News and events for advocates of clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate action at the state and local levels, focusing on Connecticut. Brought to you by People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE) and Eastern CT Green Action (ECGA).
Connecticut needs to make big changes in ‘who does what’ in the electric power industry
CT Mirror. “Eversource has…failed to invest in the infrastructure we need to support demand flexibility, renewable integration and community decarbonization efforts. Recent problems with preparing for Tropical Storm Isaias show that Eversource has enough on its plate just planning for and maintaining the infrastructure that delivers electricity to us. Community power agencies should take over the procurement of electricity and the delivery of modern energy services and products…”
See more below ….
A bipartisan group of Connecticut lawmakers on Monday proposed legislation, dubbed the “Take Back Our Grid Act,” that would subject Eversource Energy and Avangrid subsidiary United Illuminating to greater scrutiny and possible penalties in the event of power outages that extend longer than two days.
Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which represents investor-owned utilities, warned the law would amount to “wholesale” change in the regulation of Connecticut power companies and could leave the utilities on the hook for damage caused by a natural disaster that would otherwise be considered an “act of God.”
Read more here: Following outrage over Hurricane Isaias response, Connecticut bill would put utilities on the hook for outage costs | Utility Dive
The opaque world of energy policy continues to roil the surface of state government as regulators again have chastised the state’s two biggest utilities: Eversource and United Illuminating. This time, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority fined both companies, alleging an “insufficient” rollout of a program called shared solar.
Shared solar lets customers who can’t put panels on their roof subscribe to a nearby solar array and get a credit on their bill. In 2018, the legislature passed a statewide shared solar program, which requires utilities to identify eligible customers and automatically enroll them.
Read more here: Regulators Issue Fines To Eversource And UI Over Shared Solar Program | WSHU
Democracy Now! May 21, 2020
The University of California announced Tuesday it has completely divested its $126 billion portfolio from all fossil fuel companies. The move makes UC the largest university system in the United States to meet a core demand of activists fighting the climate crisis.
Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace
Friday, June 5, will see sign-covered autos traveling to Hartford to circle the block upon which the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) building sits. It has been approving the permits needed by the NTE company to build another fracked “natural gas” plant in Killingly, in eastern CT. The CT Climate Crisis Mobilization (C3M) is sponsoring the car caravan.
Now when there is a glut of fossil fuels, when oil wells are being capped because there’s nowhere to store the unneeded petroleum pumped by oil producers, the idea that another natural gas (methane) burning plant will be built is ludicrous. Even before the pandemic Gov. Ned Lamont admit-ted CT didn’t need the energy from another gas burner. Supposedly it was needed by the New England region. So the project appears to be rolling on.
Of course, need is a flexible term. What the region desperately needs to do is to cut back on carbon emissions. Global warming gases can destroy civilization. Civilization will survive if there’s less electricity to power gadgets and air conditioners.
One permit that needs to be won by NTs to be won by NTE would allow it to discharge 90,000 gallons of toxic wastewater daily. The goop would include lead, ammonia, petroleum, phosphorous, copper and other metals. The town of Killingly would have to treat the polluted water to make it usable. A very fine article about this by UCONN law student Tennyson Benedict was published in the Courant. Search online for the article headlined: “Killingly gas plant wastewater discharges are another reason for worry.”
The time of the car caravan on June 5 is 3-4 p.m. To find out more information see @ctclimate on Twitter and the C3M website www.ctclimatecrisismobilization.org.
CRCJ’s Board of Directors is launching the search for a new Executive Director/Lead Organizer, and we ask that you help us spread the word to your colleagues and networks to ensure that we get a strong and diverse pool of candidates, who will be excited about this opportunity to lead the organization and carry the work forward.
The next Executive Director and Lead Organizer of CRCJ will guide a statewide organization committed to protecting the climate while creating good local jobs and working for justice. The new leader will replace the founding Executive Director who has guided the organization since 2012.
A short summary of the organization and position is located below. The complete position description and contact information for interested candidates may be found at: CTClimateandJobs.org/exec_search
We encourage you to send questions or suggestions of potential candidates or sources to John Harrity, Board Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org. The search will remain open and active until filled, but initial interviews are anticipated to begin in early May. Thank you.
The Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs seeks a dynamic and passionate Executive Director and Lead Organizer who will take this innovative nonprofit to its next level. The new leader will replace the founding Executive Director, who has successfully led the organization since 2012.
Overview of the Organization: The Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs (CRCJ) builds alliances among diverse constituencies to combat climate change, create jobs and promote racial, economic and environmental justice. CRCJ embraces diversity as a source of power and engages in collective action to ensure that Connecticut provides leadership in creating a clean energy future.
CRCJ believes the climate crisis presents an opportunity to build thriving local economies that are not only more sustainable but also more just and equitable.
by Tebben Lopez, NHS New Haven
From Feb. 3rd to the end of March, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven (NHS) will be reaching out for help to fund an exciting new pilot program called “I ❤ My Home.” The purpose of this program is to increase accessibility to education and support for people seeking to make energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. These upgrades will lead to improvements in their comfort, health and fiscal well-being, while at the same time helping to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions that harm the environment.
Funds will allow a contract Energy Consultant to join the organization and offer one-on-one counseling services to guide individuals through the process of understanding their individual needs, what resources are available to them and what steps to take to complete the upgrades(s) to make their homes more energy-efficient.
NHS was approved to participate in Sustainable CT’s Community Match Fund to raise $25,000 that will then be matched 1:1 by Sustainable CT for a total of $50,000 to jump-start the home energy efficiency counseling pilot program. Over the one-year pilot program, the goal will be to serve at least 40 customers, with the long-term goal of generating the capacity to ramp up to 400 or more energy efficiency customers annually.
Neighborhood Housing Services, (203) 562-0598, 333 Sherman Ave. New Haven, CT www.nhsofnewhaven.org.
by CT Energy Network & People’s Action for Clean Energy
We are excited to invite you to a special gathering of the Connecticut Energy Network (CTEN). This event is on Saturday, Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Rockfall Foundation, 27 Washington St. in Middletown. The program will focus on what we can all do in our towns to transition our schools to zero energy.
How holistic energy efficiencies – the first consideration!
– strengthen the benefits of solar and other renewables/
local clean energy generation;
How demand reduction and building science relate to
state energy goals and to school districts’ bottom lines;
What financial and planning resources exist today in CT
to help school districts minimize energy costs while
improving student performance and well-being.
All-electric HVAC technologies for schools.
Our keynote speaker is John Balfe, Buildings and Community Solutions Expert at Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP). Lunch is provided. Seating is limited and registration is required. Please attend with a school representative. To register and for more information, contact Patrice Gillespie at email@example.com.
by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World
Meet author Marc Brodine at a presentation and book signing of Green Strategy – Path to Fundamental Change on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe Street, New Haven. Green Strategy advocates a massive worldwide movement to create fundamental change as the only way to solve environmental crises. Linking environmental issues to allied social and political movements can transform our politics, economy, and protect our species from devastation. The book was published this year by International Publishers and is $14.99.
Marc Brodine lives in Washington State and is currently on a book tour. He has been a union and community organizer and activist, writer, teacher, hospital orderly and technician, office manager, guitar player, and woodblock print artist. He has written extensively on environmental issues and politics and is the author of Blood Pressure, a hospital-based mystery. Born in St. Louis, he has lived most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He is a member of the Communist Party USA National Committee and has presented at conferences in the U.S., China, and Finland.
In disregard of scientific opinion, public outcry and climate emergency concerns, on June 6 the CT Siting Council approved the construction of a power plant in Killingly, CT, which will use fracked gas.
“It is permitted to emit as much as 2.2 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year it operates” — Norwich Bulletin, Aug. 5, 2019.
PAR readers: CALL Gov. Lamont to stop the construction. Another gas plant with massive CO2 emissions continues to put the climate and our entire planet in jeopardy.
Gov. Lamont’s phone number is 800-406-1527.
by Chris Schweitzer, New Haven Climate Movement
Join the New Haven Climate Movement from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6 for a picnic at the English Shelter Pavilion located at the top of East Rock Park overlooking the City of New Haven.
This is an opportunity to celebrate New Haven’s passage of a Climate Emergency Resolution, strategize next steps, and most importantly welcome new members. We encourage those who are concerned about the climate disaster and/or want to ensure a safe climate to join our picnic. All are welcome!
