by Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace
People are not getting the message. The U.N. climate scientists say we must cut carbon emissions in half within a dozen years or we’re going to really screw up the climate. People read the words and go off to something else. The authorities will take care of it. But they’re not.
In Bridgeport, we have the Bridgeport Harbor Station — the last coal-burning plant in New England. It gives out all kinds of dangerous chemicals. After years of protest, it is slated to be replaced. That’s good news, BUT it will be replaced by a methane-burning power plant. The methane burning plant will actually throw off 6 times the carbon dioxide as does the current coal plant!
It will spew an estimated 1.6 million tons a year compared to a quarter of a million the coal plant emitted in 2017. It also will have to be fed with methane which currently comes from a U.S. production and piping system that leaks methane like crazy. And methane in the short run (and all we have is the short run) is 100 times worse as a global warming gas than carbon dioxide.
The coal-burning plant should be shut down immediately. The building of the methane plant should be stopped. Yes, yes, think of the expense. But think of the climate hell we’re creating. The U.S. has mothballed nuclear power plants at even more expense. It’s an emergency. Treat it like that and come up with a solution.
Dan Fischer, Capitalism vs. the Climate and Gabriella Rodriguez, Moral Monday CT
On Sunday, April 3, about 70 people attended a rally at Bridgeport’s McLevy Green to raise awareness about environmental justice. The rally was hosted by Healthy CT Alliance, a Bridgeport-based health advocacy group, Capitalism vs. the Climate, a statewide climate justice group, and Moral Monday CT, a faith-based affiliate of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Speakers included Bishop John Selders, founder of Moral Monday CT, and Reverend Sekou, an author and theologian active in the #BlackLivesMatter movement. They declared it unjust that low income communities and communities of color are consistently exposed to higher levels of pollution.
Selders said, “Environmental racism is bound up with Connecticut’s industrial past and continues to feed health disparities and economic injustice. Natural resources and marginalized peoples have been relegated as dumping grounds in our urban areas – five cities are home to 71% of Connecticut’s people of color and at least 20% of pollution sources. Yet, large majorities of people of color support environmental justice. That’s why Moral Monday CT supports clean power – to the people! Green is for all of us. Black loves Green!”
Toxic facilities in Bridgeport include wastewater treatment facilities, a trash incinerator, a coal-fired power plant, and a fracked-gas plant. PSEG plans to begin building a new fracked-gas plant next year, locking in decades more of pollution in the South End. Forbes Magazine has ranked Bridgeport the country’s fourth dirtiest city. Meanwhile, Spectra Energy’s fracked-gas pipeline construction near New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant endangers Bridgeport residents and others in the New York metropolitan area, since there is a small but real chance that a pipeline rupture could trigger a meltdown at Indian Point. A recent headline in The Nation warned, “A High-Pressure Pipeline Next to a Nuclear Power Plant… What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” For photos and videos from the rally, visit http://capitalismvsclimate.org.