Wolf Visits Jessup Amidst Power Plant Controversy

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JESSUP -- Governor Tom Wolf paid a visit to a community in Lackawanna County tied up in a controversy over a proposed gas-fired energy plant.

Governor Wolf was in Jessup Friday afternoon to tour the facility -- the Tek Ridge Center -- that houses several technology-based start-up companies. The building is only about a half mile away from the potential site of that proposed energy plant. If it is built, you would be able to see the plant clearly from the front of the Tek Ridge Center.

Residents who oppose the power plant saw the governor's close proximity as an opportunity to bring their complaints to the state level.

A small group of Jessup residents heard through the grapevine that Governor Wolf would be in town, so they made their way to the Tek Ridge Center in the Jessup Small Business Park to wait for the motorcade.

The governor was whisked inside for the private tour of the center that houses start-up tech companies.

Out on the sidewalk, some Jessup residents hoped to talk to the governor about another company: Invenergy, that has a proposal to build a natural gas-fired power plant on land only a half mile from the Tek Ridge Center.

"I have already written to him. I would want to tell him my concerns as to why I don't want the plant here. I don't feel like 30 jobs really merits the harm that it's going to cause our beautiful little town that I've lived here for 64 years. I don't want it changed," said Jessup resident Rella Scassellati.

Governor Wolf stopped in Jessup on a tour about rebuilding the middle class and supporting job growth in Pennsylvania. He wasn't prepared for questions about the local power plant controversy.

"Frankly, I just learned about this as I was driving in, so I don't know enough about it. I am in support of good jobs, and, I just need to know more about this. I'm sorry to evade that question, but I just don't know enough to answer it intelligently," Wolf said.

The residents, who are part of an organization called "Citizens for a Healthy Jessup," did have an opportunity to educate the governor, and he agreed to meet again with the group in Harrisburg.

"Anything you could do would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Governor."

There is no word on when opponents of the Invenergy plant plan to head to Harrisburg.

We also leaned that tenants of the Tek Ridge Center have also voiced concerns about the proposed plant that would be so close to them.  A business owner told us that Invenergy officials came there last week to answer to those concerns.

Late Friday night, Newswatch 16 received the following statement from Invernergy following the governor's visit to Jessup:

"No single initiative in the Mid Valley area would do more for job creation than building the Lackawanna Energy Center. The proposed clean natural gas plant represents a forward-looking vision of economic opportunity for the Borough of Jessup and the entire region. The $30 million in total tax revenue, 600 construction jobs and 30 permanent, well-paying jobs from this project would sustain families, strengthen the entire region, and help the state meet its clean energy goals."

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22 comments

  • GreenHope

    Who would want the tons of emissions that this plant would bring, especially near Little League fields and a park??? Air pollution knows no boundaries and all of Jessup and their neighbors will be impacted for only 30 jobs??? Bring real clean energy jobs Governor. How about high tech and solar panels etc for the industrial park. Isn’t it time to cross the bridge to renewable energy and get off the climate gangplank? Past time to protect our health, air, water and environment!!!

  • SteveL

    What did you expect from another tax and spend democrat like Wolf? He doesn’t have time to research matters like this. He is too busy finding ways to raise taxes on hard working individuals so freeloaders can get their rent, healthcare, malt liquor, cigarettes, cellphones, etc for free.

  • Warren

    We have the natural gas here. It makes sense to use this natural resource to bring good paying middle class jobs to our area. We should tax the natural gas leaving PA as well as electricity produced by our natural gas. This revenue should be used to clean up damage done by fracking as well as the coal industry, Sending the jobs and the power plant to another state is simply stupid.
    Taxing the gas coming out of the ground is stupid as well. Our natural resources should be taxed leaving this state. The people of PA are reaping the damage and should also be rewarded with lower prices. Let the people from outside our state pay the taxes on our resources.

