Congratulations to the newly elected senators and representative of Connecticut as well as those that were reelected to continue to serve the citizens of CT. Most of the elected candidates have made very strong statements about fighting climate change and working to preserve our natural world. You can read statements from their campaigns on these issues here Ending Fossil Fuel Subsides.
While these statements are encouraging, it is up to us, as their constituents to let them know that these issues are important and these problems need to be addressed immediately. Please contact them regularly so that they do not lose sight of this fact.
At the town hall on October 17, you restated your firm commitment to the Keystone pipeline project: “We’re going to bring that pipeline in from Canada. How in the world the President said ‘no’ to that pipeline…I will never know.”
Here are a couple of things I urge you to consider.
You can take a look at the north end of the pipeline where tar sands oil is being strip-mined. As you flip through the photos, please try to grasp the scale. I thought I had it until I got to slides 48, 49 and 50…After you take a moment to catch your breath, you can go through again and look for that tire.
Just to be clear: These photos show only one little piece of the area that will be stripped to feed the pipeline. Remediation will never ever be possible. Please take a few minutes to hear why that should be an integral part of your decision-making.
At the town hall, you brought up the “all regulation is bad” idea. Here’s what you said: “So where’d the increase [in oil production under President Obama] come from? Well, a lot of it came from the Bakken Range in North Dakota. What was [President Obama’s] participation there? The administration brought a criminal action against the people drilling up there for oil, this massive new resource we have. And what was the cost? 20 or 25 birds were killed and brought out a migratory bird act to go after them on a criminal basis.” Do you really mean to make that your argument, your theme? Please look again at the short video about the forest. Maybe you’ll be swept up by its glorious complexity, and by how simple is the idea that Life itself depends on keeping the forest intact. It’s NOT 20 or 25 birds. It’s all the birds. And all the amphibians and all the insects and all the plants and all the fish and all the microbes and all the mammals…and and and all the organisms living in relationship on the land or in the water or flying in the air. What’s astonishing to me is that we’ve somehow constrained ourselves to the point that criminal action on behalf of 20 or 25 birds at a time is what it takes to stop us drilling there.
This can barely begin to explain why exploiting tar sands oil is a very, very, VERY bad idea, and why President Obama must make it clear that there’s no possible way he’ll approve the northern part of Keystone. I hope you will reach the same conclusion. Climate scientists are all but unanimous that anthropogenic climate disruption is real. Some of them put that into layman’s terms this way: EXPLOITATION OF ALBERTA TAR SANDS OIL IS GAME OVER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.
350CT is working to end unnecessary and harmful subsidies going to the oil, gas, and coal industries by asking our candidates for federal office these 4 questions:
1. Do you support policies and legislation that would encourage the creation of green jobs and transition the United States to renewable energy?
2. Promoting walking, biking and public transportation have been shown to change behaviors that result in widespread obesity, greenhouse gas emissions, and increasingly higher costs for road, highway, and bridge reconstruction. Do you support infrastructure improvements that would decrease car usage in favor of biking, walking, and public transportation?
3. Do you support ending all fossil fuel subsidies — for oil, coal, and natural gas — which will total $113 billion over the next decade?
4. Will you support Federal legislation to reduce fossil fuel consumption and increase renewable energy production to reduce our nation’s impact on the environment and curb climate change?
We are starting to receive replies and you can view them here. If your candidates have not responded yet please let them know that you care about this issue and would like them to reply. If they have responded and you agree please thank them. If you don’t agree please let them know.
This Saturday, August 4th rally with Climate Summer and the Healthy CT Alliance to CALL FOR THE RETIREMENT of one of the dirtiest and most unjust plants in the nation – Bridgeport Harbor Station. We are calling for a transition to SAFE, RENEWABLE, JUST, and HEALTHY energy for Bridgeport, and for the rest of Connecticut.
11:45 AM @ Seaside Park, the Beach on the Corner of Barnum Dyke and Soundview Drive
Hear stories from neighbors and community leaders on the personal, local, and global impacts of coal. Share your own thoughts and questions. Light refreshments will be served. We begin our march to the Coal Plant here.
Approx. 1:30-3 PM @ Downtown to Bridgeport Harbor Station
Take a stand against dirty, deadly, energy and march with us through downtown Bridgeport! We will stop at City Hall and finish the march with a rally at the Bridgeport Harbor Coal Plant.
Where Beginning of the Canal Trail in New Haven at 9AM
Base of the Tower Trail at Sleeping Giant, Hamden CT at 10:30AM (map)
Description Meet us at 9 AM at the beginning of the Canal Trail in New Haven, CT for a bike ride to Sleeping Giant. Meet us at 10:30 AM at the base of the Tower Trail at Sleeping Giant in Hamden, CT for a hike to the Tower, followed by a picnic (bring your own snacks!).
On Wednesday, July 25 350 CT will be marking the anniversary of the tar sands oil spill in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River with 2 events in hopes of preventing a similar tragedy in New England and anywhere else. Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc. is proposing reversing the flow on the Line 9 and the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line to carry tar sands bitumen through New England for export around the world. Doing so would corrode the pipeline to a point that a similar (or worse) spill is almost inevitable.
