Says a new power plant in state is unacceptable

To the Editor:

The Connecticut Siting Council, with support from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), has approved the construction of a Killingly Energy Center, a new, fracked gas 650-megawatt fossil fuel burning power plant to be built in Killingly.

There are several reasons we should want to stop this project.

Residents of northwest Connecticut are still fighting Cricket Valley Energy, an 1,100-megawatt fracked gas power plant under construction in Dover Plains, N.Y., on the border of Sherman, where the wind flow of pollution known to cause cancer, neurological issues, endocrine disruption and cardiovascular disease is expected to cross the state’s line from the southeast to towns in Western Connecticut including Sherman, Kent, Gaylordsville and New Milford.

Now, the Connecticut Siting Council has authorized the Killingly power plant to be built and emit more than two million tons of carbon dioxide, which is 5 percent of Connecticut’s total statewide greenhouse gas emissions. Note: The methane gas the plant will emit is not even calculated.

Important: The project is not needed.

Our state will be able to procure thousands of megawatts of new power from offshore wind to come online in a few years.

Plus, a new power plant In Killingly would make our state’s mandated greenhouse gas emission reduction targets impossible. How do we get to 80 percent emission reduction by the year 2050?

Interestingly, DEEP-run Governor’s Council on Climate Change concluded in late 2018 that Connecticut will need to decarbonize the electric grid, achieving at least 66 percent zero-carbon energy generation by 2030 and 84 percent carbon-free electric generation by 2050.

Between 2018 and 2019, gas plants totaling 1,500 megawatts and running on fracked gas, came on line.

Connecticut is building more fossil fuel burning plants than any other state in the region, veering way off track from meeting our state’s greenhouse gas emission goals.

There is cause for concern. Why did DEEP handed out Killingly permits before the Connecticut Siting Council even gave its approval?

With an urgent climate crisis, a state mandate to reduce greenhouse emissions, and reliable clean energy options available, why is DEEP, the agency charged with protecting our environment, ignoring it all and encouraging the construction of dirty gas power plants?

I believe the permit is inexplicable, unconscionable, and irresponsible.

Connecticut needs to get on track. The time is now to stop building gas plants and forever shift our focus to clean and renewable energy. Contact Governor Lamont at 860.566.4840 and offer your opinion.

Helen Applebaum

New Milford