Today, over a dozen national advocacy groups joined local community groups in delivering a letter to Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo asking her to show climate leadership and revoke her support for the proposed Invenergy Clean River Energy Center in Burrillville, RI. The groups noted there are serious concerns about local air and water pollution, and also that methane released from fracked gas is a potent greenhouse gas contributing to the climate crisis. Methane leaks from every stage of the natural gas system, from well sites to processing plants and compressor stations to beneath city streets.
“Support for this project is inconsistent with climate leadership and will move us away, rather than towards, the quick and just transition to 100 percent renewable energy that we desperately need…Promoting natural gas not only will lock in decades more of fracking and contribute to the climate crisis, but it will result in billions of dollars being spent on the infrastructure to support burning gas, preventing us from moving into a sustainable energy future,” said the letter.
Governor Raimondo has spoken out about the need to address climate change, and her desire for the state to become a green energy leader. Regarding Rhode Island’s participation in the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future, Raimondo said, “Already, we’ve taken valuable steps forward to reduce our environmental impact and grow green jobs by supporting the construction of the nation’s first offshore wind facility, investing in renewables, and encouraging clean modes of transportation. More work remains, and this accord acknowledges the challenges we face and our commitment to addressing them.”
“Governor Raimondo can’t have it both ways,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, which organized the letter. “Fracked gas is as dirty as it gets. Burrillville residents deserve better than the Invenergy plant. The climate deserves better, too.”
“There are 300 gas plants proposed across the country,” said Nick Katkevich of The FANG Collective. “Building these plants will lock us in to climate catastrophe and hurt communities facing the onslaught of fracked-gas infrastructure. We need Governor Raimondo to listen to her constituents and drop her support of Invenergy’s proposed power plant.”
“Fracked-gas is not a bridge fuel to a clean energy future – it’s a road block. We need a just transition to 100 percent community owned renewable energy. For this to happen in Rhode Island, Invenergy’s proposed power plant must be cancelled,” said Kathy Martley of Burrillville Against Spectra Expansion, who lives a quarter mile from the proposed power plant site and the existing Spectra Energy compressor station in Burrillville, RI.
Many of these organizations will be converging on Philadelphia on July 24, on the eve of the Democratic National Convention to demand that elected leaders including Governor Raimondo take swift action to keep the vast majority of fossil fuels in the ground and commit to transitioning swiftly to renewable energy.
“Governor Raimondo’s decision will not only determine the fate of the project,” said Hauter. “It will also determine whether she is a leader in this revolution, or a follower on the same old dirty path.”
Organizations signing the letter include: 350 CT; 350.org; AnastasiaThinks INC; Breast Cancer Action; Burrillville Against Spectra Expansion; Center for Biological Diversity; Climate Disobedience Center; Elders Climate Action; Environmental Action; The FANG Collective; Food & Water Watch; Franciscan Response to Fracking; Friends of the Earth; Grassroots Environmental Education; Immanuel Congregational Church UCC Environmental Ministry Team; Jewish Climate Action Network; Justice Action Mobilization Network; Justice and Peace Office of the Congregation of Notre Dame USA; National Nurses United; People Demanding Action; Popular Resistance; Progressive Democrats of America; South Coast Neighbors United, Inc.; Stand; Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion; Toxics Action Center; U.S. Climate Plan; and We Are Seneca Lake.
The letter can be found online at: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.
[From a press release]