Environmental advocates, elected officials and community leaders joined together for a virtual press event today to highlight public opposition to NTE Partners’ proposed fracked gas plant in Killingly, and to call for a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure projects in Connecticut. Together, grassroots activists have generated over 650 hand-written letters to Governor Lamont, in addition to 2,550 emails to the Governor and CT Elected Officials in opposition to the proposed fossil fuel power plant. The organizers closed out the zoom press conference with a holiday gift for Gov. Lamont; more than 5,925 petition signatures signed by CT residents in support of ending investments into fossil fuel infrastructure and investing instead into renewable energy and energy efficiency.
In their comments, speakers emphasized that new gas pipelines and power plants represent a glaring and unacceptable inconsistency with Connecticut’s clean energy goals, climate change policy and efforts to address dangerous air quality impacts in our cities:
“Connecticut continues to build 20th century technology in the 21st century,” said Louis Rosado Burch, CT Program Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “We’ve adopted ambitious clean energy goals, established the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, and made commitments to transition away from fossil fuels. These important steps forward will be severely undermined by building new fossil fuel power plants. We need Governor Lamont and the CT General Assembly to move out of the 20th Century and into the 21st Century. That means rejecting Killingly and prioritizing energy projects that help combat climate change. It’s time to say “NO” to Killingly once and for all, and to stop investing in dirty gas infrastructure projects.”
"In addition to being completely out of sync with the state's bold carbon reduction goals and harming public health, the proposed fracked gas power plant in Killingly will send treated wastewater containing toxic chemicals, pollutants and heavy metals into the Quinebaug River,” said Anne Hulick, Connecticut Director of Clean Water Action. “There is simply no good that can come from building this plant and we urge the Governor and DEEP to do all they can to stop it."
“Governor Lamont and the CT General Assembly have a unique window of opportunity to alter the course of our energy future. Our state recognized the need to move away from fossil fuels twenty years ago when it acted to shut down the infamous ‘Sooty Six’ coal-fired power plants,” said Lori Brown, Executive Director of the CT League of Conservation Voters. “Today, we have a situation where a new polluting power plant has not yet been built and our elected officials must take meaningful action through a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure to prevent this future disaster.”
“As elected officials we have choices,” said State Rep. Geraldo Reyes of Waterbury. “It’s imperative we put a line in the sand now, just as we did with the Hartford incinerator in 2020. It’s great policy to put a stop to the Killingly plant and start addressing environmental justice best practices and make progress towards walking the talk. Having learned valuable lessons and we’ve grown from the sins of the past, I’m championing better air, water and land for my children and my community."
"We're calling on Governor Lamont to keep his promise and protect the health, safety, and economic well-being of the residents of the state of Connecticut and of our climate. Over the last two years, DEEP and the Governor have received thousands of phone calls, emails and letters from residents opposing the Killingly power plant. This administration has promised a clean energy future, but continues to allow dirty, dangerous fracked gas power," Ann Gadwah, Sierra Club Connecticut Chapter chairperson said. "Even now as his own Council on Climate Change provides suggestions for climate action in the state, they've failed to recommend action on this high-profile and divisive gas proposal.These two directions are incompatible. We're asking our elected official, sworn to protect us, to listen to our call to stop this power plant once and for all."
"For Connecticut’s young people, the choice is stark. Going ahead with a new gas-fired plant now would ensure that our toxic dependency on fossil fuels, and the resulting damage to our community’s health and environment, would be extended for many years,” said Eluned Li, organizer with Sunrise New Haven. “This benefits no one but the oil and gas industry, authorizing them to continue to profit from activities which endanger our health and irreversibly degrade our environment. Our elected officials have the choice, now, to put a stop to the Killingly plant and serve as a strong step in realizing a Green New Deal, and a future for all of us. We ask them to make the responsible choice, for us and for their own children."
“Climate science states that our society needs to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and Gov. Lamont has promised to transition Connecticut away from the fossil fuels causing the Climate Emergency,” said 350 CT Steering Committee Member Ben Martin. “It is past time for the governor to back up his words with action by rejecting the polluting NTE fracked gas plant in Killingly, preventing new sources of emissions, and retiring current polluting plants.”
"This choice is one between the peoples' best interests and further support of the fossil fuel industry,” said Dr. Todd Douglas, postdoctoral associate in the dept. of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University. “A brand new fracked gas plant will harm more of Connecticut's greenfield land and usable water than we can afford, compromising the health of every resident of Killingly and surrounding areas. We have safe, clean renewable energy solutions with far greater energy output available cheaply already. There is no reason to build a plant that could pump out up to 90,000 gallons of toxic wastewater every single day. It’s time to do the responsible thing. We have the ability to protect public health, preserve our future, and lead the nation in clean energy solutions. Governor Lamont, make the right call.”
The Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) mitigation group draft report says Killingly "...does not align with Connecticut’s decarbonization policy objectives; and its long asset life will make it challenging to meet the state’s emissions reduction goals."
Comments submitted by the Sierra Club on June 30, October 7 and November 18, detail impacts the proposed pipeline for the plant would have on local water quality and habitats of brook trout and endangered species, like the Northern long-eared owl and American bittern. The comments also note that the proposed pipeline will impact DEEP’s own plans to restore the Wyndham marsh to create habitat for endangered species.