Please help us stop a climate destroying and socially unjust power plant to be built in Killingly. The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection plans to issue a permit allowing NTE, the owner of the proposed Killingly Energy Center, to release industrial wastewaters into the publicly owned treatment works in the town of Killingly, at an annual cost to NTE of $8000. The Killingly POTW was recently upgraded at a cost to the residents of the community of $25 million, which they will pay over time in their water and sewer bills. The NTE wastewaters may contain various chemicals, minerals and petroleum oil. Chemicals such as ammonia and phosphorus contribute to algal blooms that create dead zones in bodies of water. The POTW releases into the Quinebaug River. The Quinebaug River watershed covers 850 square miles, and includes 29 streams and 54 lakes and ponds.
DEEP has fostered the expansion of fossil gas in the state by approving enlarged pipelines, and forcing ratepayers to foot the cost of converting new consumers to fracked gas for the benefit of Eversource and UI-Avangrid. With a glut of fracked gas on the market, energy companies are seeking to find customers for their planet ruining products. Eversource is so desperate to find customers for their fracked gas that they are subsidizing the connection of their new pipeline to numerous schools in Killingly, a cost which is usually borne by the local town or municipality.
DEEP is putting the state’s waters at risk in order to profit energy companies NTE and Eversource. That shouldn’t be a surprise, with a former Eversource executive working in the governor’s office as Chief of Staff. There is no benefit for the residents of the state and we must fight like hell to protect our waters and our health. DEEP states that affordable energy is the goal, but multiple new fossil gas power plants have been built recently in Connecticut and our energy prices as consumers have continued to climb. DEEP claims that fossil gas plants are cleaner than coal or oil, but they refuse to recognize the science of pipeline leaks, which demonstrate that methane leaks are five times the figures proposed by industry and government regulators. DEEP is aware that the state is a net energy exporter, and hence the power created at the new plant is for export to other states, which creates profits for energy companies while adding pollution to the air and water that harms the health of local residents.
Most infuriatingly and hypocritically, DEEP continue to contend that there is nothing they can do to protect the environment from industrial energy development. After all, they are the Department of Energy first and foremost! In their response to the dozens of comments they received opposing their permit for the water quality certificate they issued to NTE in the spring of this year, allowing the destruction of thousands of square feet of wetlands, they state “The unavoidable impacts, balanced with the required mitigation, have been found consistent with the Connecticut Water Quality Standards.” (italics mine) Damage to the state cannot be considered “unavoidable” if the project doesn’t benefit the state, isn’t needed in the state where people suffer unjustly from the impacts of pollution, and was accepted in a flawed regional auction by ISO-NE. ISO-NE failed to account for efficiencies and the procurement of large off-shore wind energy. According to recent remarks made by Eric Johnson of ISO-NE to PURA, “…there is an excess of capacity on the market…”
There is no justification for DEEP’s permitting potential water pollution in the Quinebaug River, in order to allow NTE to build an unneeded power plant. These actions are politically motivated and Governor Lamont has surrounded himself with Eversource cronies who are not concerned with the public’s well being. Please send comments opposing this wastewater permit before or during the following public hearing on October 1 and make sure to put Application No. 201615592 in the subject line.
A hearing for the receipt of public comment will be held on October 1, 2020. The hearing will begin at 3:00 PM, and be conducted via Zoom. This hearing can be accessed, with no requirement to pre-register, at: https://ctdeep.zoom.us/j/92554402449 or this meeting ID: 925 5440 2449
An evidentiary hearing, to receive evidence from the parties, will be held on October 2, 2020, beginning at 10:00 AM. This hearing will be conducted via Zoom. This hearing can be accessed, with no requirement to pre-register, at: https://ctdeep.zoom.us/j/93288476462 or this meeting ID: 932 8847 6462.
Aug 29th – Climate Shoe Strike When we can’t gather for our safety, we can still show our support for the right climate and justice policies.
Put people and the environment first. -Prioritize measures that quickly create more jobs in sustainable future sectors. Introduce safety nets and measures to help people retrain and quickly get into work in clean industries that do not emit CO2.
Leave the fossil economy.( Stop NTE Fracked Gas, Gas Pipelines) -Remove fossil subsidies and tax relief for fossil energy. Discontinue all public funding of – or investment in – fossil activities. Defund and outlaw development of new fossil fuel infrastructure. Retire all polluting facilities ASAP.
