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Campaign Updates

May 2024

Climate & Clean Energy

 

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. Bills are advancing in the legislature that will boost these priorities including: HB 5004 - An Act Concerning the Implementation of Certain Climate Change Measures, House Bill 5052 - An Act Supporting Solar Energy in Schools, HB 5232 - An Act Concerning Solar Projects Throughout the State and House Bill 5358 - An Act Concerning a Study of Geothermal Energy. We anticipated these concepts will all be included in HB 5004. Please urge your legislators to support HB 5004. Take action here.  On April 22, the EPA announced that Connecticut would receive a $62 million grant for solar through the Solar For All program, see the Chapter’s press release on award.

 

Pipeline opposition: Methane is dangerous for climate and health (see our new informational booklet here), and Sierra Club is working to stop new and prolonged fracked gas use. Sierra Club is helping to organize opposition to Enbridge’s Project Maple, a proposal to expand Enbridge’s pipeline in Connecticut. In April, Martha Klein was featured on this podcast discussing these issues. Sierra Club is also working with local residents to stop the expansion of the Brookfield Compressor Station. On April 1, Brookfield residents spoke up against the compressor station expansion at the meeting of selectmen. On April 10, Brookfield residents and statewide organizations delivered a letter to DEEP urging them to reject the air permit for the compressor station expansion, to visit Brookfield to see the site, and to provide air monitoring for the community. On April 16, Sierra Club field organizer Nick Katkevich was quoted in this WSHU piece on the Brookfield Compressor station. And, Sierra Club is currently intervening in the CNG/SCG gas rate case before PURA.

The Inflation Reduction Act:  is the largest investment in our climate and clean energy in US history. It includes more than 100 programs that will invest about $370 billion in climate action, clean energy jobs, and environmental justice. Sierra Club’s Steve Lewis is presenting to groups around the state about the benefits of efficient zero-emission technologies,  his personal experiences with energy efficiency, solar panels, heat pumps, electric vehicles, and  about the rebates and tax credits available through the Inflation Reduction Act. Interested in a presentation in your community? Contact us at connecticut.chapter@sierraclub.org.

 

Capitol Area System: 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 April 9, Sierra Club and allies attended a presentation by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) about the State’s sustainability work to advocate for a 100% renewable Capitol Area System and local hiring. DAS is responsible for providing a decarbonization study to Governor Lamont and the Office of Policy and Management, expected in early summer 2024.

 

Zero Waste

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. 22% of waste going to incinerators and landfills is food waste, Senate Bill 191 -An Act Concerning Food Scrap Diversion from the Solid Waste Stream and the Redemption of Out-of-State Beverage Containers will reduce this. Take action.

 

Clean Transportation

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 April 16, the CTMirror published an opinion piece by Samantha Dynowski, and co-signed by numerous partners, on CT’s failure to adopt the clean car and truck regulations. 

 

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. Follow news from the campaign  on Facebook. Plans are in place for Black Birders Week in May, see here for more information.  The Remington Woods team is seeking members for our Conservation Committee, if you are interested in working with other Sierra Club members passionate about conserving land and open space, please contact remington.woods@sierraclub.org.

 

Toxics

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 March, the legislature’s Environment Committee approved SB 292,  a bill to ban PFAs in certain products. Sierra Club supports this bill and encourages you to contact your legislators. Take action here.

 

Neonicotinoids: Sierra Club Connecticut hosted a "Protecting the Birds and the Bees" event on the dangers of Neonics to birds, bees and humans at the New Britain Library on Tuesday April 9th in partnership with Pollinator Pathway and Connecticut Audubon Society. 

 

Wildlife

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. On April 18, Wildlife Committee chair Tanya Bourgoin gave a presentation Western CT Bird Club on grassland birds, their habitats, threats that they face, and how to protect them. At the legislature, 2 bills gained approval from the Environment Committee that are wildlife priorities. House Bill 5217 - An Act Concerning the Use of Certain Rodenticides and House Bill 5225 - An Act Concerning the Recommendations of the Invasive Plants Council. HB 5225 has since been approved by the House. Send a message in support of the rodenticides ban bill.

 

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.  On April 23, our Chapter was invited to table at The Hartford’s Earth Day event where we shared information on the need for the insurance industry - and The Hartford - to stop investing in and underwriting fossil fuels.

 

Legislative Session

The 2024 legislative session concluded on May 8.  Priority issues for the Chapter include climate, clean energy, wildlife, waste reduction, and toxics. As noted above, Sierra Club worked on numerous bills in each of these areas. Interested in getting more involved in our legislative committee?  Contact Steve Lewis, Legislative Committee Chair, for more information. 

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