News release from CT Sierra Club, 350 CT, CCAG & Citizens Campaign for the Environment:
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) released an updated draft of the Connecticut Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) today. Advocates are urging Governor Malloy and DEEP to improve the draft plan, helping the state meet its goals of reducing carbon pollution and delivering affordable and reliable clean energy to families and businesses within the state.
By the administration’s own analysis, the state’s draft plan is not sufficient to achieve Connecticut’s carbon reduction goals. Advocates say the final plan should do more to accelerate clean energy requirements, end subsidies for heating homes with gas, expand energy efficiency policies, and put forward a more ambitious path to further invest in the electrification of transportation and heating.
Analysis for the Governor’s Council on Climate Change showed that Connecticut needs to reach nearly 100 percent carbon free electricity, power virtually all vehicles with that clean electricity, and transition most oil and gas heating to heat pumps by 2050, and that faster deployment of those resources through 2030 would grow Connecticut’s economy and create more jobs. Instead, Connecticut ratepayers are currently subsidizing 900 miles of new gas pipeline, and other accompanying infrastructure, to connect nearly 300,000 customers to fracked gas.
Greater emphasis on clean, renewable energy, electric vehicles, and deploying home heat pumps for heating and cooling would reduce carbon pollution contributing to climate disruption, avoid the need for new dirty energy infrastructure, save families and businesses money, all while creating jobs and building economic prosperity.
In response to the release of the Draft Comprehensive Energy Strategy, the CT Sierra Club issued the following statements from CT Sierra Club Chair Martha Klein, 350 CT, the Connecticut Citizens Action Group and the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
Connecticut Sierra Club Chair Martha Klein stated, “While Connecticut has made progress in advancing renewable energy and protecting the environment, it is disappointing that the state continues on a path to support major investment in fossil fuels. Fossil fuels harm the environment by polluting our air and water and harm consumers who will continue to foot the bill for unneeded fossil fuel infrastructure. It is both shocking and troubling that while President Trump is doubling down on fossil fuels and new pipelines in DC–Connecticut has chosen to follow his lead. Sadly, this CES draft simply does not hit the clear renewable energy goals to set forth by the Global Warming Solutions Act. I encourage every Connecticut resident concerned about the environment to turn out to public hearings and tell our state leaders that it’s time for Connecticut to be a leader in combating climate change and investing in clean, renewable energy!”
350 Connecticut Steering Committee head Ben Martin added, “Fossil fuels are no longer needed because renewables are now competitive in cost and, in the long run, cheaper. This new CES draft proves once again that Connecticut is lagging far behind other states on renewable energy. Subsidies and programs that encourage methane gas expansion must be re-directed into solar, wind, tidal, and hydro that will ultimately produce more jobs and save taxpayers money.”
Louis Burch, Connecticut Director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment said, “If Connecticut is to achieve its clean energy goals and lead the nation on combating climate change, we should be making ambitious investments in clean wind and solar, not forcing ratepayers to foot the bill for gas pipelines we don’t need. Simply put, we will never solve the problem of climate change by perpetuating our reliance on dirty fossil fuels.”
Ann Pratt from the Connecticut Citizens Action Group stated, “With the new CES we have a unique opportunity to better embrace renewable energy and turn away from our reliance on fossil fuels. I encourage all Connecticut residents to speak up at public hearings and tell regulators that our state deserves cleaner energy now.”