Connecticut Must Say "NO" to Fossil Fuel Interests, "YES" to Climate Action
We’ve known for decades that greenhouse gas emissions cause global warming. Laws have been passed to reduce climate-destroying emissions. Yet, across our nation and here in Connecticut, more fossil fuels are being used than ever before.
That’s in large part because fossil fuel interests, like utilities and fossil fuel companies, are working against policies that will get us off fossil fuels and against efforts to accelerate the transition to renewables. In an article last month about weaning off gas to comply with a new state climate law in Massachusetts, the Boston Globe revealed that Eversource was supporting a consortium to combat the transition from fossil fuels to zero-emission electric alternatives. These special interests want to lock us into their destructive product for decades to come. The Journal Inquirer reported that Eversource spent over $1.3 million in 2020 on lobbyists in Connecticut.
Fossil Fuel Power Plants - Connecticut must say “NO” to new fossil fuel power plants like the 650 MW fossil gas plant proposal in Killingly and the 375 MW fossil fuel power plant proposal in Middletown. If allowed to be built, these unneeded power plants will add over three million tons of carbon into the atmosphere per year.
Compressor Stations - DEEP must say “NO” to gas compressor station expansions in Milford and Brookfield that energy giants Berkshire Hathaway and TC Pipelines propose, which would pump billions more cubic feet of gas annually through Connecticut to New York. These stations will add significant amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and pollute local air with harmful toxins including ozone, nitrous oxides, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter.
Pipelines & Customer Conversions - Current Connecticut policy encourages gas companies to build new pipelines and convert customers to gas with ratepayer funds. A docket before the Public Utility Regulatory Authority has been opened to investigate whether to continue this gas expansion. Sierra Club will be participating and urging an end to this program. We’ll keep you posted as the docket proceeds.
Rebates for Appliances and Equipment - Connecticut’s energy efficiency program, Energize CT, plays a critical role in reducing energy use and can catalyze further reduction of climate-destroying greenhouse gas emissions. However, the program provides rebates for fossil fuel equipment and appliances, locking recipients into decades of fossil fuel combustion. This is antithetical to the solutions needed to address the climate crisis and meet the greenhouse gas emission reductions mandated by Connecticut’s Global Warming Solutions Act. Sierra Club is advocating for changes in the energy efficiency program to end rebates for fossil fuels, increase rebates for renewable technologies like heat pumps, and address issues that prevent the program from serving many low and moderate income households.
Together, we are standing up and saying “NO!” to powerful special interests like utilities and fossil fuel companies. Thanks to your advocacy, gas expansion projects in Connecticut are not going to continue without opposition. Keep speaking up, writing letters to newspapers, and contacting decision makers about these projects and policies that keep us from a clean energy future! Thank you for saying “NO!” to fossil fuel interests and “YES!” to climate action.
Samantha Dynowski is State Director, Sierra Club Connecticut.