We Want a Just Transition for Huntley Coal

NRG began the retirement of the Huntley coal plant in Tonawanda in March of 2016, joining hundreds of coal plants like it across the country. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to come together to build a new, stronger economy in Tonawanda and make sure no one is left behind.

Join Us

JOIN THE MOVEMENT FOR A JUST TRANSITION!  On August 25th 2015 NRG announced the retirement of the Huntley Coal plant in the Town of Tonawanda. The facility employed 79 workers and contributed significant revenue to our local municipalities including the Town of Tonawanda, Erie County and millions to the Kenmore Tonawanda School District.

The company cited economic reasons for the retirement. “We don’t foresee any scenario where the plant would be economically viable,” said David Gaier, NRG’s spokesman to The Buffalo News, “This is a reflection of the economics of power generation.”

For the last year three years Clean Air has been working with hundreds of local residents and allies including the WNY Labor Federation and the Kenmore Teachers Association, to generate a plan in case of this announcement. In January 2014 we shared the results of the prophetic report that showed Huntley was struggling financially and was likely to close.

  • In the spring of 2014 we held 4 community assemblies that shared the details of the report, and where residents and workers generated ideas on who would need to be taken care of in case of the closure, and how we could take care of them.
  • After the assemblies a group of stakeholders was established, to flush out these ideas, and create a proactive Just Transition plan. This plan includes how to make up revenue lost by the retirement, potential pots of money to provide for workers, and a pathway forward to begin long term economic development planning for the Town.
  • In June of 2014 we held a Just Transition Conference at New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) – where experts on economic development and coal transitions came to share ideas of how communities across the country have dealt with similar challenges.
  • In October 2014 The Buffalo News editorial board cited our work and stated “The plant’s days appear to be numbered, at least as it exists today… Because of that, local entities that have become dependent upon the plant might want to start planning ahead.”
  • In May of 2015 we partnered with the UB School of Architecture and Planning – and  students took up the challenge of imagining what the Huntley site could look like if the plant retires. These ideas where shared publicly with residents who live closest to the plant
  • Due to hard work and strategic organizing, we won $30 million in the 2016 budget to support Tonawanda and communities like it across the state that face lost revenue from power plant closures. We know that this fund is just the beginning of our work to rebuild the economy in Tonawanda. An economy that sustains and creates a tax base, provides good paying safe jobs, improves community health, and that is bold, visionary, and sets an example for the rest of the country facing this energy transition.

Join us to learn what you can do to make sure workers and our community are taken care of.

Upcoming Actions and Events

We hold community meetings monthly. To get involved or learn more, call Rebecca at 716-852-3813

Next Public Meetings:

Thursday, June 2nd at 5:30pm River Road Fire Hall (39 Kaufman Ave) Tonawanda, NY – Join us to learn more about communities where successful clean ups and re-purposing has occurred, including sites in New York State.

Public Meeting – June 22nd at 5:30, location TBA

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