Photo: Steve Lewis discussing clean energy opportunities in the legislative session
Climate & Clean Energy
Sierra Club is working with community and statewide partners to replace Hartford's Capitol Area System with a 100% renewable alternative. On December 16, students from Trinity College organizing with Sierra Club CT published this letter to the editor in the Hartford Courant. 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.
Solar and Clean Heat for All: Our Chapter has a vision to put solar power and clean heat into homes, businesses, schools and nonprofits in Connecticut to meet our state’s climate and clean energy goals. Right now, Connecticut lags behind on solar power per capita and needs to rapidly adopt heat pumps for space and water heating. In December, Sierra Club and partner organizations, released this policy paper and press release. We are also running digital ads for 4 weeks in December and January. On January 14, the Shoreline Group hosted a presentation on clean energy, legislation, and the Inflation Reduction Act. Send a message to your legislators urging support for more clean energy in CT. Contact Steve Lewis.
Stop Brookfield Compressor Station: The giant fossil fuel corporation Berkshire Hathaway Energy and TC Inc. (BHETC) is proposing to drastically increase the amount of gas it pushes through its 414 -mile long "Iroquois" fracked gas pipeline by expanding compressor stations in Connecticut and New York. The expansion applications are now before Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. In December, 480 people made calls to Governor Lamont and Commissioner Katie Dykes in response to Sierra Club phone banks. Also in December, the News Times published an article about the Brookfield Compressor station where the Mayor and the State Senator spoke out against the proposal to expand the compressor station. Local residents have a website 1900feet.org and a Facebook page, please like it!
Stop Enbridge Project Maple: The energy corporation Enbridge is proposing to expand its pipeline through Connecticut. Sierra Club is helping to organize opposition, read more here. On December 1, 90 groups sent a letter to New England Governors opposing Project Maple and a press release to the media. On January 2, CTMirror published this op-ed in opposition to Project Maple in CTMirror. On January 13, WPKN broadcast a radio show and on January 15 Hartford Courant published an article on Project Maple. Contact Martha Klein to get involved or for more information.
Sierra Club has joined with others to advocate for equitable climate solutions including this January 31 comment letter to DEEP on the development of a Housing Environmental Improvement Loan Fund that we helped create through legislation in 2023, and this January 12 letter to DEEP on its proposed Climate Priority Action Plan for federal greenhouse gas reduction funds through the Inflation Reduction Act.
Sierra Club Connecticut is working with allies led by CT Coalition for Environmental Justice to oppose trash incineration and to implement Zero Waste policies. A new proposal for a recycling center and waste incinerator in North Haven has brought community members and municipal officials out to question the plan. Sierra Club CT and the Zero Waste Coalition are following developments and attending public meetings. We are working with allies to draft a bill, tentatively called The Food Waste Recovery and Recycling Act. We are organizing a webinar “Connecticut needs a comprehensive food waste prevention & recycling law: the why and the how” on February 21 at noon.
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 Connecticut is urging passage of two sets of clean transportation regulations drafted by the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection now before the legislature. Chapter Chair Susan Eastwood published this letter to the editor in the Hartford Courant. On January 18, Susan, Sam Dynowski and Save The Sound’s Alex Rodriguez presented a webinar on the topic, see the slides here. Please send a message or call your legislators and ask for support, especially if they are on the Regulation Review Committee. On February 5, we will join with allies to celebrate Transit Equity Day.
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. On December 8, Remington Woods supporters gathered at an ugly sweater Town Hall. Join us on February 14 to deliver our petition, and help get more signatures by asking your friends to sign the petition to protect Remington Woods here. Follow news from the campaign on Facebook.
PFAS: Stories about PFAs chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are appearing regularly in the news. PFAs are being found in our water, food and more. PFAs have the grave potential to detrimentally impact human health. In January, Sierra Club volunteers and partners sampled water in 40 locations in the state to test for PFAs. We’ll report on the results soon.
Wildlife: The Wildlife Committee is working to protect wildlife in our state through education and policy change, including bear education, and raising awareness of the dangers of mowing hayfields on the local grassland bird population, including the Bobolink.
Insure Our Future
Insure Our Future: Banks, Asset Managers, and Insurance companies are all implicated in financing the fossil fuel industry. Here in Connecticut, 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 Legislative Committee has begun preparing for the 2024 legislative session that will begin on February 7, 2024. Priority issues for the Chapter include climate, clean energy, wildlife, waste reduction, and toxics. Contact Art Helmus, Legislative Chair, for more information.