Contradictions About in Connecticut's Energy Policy - Something Must Be Done to Fix It

Samantha Dynowski

First it was Killingly. Now it is Middletown. Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) continues to hand out permits for climate destroying fossil fuel power plants with no end in sight.  Even DEEP’s plans for 100% zero carbon electricity will allow the 54 fossil fuel power plants in our state to continue and more to be added. Something must be done.

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If you have not been following this issue of dirty energy in Connecticut closely, here is a little background on what’s been happening recently:

 

650 MW Power Plant Proposed in Killingly - Even though DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes acknowledges that the region does not need the power, and Governor Lamont says he doesn’t want it, DEEP has approved every permit sought by the developer of the proposed 650 MW fossil gas power plant proposed in Killingly. It will emit up to 2.2 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere annually. 

 

375 MW Power Generator Proposed in Middletown - In Middletown, DEEP approved air permits in late 2020 for 375 MW fossil gas generation. This proposal was deemed unneeded by ISO-New England, yet the facility has been given tentative approval to emit up to 1 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere per year.

 

2021 Integrated Resource Plan - DEEP updated the Integrated Resources Plan, the master plan to achieve 100% zero carbon electricity, but was silent on how to phase out fossil fuel generation. This is despite acknowledging that Connecticut is a net exporter of electricity, consuming only 73% of the electricity generated in the state. Our small state hosts a disproportionate share of the New England region’s fossil-fuel generation, and the health of environmental justice communities is impacted. 

 

Senate Bill 882 - Senate Bill 882, the bill to codify Governor Lamont’s Executive Order for 100% zero carbon electricity by 2040 fails to address all electricity in our state; it only addresses electric supply and ignores electric generation. By only covering the electricity supplied to electricity customers, Connecticut could technically achieve the 100% goal in 2040 while still having 54 fossil fuel power plants running in the state as we do right now. More would be allowed.

 

GET INVOLVED!

And that’s only the fossil fuel power plants—there are other dirty energy proposals before DEEP. Join us on April 13 at noon if you want to learn more about the proposals to expand fracked gas compressor stations in Milford and Brookfield.

 

TAKE ACTION!

Connecticut must do more to mitigate the climate crisis and shut down dirty power. It is time for solutions. Sierra Club urges the Governor, the legislature, and DEEP to get serious and take actions including: 

 

  • A moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure. This will stop the rush to build new dirty power plants we don’t want or need. Send a message to your legislators to let them know you support a moratorium on new fossil fuel power plants.

  • Requiring that siting, permitting, and other agency decisions comply with the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction law, the Global Warming Solutions Act. 

  • Requiring that all electricity - supplied and generated - in Connecticut be 100% zero carbon by 2040. Send a message to your legislators.

 

Any one of these solutions would help; all of them together would ensure that Connecticut is serious about climate and truly on the path to 100% zero carbon electricity. 

 

Samantha Dynowski is State Director of Sierra Club Connecticut.

 

Also see the recent Sierra Club press release: Lamont Administration Continues Permitting More Dirty Power, Publicly Touts Clean Energy