Regarding energy needs, the long view is the right view.
I was encouraged to read that Gov. Ned Lamont has gone on record opposing the building of the Killingly Energy Center.
While the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes publicly applauds clean energy victories, she has quietly approved the construction of Killingly, a 650 megawatt fossil fuel burning gas power plant.
In 2018, the DEEP-run Governor’s Council on Climate Change concluded that Connecticut needs to de-carbonize the electric grid, achieving at least 66 percent zero-carbon energy by 2030 and 84 percent carbon-free electric generation by 2050. Those target years are not that far away!
If built, Killingly is authorized to emit more than 2 million tons of carbon dioxide, 5 percent of Connecticut’s total state-wide gas emissions. The methane produced by such a plant hasn’t even been calculated. By taking the short view and continuing to build fossil fuel burning plants, we veer away from any chance of meeting our state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. We cannot let that happen.
Proponents of the Killingly plant argue that it would be cleaner than the older, high-polluting coal and oil-fired plants, but building Killingly would represent a short-term improvement, not a long-term solution. With reliable, clean-energy options available, why build a fracked-gas energy plant?
Connecticut has procured thousands of megawatts of offshore wind. Cleaner solutions are happening: we are moving to greener energy production, reducing carbon dioxide and methane emissions. Building sustainable energy sources is providing jobs and will create more good jobs. Building Killingly represents a step back, a step off the path to our goals.
Our lives and those of future generations require a long view, with wise leadership —from Lamont and others, now —to guide us in the right direction.
Cleo Sonneborn lives in Easton.