Food and beverages will be provided, but feel free to bring anything you want to share. If you do bring something to share, please consider others’ dietary choices and bring either a vegetarian or vegan dish.
If you have any questions about the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Stanley Heller, Administrator, Promoting Enduring Peace
We are in a desperate situation, with awful climate news coming nearly every week and with just a decade or so to drastically cut exhausts of carbon in the air. At the same time, climate science deniers are at the helm in the U.S. and other major governments. City and state governments are trying, but it’s not nearly enough.
In May, millions of students took part in a school strike for the climate. Friday, Sept. 20 will hopefully be a renewal of that kind of action along with strikes and other kinds of action from other sectors in the global society.
We are learning from Puerto Rico and Hong Kong that mass mobilizations are the way to get things done. In Connecticut, the Connecticut Climate Crisis Mobilization (C3M) is organizing a week of actions starting Sept 20. There will be a demonstration in Hartford 12-3 p.m. at the Capitol Building, 210 Capitol Ave. More info at actionnetwork.org/events/ct-climate-strike. The best way to reach C3M is by email: C3Mobilization@gmail.com. Also see the site www.350ct.org.
The New Haven Climate Network is organizing an event later in the day, 3 p.m. on the New Haven Green, 250 Temple St. Look for them on Facebook (New Haven Climate Movement).
Trade unions worldwide are taking action in support of Sept. 20. See pepeace.org/climate-and-nature-work for details and the website of Connecticut Roundtable on Cli-mate and Jobs at ctclimateandjobs.org. If your union is planning anything bring it up with union officers or at a union meeting.
Visit the tables of Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP) and the Sierra Club at the CT Folk Festival/Green Expo, noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Edgerton Park in New Haven. Entrance to the festival is free.
PEP will be talking about its bold new calls for:
1) worker/community takeovers of fossil fuel industries, and
2) planning the economy for a smokestack-free future.
Read about it at www.PEPeace.org.
by Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie, July 30, 2019
The General Assembly adjourned this year without restoring $67.5 million to clean energy funds that had been swept as part of the budget in 2017.
The $67.5 million was part of a larger $145 million in energy fund sweeps the General Assembly approved under former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to close a budget deficit.
Environmentalists and energy-efficiency businesses pointed out that the legislature and Gov. Ned Lamont could have used the budget surplus to restore some of the funds, but they decided against it and failed to restore them before the session adjourned June 5.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said Monday that he doesn’t know how to measure how much more progress his city could have made in improving its rankings on a clean energy scorecard if those funds had been available.
For more on this story, visit: Energy Fund Raids Have Stopped, But Industry Says The Damage Has Been Done | CT News Junkie
News and events for advocates of clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate action at the state and local levels, focusing on Connecticut. Brought to you by People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE) and Eastern CT Green Action. Sign up today to get the CT Green Energy News sent to you. Contact Peter Millman email@example.com to get on the e-list of this great resource!
A path to solar success…or failure?
CT Fund for the Environment. Send a message to CT DEEP that you want the rules governing Connecticut’s new shared solar program designed to ensure success.
Katie Dykes takes helm at DEEP in era of escalating climate change
CT Mirror. But others say that DEEP, and PURA … with Dykes at the helm, have put too much focus on electric rates and not enough on the long-term value of renewable energy.
Leticia Colón de Mejias: Green Eco Warrior
WNPR. “I try to help people understand that energy efficiency is like your mother. It’s working all the time and no one is ever thinking about it. It’s the workhorse that’s un-seen and doesn’t ask for your appreciation. It just continues to always deliver.”
Solar panels could save Brooklyn schools millions
The Bulletin. Once installed, the panels could produce 80 percent of the electrical needs for each school building– saving $90,000 a year or $1.3 million over 15 years…
Amid FuelCell Energy’s capital crunch, Doosan reports steady progress
Hartford Business Journal. For many companies, a struggling competitor would be cause for glee, but that’s apparently not the case in Connecticut’s fuel cell industry.
Cool thing: Connecticut Green Bank makes intentional effort to boost solar energy in communities of color
Solar Builder. “In 2015, when we realized that all homeowners in Connecticut did not have access to the benefits of the clean energy economy, our mission compelled us to act. This study confirms the response to our programs in under-served communities of color has been even more positive than we anticipated.”
by PAR Planning Committee
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