As we try to address our state budget crisis, one option proposed by the Senate Republicans should be off the table: sweeping $136 million over the next two fiscal years from the utility ratepayer-funded Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund to the state’s General Fund.
It is now clear that President Donald Trump and the Republican majority in Congress are intent on destroying all controls on greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions are primarily the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels and producing cement; however, a significant amount of the emissions come from methane. The leakage of natural gas, which is 97 percent methane, is a major contributor to this.
Nuclear power was once considered “too cheap to meter.” The “peaceful atom” was a spurious claim spread by nuke proponents, with little public opposition, after the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Dominion Energy, owner of the Millstone nuclear plant, has failed to convince our Connecticut General Assembly that it needs a new deal to ensure long-term profits. The defeat signals another corporate myth that’s been debunked. Dominion and its welfare scheme is “a toxic brand now, literally radioactive,” said Rep. Lonnie Reed, co-chair of the Energy Committee last week. “Let’s let it go and figure out a new way.”
An important national debate is playing out in Hartford right now as the Connecticut General Assembly is currently considering a state Constitutional Amendment about the future of the Connecticut’s public lands. S.J. 39 would prevent the state from transferring, swapping, or selling state-owned lands without appropriate public input — and if it passes, it will further demonstrate Connecticut’s long history of valuing our parks, wildlife areas, waterbodies, and open spaces.
The Bottle Bill is our most effective recycling program in the state, and after being around for 37 years, we’re pretty familiar with how it works. But the bottle industry is lobbying for us to dismantle it and replace it with curbside recycling programs and taxes, which would waste much of the value to be found in recycling.
It would be a colossal mistake for Connecticut to permanently back away from its commitment to expand energy infrastructure, which would provide increased statewide access to clean, affordable natural gas and support thousands of good-paying jobs. Connecticut has suffered too long from the highest electricity costs in the nation. High energy costs not only hurt household budgets, but also hold back businesses and undermine job creation. Why would a business—especially an energy-intensive company—relocate or expand in Connecticut if the cost of energy isn’t competitive?
Every Connecticut energy consumer should have the option to choose clean, local power. This choice should not be limited by whether they own or rent. It shouldn’t be limited by whether they live in a house, condo or apartment building. It shouldn’t even matter whether the solar system is on their roof or simply nearby. In fact, it doesn’t need to.
I agree with Senator Richard Blumenthal: Trump’s latest executive orders calling for reviews of national monuments and sanctuaries are likely a façade aiming to eventually put our public lands and waters at risk for the benefit of a select few.
When Oscar the Grouch so wisely exclaimed, “It’s called garbage can, not garbage cannot!” he wasn’t just referring to his treasured home on Sesame Street, but to the abundant source of life living – and working – in our garbage to help process our food waste, improve sustainability, reduce landfills and ultimately, help feed the hungry.
What’s an American couple to do right after the winter of our discontent—not to mention despair and disbelief?
How about doing organizational work in your congressional district for the midterm elections in 2018? You bet! Perchance talk civilly to friends, neighbors and relatives —even strangers— about issues that you feel are important to your family, to your children and grandchildren (and theirs)? Amen, sisters and brothers.My wife and I are looking on the sunny side.
Utilities want consumers to foot the bill for new pipelines through a surcharge on our bills – a pipeline tax. The scheme was rejected by Massachusetts’ highest court and by New Hampshire public utilities regulators. Here in Connecticut, the pipeline tax is alive and well. That’s why the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the CT Fund for the Environment and Sierra Club support a bill introduced by state Rep. Christopher Rosario, D-Bridgeport, to ban such a tax.
We are encouraged by Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s efforts to fight climate change head on, but we need all decision makers to also recognize that climate change is an urgent threat to public health. Our politicians, from President Trump on down, should note that climate change is not an issue relegated to environmentalists anymore. It’s now a primary concern for health professionals, parents, educators and all responsible citizens who believe they have the right to breathe clean air.