Declare a climate emergency. -Once declared by political leaders, hold them accountable!
While most of us know that the Climate Emergency impacts every part of our society and mitigating climate change will require changing all that we know, war and the climate crisis are uniquely intertwined. The machines of war use an obscene amount of fossil fuels which drive the climate crisis and extreme unpredictable weather events cause chaos that can lead to conflict. Many wars are predicated on the desire to secure the resources that fuel climate chaos. The victims of the climate devastation are then forced by their governments to risk and lose their lives fighting other people suffering under the same devastation. And all those resources , human and monetary, spent to wage unnecessary war are unavailable to solve the real problem, the suffering ecosystem that is breaking down before our eyes. Imagine if instead of sending bombs to the middle east, the United States was sending assistance to Australia to fight the climate change fueled bush fires ; or to Jakarta to recover from the floods and mudslides ; or perhaps we could be equipping our own nation to end our dependence on fossil fuels. In the fight for climate justice we have no space or time for new wars, current wars or old wars.
Discussion of the Climate Resistance Handbook (subtitle: I Was Part of a Climate Action. Now What?)
This handbook is about planning a strategy for building a powerful movement for climate action, with the emphasis on planning and strategy. It is a brief introduction to the steps for breaking the cycle of endless repetitive actions that don’t go anywhere and instead building a campaign with a well-defined goal and a strategy for escalating the pressure on a target. A series of campaigns then is used to build a growing movement.
This introductory handbook links to further training documents on the trainings.350.org website. Much of the approach taken here comes from Training for Change: https://www.trainingforchange.org
Gov. Lamont will hold Forum on Transit Sun Jan 12th While most of the news coverage of the transit plan from the governor has highlighted tolls, there is much more to talk about including the fact that there has been no official climate analysis from this administration. In addition, some of the proposals put forward would exacerbate CT emissions by widening highways, building a new airport and not doing enough to expand access to mass transit. Come to this forum to challenge the governor to build a climate friendly transit system that puts justice first. When : Sunday Jan 12th 4:00 PM Where : Bedford Middle School, 88 North Ave, Westport RSVP HERE : https://www.meetup.com/350CT-org/events/267768735/
TO CHANGE EVERYTHING, WE NEED EVERYONE Specifically , 350 CT needs everyone. There is a dire need for more action on climate change and to be able to do all that is necessary, we need volunteers to take care of the day to day items that will make us successful. A few specific areas of need : Finance Committee If you have experience with budgeting and reporting on finance matters we could really use your help. Even if you have only balanced your personal accounts, we can help train you if you are interested in helping out. Online Communication Committee Have you ever sent an email? Updated a blog? Posted on Facebook? We need your experience to keep our online presence engaging and up to date. Art Working Group Do you like making art? Music? Have experience creating flyers, signs or graphics? We need you help.
Governor Ned Lamont’s public declaration of Executive Order 3 (EO3) may seem like positive action in the time of a climate emergency when the federal administration has abandoned any pretense to acknowledge or act on largest threat to our society’s survival. However , we must reckon Lamont’s pledge against the true scope of the damage climate breakdown will do to the people, infrastructure and stability of our state, our nation and our internationally connected world. The damage currently being done to our natural systems by greenhouse gas emissions must be stopped as quickly and responsibly as possible, and the EO3 does not live up to that standard.
The first issue with the executive order is that by it’s own nature it is a flawed mechanism for forcing structural change. While it is laudable for the current governor to plant his flag on the side of climate action , an executive order is realistically only in effect as long as that governor is in office. When they leave office, the next one can abandon or weaken the efforts of this document almost immediately. Lasting change needs to be enacted in a way that future administrations cannot easily disrupt or ignore, such as government policies passed through the legislature. EO3 also puts the monitoring and reporting control in the hands of executive branch departments without input from the communities that will have to implement and live with these policies. And considering the limitations of this sort of document, why are the goals so insufficient to meeting the crisis outlined in the “where as…” clauses? The actions outlined in this document don’t match the recommendations of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) nor do they accomplish the goals laid out in the Paris accords which CT has pledged to uphold. In order to match the urgency of these goals we need a moratorium , or better yet a ban, on all new fossil fuel infrastructure and a concrete plan to retire all the current polluting facilities in our state. We also need a plan to eliminate all buildings and transportation emissions while transitioning the people employed in those industries to new green jobs that will build and maintain the clean renewable infrastructure needed to live sustainably. When creating policy statements for an administration that claims to be committed to climate action, why not be bold, ambitious and recognize the truth of the crisis we are facing?
