Sierra Club launches petition against natural gas infrastructure on campus

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The environmental organization Sierra Club recently launched a petition to stop the creation of a gas power plant at the University of Connecticut, according to the Club’s website. 

“Due to student-led activism—including a five hundred person march on the President’s office—UConn has temporarily halted construction of the new fracked gas power plant,” the petition reads. “Add your name to the petition to UConn’s President, CFO, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Gov. Lamont to put a permanent halt on the fracked gas power plant on campus and stop the expansion of fossil fuels in favor of a plant-friendly, sustainable approach.”

Patrick McKee, sustainability program manager at UConn’s Office of Sustainability said, though the Office is not in a position to endorse nor reject a campaign similar to the Sierra Club’s, he agrees with the Club on the importance of transitioning from fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy options.

“We are on the same page with the Sierra Club regarding the need to move away from fossil fuels in order to address climate change and are working with students, faculty, and administration to understand how we can most realistically do that,” McKee said in an email.

McKee said UConn is able to protect the environment through its research and staff.

“The University has a disproportionately positive opportunity to help protect the environment through its research and talented faculty who are educating our future leaders on the importance of action on climate change,” McKee said.

UConn was ranked fifth this year by the Sierra Club magazine’s annual “Cool Schools” list, a ranking of North America’s greenest colleges and universities.

“Using a customized scoring system, Sierra’s researchers ranked colleges and universities based on academic criteria like environmentally-focused curriculum, student engagement with environmental activism, operations such as renewable energy generation and waste management, and schools’ planning and administrative standards,” the Sierra Club magazine reads.

The organization’s goal is to get at least 300 people to sign the petition, according to its website. As of publication, 112 people have signed it. 

Thumbnail photo courtesy of @uconnos Instagram.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed information about UConn’s Sierra Club ranking to the Office of Sustainability Director Rich Miller. It also stated that the Office of Sustainability agrees with the Sierra Club’s petition. The story has been updated to reflect those changes.


Anthony Zepperi is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at anthony.zepperi@uconn.edu.

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