Welcome to the February Newsletter of the UCC Northeast Environmental Justice Center!
This monthly (ish) e-newsletter is dedicated to sharing information about global, national, regional and local news, action opportunities and events centered on the climate justice movement. The intention is to inform, educate and help folks connect with the movement and each other, so that we can amplify our collective voice on behalf of Creation here in southern New England (and beyond). If you find these e-newsletters helpful, please share widely, and encourage others to subscribe. If you have environmental events open to the public or legislative actions (especially if you're from MA or RI) that you would like to include in future e-newsletters, please be in touch. Thanks for reading!
Pam Arifian, Director
Live with Rev. Siladi - "Acting on Faith - Climate Action in 2019"
CTUCC Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi and Pam Arifian, Director of the UCC Northeast Environmental Justice Center, held a live video conversation on January 11, 2019 to discuss the impacts of the latest climate change reports, and what a faithful, intersectional response looks like. "Climate intersects with, perpetuates, and exaberates all other injustices," says Arifian. You can view the half-hour conversation here.
"We Are Still Here - Reflections from the Indigenous Peoples March"
"This is the story we want to lift up first and foremost, to combat indigenous erasure, and to lift up the inclusion, beautiful diversity, respect, the honor for ancestors and future generations and all relations, which we witnessed all day. " Read reflections by Pam Arifian and Rev. Lindsey Peterson on their witness at the first Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C. on January 18th, 2019.
Fossil Fuel Resistance
Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is a 1,100 MW natural gas power plant currently under construction in Dover, NY, just 3 miles upwind of towns along the CT/NY stateline, including Kent, Sherman and more. There is an increasingly vocal resistance to this power plant, which is scheduled to be operational by 2020:
- In the middle of the night on January 15, 2019, three farmers and one environmental advocate chained themselves to a tractor to block passage of turbines heading for the CVEC on Route 7 in New Milford. Read more about the action here.
- On January 26th, actor and activist James Cromwell joined Sachem HawkStorm, hereditary chief of Schaghticoke First Nations, to speak out against the CVEC plant at a public rally near the site. Read more about the action here. There will be ongoing, non-violent picketing demonstrations at the CVEC site (2241 Rte 22 in Wingdale, NY) every Saturday from 11am to noon (more information here).
- The town of Kent has installed air quality monitor as a result of citizen action to monitor air quality in advance of the anticipated operation of CVEC. Neighboring towns within the 30 mile buffer (including Sharon, Cornwall, Warren, Washington, New Milford and more) are encouraged to raise funds and install smaller air quality monitors as well (More information here)
The developer of Killingly Energy Center (KEC), NTE Energy, reapplied to the Connecticut Siting Council for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for its proposed 650MW dual-fuel Killingly power plant. The Council will consider the motion to reopen the project's proceedings at the February 14th meeting. The power plant would be located on Lake Road in Killingly, CT, less than two miles west of I-395, not far from the state lines with MA and RI.
Massachusetts Action Alert: Tell Governor Baker Our Childrens' Health is Not For Sale
Join Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station and Mothers Out Front MA at the State House and the DEP and DPH as they demand that he protect the health of the community over his ties to the fracked gas industry.
When: Thursday, February 7, 2019, 12:00 - 1:15pm
Where: State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133
Continued Support for Unist'ot'en Camp
Continued support requested in solidarity with the Unist'ot'en camp as they resist the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, as the pipeline company bulldozes their land and traplines.
Regional Environmental Justice Action & Education
The UCC Northeast Environmental Justice Center is tracking many bills in the Connecticut legislative session, and is working in partnership with the CTUCC Legislative Advocate, Michele Mudrick, and the CTUCC Advocate Corps to act on bills coming to the floor. If you would like to be involved and receive action alerts with the CT legislature, join the CTUCC Advocate Corps.
If you are from Massachusetts or Rhode Island and would like to share in the newsletter about environmental initiatives and/or legislative actions that you or your congregation are involved in, please send an email to Pam Arifian.
CT Legislation Action Opportunity - Ban Fracking Waste
A public hearing was held today, February 4th, for SB 753, An Act Concerning the Statewide Ban on Fracking Waste. You can still email a written testimony and call your legislators to voice your support for SB 753.
Green Forums on CT State Legislation
Join the InterReligious EcoJustice Network and Unitarian Society of Hartford for TWO Green Forums on CT State Legislation. Both events are FREE (registration required), and focus on different topics.
What: Hartford Green Forum on State Legislation
When: Tuesday, February 5th, 2019, 6:30-8:00pm
Where: Unitarian Church, 50 Bloomfield Ave, Hartford CT 06105
Cost: FREE; RSVP required
Topics: Fracking Waste Ban, Energy Efficiency Funding, Offshore Wind Mandate, and Electric Vehicles.
What: Hamden Green Forum on State Legislation
When: Tuesday, February 12th, 2019, 6:30-8:00pm
Where: Unitarian Society of New Haven, 700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden, CT 06517
Cost: FREE; RSVP required
Topics: Plastics, State Water Plan, Regional Carbon Pricing.
Super Saturday Features Justice-Related Workshops
The Tri-Conference Super Saturday is a a day of worship, workshops and networking. All are welcome! The next Super Saturday is March 16, 2019 in Wilbraham, MA, and has many justice-related workshops on the agenda, including:
- Climate Change Resonance Circle, hosted by Pam Arifian, Director of the UCC Northeast Environmental Justice Center. This is not an educational workshop on climate change; rather it is a space to honor the pain we experience as witnesses to the injustices of the climate crisis, and to build a community of support that will allow us to continue our work in creating a just, sustainable and resilient future for everyone.
Register early to reserve your spot - most workshops have limited space (~25 spots). Would you like to see more environmentally-themed workshops at the next Super Saturday? The committee is accepting workshop proposals for the next Super Saturday (to be held on October 5th, 2019).
Registration is OPEN for the 2019 Environmental Justice for All! Retreat
Are there high school youth in your life who might be interested in a weekend of community and fun, and of learning about environmental issues and how to harness their talents to create a more just and sustainable future?
The annual Environmental Justice for All! Retreat will offer all of this and more!
Please Join Us!
May 17-19, 2019 at Silver Lake Conference Center in Sharon, CT
Cost: $145 per person; scholarships available
Green Your Church in 2019!
The Green Church Awards offer a great way for your congregation to take action on environmental stewardship by offering a checklist of options for engagement.