching (Sept. 15). Sierra Club has an easy form you can use to voice your opinions: http://actionnetwork.org/campaign/bpu_public_comment
    Thanks for paying attention to this issue!

    Carol Overland
    Attorney, Pro Hac Vice, for Stop the Lines

  3. mark says:

    there must be something other than electricity that all of the towns can use in the future and I guess they have the answer but will not let us in on it.
    Tax revenue will go down you have to be kidding….!!!!

  4. P says:

    Scott – Why would a company sink millions of $$ into a new power line if it didn’t think it could recoup its investment (i.e., that the power line IS necessary)?

    Will all the people and businesses in Parsippany, East Hanover, Montville, Byram, Andover, Fredon and Hardwick take themselves off the grid since they obviously don’t think a reliable supply of electricity is important to the region? No one wants power lines, highways, etc. to run past their neighborhood, but everyone wants the benefits. NIMBYism at its best.

  5. Well, the tax argument is that a power line will reduce property values and hence, assessments, which could lower tax revenues

  6. P says:

    All it will do is lower the ratable base, but the total taxes paid will remain the same.

  7. P says:

    I don’t understand how a mayor and councilman don’t understand the way the property tax system, that they oversee, works.

    You take the total taxes needed by the municipality + school district + county and divide it by the total ratables in the municipality. That gives you the tax rate per $100 of assessed value. You multiply that times the assessed value of your house and divide by 100, and voila, you have your annual tax bill. If the town’s ratables go down, the tax rate per $100 just moves higher, but the property tax bill is the same.

    I would hope these guys understand that. If not, it’s time for a new mayor and councilperson in East Hanover and Byram.

  8. I know what P is saying .. Now, I am not agreeing with this argument, but the way it is being framed is that if ratables dip, there are limits — political limits — as to how high the tax rate can be raised

  9. P says:

    My guess is that 1.) although the property owners would feel like the value of their property had been impacted, the assessed value would not be adjusted; 2.) if values were adjusted, it would only cover a small portion of the town, and the amount of change for those properties would be minimal, 3.) so net-net, the change would be de minimus.

    The key quote was “I don’t want to be the mayor who rolled over and played dead,”

    The mayor is worried about getting re-elected and he knows that if he doesn’t play the tough guy he’ll have hundreds of angry residents looking to unseat him.

    And that’s why allowing every Podunk town along the right-of-way to object and delay a needed infrastructure upgrade is insane.

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