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:
Sierra Club is organizing to replace the fossil fuel Capitol Area System in Hartford with clean energy. See more here, and read more below in the update from the Hartford Ready for 100 campaign.
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. On November 11, Sierra Club joined allies in submitting comments on “alternative fuels” aka fossil fuels like hydrogen, biodiesel, so-called renewable gas, and other false solutions to decarbonizing buildings in our state.
Sierra Club Connecticut is participating in the Connecticut Hydrogen Task Force, and is advocating a limited role in the use of hydrogen in Connecticut. Resources to learn more about the environmental consideration of the production and use of hydrogen include: Sierra Club webpage, Sierra Club factsheet, Sierra Club (and others) joint comments to DEEP on Hydrogen, recent reports on hydrogen. The Task Force will issue a final report, and the CT Greenbank is soliciting comments due December 9, more info here.
Air quality monitoring/citizen science: Sierra Club members are engaging in citizen air quality monitoring to better understand the local impacts of pollution and find solutions to Connecticut’s poor air quality. The team is comparing personal monitoring devices to official state and EPA monitors. 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. As part of the coalition, 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 hoping to get legislation raised to prohibit the burning of medical waste in Connecticut. The coalition is also working on preventing polluting “advanced recycling” facilities from being built in Connecticut and ensuring no new trash incineration plants are built.
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.
Hartford - Sierra Club is working with community and statewide partners to replace Hartford's Capitol Area System with a 100% renewable alternative. Learn more and add your name urging Gov. Lamont to commit to a 100% renewable replacement for the fossil gas energy plant and buildings it serves. On October 31, Sierra Club, environmental, environmental justice, labor, social justice, and clean energy groups sent this letter to Governor Lamont, Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Michelle Gilman, and Department of Energy & Environmental Commissioner Katie Dykes. On November 1, Sierra Club and allies rallied in front of the Capitol Area System plant at 490 Capitol Avenue; see Facebook and/or Twitter posts.
Sierra Club is working with allies to advocate for policies that promote car-free transportation, electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging, fleet transition, and more. On November 16, Sierra Club, Nonprofit Accountability group and others rallied at DOT in support of an extension of fare-free transit. On November 21, we joined others in a letter calling legislators to extend fare-free transit and support drivers. On November 28, the legislature extended fare-free transit until March 31. Stay tuned for more ways to advocate!
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. Sign the petition to Save Remington Woods here. On October 28, Sierra Club cohosted a town hall featuring Kaley Casenhiser and Walker Cammack, Yale graduate students who recently wrote a report about Remington Woods alongside Groundwork Bridgeport.
Wildlife: The Wildlife Committee is working to protect wildlife in our state through education and policy change. The committee produced this bear education flyer, and also designed these stickers to help raise awareness of how to coexist peacefully with bears. The Wildlife Committee is also working on raising awareness of the dangers of mowing hayfields on the local grassland bird population, including the Bobolink.
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. On November 10, Sierra Club, CCAG and Arctic Refuge Defense Campaign partners rallied in Hartford to deliver the thousands of petitions to Travelers CEO, Alan Schnitzer, calling on them not to underwrite oil and gas drilling in the Arctic.
The Chapter’s Legislative Committee was active on numerous bills during the 2022 session of the Connecticut General Assembly. The 2023 session will begin on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 and conclude on Wednesday, June 7, 2023. Contact Art for more information.