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. On September 9, Sierra Club joined allies in submitting these comments. Technical meetings are ongoing.
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. On September 8, Sierra Club and others submitted these comments on a definition of clean hydrogen. The next meeting of the Hydrogen Task Force is October 11, see more details here.
Ending Gas Expansion: Sierra Club CT is joining with local allies in Wilton to oppose Eversource’s proposed gas pipeline expansion project. In late August, Good Morning Wilton and Nancy on Norwalk published letters from Rem Bigosinski to “Stop the Gas Pipeline Extension in Wilton.” The letters outline the damage gas expansion does to the climate, the environment, human health, and our pocketbooks.z
Sierra Club is calling for reform at ISO-NE to reduce fossil fuel power generation and increase clean and renewable energy. On September 1, Sierra Club joined allies in releasing New England’s Winter Electricity Challenges Call for a Clean Energy Solution. Connecticut Chapter Director, Samantha Dynowski’s op-ed, New England’s grid operator needs to admit gas is unreliable, appeared in the CT Mirror on September 6. On September 8, the Federal Energy Regulatory Authority held a forum on New England’s over-reliance on gas.
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 proposing a strong clean air ordinance for the City of Bristol. On September 27, the Zero Waste Coalition hosted a webinar: Advanced Recycling - An Inequitable and False Solution.
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 - Alycia Jenkins has been doing community outreach at Farmer's Markets and local events to build support for addressing energy burden in Connecticut by 1) creating a low-income discount rate of electricity, 2) prioritizing energy efficiency services and clean energy programs for energy burdened residents, and 3) ending costly reconnection fees. Petition is here. On August 30, Sierra Club and Operation Fuel hosted a webinar about the development of the Low Income Discount rate. Alycia led development on comments to PURA on its proposed low-income discount rate design, submitted on September 28. Sierra Club is working with community and statewide partners to replace Hartford's CDECCA power plant with a renewable alternative. Learn more and add your name urging Gov. Lamont to commit to a 100% renewable replacement for CDECCA.
West Hartford - Christine Feely is leading the West Hartford team to urge the Town Council to adopt a resolution on electric lawn care. Petition here. On September 25, the team organized an Electric Showcase event as part of National Drive Electric Week that showcased electric vehicles, e-bikes, electric lawn care, charging, and heat pumps.
Windsor - The Windsor Climate Action Team is finalizing details for a Sustainability Fair on Saturday October 1 11:00-4:00. We are expecting nearly 50 exhibitors plus a Drive Electric event. Our goals include raising awareness of sustainable options and hoping to inspire local action. In addition, we are trying to raise money for a scholarship for a Windsor student interested in pursuing environmental studies/ work. We have an online auction too! We are also planning to participate in the town’s Chili Challenge on October 8th.
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 is a sponsor of National Drive Electric Week, a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. The event takes place September 23 to Oct 2, and here in Connecticut many of these events are organized by Sierra Club volunteers and other allied organizations. See the full list of events here.
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. Jhoni Ada authored this op-ed in the CT Post urging Corteva to protect Remington Woods. A Town Hall meeting will take place on October 28 furthering the conversation of what can community coalition/cross-sector partnership to save Remington Woods look like 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.
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. Send a message to Travelers here. On September 7, allies of the Gwich'in Steering Committee, including Insure Our Future, Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG), First Peoples Worldwide, Sierra Club Connecticut, and the Arctic Refuge Defense Campaign held an event discussing the connection between the insurance industry and the proposed oil & gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Advocates hand delivered a sign on letter from 240 organizations from nearly every U.S. state to The Hartford and Travelers offices in Hartford.
The Chapter’s Legislative Committee was active on numerous bills during the 2022 session of the Connecticut General Assembly. The session ended on May 4, with many successes, and some disappointments. See our wrap up article in the May Q for more details. Contact Art for more information.