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Environmentalists Protest Proposed Power Plant

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Environmentalists say methane leaks at every step from drilling to the power plant. Credit: Tim Evanson/flickr.com
Environmentalists say methane leaks at every step from drilling to the power plant. Credit: Tim Evanson/flickr.com
 By Andrea Sears - Producer, Contact
September 18, 2015

OXFORD, Conn. - Protesters gathered in Oxford on Thursday night to tell state regulators that a proposed gas-fired power plant is unnecessary and a danger to the environment.

The protest came just before a public hearing held by the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on required air permits for the construction of a gas-fired power plant. Martha Klein, communications chair of the Sierra Club Connecticut Chapter, said the problem is that the plant will be leaking methane - and those releases will not be measured.

"So, how can you possibly approve something when you don't even have the faintest clue about how much greenhouse gases it's spewing into the atmosphere?" she asked.

According to CPV Towantic, the company building the power plant, when completed it will be one of the cleanest conventional generating projects in the world.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has proposed rules for methane emissions from new facilities, but they haven't been finalized. Klein said the power plant itself is just part of the problem. Gas escapes into the atmosphere at every step from production to final use, she said.

"In drilling, transport, flaring, what you emit is methane," she said. "Methane in the first 10 years of release is 100 times worse than carbon dioxide at causing climate disruption."

Klein said the plant fills no need because Connecticut already generates more power than it uses, and renewable sources of energy are coming on line at an accelerating pace.

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