Event #1: We will be at the City Seed farmers market in New Haven from 11:00AM – 3:00 PM distributing information about Enbridge’s proposals, the damage tar sands does to land and water and enlisting support in convincing our legislators that exploiting tar sands are not in the national interest.
Event #2: We will be joined by the Climate Summer Riders for a bike ride to show our opposition to the tar sands and that transportation is possible without oil.
1. Leave New Haven Green at 5:00 (or so) for a ride around to city (route to be determined)
2. Wear black. I know it may be hot but we want to signify the near assurance that pipelines that carry bitumen from tar sands corrode and cause spills and water pollution
3. Attach black streamers or signs to your bike to simulate the large damage that these spills would cause.
As many of you know, we are in the midst of an exciting transition. At our last meeting on May 29 we discussed and approved the structure for the new leadership team, as well as a process to vote for said leadership team.
Kelly Forbush was voted to be our official election coordinator.
1. Collect Nominations (by June 16)
If you want to nominate yourself for a position on the leadership team, email Kelly a brief blurb about why you want to fill that position and what skills you will bring to the position.
If you want to nominate someone for a position, email Kelly the person’s name and contact information. (I’ll contact them to check that they are interested in the position and ask them to write a blurb)
2. Publish Nominations (on June 18)
Blurbs for all the candidates will be emailed to the 350CT listserv for viewing and absentee voting
3. Vote for our Leadership Team (June 26)
Please save the date for our really important 350CT leadership team elections meeting.
Tuesday, June 26
Start time: 6:30 PM
End time: by 9pm, hopefully earlier.
Location: TBD, in New Haven
If you want to vote on the leadership team, but end up not being able to come to the meeting, you will be able to cast your vote by emailing or calling Kelly at least 24hrs before the meeting. (I need time to compile absentee votes)
To vote you must have attended at least one other 350CT meeting.
Please write “350CT Elections” in the subject of you email.
350CT Summer Kickoff
Come to a happy hour to relax and celebrate the beginning of summer. We’ll have very short check-ins about our various campaigns, but this night is mostly social. Comfy chairs, a collection of games, couches, and neat artwork on the walls. If you are interested in buying food or drink, they have sandwiches, deserts, tea, fairtrade coffee, and wine and beer. (no need to buy something though)
Wednesday, May 23
7:00 – 9:00pm
Koffee? on Audubon
104 Audubon St
New Haven, Connecticut
350 Connecticut Disappointed in Failure of Oil Efficiency Legislation
Without Quick Action, 48% of Homes in State to Lose Access to State’s Efficiency Programs
HARTFORD – In the yearly flurry of activity on the last day of the Connecticut legislative session, a major issue slipped through the cracks: allowing heating oil customers access to state efficiency programs. At a time when all Connecticut residents are trying to save money on energy, fuel oil customers (48% of homes) are at a severe disadvantage. They are about to lose access to efficiency assistance programs that are available to natural gas or electric heat customers, because of the way these programs are funded.
This inequity would have been corrected by proposed legislation including Senate Bill 415 and Senate Bill 450. Efforts to provide reliable access to efficiency programs and to improve the structure of efficiency funds were supported by 350 Connecticut, other statewide environmental advocacy groups, energy efficiency businesses and private citizens. Unfortunately, ongoing negotiations among legislators meant that no compromise energy bill was finalized before the clock ran out on the 2012 legislative session Wednesday night.
Teresa Eickel, member of 350 Connecticut and executive director of the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network, testified in support of the policy at a public hearing. “This legislation will not only save Connecticut residents hundreds of dollars per year, it will also secure jobs for economic growth,” she said at the time. Owners and employees of home performance businesses testified that expanding access to and funding for state efficiency programs would enable them to hire more workers, while restricting access might force them to lay off workers–especially in areas of the state where oil is the predominant heating fuel.
Although the legislature failed to deal with this issue in regular session, there is still time to give oil customers access to these programs before funding runs out. “Our senators, representatives and governor need to act quickly,” said Laura McMillan, a member of 350 Connecticut’s Global Warming Solutions Act working group. “Providing all state residents with access to programs like Home Energy Solutions will help their constituents to save money, protect skilled jobs in the home performance sector, and reduce Connecticut’s carbon footprint.”
Join 350CT in calling on PSEG’s CEO Ralph Izzo to give Bridgeport’s children and elderly clean air to breathe by retiring the plant and revitalizing the community.
WHEN: Monday, May 14, 2012
6:30 P.M. (public comments to begin at 8:00 P.M. sharp)
WHERE: Bridgeport City Hall Annex
999 Broad Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604
WHY:Harbor Station is an outdated 44-year old coal plant that lacks the proper pollution safeguards! It is a major source of soot, smog, and climate-disrupting pollution. In fact, it’s been cited as one of the top 10 environmental justice offenders in the U.S. The power plant releases pollutants that contribute to 4 of the 5 leading causes of death in the U.S.: stroke, heart disease, respiratory diseases, and cancer. 14.9% of school-aged kids in the Bridgeport school district have asthma, higher than the national average. While the health risks are greatest within a 3-mile radius of the plant, studies show that everyone within 30 miles of the plant is at risk. CT would be the 1st state in the U.S. to rid itself of all its coal plants once PSEG retires it! Help us create a clean, safe, and renewable energy future for the state.