This week our organization, 350 CT is co-sponsoring a Clean Energy Lobby Day on May 5 at noon in Hartford. We are joining the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the League of Conservation Voters, CT Sierra Club and many other groups across the state in this effort because its time for our state’s leaders to put an end to the days of subsidizing dirty fossil fuels and to instead invest in clean, renewable energy.
While our neighboring states move forward with clean renewable programs like shared solar and wind energy, Connecticut continues to subsidize dirty fossil fuel infrastructure. One key example of our state’s backward policy of subsidizing fossil fuels is Public Act 15-107 which was passed in 2015 immediatley after an election here in Connectcut that utility companies and their executives contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to.
The act contained a provision that authorized these electric utilities to recover the costs of infrastructure projects such as the construction of new Fracked Gas Pipelines through a surcharge on customers’ electric bills. This was part of a larger strategy to finance and develop additional gas infrastructure capacity across Connecticut and New England. This includes the construction of five new gas-fired power plants, hundreds of miles of gas pipeline connections, compressor stations, and other related infrastructure projects.
What’s worse? We don’t even need the additional natural gas and the cost of one new pipeline along is estimated at $6.6 billion! According to a recent report by Synapse Energy Economics, the total cost to ratepayers for the proposed infrastructure projects could be as high as $6.6 billion. Additionally, Synapse concluded that additional pipeline capacity is not warranted, as New England’s use of natural gas is expected to decrease by 41% from 2015 levels by 2030, due to state requirements for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and emissions caps.
This is why 8,380 Connecticut residents from across the state signed a petition and another 4,430 wrote hand written letters to their legislators this week to show their support to invest in clean, renewable energy and to stop the Pipeline Tax.
The public has expressed a strong desire to see Connecticut transition away from dirty fossil fuel infrastructure. State residents want to embrace clean, renewable solutions to meet our future energy needs. We respectfully urge Connecticut lawmakers to enact these important clean energy policies, which enjoy broad public support, this year.
We hope that you will join us in Hartford on May 5th to help send a message to our lawmakers that the time for clean energy is now!
Diane Lentakis is an Environmental Activist who serves on the steering committee of 350 Connecticut and as manager of the CT Sierra Club’s Ready for 100% Clean Energy campaign.
Synapse Energy Economics, “New England’s Shrinking Need for Natural Gas” (2017). Taken from : http://www.synapse-energy.com/sites/default/files/New-Englands-Shrinking-Need-for-Natural-Gas-16-109.pdf