Another problem is in the scope and responsibilities that are outlined for the Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3), an advisory organization made up of mostly government department heads , that has delayed far past the original target date for producing a plan to lower emission in CT. EO3 tasks them with “Oversight” of climate mitigation and adaptation but provides no mechanism of enforcement for the council. Without a way to hold the government responsible for failures to meet the emission reduction goals outlined, there is a high risk of any reports becoming something that is filed away with no corrective action taken. Also, given the councils history of completing required documents far past required deadline, it is hard to imagine they will be able to correct counterproductive policy soon enough. While efforts to include voices from environmental justice communities are positive, unless they are replacing current members of the GC3 they cannot be effective with the bulk of the council from the governors administration. This is especially true with the stipulation that the governor can terminate their membership at any time.
Finally, the EO3 had been stated as setting a goal of “100% zero carbon target for the electric sector by 2040”. This would be an improvement on current law if it were true, as the current goal is “80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050”, but this would not be sufficient to mitigate the climate chaos we are experiencing from extreme storms , persistent droughts and sea level rise. A overwhelming majority of the world’s scientist say we must eliminate the damage we are doing by 2030 and Gov. Lamont’s goal doesn’t even address the emissions from buildings, industry , transportation or agriculture. Additionally , a close reading of the text finds that this goal is not specified outright but says that the GC3 and Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection ( DEEP) should “analyze pathway and recommend strategies” that would achieve this goal. Now is not the time for more analysis, oversight or recommendations. Now is the time for bold and concrete action.
Overall, this executive order can be summarized as too little, too late and too light on detail. If the Gov. Lamont and his administration wanted to take bold action here are a few things they could do right now: 1. Declare a Climate Emergency and direct every state agency to address the crisis.
2. Publicly state that all fossil fuel infrastructure will be rejected , including the NTE Energy Center in Killingly and all fracked gas pipeline expansion 3. Direct all government buildings to create a plan to transition Net Zero energy use or create more renewable energy than they need. 4. Make mass transit options priority one for the Dept. of Transportation. 5. Pressure the legislature to pass these requirements into law …. and much more. The question that we must ask ourselves and that Gov. Lamont should be governing by is not “Are we doing better than before?” but “Are we doing everything we can to ensure our survival?” When we look at Executive Order 3, the answer to that question is unequivocally “NO”.
350CT Monthly Meeting (Dec 9th in New Haven) will be discussing the Green New Deal and other legislative proposals to curb the causes of climate change. If you would like more info here are some resources:
Governor-Elect Ned Lamont State Capitol 210 Capitol Avenue Hartford, CT 06106
All State Legislators Legislative Office Building 300 Capital Ave Hartford, CT 06106
Dear Governor-Elect and Legislators:
As a resident of the State of Connecticut and a concerned citizen, I urge you to follow through on your statement regarding climate change: that it is “an urgent threat that must be tackled immediately.” I couldn’t agree more. We have precious few years to address this issue and we have certainly seen the enormous threats that loom: drought, wildfires, flooding, stronger hurricanes, sea level rise, and more. Some key points:
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says carbon emissions must fall by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 – a mere 12 years. The term of your governorship will likely encompass most of this time.
The report notes: “limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require ‘rapid and far-reaching’ transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities.” In other words, an emergency mobilization.
The earth has already warmed by 1.8° Fahrenheit (1° Celsius).
The report is based on old data. The nature of science is that the reports go through rigorous evaluation and peer review before they are published. Hence, the data contained in them is already somewhat out of date by publication. Even now there are concerns about accelerating feedback loops, such as methane leaks from the thawing permafrost in the arctic. These tipping points threaten to lock in even more global warming, possibly pushing the earth past our ability to survive on it.
The Paris Climate Accord, while a good step, did not actually set up the global community to limit warming to 2° Celsius. It was assumed that more aggressive steps would be taken later. However, even with the watered down obligations from the Paris accord, these obligations are not currently being met.
