Connecticut River Defenders primarily focuses on protecting the ecological and environmental health of the river in the face of the Northfield Pumped Storage Project. While First Light touts this as a hydro facility and green energy, in fact, it uses fossil fuel generated electricity to suck water up from the river to the top of Northfield Mountain, at times of low demand, and generates 30% LESS energy as it releases the water back into the river at times of more demand and they can charge more per kilowat. Fish, eggs and larvae get sucked in along with water and the river flows backwards.
FirstLight Power has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to issue another 50 year “License to Kill” the Connecticut River and its ecosystems. The Connecticut River Defenders stand firmly in opposition to this renewal of First Light’s license.
FirstLight is owned by a Canadian pension investment fund (Public Sector Pension),a capitalist giant that is destroying the Connecticut River for its own financial gain. In 2018 FirstLight registered itself in a Delaware tax haven. FirstLight profited $158 million on Northfield Mountain in 2019.
We come with respect for the land that is currently occupied by FirstLight. We acknowledge that it is the unceded land of the Nipmuc and Abenaki, people who lived here long before European Settlers, and still live here today. One of the pivotal demands of the Connecticut River Defenders is to return this land to its rightful stewards as a step towards reparations for the theft and ongoing trauma inflicted on them, and all Indigenous Peoples.
In addition to rallies, other actions, letters to the editor, a People’s Hearing on the Rights of the River, we also have formed strategic alliances with CAN (Climate Action Now) and the local and wider efforts to push for the legal rights of nature.