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Environmentalist Groups Move To Block Killingly Natural Gas Plant

Toby Talbot

Connecticut environmental groups have sent 650 hand-written letters to Governor Ned Lamont and state lawmakers urging them to block the construction of a 650 megawatt natural gas power plant in Killingly.

Louis Rosa Burch is with Citizens Campaign for the Environment, one of the groups opposed to the Killingly power plant. Burch said the letters make the point that Connecticut needs lawmakers to commit to green new jobs for the holidays, not another fossil fuel burning power plant.

“The Killingly plant is only really projected to create between 25 and 40 long term jobs. That pales in comparison to the thousands of skilled green jobs that we could be creating,” Burch said.

Lamont has said he is committed to a green energy future for Connecticut but ISO New England, the regional power grid operator, has already obligated itself to use the power that would be generated from the plant. The plant is being constructed by Florida-based NTE Energy.

On Wednesday morning, before dawn, 17 young residents marched to the Governor's mansion with pots and pans to “wake up” Governor Ned Lamont to the dangers of the proposed Killingly plant. They said supporting fossil fuels disproportionately and "disastrously" for Black and Brown, disabled, lower-income people.

“We need to work together to stomp out the use of dirty fossil fuels, and usher in the new age of progress, clean energy, racial and economic equity, and decent living,” says Dave Cruz-Bustamente from New Haven. He said he was disappointed in the Governor and DEEP for avoiding responsibility on the Killingly plant.

Credit Julie Labau/Sunrise New Haven
Dave Cruz-Bustamente with Sunrise New Haven outside the Governor's mansion.

The environmentalists have the support of some lawmakers. Mae Flexer is a Democratic state Senator from the area. She said ISO New England has yet to establish a need for the electricity that would be generated from the plant.

“And it clearly does not fall in line with our targets for moving towards green energy and clean energy,” Flexer said.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.