Guest post by Steve Andrada
[Steve Andrada presented his film, "Stop the Peabody Peaker Plant," to an enthusiastic audience of over 100 at the Torigian Senior Center on February 16, 2023. The film documents the 2-year long efforts of residents of Peabody and beyond to stop the construction of an old technology facility that would create additional pollution. Here is Steve's introduction.]
Hi. I’m Steve Andrada. My wife, Karen, and I moved to Peabody a couple of years ago and we landed in the Gardner Park area a short distance away from the Greek neighborhood where my father was born, the son of Portuguese immigrants. My grandparents worked in the tanneries and factories of Peabody. I know that Peabody has been burdened with a lot of environmental injustice over the years. But I thought those days were over.
So when I became aware of this project called the Peabody Peaker Plant and I found out that it was sited within a mile of our house…I instantly knew that this was a story that needed more investigation.
I am a retired TV news videographer and editor of many years and a veteran of many TV stations so I started to dig into the story.
Thanks to some of my early interviews with climate activists I began to understand what all of these acronyms stood for and WHAT this new fossil fuel plant was going to do to the area where it was going to be built.
It's a confusing process to understand how these new fossil fuel projects get approved and funded during these years. The public needs to be aware. Agencies involved in the process like ISO-NE and DPU and DEP and PMLP and MMWEC are not transparent to us, and I began to unravel a long timeline of agency secrecy and deception.
As I began to capture footage of activist events, protesting the building of this power plant, I got to see the real power of people standing up, demanding action in their towns to combat climate change and protect the health of their communities.
I got to sit down with legislators and activists and uncover the non-transparent process of making these decisions. I learned so much about where our energy comes from and I am still learning more every day.
I hope that everyone who sees this film will be inspired to learn more about how decisions are made in their neighborhoods, decisions about their own health and the health of their children, and what is happening to the environment around us.
And I hope that you will be inspired to join this movement.
Here is their story.
link for YouTube is https://youtu.be/_Ur58nZO4oY
Link for Vimeo is https://vimeo.com/794944943
Glossary of acronyms
ISO-NE Independent System Operator of New England
DPU Department of Public Utilities
DEP Department of Environmental Protection
PMLP Peabody Municipal Light Plant
MMWEC Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company