The data is bleak. And as the IPCC report indicates, we have the ability to make substantial changes in business-as-usual that will have real, significant impacts on these trends. One very bright light in this effort is Mark Jacobson, a professor at Stanford University in California. He and his team have spent years modeling ways for each state and country to move to 100% clean, renewable energy. His Solutions Project is highly recommended reading (thesolutionsproject.org). As he noted in a recent talk in Hartford, we must move to 100% electricity-based energy systems powered primarily by solar and wind. That means: all vehicles, all mass transit, all industrial and residential heating, and all industrial and residential cooling must be powered by renewable electricity. A massive undertaking, yes, and we have the technology right now to make this happen. All we need is the political will.
The current political situation provides the best chance we have to lead in implementing policies to transition us away from fossil fuels and to an ecologically sustainable and just society. The Democratic Party has campaigned on addressing climate change and now that they have majorities in CT and all our neighboring states it is time to back the talk with action. A “Green New Deal” to create clean energy jobs, improve the health of CT residents, and reduce our cost of living would include (but not be limited to):
Restoring electric rate equality (net metering) harmed by 2018 legislation in CT;
Retiring polluting power plants like Millstone Nuclear Power Station & Bridgeport Harbor Station (Gas & Coal);
Enacting a prohibition on gas infrastructure development;
Restoring rate payer funds designated for energy efficiency and renewable energy;
Requiring government buildings to be powered by renewable energy such as solar, wind or geothermal;
Requiring all new construction in CT to incorporate renewable energy;
Expanding and electrifying mass transit systems to serve the most people and eliminate emissions;
Expanding the renewable portfolio standard to 100% by 2030 or earlier.
I cannot think of a more meaningful and significant legacy for you to leave to the state of Connecticut than to say you’ve thoroughly addressed this existential threat. It affects every current and future citizen of Connecticut, and truly, the world. Please show us that you’ve been serious about addressing this issue. Addressing it can bring thousands of jobs to the state, retain our younger generation, improve health outcomes, address environmental racism, and reduce energy costs for all citizens. It can be positioned as transformational, as it certainly is. Please move forward on this quickly. Our lives literally depend on it.
At 350 CT , we hope that everyone who cares about the climate crisis will share this letter with their representatives at the state capital. It would be most effective if you can do this in person, at their office or a public event but please spread this to as many people in the state government as possible.
Due to a scheduling conflict with a few candidates the forum date has been changed from Thursday July 12th to Monday July 16th
Climate Change and Connecticut Governor Candidate Forum As we have seen in the last few years, the governor of CT has a large influence on the climate policy of our state. They will appoint the head of the Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection and Transportation , as well as several members of the GC3 (Governors Council on Climate Change) and can even submit legislation directly to craft policy. In fact the main climate bills to be passed in 2018 were initiated by Gov. Malloy. Well we get to choose a new governor this November. Because of this, it is important that we find out what the candidates’ policies would be, pressure them to act on the accepted science and implement the radical solutions we need. Join 350 CT, John Dankowski(moderator) and several other organizations at a Climate Change and CT Candidates Forum on July 16th at Trinity College in Hartford.
Please RSVP Here : https://www.meetup.com/350CT-org/events/250709066/ or on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/events/966062240223264/
Also we need these candidates to know that this is an important issue to the voters. Please call, write or tweet their campaigns and demand that they come to this forum and come with solutions to the climate crisis: Ned Lamont 203-859-5896 203-387-7990
Sample Phone Script : Hello, I am a member of 350 CT and will be voting for CT this November. The next governor needs to help our state be a leader in addressing climate change and deal with its effects. If you would like my vote please attend the Climate Change and Connnecticut forum at Trinity College on July 16th. Thank you.
