47 Groups Sponsor Rally Outside Governors’ Energy Summit – Call for Renewable Energy Future
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Hartford, CT – This morning, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy hosted an energy summit of five New England governors to address energy challenges facing the region. As the governors met, community leaders from across New England gathered outside to express their discontent with a decision-making process that has been entirely closed to citizen input, and to spell out what a sane and healthy energy future would look like.
“I traveled two hours to be here and hope that my Governor Baker knows we came”, said Linda Haley from Salem Massachusetts, “We need our governors to be working together on how to upgrade our electric grid, repair leaks in existing gas lines, double down on energy efficiency, and put us on track to get to 100% clean renewable energy,” according to Haley of Healthlink and 350Mass “New England families should not be forced to pay to build any new or expanded fossil-fuel infrastructure.”
Huge corporations have proposed new fossil-fuel power plants and pipelines all over New England, sparking fierce resistance from local residents concerned about public health, climate change, and environmental degradation. Over the last year, grassroots groups have formed several new cross-state coalitions in order to fight proposed fossil-fuel infrastructure in a unified way.
“I got the wake up call when Kinder Morgan proposed to build a pipeline in my neighborhood. My group, StopNED, is connecting across state lines just like the Governors are,” commented Cathy Kristofferson from Ashby, Massachusetts, “I live in Massachusetts, but I’m now connected to concerned residents across the region who want to see real solutions for our sustainable energy future.”
In a press release from Connecticut Governor Malloy, the governors’ meeting was described as a “private roundtable where the governors will discuss common solutions to energy challenges facing the region…”.
“New England has become a prime target for sale of highly radioactive fracked gas from the shale fields of Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Our region is being assaulted with hazardous pipeline projects, toxic compressor stations and an alarming increase in antiquated energy infrastructure that will keep us bound to dirty energy sources. It’s time for New England leaders to finally turn their backs on polluting fossil fuels of the past and invest now in clean, safe renewable energy of the present.” Jen Siskind, local coordinator Food & Water Watch Connecticut.
“While the governors have private roundtables, I am seeing concerned citizens gathering in living rooms to discuss real visionary solutions,” said Claire Miller, an organizer with the regional group Toxics Action Center. “Today’s action is a grassroots collaboration of 38 groups, from folks living along the Kinder Morgan and Spectra pipelines to dirty power plants and this was with only three days notice. I hope the governors know that this is the tip of the iceberg.”
“Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo talks about green energy as she completely contradicts herself by aligning with fracked gas,” pointed out Peter Nightingale of Occupy Providence. “She continues the policy of her predecessor, who met with New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) behind closed doors to expand the fracked gas infrastructure without seriously considering green alternatives.”
“Connecticut is pushing homeowners and businesses to convert to gas to create 280,000 new customers for the gas companies. Meanwhile, these conversions are funded in part by us and involve building 900 miles of new intrastate pipeline through our state. More than half the gas going across Connecticut is destined for export, so these are customers just to pick up what’s leftover. This energy plan that Governor Malloy advocates doesn’t make sense. The winter of 2014 was colder than the winter of 2013, yet the cost of energy went down without more gas pipeline.” Martha Klein, Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club, Communications Chair.
GROUPS SUPPORTING THIS STATEMENT
NEW ENGLAND WIDE: Toxics Action Center, Food & Water Watch, New England Regional Environmental Ministries, Mothers Out Front MA: Grassroots Against Another Salem Power Plant, Climate Justice at Boston College, StopNED (Northeast Energy Direct), The LEAH Advocacy Group, Westfield Concerned Citizens, West Roxbury Quarry Neighbors for a Fossil Fuel Free Future, Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ, MA Interfaith Power & Light, Climate Action NOW (Western MASS), Massachusetts Climate Action Network, Plainfield Opposition to the Pipeline, No Fracked Gas in Mass, Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), Northfield Pipeline Awareness, North Quabbin Pipeline Action, Boston Climate Action Network, Move On Pioneer Valley, Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network, Arise for Social Justice, Boston University Students for a Just and Stable Future, The Enviro Show, WXOJ & WMCB, Better Future Project, 350 Massachusetts for a Better Future, Compressor and Pipeline Opposition in Windsor MA, Springfield Climate Justice Coalition, Nashoba Conservation Trust, CT: CT Coalition for Environmental Justice, Capitalism Vs. the Climate, Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club, RI: Fossil Free Rhode Island, Occupy Providence, Rhode Island Student Climate Coalition, NH: 350NH, STOP THE NH PIPELINE, NH Pipeline Awareness Network, Winchester Pipeline Awareness, 350 Maine, Community Water Justice, NY: Stop Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE), Coalition to Protect New York, Frackbusters NY, VT: Just Power in VT, Rutland Area Climate Coalition
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