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The Connecticut Chapter of the Sierra Club Grassroots Legislative Network
The 2015 state legislative session began in January. We are forming a grassroots legislative network to advance state legislation. If you are interested in attending public hearings, taking action on bills, or calling and writing your legislators, please contact Laurie Julian here..

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Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club Lobby Day Wednesday May 6, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.

Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford CT 06106  (Room TBA)

On May 6, the Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club will hold a legislative lobby day, to advocate for clean energy. We will provide training, and then in small groups, speak to state senators and representatives, or aides. We seek to influence the outcome of a number of important bills that are currently in the General Assembly. One piece of legislation that we oppose is Substitute Senate Bill #1078, “An Act Concerning Affordable and Reliable Energy.” We ask everyone to come out on lobby day and ask your state senators and representatives to vote against S.B. #1078. You can also email, and you can find the email address for your local legislators at the following website: cga.ct.gov. We will also be advocating for proposed bill 928, the shared solar bill which was gutted to a pilot program. 

The following are three reasons we oppose Substitute S.B. #1078 (file #616):

1) It shifts the cost of fracked gas infrastructure from the electric companies to ratepayers. We already pay for electricity. We would bear the costs for operating the infrastructure that is designed to carry gas primarily for export, not for public necessity. The pipeline owners and operators are publicly traded, for profit entities. This bill cost shifts from for-profit corporations to the public, which provides a better bottom line to the corporation.

2) The bill transfers authority to develop energy proposals from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Although PURA has itself been criticized by the environmental community, giving DEEP this much direct authority for energy proposals is downright scary. DEEP wrote #1078. DEEP is right now in the process of permitting new fracked gas intrastate pipeline without any environmental assessments whatsoever. A part owner of one of the proposed interstate pipelines is Eversource, formerly CL&P. DEEP in collaboration with Eversource and other for-profit electric companies, wrote the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which plans the state’s energy future, and is geared largely toward increasing the capacity of fracked gas in our state. DEEP is a strong ally to the electric and gas industries, and this bill would grant them a free hand to continue to benefit fracked gas infrastructure, to the detriment of the development of clean and renewable wind and solar energy. 

3) The bill contains a provision to force the automatic approval of DEEP developed energy proposals if PURA doesn't issue a decision within 60 days. Automatic approvals for fracked gas pipelines mean no environmental assessments will be done. It means public opportunity for input would be truncated. 

S.B. 1078 is an example of politics enhancing industry profits on the backs of the public. Fracked gas pipeline projects don't benefit the public and do harm the climate and environment. There is no scarcity of fracked gas. Please join us on May 6, or email your local state senators and representatives to VOTE NO ON #1078! 

RSVP to Martha, please. 

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