Huge rate increases on the horizon for new pipelines we do not need

An unpleasant surprise for Connecticut ratepayers that could cost billions of dollars is just around the corner, but the good news is that we still have a chance to stop it. What’s the surprise? Another round of huge rate increases is on the horizon from Eversource to build a new $6.6 billion fracked gas pipeline that our state doesn’t need. We have a chance to stop these rate hikes by supporting House Amendment #4118.

World without end, amen

Here in Connecticut, we pay less and less attention to the natural world every year and it shows. State and federal researchers recently gave our coastline a grade of 27, or “fair,” on a scale that designates 50 and above as “good.”  We have fallen behind on our goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preserving open space. More than two-thirds of our rivers are unsafe for swimming. Lobsters have all but disappeared from Long Island Sound, a quarter of whose warming waters now have inadequate oxygen or extreme hypoxia.

Cheap oil and gasoline: Enjoy them while you can

Tired of paying $3 or more for a gallon of gasoline? Well, your pain has just begun. For decades, we’ve lived — and driven — in denial, somehow assuming we have the “right” to cheap gasoline, and therefore, low-cost transportation. Now it’s time to face reality and consider what will happen when — not if — gas hits $10 a gallon, not because of taxes, but because we will use up the planet’s petroleum. Here are some predictions:

Support homegrown solar energy this session

Last week the General Assembly advanced a flawed bill that would put Connecticut’s growing solar industry on ice. While Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s bill aims to increase clean energy in Connecticut, it undermines the ability of residents and small businesses to contribute to a more renewable future. Senate Bill 9 eliminates “net metering,” a simple policy that pays solar households for the excess electricity they share with their neighbors.

You are invited April 18 for real talk, real action on climate change

Young people are conscious about the threat of climate change. We know that this fight isn’t about our far-off future; it’s about our today. It’s about what we are willing to tolerate in the present moment and what we cannot afford to ignore any longer. Just as Florida’s Parkland School survivors are taking a stand for their own safety, the young people of Connecticut can take a stand for climate justice and a rapid transition to renewable energy.

An energy policy that hastens our own extinction

It seems that these days, we don’t need meteors from outer space any more to erase the dinosaurs. We concoct our own earth-history-disrupting event, with more and more species already extinct or in great danger. And I’m not only talking plants and animals, this time it’s about us. Millions of people, cities and entire regions are at risk of losing their lives, their livelihood, or at least their home. More frequent and more severe storms, floods, mudslides, fires, droughts, loss of habitat and wars for resources — lucky those who are not dinosaurs, who are smaller and more adaptable, or have the option to move somewhere else.

Connecticut should fear the hunters, not the bears

State lawmakers are gearing up to promote a bear hunt in Connecticut, which would be the first in the state since 1840. The legislation for the hunt is being spearheaded by Environment Committee Co-Chair State Sen. Craig Miner who is seeking approval for a bear hunt in his own backyard – Litchfield County.
Stoked by exaggerated bear sightings, supporters are manipulating the public by marketing fear, so hunters, who represent just one percent of the state’s population, can rally support for what really amounts to nothing more than a trophy hunt to slaughter bears for mounts and rugs.

Warning of rolling blackouts puts natural gas in perspective

Gov. Dannel Malloy and other New England governors showed foresight in 2013 when they called for upgrading and modernizing natural gas infrastructure throughout the region, in part to complement the growing use of intermittent solar and wind energy. Unfortunately, inconsistent policies and litigation have so far blocked needed expansion. Now, the region is seeing the consequences of inaction, with Bloomberg reporting Dec. 27 – even as the full impact of an extreme and prolonged cold spell had not yet hit — that “spot prices more than tripled…and turned the region into the world’s priciest gas market.”

Push for carbon-free and other climate-change legislation

The article published in the Connecticut Mirror on Jan. 18, “Sandy + 5; Irene +6: Coastal resilience still elusive and expensive,” highlighted the need for Connecticut’s coastal towns to develop plans to become more resilient to hurricanes and rising sea level, yet it made no mention of the need to address climate change, the consequences of which include coastal flooding and more extreme weather events.

GOP fiddles with fossil fuels while Los Angeles burns

The wrong-way Republicans are on the dark side of history again, proposing tax cuts for their wealthy donors and oil companies while gutting programs that have helped to fuel the rise of America’s alternative energy industry. Solar and wind power, two of the fastest growing (and cleanest) sources of power in this country, provided nearly 7 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2016 (the same as hydropower). More Americans work in solar power today than in the coal industry. But various Republican proposals in House and Senate tax bills have targeted the incentives that have helped alternative energy surge, while providing tax and other benefits to fossil fuel and nuclear power purveyors — including opening up the National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling.

You have a national park in the ocean, and it’s in jeopardy

When you think of national parks, you probably think about vast stretches of green spaces where the daily routines of nature play out unaltered by human activities. But America also has “blue parks” to protect very special areas of our ocean, and the newest is off the coast of New England. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument —the first monument of its kind off the east coast of the U.S.— has canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon and mountains higher than anything east of the Rockies that rise from the deep ocean floor

The climate report Trump hoped to ignore will resonate outside D.C.

Last week, without comment, the White House published a study officially titled the Climate Science Special Report. Contrary to many statements and positions articulated by President Trump, members of his Cabinet, his surrogates and his supporters, the report clearly states that Earth’s climate is changing, and “it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”