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Protests Today & Sunday Against Proposed Killingly Gas Plant

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A climate-change protest known as a "die-in," similar to this one from 2019, is set for 2 p.m. today behind the Capitol building in Hartford. (Mitchel Kvedar)
A climate-change protest known as a "die-in," similar to this one from 2019, is set for 2 p.m. today behind the Capitol building in Hartford. (Mitchel Kvedar)
 By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CT - Producer, Contact
January 13, 2021

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Opponents of the proposed Killingly natural-gas power plant are ramping up public pressure, with a protest today in Hartford and another on Sunday, Jan. 16, in New Haven.

At 2 p.m. today, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is scheduled to be a featured speaker at the Hartford protest, where there will also be a symbolic "die-in" on the back steps of the Capitol building.

Gov. Ned Lamont has said he wants the state to be carbon-neutral by 2040, so rally organizer Sena Wazer, co-director of the group Sunrise Connecticut and a junior at the University of Connecticut, said she thinks Lamont should intervene to deny final approvals for the plant.

"And it's really just to show the governor the really disastrous effects that climate change is going to have on our future," she said, "especially as young people."

A second protest is planned for 11:30 a.m. Sunday on the New Haven Green.

The state has said the plant would be a source of "bridge fuel" for times when energy from wind or solar isn't sufficient. The Governor's Council on Climate Change is supposed to release its final report by the end of the month. If approved, the Killingly plant would go online in 2024 and generate 650 megawatts of power. The Sierra Club estimates it could dump 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year.

Angel Serrano, a community organizer for the Connecticut Citizen Action Group, said the state never will reach its decarbonization goals if it keeps green-lighting new fossil-fuel infrastructure.

"If we want to combat climate change, we need to invest in renewable energy such as wind and solar," he said, "and try to get away from these fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas."

The state recently approved a permit for a wastewater pipeline for the power plant that would pass through wetlands. The state's draft Integrated Resources Plan, which came out in December, is open for public comment through Feb. 15.

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