Fracked Gas Expansion News

Killingly Update and Governor's Executive Order

Martha Klein

As you know, Sierra Club Connecticut is fighting the plan to build a new, fracked gas power plant in Killingly. While we lost the legal intervention, one of our allies, the local group Not Another Power Plant (NAPP) is appealing the flawed Siting Council decision in the state court. This appeal gives more time to pressure the Governor, who is trying to duck his responsibility as the boss of a state agency which made a terrible mistake, and Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the department which has done the most to foster the expansion of fracked gas in our state. 

The Governor’s Executive Order

After bird-dogging the Governor for much of the summer about the unneeded and highly polluting new power plant, Mr. Lamont issued an Executive Order on climate.

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While the order concerns "man-made greenhouse gas emissions", there is no mention of the cause of these emissions, which is overwhelmingly fossil fuel use. Globally, agriculture is a leading cause of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but in Connecticut, burning fossil fuels for electricity, transportation and heat form the majority of climate harming GHG emissions. As we see with government too often, big changes are hyped to the press and the public but no significant improvements are likely to occur.

 

What about Killingly?

Governor Lamont has publicly rejected the notion that a new fracked gas plant, approved by a flawed Siting Council decision, should be stopped. He tells us that he wants to reduce GHG emissions, which naturally should precipitate the question: how can we increase GHG emissions from a new fracked gas plant while trying to reduce GHG emissions at the same time? The answer is that we cannot. 

 

The fight is heating up, literally. According to NOAA, the hottest 5 years in recorded history have occurred over the last 5 years. The planet is warming fast, causing drought, destructive weather, multiple tornadoes in Connecticut, coastal damage, sea-level rise, and a worldwide refugee crisis. How long does Governor Lamont think we can pretend to be safe before the increase in communicable diseases, inability to work outdoors, loss of plant and animal species, loss of potable water and arable land, and global conflict affect all of our lives? 

 

Legislators oppose new fracked gas plant

Connecticut legislators are taking action to stop the plant. A letter to the Governor from 26 legislators was sent last month asking him to block the plant.

 

What can we do about it?

Sierra Club Connecticut intends to stop the power plant before construction begins. We are monitoring the  Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) challenge to ISO-NE (the regional grid operator which chose the proposed Killingly power plant in their forward capacity auction) to defend the "competitiveness" of allowing a plant to bid at half the price that it will cost them to produce the energy. Sierra Club Connecticut will testify at DEEP permit hearings for this plant that the pollution from this plant will increase morbidity and mortality, but will not benefit the people of Connecticut, who have abundant energy sources now and for the future. This plant only benefits the gas and electric industries, but local people will pay for it with higher rates of asthma and death. We will all pay for the unneeded power plant as climate disruption accelerates due to 2.2 million tons of increased carbon dioxide emissions from the plant, not to mention methane emissions and new pipeline. 

 

Join us!

Fridays for the Future protests continue in front of the Governor's residence every Friday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the intersection of Prospect and Asylum Avenues in West Hartford. It's time for Governor Lamont to wake up!

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Martha Klein is a member of the Sierra Club Connecticut Executive Committee and Communications Committee and leader of our Beyond Gas Committee.

Photo Credits: Sandy Tosi