Letter: Against fuel cell project in Bridgeport

In the context of climate crisis, the irony of the Sept. 7 Connecticut Post front page should not be missed. One article was on how severe weather will be more frequent, one was on sewage overflows and bacteria contamination, and last was on the $80 million, 70-foot fossil-fuel-powered fuel cell tower proposed for 600 Iranistan Ave. that will be both a climate destroyer and eyesore. That’s right. Yesterday’s polluting fuel cell technology will continue to impede our efforts to curtail climate destruction for decades because of a politically driven decision to build yet another power plant in the South End.

Unfortunately the author, who otherwise did a good job, chose only to interview the developer of the project (a company based in Easton with two employees), not any of the hundreds of citizens who oppose it. Although he did quote from two of the dozens of opposition letters submitted to the Connecticut Siting Council about the project, he did not reach out for responses to rosy assertions by the developer. He didn’t mention that Connecticut is the only state in the union that classifies fossil fuel-powered-fuel cells as “renewable.” Nor did he mention that this type of project, located within a dozen feet of I-95 and the railroad, has never been tried before. Good luck if something goes wrong. (The original petition was rejected for health and safety concerns.)

Citizens of the South End have long felt the fix was in on this project. Strong lobbying of city hall and state politicians by Connecticut’s fuel cell industry has made approval all but certain. But that will not be how the story ends. Opposition will turn to the courts and the ballot box. Our Unpower Nupower group, in concert with other activists, will oppose all state and local politicians and officials who supported this project, tacitly or otherwise. It’s time to replace politicians who think it’s OK to do the wrong thing.

Joe Provey