Locals will gather in Oxford to protest proposed CPV power plant

On Thursday, Sep. 17, at 5:30 p.m. in front of Oxford High School, local people and activists from across the state and region will turn out to protest the proposed CPV power plant, and the expansion of fracked gas use. In the town of Oxford, a multinational corporation plans to build a new power plant which will run primarily on fracked natural gas; the power produced by this plant will not be used and is not needed in the area. In addition, Spectra Energy has begun construction on the Oxford compressor station, which is part of their Algonquin pipeline expansion to transport vastly greater amounts of fracked natural gas across Connecticut for the purpose of export.

Natural gas is 97% methane, a vastly worse global greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. We know that fracking, transporting and using methane causes significant emissions; in August, the EPA proposed regulating methane emissions for the first time. The gas suppliers and users, which includes Eversource, see fracked natural gas as a desirable fuel to use, as fracking has made it cheap and as methane emissions are not yet regulated. However, we already have seen the costs of climate disruption, in the billion dollars our state spent on damages from three major storms. There is no public benefit from these polluting projects. All the benefits redound to the corporate owners and their government boosters. The public doesn’t need the pollution, the climate disruption, or the costs that these projects add to our electricity bills. The town of Middlebury is suing the Connecticut Siting Council for its approval of a power plant under a 15 year old permit, issued for a plant half the size. The town of Oxford voted to refuse the sweetheart tax deal that CPV offered, which will force the corporation to pay the actual tax bill to the town.

CPV claims that since ISO-NE approved their bid to supply more power, it proves that the energy must be required somewhere in New England. In fact, ISO-NE was forced to change their policy for predicting future energy use, because they so underestimated the amount of renewable power coming online, that their predictions for need were skewed and overestimated. CPV has refused to state how much profit they anticipate making off of the dirty polluting plant. Instead, they accuse local people and businesses who oppose the project of generating “hysteria”.

People in Connecticut are organized against fossil fuel projects, including the coal powered plant in Bridgeport, the nuclear plant in Waterford, and the expansion of fracked gas use and transport. The technology to convert to an efficient and carbon free energy system exists, but our politicians refuse to invest in it. Instead, our legislators have chosen to benefit the dirty fuel industry by investing ratepayer dollars in fracked gas expansion. In other words, the people are paying for the destruction of our own climate and environment. Join together with faith, justice and environmental groups to protest fracked gas expansion and unnecessary polluting power plants, on Sep. 17, at 5:30 p.m. in front of Oxford High School.

Sierra Club CT Chapter

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