Citizen research on SEPTA’s Proposed Gas Plant

The proposed SEPTA gas-to-electric power plant. We’ve spoken at SEPTA board meetings, met with SEPTA management, gone door-to-door canvassing neighbors, educated politicians, convinced over 50 organizations of our perspective, and yet, our transit agency is set on building this plant.

citizens meeting, discussing research

With assistance from expert advisors, volunteers at 350 Philly have written several reports and memos about SEPTA’s proposed Nicetown gas plant. Having shared these reports with officials at SEPTA, the City of Philadelphia, as well as with members of Philadelphia City Council, we’re now making our research public.

  • Request for a Full Study of Alternatives to the Gas Plant  — A memo laying out why we believe SEPTA should examine a full range of options for addressing the concern about the potential for power outages to interrupt Regional Rail service. We provide a detailed list of ideas and questions that should be explored.
  • Climate Impact of SEPTA’s Proposed Gas Plant — A critique of SEPTA’s claim that building the Nicetown gas plant would result in a 41% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and a comparison of this project with renewable energy alternatives.
  • Financial Analysis of SEPTA’s Proposed Gas Plant — 350 Philly has scrutinized SEPTA’s contracts for the project and an audit prepared by the company that would build and operate the plant. We have found that the electricity produced by the plant would cost significantly more than electricity from renewable sources, even if natural gas prices remain relatively low over 20 years.
  • Comments on SEPTA’s Air Emissions Study — In 2016, SEPTA commissioned a study about the air pollution that the proposed gas plant would emit. After reviewing a summary of the report, we critiqued the study for failing to examine the impact of this pollution on community residents’ health and for ignoring the pollutant that we believe may most concerning — ultrafine particulate matter.


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