Support a Clean Energy Future for UCONN
Student-led activism temporarily halts fossil fuel power plant at UCONN. Sign the petition to support a clean energy future for UCONN.
The science is very clear on climate change: we must reduce fossil fuel usage. Reducing the use of methane-laden fracked gas is the immediate first step according the Robert Howarth of Cornell University. “Reducing methane now can provide an instant way to slow global warming and meet the United Nations’ target of keeping the planet well below a 2-degree Celsius average rise.” Howarth says that “If we can stop pouring methane into the atmosphere, it will dissipate. It goes away pretty quickly, compared to carbon dioxide. It’s the low-hanging fruit to slow global warming.” It is also bad for human health as this infographic demonstrates. Yet, fracked gas power generation continues to be proposed in Connecticut. A 650 MW fracked gas power plant was approved for construction in Killingly in June of this year; in October ten megawatts of fracked gas power was proposed in Bristol and will be the subject of a public hearing. Sierra Club Connecticut opposes both of these projects and the expansion of fracked gas in our state.
At UCONN, plans for a new Northwest Science Quad include a fracked gas Supplemental Utility Plant that will run for forty years, gas heat, and diesel back up. Due to student-led activism, including a five hundred person march on the President’s office, UCONN has temporarily halted construction of the new fracked gas power plant. Sierra Club Connecticut has lent its support to the student-led movement with this letter to UCONN President Thomas C. Katsouleas.
Please sign the petition asking UCONN to put a permanent halt to the Supplemental Utility Plant and stop Phase 1 plans to install a chilled water gas boiler and diesel back up to serve the new Northwest Science Quad. Instead, UCONN should adopt a sustainable approach that will use renewable generation, battery storage, and renewable thermal technology.
UCONN has been recognized by Sierra Magazine as a top “Coolest Schools” based on the commitment that UCONN is making to uphold high environmental standards. The University ranked 5th in 2019, and 3rd in 2018. Some of the actions UCONN has taken include committing to carbon neutrality by 2050, LEED Gold Certification in new buildings, composting campus agricultural waste, siting solar on campus, and implementing an environmental literacy general education requirement. The University can continue this strong tradition by ending fossil fuel expansion on campus beginning now.
Samantha Dynowski is State Director, Sierra Club Connecticut.