I am “giving a talk” tomorrow. It’ll be about Climate Anxiety Counseling, vulnerability, boundaries, low-gatekeeping mental health care. It’s open to the public, which is you, and it’s at 5:30pm, Wednesday 10/14, on the Brown University Campus (Pembroke Hall 305). Mild, non-obligatory audience participation. I hope some of you can come.
Also tomorrow and Thursday I’ll be at the Alliance of Artists’ Communities conference, in association with ARTCOP21, doing Climate Anxiety Counseling there. And ALSO on Thursday the booth and I will be in our favorite spot, the Washington St. entrance to Burnside Park, 3:30-5pm. Please visit. I’m always glad to see you.
If you live in or near Providence, this is your chance to object to National Grid’s intention to build a natural gas processing plant that presents a high chronic and acute risk to our air and water.
Public Hearing on National Grid’s Natural Gas Production Facility
Juanita Sanchez Education Complex, 182 Thurbers Ave., Providence
Those who want to speak against the facility can sign up to do so starting at 6pm. The hearing starts at 6:30pm.
More information about the schedule and process of this meeting, including the procedure for making a statement, is here.
I will be there and I hope some of you can come, too, and tell other people about it.
If I get the chance (and can do so without taking the spot of someone who lives near the threatened site), I want to say something like this: I don’t live on the Southside, but I care what happens there because it affects the people who live in Providence with me. I don’t want them to be at risk of a breach or a leak or an explosion any more than I would want that risk. I don’t want their air or water compromised any more than I would want mine compromised. I don’t want this plant to be built at all, and I definitely don’t want it in the city where I live. I buy my electricity from National Grid and I want them to commit more firmly to more renewable, less polluting and dangerous energy.
The Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island (which is where your nickels go, if you’ve ever stopped at the Climate Anxiety Counseling Booth) explains why we should prevent National Grid from using Providence to process fracked natural gas:
National Grid is planning to expand their operations to include a natural gas “liquefaction facility” in the Port of Providence, where they would convert fracked gas brought in by pipeline into Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for export. The Port already has a high concentration of toxic and dangerous industrial facilities next to a low-income community of color that suffers from high rates of asthma and environmental related illnesses…
While National Grid supplies gas to the whole state, the community next to this facility is one of the poorest in the state and residents are routinely faced with utility shutoffs, and have to make decisions on whether or not to pay utilities or pay for other necessary things such as food or transportation to employment. National Grid will pass the $100 million dollar price tag onto consumers by adding the cost onto their gas bills. The LNG produced in South Providence will be exported to Massachusetts by truck. The limited number of temporary jobs created during construction of the facility will be specialized positions from out of state, since construction will be managed by the multinational firm Kiewit.
You can sign a petition to Mayor Elorza, Senator Whitehouse and the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) opposing this plan.
If you can, it would be good to go to the FERC hearing on Thursday, October 8th, at the Juanita Sanchez Education Complex, 182 Thurbers Avenue, Providence. At that link, there’s more information about what we can usefully do at this meeting to resist this unjust and damaging plan.
Editor Patricia Spears Jones has kindly included three alternate histories in The Future Imagined Differently, the new issue of About Place. I’m slowly reading my way into it and will be using my Twitter account to note other stories and poems that feel transformative and important. I’m honored to be part of this gathering of writers.