Sample Tweet : <Twitter Handle> Climate Change is happening now and CT needs to address it. If you would like to lead the state, we need to hear your plan. Join the Climate Change & CT Forum to reach climate voters. #climatevoter #ctgovernor
“Climate Change & Connecticut” Governor’s Candidate Forum
Monday, Jul 16, 2018, 6:00 PM
Trinity College Mather Hall 300 Summit Street Hartford, CT
10 Earth Savers Attending
CT Climate groups are organizing a forum for gubernatorial candidates in CT focusing on issues around climate change and environmental justice. Please plan to join us at Trinity College (300 Summit St, Hartford) Washington Room in Mather Hall on July 16th at 6:00 PM Jon Dankosky,host of NEXT & the Wheelhouse on WNPR ,will be moderating a forum on c…
350 CT stands with immigrants. In fact we welcome them. This nation was made by immigrants and is made better, stronger and more valuable by people migrating here every year. Climate change will increase migration to North America in the coming years and who know how many of these new residents will be key to the solutions we need to reach 100% renewable energy and a clean non-polluting economy? We encourage our members to attend rallies this weekend and especially the Free Our Future Rally at the Immigration Office in Hartford ( 450 Main St ) on Monday July 2nd.
In 2018 the CT legislature once again fell short in recognizing the emergency of the climate crisis and missed the opportunity to make our state a leader in clean energy. We are fortunate in the state that vocal climate deniers are rare but inaction in policy is just as dangerous to our ecosystem as the proverbial hot air coming from those who reject the scientific consensus. The legislative calendar began with some hope for progress on clean energy, mass transit, and climate justice. There were more than a dozen bills proposed and submitted to different committees. These potential laws and regulations ranged from carbon fee/dividend and penalties for gas pipeline leaks to expanding community solar(to everyone) and emission reduction goals. While there were benefits and drawbacks to these pieces of legislation and worthy conversations to be had on the best way to implement them, this is not what happened. After the committee process and the legislative leaders decided on what would and would not be voted on we only saw 3 significant climate related bills that could be approved : S.B. No. 7 : An Act Concerning Climate Change Planning & Resiliency S.B. No. 9 : AN ACT CONCERNING CONNECTICUT’S ENERGY FUTURE S.B. 336 : AN ACT CONCERNING COMMUNITY SHARED SOLAR. The multiple provisions of these bills contained some positive aspects : raising the Renewable Portfolio Standard (the amount of clean energy utilities must procure) to 40% by 203, expanding solar access to more CT residents, eliminating procurement of energy from fracked methane gas, and setting a better interim target of 45% pollution emission reduction by 2030. However these positive steps did not signify the CT government shifting away from using fossil fuels and embracing the life saving, job creating, cost lowering society that would result from an all out focus on a pollution free society. Furthermore, these minimum reforms to our energy system were too radical for some legislators unwilling to imagine a future society different from the past and present. These bills were endlessly resisted and amended to weaken them and delay the necessary and inevitable transition to solar, wind and other emission free energy sources. The community shared solar bill was completely erased and replaced with legislation dealing with broadband internet. SB 7 was saddled with a Eversource, United Illuminating and industry backed gutting of Net Metering(or Electric Price Equality) so that they don’t have to pay solar power produces a fair price for the service they provide all of the state’s residents. In a time when the solar industry is expanding in CT , providing good safe jobs for the people that cannot be outsourced and reducing our need for expensive, volatile , imported fossil fuels WHY would our representatives seek to slow that growth and make it harder to switch to solar? It is clear that, while there are climate champions in CT, the majority of our legislators are ignorant or willfully blind to the escalating danger of climate disruption to our state, our country and it’s people. Have they forgotten SuperStorm Sandy that ravaged our coast and caused damage that is still being repaired? Have they not noticed the rising temperatures that caused May 2018 to be the fourth hottest on record according to The Weather Channel? How can they avoid seeing the devastation in Puerto Rico and the hundreds of CT families affected by the ongoing tragedy on that American island? Will they only realize the massive cost in money, property and people’s lives when it happens to them? Because it is happening to all of us and none of us will be spared from a climate that is no longer hospitable to our species. The CT government needs to wake up and realize that change around the edges will not be enough to deal with the climate crisis. We need to reshape our state to depend on clean energy for power and transportation and we need to start now. We have the technology to do it, we have the union workers to build it and we have the opportunity to lead. We just need the leaders to realize we’re all in the together and when we take mass action we can become those leaders. 350 CT continues to demand an end to the fossil fuel era and a just transition to 100% clean renewable energy with a powerful march and rally the weekend of Sept 9th in addition to joining with other environmental groups to pressure candidates for CT governor to enact this transition at a forum on July 12th.(Update: Forum date has been changed to July 16th.)
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.