Help Us Close the Last Coal Burning Plant in the State‏

by Stanley Heller, Bridgeport Act on Climate

On Monday, Oct. 6 bring signs to our press conference in Bridgeport City Hall just before a vote by the City Council on a resolution calling for the closing of the coal burning power plant in Bridgeport. The plant is a double menace. It excretes mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and microscopic toxic particulate matter into the local community of the South End, which is mostly low income and minority. Several years ago the NAACP reported that the plant was the tenth worst in the U.S. in terms of climate justice.

It also endangers the whole world by pouring 146,000 tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year. We’re on a path to climate catastrophe if we don’t stop those gases from warming the world much more than it already has.

A Bridgeport Council subcommittee has put forth a resolution calling for a “phase out” of
the plant. If it passes the full Council it won’t mean anything immediately, but it’s still a big step. It gives our efforts more “respectability.”

The issue of the coal plant has bedeviled Bridgeport for years. It’s the last coal burning plant in Connecticut (seen from I-95 it’s the giant smokestack with its alternate red and white rings). A few years ago folks from Greenpeace scaled a generator near the smokestack and unfurled a giant banner calling for the plant’s closure. The Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice held rallies in McLevy Plaza and later in Newark, N.J., the home of the plant’s parent company, PSEG. In mid-September a coalition of groups including the Sierra Club, the Bridgeport Education Association, Promoting Enduring Peace and MECC held a rally in Bald-win Plaza raising the coal plant issue, and talked about the global warming caused by the power plant and the Pentagon. You can see the speeches at our website (www.BridgeportAOC.com).

We’re hoping the massive People’s Climate March will add momentum to the drive to close the plant, but nothing is guaranteed. So bring signs to Bridgeport City Hall, 45 Lyon Terrace at 5:30 on Monday, Oct. 6, or just attend.

Some ideas for signs: “No More Toxic Gases in Bridgeport,” “Greenhouse Gases Threaten Everyone,” “Climate Justice Now,” “Phase Out Harbor Station,” “Don’t Burn Coal, Gas or Garbage – Bridgeport Deserves Clean Air,” “No New Gas Plant, Go Wind or Solar,” “We Want a Green South End”

Our hashtag is #BridgeportActOnClimate.

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