    • Brian B Calderone

      If we focused our attention on wind, solar, and geothermal, we wouldn’t need natural gas.
      If fracking were illegal, there wouldn’t be any environmental damage.
      Non-nonpolluting renewables don’t damage the environment, don’t contaminate the water, etc.
      Gov Wolf is wasting our time pressing the jobs button when non-polluting renewables will provide many more jobs to a wider population than another cancer causing fossil fuel, like gas.

  • jeffie

    The people in this valley need to wake up. The world is changing.if u don’t want the tax revenue then someone else will get it. Any new jobs are good jobs. And what exactly is the problem with building this facility up in the woods? There are other businesses up there and there will be yet more.

  • balling on a budget

    the gas companies have already destroyed Susquehanna county. Let Invernergy set up shop in one of those towns in Susquehanna county.

  • Concerned Jessup Citizen

    A lot of you are right, it was our local government that sold us out with this proposed power plant, but I don’t think it was wrong or inappropriate for those citizens to want our Govenor to hear their story. Our borough council will be voting on the curative amendment for this plant on Monday and when it was announced that Govenor Wolf was coming to Jessup, I think some residents in Jessup thought he might be coming to show support for the plant. I understand the concern especially when our own representative is so in favor of it. I respect Wolf saying that he will meet with the opposition group Citizens For A Healthy Jessup. He may not be able to do much on a local level for our fight, but out of all the politicians and including the company that plans to come here, he’s the only one that wants to talk to us and help provide answers for us.

  • Pat

    “Frankly, I just learned about this as I was driving in” ~ I thought he received quit a few letters about it?????

  • Belle

    Certainly regret voting for Wolf now that he wants to significantly cut funding for online public charter schools with the intent to force public school students to return to their schools and get support services through the NEIU. I suppose Wolf hasn’t taken the time to research the broad spectrum of students who attend public online charter schools. Not all students are bully victims or problem students. Not all are students with special needs either. Many attend public online charter schools because the cirriculum is more challenging than that offered at their own school districts. Some attend because of the flexibility that online school offers to families who have children pursuing other outside interests. To cut funding so drastically to the online public charter schools is unthinkable and irresponsible. My child is online schooled and Commonwealth Connection Academy offers an outstanding education and cirriculum to its students…far better than what my school district offers because athletics is the primary focus of our school district sadly. My child was doing mathematic in grade eight online schooling that my oldest child did not even do until senior year in our home district. To be fair I have refrained from naming our home district but I can say that my child gets a much better education with online public charter school, doing so much more than peers of the same age are doing. The teachers and support are top notch, too. It would be a serious educational blow to those students thriving and excelling in online public charter school if Wolf cuts funding to online schools as he seems intent on doing. Smells like another Corbett…saying all the right things to get elected…making promises…and then turning around and cutting education funding. These elected officials are worthless.

    • poonus

      maybe vote Libertarian next time -the R and D’s sure do like their money- not much difference between them.. btw I didn’t vote for Wolfe -we have enough authoritarians already in office. I hope you find another solution to home schooling your child- I also think that whatever happens with this power plant is a local issue- you people in Jessup -your local government sold you out if it gets built- get your tar and feathers out.

      • Alex L

        Jeffie, I think it’s apparent who needs to grow up and it’s not the Jessup residents. Have you gone down to Wilkes-Barre DEP to do the file review, read the documents, and made up your own mind? Or are you just hypnotized by the Invenergy ads.

  • NEPA ANTIFA

    The companies that the power company buys gas from, do they inject water into the ground causing earthquakes?

    • Geoff Ashley

      They kill kittens. Seriously, you people are batsh*it crazy. A bunch of nut cases swarmed the governor while visiting a business on a totally unrelated matter. A first you had good points and ideas that made sense. Now you’re becoming total lunatics.

      • poonus

        the local people are unhappy with local government – and tried to go out and get someone else to fix it- that’s not crazy it is misdirected – they need to re-call the local government and get rid of them first. put people in who will zone the area in question in a way that breaks the deal and makes it cost prohibitive to build a power plant if that is what the locals want- crazy is crying to Wolfe saying that ‘there aught to be a law’ every time something doesn’t go their way…they selected the people that caused this stuff- they can recall them.

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