SWITCH! Campaign encourages switching to clean energy

by Chris Schweitzer, New Haven Healthy City/Healthy Climate Challenge

switch-campaignThe New Haven Healthy City/Healthy Climate Challenge launched an eight week SWITCH!

Campaign to have hundreds of New Haven residents switch to clean (wind, solar, etc) electricity in their homes. Between Dec. 1 and Jan. 19 (MLK Day) the campaign will – with your help – result in a reduction of thousands of tons of green-house gas pollution in the coming years.

By switching residents will:

  • Immediately cut greenhouse gas and other pollution by 3-5 tons per year per person.
  • Send a message to the power industry that they need to move away from dirty fossil fuels to meet growing demand for clean healthy energy.
  • Let the State government know that future investment in fossil fuel infrastructure is going the wrong way.

The SWITCH! Campaign is using public art, posters, PSAs (on WXPN), and tabling to get out the message that it’s very easy to switch.

Please join us and spread the word, get your organization to promote SWITCH! too! The directions are at healthyclimatechallenge.org, or contact Chris at nh@newhavenleon.org for more information or materials.

The campaign launched as the COP 20 [Conference of the Parties] meeting on climate change happened in Peru, where the future widespread use of fossil fuels is being questioned. Ahead of the talks, U.S. Climate Envoy Todd Stern made news by openly acknowledging that it was “obvious” that a proportion of what the coal, oil, and gas companies count as financial assets cannot possibly be dug out of the ground and burned if the world hopes to meet global targets. The solution, Stern said, will ultimately be one that leaves “a lot of fossil fuel assets in the ground.”

Shocking Electric News from Fight the Hike

Paula Panzarella, Fight the Hike

On Monday, Nov. 17, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) approved excessive rate hikes for UI and CL&P customers who are on the standard offer. The generation rate increase was requested eleven days prior to PURA’s approval and did not require public testimony. It is estimated the average UI customer with the standard offer will have an increase of $35 a month starting January 1, 2015.

CL&P customers who have the standard offer will, on average, have an increase of $18 a month.
This is blatantly disregarding and disrespecting the residents and businesses of Connecticut by foisting such huge increases without any warning. Can you imagine if it were known that the companies wanted this raise prior to the election? Electricity and energy rates would have been a major issue in the debates, forcing candidates to take positions and discuss ways to nullify or at least forestall these increases.

We urge people to contact PURA and CT Attorney General George Jepsen and let them know your thoughts about this.

  • PURA: phone: (860) 827-1553 and toll free (800) 382-4586, fax: (860) 827-2822 e-mail: pura.information@ct.gov Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051
  • CT Attorney General George Jepsen phone: (860) 808-5318 fax: (860) 808-5387 e-mail: attorney.general@ct.gov 55 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106

People might also want to contact their state senators and representatives. Shouldn’t we have legislation to prevent such an increase going into effect without a public hearing?

In other news, the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs met on Nov. 17 in East Hartford for a discussion concerning CL&P’s proposed 60% increase in the monthly fixed charge for residential delivery of electricity. PURA is scheduled to issue its draft decision on this raise Dec. 1. A petition is being circulated via the internet at http://bit.ly/RTstatement11-14. To get more information about CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, please contact John Humphries, (860)216-7972, john.humphries1664@gmail.com.

Rising Tide Member Found Not Guilty for May 27 Vermont Gas Protest

by Sara Sullivan, Rising Tide Vermont, Nov. 20

The trial of Henry Harris, charged with trespassing at Vermont Gas Systems’ (VGS) headquarters in South Burlington on May 27, ended today with a not guilty verdict. Harris and other members of Rising Tide Vermont blockaded the main entrance of VGS and dropped a massive banner from the roof, demanding the company immediately cancel its plans to build the fracked gas pipeline.

Harris, a volunteer organizer with Rising Tide Vermont, said, “Today, the court ruled in my favor because the jury recognized Vermont Gas and the state of Vermont had no basis in their charges against me. The state’s prosecutor, with pressure from VGS and the Shumlin administration, was attempting to stifle future protests against the fracked gas pipeline and Shumlin’s hypocritical climate and energy policies.”

Since the May 27 protest, hundreds of Vermonters have taken part in rallies, blockades, and an occupation of the Governor’s office to demand an end to the pipeline project. The 64 activists who were arrested at the occupation on Oct. 27 are also facing charges of trespass. “We asked the Governor to revoke his support of the fracked gas pipeline,” said Stuart Blood, 63, an organizer with Keystone XL Resistance from Thetford Center, “and to recognize the need to ban all new fossil fuel infrastructure, because new fossil fuels move us in the wrong direction.”

Read the article at: http://vtdigger.org/2014/11/20/rising-tide-member-found-guilty-may-27-vermont-gas-protest.

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