by Stephen Meno
This week marks an important victory for protecting Connecticut’s environment. Gov. Malloy, along with all New England governors, signed an agreement that will facilitate the development of local solar and wind energy production. New England states will now have a much easier time signing long-term clean energy production contracts. The Sierra Club is hoping that this agreement will be used to replace five Connecticut coal plants (such as the Bridgeport Harbor Station), which the 2010 Clean Air Task Force says is responsible for over 500 asthma attacks and 31 deaths each year.
Not only is this a great step forward for the environment, this initiative will help stimulate the economy by creating jobs. Gov. Malloy’s declaration is especially good news because it would partially compensate for the immense damage that would be caused by Mitt Romney’s promise to end all subsidies to wind energy production if he gets elected.
But unfortunately, Romney’s statement is not the only bad news. The Tar Sands pipeline rears its ugly head again, and this time it’s looking at New England. Following oil spills in Canada and Wisconsin this past week, Enbridge (the company behind Tar Sands) has decided to extend a pipeline through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. With an atrocious safety and hazard record, this proposed pipeline will put many beautiful places in New England at serious risk, such as Maine’s Sebago Lake and Casco Bay, and 11 rivers (including the Connecticut). Not only is the Tar Sands pipeline terrible for the climate, animal habitats and populations -- it could also destroy New England’s treasured waterways and groundwater systems -- a quickly dwindling and at-risk resource.
The good news? New England citizens are taking action to prevent this horrible plan. On July 29, Over 500 people gathered outside the New England Governors’ Conference in Burlington, VT (the same conference where the clean energy initiative was signed) to protest a Tar Sands extension.
GreenScene plans to start digging around (pun intended) - starting with our friend, Dan Burgess, Legislative Director for Energy at Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.