April 2022 Newsletter
Beyond Gas, Clean Energy & Climate
To address climate change Sierra Club Connecticut opposes gas expansion and advocates for deployment of clean energy. Here are some of the areas we are taking action to reduce the use of fossil fuels and accelerate an equitable transition to clean energy:
DEEP is in the process of updating the Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES), a guide for future energy decisions. Sierra Club is urging DEEP to draft a CES that stops expanding the use of fracked gas and starts decreasing all polluting fossil fuels, electrifies everything, prioritizes equity, and does not recommend false solutions. We have submitted comments from Sierra Club and from hundreds of Sierra Club members. On April 6, DEEP will hold a technical meeting on hydrogen. See Sierra Club’s presentation “Hydrogen: Future of Clean Energy or a False Solution?” (password: KTr!Uj1*)
Photo: Screen shot from “Hydrogen: Future of Clean Energy or a False Solution” Sierra Club Presentation
Ending Connecticut’s Gas Expansion Plan: Sierra Club is advocating for an end to the ratepayer funded gas expansion plan to lay new gas pipelines and convert customers to fracked gas in PURA docket 21-08-24. On March 23, PURA issued a draft decision recommending an end to the gas expansion program..
Updating Connecticut’s Energy Efficiency program to end rebates for fossil fuel equipment and appliances. Sierra Club is calling for an end to fossil fuel subsidies, an increase in heat pump incentives and prioritizing equity in the energy efficiency plan. As of March 23, the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has not released a final plan.
Sierra Club is calling on ISO-NE to end the Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) that is preventing Connecticut from meeting its mandated emission reduction targets by keeping clean and renewable energy from entering the market, and allowing the most polluting, dirty generation facilities to continue operating. On March 14, Sierra Club joined other organizations in a letter calling Governor Lamont and Commissioner Dykes to support eliminating the MOPR now (not in two years as proposed by ISO-NE) and we delivered over 2,700 messages from members and supporters throughout New England.
Air quality monitoring/citizen science: Sierra Club members are engaging in citizen air quality monitoring. Governor Lamont’s Executive Order creates air monitoring in environmental justice communities. If you want to monitor your air, or have mad data crunching skills, we are looking for you! Contact Martha.
Sierra Club Connecticut is working with allies led by CT Coalition for Environmental Justice to oppose trash incineration and to implement Zero Waste policies. We are working with residents in Bristol to fight the proposal to burn medical waste in their Covanta trash incinerator. Bristol Residents for Clean Air are proposing a strong clean air ordinance for the City of Bristol. In Putnam, we are supporting efforts alongside Save the Quiet Corner and other allies to stop the expansion of the existing trash incinerator ash landfill; despite objections, DEEP approved the expansion. In Hartford, we are monitoring a proposal by MIRA to replace the dying trash incinerator with a transfer station, and to continue incineration for one more year past the end date of July 2022. We are supporting legislation on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in tires and gas cylinders. Also polystyrene ban and opposing bad bills on chemical recycling and anaerobic digesters.
Ready for 100
Local campaigns for 100% clean and renewable energy: Teams in four Connecticut towns (Hartford, Milford, West Hartford and Windsor) are actively working to transition their communities to 100% clean and renewable energy. Alycia Jenkins presented the findings of the Trinity College Action Lab report on energy burden in the Upper Albany neighborhood in Hartford to the Energy Efficiency Board residential committee on March 9, and the Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter on March 23. The West Hartford team is working to promote a transition to efficiency and heat pumps in residences through Heat Smart. The RF100 national campaign is ending, but local campaigns in Hartford, West Hartford, and Windsor will continue with their communities to reach 100% clean renewable energy.
Sierra Club is working with allies to advocate for policies that promote car-free transportation, electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging, fleet transition, and more. Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign released this Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Engagement Toolkit!
Land & Water
Remington Woods: Sierra Club Connecticut’s Save Remington Woods campaign aims to protect Remington Woods from development and to be preserved in its entirety. Remington Woods is a 422 acre forest in Bridgeport and Stratford. Alongside local organizations, we are planning a town hall meeting for members of the community, local leaders to discuss options and what next steps for 2022-2023 look like. Sign the petition to Save Remington Woods here.
Insure Our Future
Insure Our Future: Sierra Club is partnering with CCAG and the Insure Our Future campaign to urge the Connecticut insurance industry to stop investing in and underwriting fossil fuels.
The Chapter’s Legislative Committee is in full swing for the 2022 session of the Connecticut General Assembly. See Sierra Club’s legislative priorities for 2022, as well as more detailed info on Energy, Environment, and Wildlife policy. Contact Art for more information.