In the wake of Friday’s Climate Strike at the Capitol steps in Hartford, and ongoing Killingly gas plant protests, twenty six Connecticut state legislators have sent a formal letter to Gov. Lamont asking him to oppose the controversial gas plant, ask the CT Siting Council to review their permitting process to ensure it aligns with state law mandating greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and fill vacancies on the CT Siting Council.
So many advocates across the state and environmental groups, including Sierra Club CT, 350CT, and CHISPA, oppose this gas plant and have been pulling out all the stops to show up, protest, call, write letters, formulate and promote petitions, push back on weak arguments, demand action, and demand accountability.
Opposing the Killingly plant was one of the action items listed in the petition youth strikers delivered to Gov. Lamont after the die in at the Climate Strike last Friday. I could not be more proud of the state legislators who led and co-signed this letter including the ones who regularly hear me out including Senator Will Haskell from Westport, Representative Jonathan Steinberg from Westport, Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey from Fairfield and Representative Joe Gresko from Stratford.
If you state legislators signed on, please call or email to thank them. If they did not, ask them why and let them know that we don’t need the additional power and we don’t need more carbon in the atmosphere. We have 100% renewable energy options and the marketplace is changing so rapidly that they are, or will soon become, cheaper than gas power. It’s critical to point out that there is no safe level of carbon to emit and we only have 11 years left before we blow our carbon budget. Why press our luck?
Here’s the official press release from the Connecticut General Assembly. You can download their letter here.
State Senator Mae Flexer (D-Killingly) and State Representatives Raghib Allie-Brennan (D-Bethel) and Pat Boyd (D-Brooklyn) are leading a group of over two dozen legislators in calling on Governor Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) to oppose the construction of a gas-fired power plant in the town of Killingly.
“We commend the strides that the Governor and his administration have made toward green energy solutions in our state such as Executive Order 3,” says Rep. Allie-Brennan, who serves as the Vice Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee as well as the Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Clean Energy Caucus. “This is why we find the Siting Council’s approval of this plant confusing. This year, we supported initiatives like the off-shore wind bill and the extension of solar programs which both invest more in renewable energy. In light of these successes, the construction of this plant is in direct conflict with our goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Two years ago, plans for a similar facility were rejected because it was deemed unnecessary. If need has grown since that period, we should explore investing in clean alternatives like solar and wind power. The argument against increasing greenhouse emissions is compelling and we must assume a leadership role in exploring those options. Now is the time for bold, innovative solutions…it’s not the time to backtrack.”
“The Connecticut Siting Council’s decision to approve the construction of the Killingly Energy Center is disappointing and something I have long opposed,” says Sen. Flexer. “Killingly already makes a highly disproportionate contribution to the power generation needs of Connecticut and neighboring states. The future of Connecticut’s goal of reducing our carbon emission is at stake as is the health and wellness of Killingly and surrounding communities. Connecticut should be leading the way to combat climate change, not building more polluting infrastructure. I hope Governor Lamont will join us in opposing this fossil fuel power plant.”
“Our state has made significant progress implementing green technology to reduce our carbon footprint, but this proposed facility contradicts that progress. We need to work collaboratively to move our state forward and lead by example for other states that continue to employ technologies that endanger the environment and exploit natural resources,” says Rep. Boyd. “As state leaders, we must balance the need for adequate, affordable and reliable utility services with the need to protect our environment.”
26 members of the Senate and House Democratic caucuses co-signed the Letter sent to the Governor’s Office this morning. The petition urges the administration to oppose the Killingly plant and asks for a review of the permit processes offered through the Connecticut Sitting Council and other state agencies to ensure that they account for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions limits set by state law in 2015 under the Global Warming Solutions Act and this year’s Executive Order 3.
According to the Letter, if constructed, the gas-fired power plant would account for 5 percent of Connecticut’s total yearly GHG emissions, or 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Today’s action follows a summer of outcry from state environmental advocacy groups, including an August demonstration outside of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection offices in Hartford, and last week’s Climate Strike, which saw millions marching around the world, including 1,000 in front of the Connecticut State Capitol Building.
“The Siting Council’s approval of Killingly, another fossil fuel power plant, immediately contradicts Governor Lamont’s commitment to getting Connecticut to 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2040,” says Samantha Dynowski, State Director of Sierra Club Connecticut. “Moving forward with this plant is a colossal mistake. We applaud the climate leaders in the legislature who spearheaded this letter to stop the Killingly plant and ensure that decisions made by bodies like the Siting Council adhere to Connecticut’s climate goals and policies.”
“Fracked gas and other fossil fuels are our past, not our future,” says Lori Brown, Executive Director of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters. “Given Governor Lamont’s commitment to clean energy and a zero-carbon electric grid, there is no reason to move ahead with the Killingly project. Studies show investments in natural gas are on the decline. Connecticut should not invest in a dated, dirty, and depleted fossil fuel when we are making significant strides in solar, offshore wind, and other clean, renewable energy sources.”