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River Alliance of CT > Priority Topics > Pipelines

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Pipelines Archives                                                                            Back to Priority Topics

Sep 16, 2016

Press Release: The Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club will hold a People Over Pipelines Walk on Saturday, September 24.

The walk is intended to draw attention to the ratepayer subsidized gas pipeline expansion which is taking place throughout Connecticut.  Starting at noon on September 24, participants will join in the walk to demonstrate against the increase of fracked gas in Connecticut and Massachusetts.  Walkers will follow the Kinder Morgan pipeline route in Suffield and East Granby.  It is a free event and all who would like a better energy future for Connecticut are welcome to participate.

Many Connecticut residents have unknowingly been paying for the expansion of fracked gas in Connecticut through ratepayer increases on their electric bill since 2013, thanks to CT law makers passing the "Comprehensive Energy Strategy". In 2015, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a law that mandated future ratepayer subsidies for multi-state gas pipeline projects.  Soon, ratepayers will be subsidizing the construction of interstate gas pipelines;  Connecticut residents will essentially be paying for gas to be shipped through New England and exported to Canada. 

The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is the agency in the state that both procures large natural gas projects, and also issues permits for aspects of the construction. The aim of the State energy plan is to create thousands of new gas customers, through advertising and ratepayer subsidies.  Only the two large corporations, Eversource and Iberdrola, will benefit from the expansion.  They have a monopoly on gas distribution in the area.

Will Connecticut citizens benefit?  Not likely. Natural gas is not cheaper, cleaner or safer than other fuels. Gas, which is methane, is currently more expensive than heating oil in Connecticut and according to the International Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), worse for the environment than oil or coal. Methane extraction (fracking), use, and transport produce significantly more greenhouse gas emissions causing worse climate change than other fossil fuels. Studies also show that there is no unmet demand for natural gas in Connecticut.  Gas pipelines are routinely only half full now and electricity demand in New England has remained virtually flat over more than 10 years.

Why would our State and Federal representatives allow gas expansion at a time when they claim to be concerned about climate change and are announcing various greenhouse gas reduction initiatives? It might be due to the corrosive influence of money on politics. According FEC data, Eversource alone has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Connecticut politicians.

Connecticut citizens should contact their State representatives and tell them to stop the ratepayer subsidies for natural gas expansion. Demand an immediate transition to a 100% renewable energy powered future. To show your support for a clean energy future, join the People Over Pipelines Walk on Saturday, September 24 (rain or shine).

For more information, call (860) 236-4405 or email connecticut.chapter@sierraclub.org  or go to http://www.sierraclub.org/connecticut

Rivers Alliance of Connecticut
PO Box 1797, 7 West Street 3rd Floor, Litchfield, CT 06759-1797
rivers@riversalliance.org, www.riversalliance.org